Summer 2016 Newsletter
Terrorism in Europe — Recent Attacks, Current Strategies, and the Return of Foreign Fighters
Over the last few months Europeans have witnessed an uptick in terrorist attacks – particularly in France, Germany, and Belgium – many of which are attributed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Since January 2016, twelve attacks ranging from stabbings to suicide bombings have occurred in Europe. Adding to the chaos is the reoccurring threat of homegrown extremism and the return of foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq to their hometowns in Europe. All these concerns beg the questions: what exactly is ISIS’s strategy and end goal, and what are the United States and allied countries doing to stop ISIS? The HSDL has a multitude of resources on ISIS, foreign fighters, and U.S. and European strategy that address these issues and more.
Recent Attacks against the West
- Terror Gone Viral: Overview of the 75 ISIS –Linked Plots Against the West, 2014-2016
United States Congress. House Committee on Homeland Security
- European Terror Threat Snapshot
Homeland Security Committee
Grand Strategy and ISIS
- ISIS’s Campaign in Europe: March 25 – July 15, 2016
Institute for the Study of War
- ISIS’s Global Strategy: A Wargame
Institute for the Study of War
U.S. and European Counterterrorism Strategy
- U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts in Syria: A Winning Strategy?
United States Government Printing Office
- Special Report on Counter Terrorism Strategies in Select European Union Countries: An Evaluation
Indian Council of World Affairs
- Activation of Article 42(7) TEU France’s Request for Assistance and Member States’ Responses
- The Foreign Fighters Phenomenon in the European Union: Profiles, Threats & Policies
International Centre for Counter-Terrorism
- What Explains the Flow of Foreign Fighters to ISIS?
The Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University and NBER
- Western Foreign Fighters: Innovations in Responding to the Threat
Institute for Strategic Dialogue
Major Preparations Required for Mass Gatherings
The United States has just wrapped up with the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia; the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are over; and the inaugural ceremonies for the next U.S. President in January are looming. What kinds of special security measures are taken to ensure that these types of mass gathering events remain safe for all involved? What other issues need to be considered when planning and preparing for these events? The HSDL has a number of resources focused on the special security concerns posed by mass gatherings, as well as resources on planning and preparing for large-scale events, both domestically and abroad.
Focus on International Events:
- Bureau of Diplomatic Security: Major Events Coordination Unit
U.S. Department of State
- 2016 Olympic Games: Health, Security, Environmental, and Doping Issues
Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service
- Security Challenges of the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics
Small Wars Journal
- Protecting Euro 2016 and the Rio Olympics: Lessons Learned from London 2012
Domestic Preparedness for mass gatherings and large-scale special events:
- Special Events Contingency Planning for Public Safety Agencies [Independent Study]
FEMA. Emergency Management Institute
- Mass Gatherings: Are You Prepared? [Online Course]
Northwest Center for Public Health Practice
- Republican and Democratic National Conventions 2016: The Next Terrorist Targets?
Homeland Security Digital Library Blog
- Changing Homeland Security: A Strategic Logic of Special Event Security
Homeland Security Affairs Journal
- For additional resources see the HSDL’s Featured Topic on Mass Gatherings and this Topic Collection from the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Extreme Summer Weather – Hot Times in the Big City
First thoughts of summer typically include vacations, lounging on the beach, BBQs and generally relaxed living that all enjoy after the typical harsh weather of cold, ice and snow. However, recent years have shown us the other side of the coin. This summer has brought the heat dome, corn sweat (aka evapotranspiration), urban heat island, and severe storms. As the effects of climate change manifest each year, safety and health officials are working to educate the public on potential threats of disasters, both man-made and natural. Agencies such as NOAA provide current weather information as well as tips and tweets addressing immediate weather concerns. Other websites that provide climate related conditions include Climate Central and a new website Climate Signals .
The CDC Natural Disasters and Severe Weather: Extreme Heat and the National Center for Disaster Medicine & Public Heath: Heat Emergencies both outline several resources and measures for coping with the heat. The White House has issued an informational piece – Preparing Our Nation for Extreme Heat – that gives guidance on the danger to various populations with vulnerabilities.
The HSDL has several preparedness and response resources on extreme heat and severe summer weather. Here are just a few:
Public Health Guidance
- Climate Change and Extreme Heat Events
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
- Prioritizing Preparedness: Extreme Heat and Climate Change Preparation of Midwestern Health Departments
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
- Extreme Heat Events and Health [Website]
National Library of Medicine (U.S.). Disaster Information Management Research Center
- National Weather Service: Heat Safety [Website]
National Weather Service
- National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) [Website]
National Integrated Heat Health Information System
- 2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records
- States at Risk [Website]
States at Risk
- Heat Wave Implementation Plan CDC, WPA, and NOAA Responses Marking Progress on the Grand Challenges
National Science and Technology Council (U.S.). Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction
Capturing presidential and congressional content… before it disappears
The campaign trail is heating up, and the November elections are around the corner. Changes in the administration and congressional membership result in almost immediate changes in their respective websites. In its ten plus years of collecting content, the HSDL has become all too aware that when websites change, content gets lost. That is why, in election years like this one, we make it a priority to mine and capture as much as we can from Congressional and Executive agency websites well before the outcomes of the election are known.
Select policy, planning and strategy documents from the three branches and from major federal agencies can be found in our Policy and Strategy Documents section, which includes homeland security related Executive Orders (EOs) and Presidential Directives (PDs) going back as far as 1942.
- See a list of all Presidential Documents in the HSDL (Includes EOs and PDs)
Testimony from homeland security related hearings is released in pieces and in different places. The HSDL tracks Congressional websites, and collects and compiles testimony into a single, easy to read document. While these compilations are eventually replaced by the Government Printing Office’s official hearing publications; they are, in the meantime, a valuable and comprehensive resource.
- See a list of all Hearing Compilations in the HSDL
The HSDL also collects committee reports and other documents produced by both majority and minority members of congressional committees.
HSDL Tip: To stay up to date on the latest Congressional and Executive content in the HSDL, use the above searches and set up an email alert. Each Friday, a list of new items matching the search criteria will be delivered right to your inbox!
On the Homefront: Noteworthy Posts from the HSDL Blog
Below is a selection of posts from the HSDL Blog: On The Homefront which were of particular interest over the past few months:
- 08/19/16 – The Louisiana Flood: Understanding the “Quiet Disaster”
- 08/09/16 – Mass Media, Mass Shootings, and Their Troubling Ties
- 08/08/16 – El Nino and Climate Change Wreak Havoc on Our Ecosystems
- 07/24/16 – Beyond “Heat” Dome: Staying Safe in Harsh Heat
- 07/20/16 – Attacks on Paris: Lessons Learned
- 06/02/16 – It’s Here! The 2016 National Preparedness Report
- 05/18/16 – How Urbanization is Affecting Natural Disaster Risk Assessment
Homeland Security Commemorations and Anniversaries
The next few months mark commemorations and anniversaries of significant homeland security events. Featured below are select incidents affecting the U.S., accompanied by pertinent HSDL documents. For the full list, visit the Upcoming Homeland Security Events calendar.
- 09/01 – September is National Preparedness Month
- 09/09/10 – Pipeline Explosion in San Bruno, CA
- 09/11/01 – Terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon
- 09/11/12 – Attack on U.S. Diplomatic Compound in Benghazi, Libya
- 09/16/13 – Navy Yard Shooting in Washington, D.C.
- 10/01 – October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- 10/02/02 – Beltway Sniper Shootings begin in Montgomery County, MD
- 10/17/89 – Loma Prieta Earthquake in Northern California
- 10/29/12 – Hurricane Sandy forms off U.S. Eastern Seaboard
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