Category: On the Homefront – the HSDL Blog

Osama Bin Laden the Environmentalist?: New Batch of Documents Released From “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently released a second batch of declassified material taken from Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan after his successful execution by U.S. Navy SEALs in May of 2011.  This second release comes almost a year after the initial release of...

Terror Gone Viral :Overview of the 75 ISIS-Linked Plots Against the West

Since 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has plotted 75 attacks against the West.  Whether simply inspired by ISIS ideology and carried out by lone actors or centrally organized and directed ISIS leadership, plots have grown increasingly frequent and more violent.  In “Terror Gone Viral”, the House...

Intelligence Community Workshop: Privacy and Best Practices

In July 2015, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) sponsored a workshop titled “Privacy Research and Best Practices“. The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CTSB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened the workshop and has recently published the summary. The workshop hosted panels featuring...

The Rise and Fall of Terrorist Organizations

In years past, the terrorist organization al-Qaeda dominated newscasts, striking fear and concern across the world as the foremost focus in the war against terror. While al-Qaeda is still a cause for alarm, the recent rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has shifted terrorism fears...

Going, Going, GTMO?

President Barack Obama’s administration released its Plan for Closing the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, renewing the fight over the controversial prison in southeast Cuba. Proponents of the plan point to billions of dollars of potential savings while opponents cite security concerns involved with imprisoning terrorists in the US as well...

CRS Resources on the SCOTUS Appointment Process

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is one of the HSDL’s favorite resources for high-quality research on government topics. In light of the recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, we’ve gathered together several CRS reports on the Supreme Court nomination and approval process. Questioning Supreme Court Nominees about Their Views on...

How Social Media Crackdowns are Decreasing Access to pro-ISIS Material

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS, ISIS, or ISIL) has been unquestionably the most adept terrorist group at utilizing mainstream social media. By promoting its “cyber caliphate” on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, the group has been able to recruit both active and passive support and disseminate...

Cybersecurity National Action Plan

Cybersecurity is quickly becoming the most pertinent issue in the field of Homeland Security. The digital age continues to expand into every aspect of our daily lives.  Businesses, social connections, and the economy flourish due to the increasing inter-connectivity; however, this connectivity presents a multitude of threats that continue to...

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

On February 9, 2016, the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, Jr., issued a comprehensive report to the Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the United States’ interest in the protection of American lives against Global and Regional threats. The threats that were outlined in this report were: ‘Cyber and...

“Highest Islamist Terror Threat Environment Since 9/11”

The House Committee on Homeland Security released their monthly report, Terror Threat Snapshot, for the month of February. According to the report, “The United States faces the highest Islamist terror threat environment since 9/11. ISIS is waging war here in the homeland, where there have been 21 ISIS-linked plots to launch...