ICTS Reports

LatinAmerica1aLatin America continues to face multiple security challenges including natural disasters, infectious diseases, organized crime, terrorism, migration, economic development, and threats to democratic governance.

This April 2017 report on “Latin America’s Strategic Outlook: Populist Politics, Health Concerns, and Other Security Challenges” deals with recent security-related developments such as the Rio Olympics, the Zika epidemic, and post-Castro-era assessments.

Download the report here.

Tehran's Bomb ChallengeIntroduction
Professor Yonah Alexander
Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies

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     The rise of power in Iran of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the November 1979 seizure of the United States Embassy in Tehran and of some 60 American hostages by “revolutionary students” triggered a flurry of introspection in Washington concerning the policies which successive Administrations had followed with a country of enormous strategic and economic importance in the Middle East.

     Among the questions that have been raised during that historical period were the following: What had gone wrong? Why had the United States failed to assess correctly the strength of the elements that brought down the Shah [Shahanshah, King of Kings, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in January 1979, after a 37-year rule]? Why had the United States linked its fortunes so closely to those of the Shah in the first place? What did the national interests of the United States consist of as applied to Iran? What were the full implications of the transformation of Iran from a friendly ally to a hostile adversary of the United States?

 

     These and related issues were analyzed in a study on The United States and Iran: A Documentary History, co-edited by Yonah Alexander and Allan Nanes and published by the University Publications of America in 1980. This work was prepared in association with the World Power Studies Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University.

     During the next 34 years, other research efforts have been undertaken, focusing on Iran’s strategic and tactical intentions, capabilities, and actions. For instance, Tehran’s expanding terrorism role was discussed within the framework of the study, Terrorism: As State-Sponsored of Covert Warfare, co-authored by Ray S. Cline and Yonah Alexander and published by Hero Books in 1986. This work was undertaken in cooperation with the Center of Strategic and International Studies of Georgetown University and prepared at the request of the Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate. This publication underscored the fact that the goal of psychological terror and physical violence employed by totalitarian dictatorships, like the Iranian regime, is to maintain control of their own people and to expand this kind of control over other regions and nations. In the face of Iran’s terrorism challenge, the United States, its friends and allies, particularly Israel, have developed a wide range of countermeasures. They consisted inter alia of intelligence, economic and security assistance, political and diplomatic pressures, economic sanctions, clandestine counter-terrorism infiltrations, and overt military operations.

 

 Despite these activities, Tehran continued to resort to terrorism at home and abroad. Additionally, Iran’s apparent vision of a country becoming the dominant power in the Middle East had led its leadership to develop a nuclear program in open defiance of United Nations resolutions. In this connection, the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies (IUCTS, a consortium of universities and think tanks operating in over 40 countries) had conducted a major research project resulting in the release of a study on The New Iranian Leadership: Ahmadinejad, Nuclear Ambition, and the Middle East. This book, co-authored by Yonah Alexander and Milton Hoenig, was published by Praeger Security International in 2007. It documents Ahmadinejad’s background and rise to power and explains the structure of the Iranian Revolutionary government—the competing centers of power and the major players. The study then details the terrorist groups funded and armed by Iran, primarily Hizballah and Hamas. It also provides a comprehensive picture of Iran’s apparent aspirations to acquire nuclear weapons, as well as the related implications for regional and global security concerns.

     Moreover, numerous seminars and conferences related to the multiple Iranian security challenges to the international community were held in the United States and abroad. For example, on December 6, 2011, a seminar was co-sponsored by the IUCTS, International Center for Terrorism Studies (ICTS) at Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, and the Inter-University Center for Legal Studies (IUCLS) at the International Law Institute. The topic was “Iran’s Nuclear Program: A Final Warning?” and held at Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, VA. The event highlighted Tehran’s nuclear weapon program amidst the backdrop of an uncertain political reality in the Middle East. Moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander, a panel of experts included Dr. Leonard S. Spector (Executive Director, Washington, DC, Office, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterrey Institute of International Studies); Dr. Christopher A. Ford (Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Technology and Global Security, Hudson Institute); Michael Eisenstadt (Director, Military and Security Studies Program, Washington Institute for Near East Policy); Guy Roberts (Former Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Policy and Director, Nuclear Policy, Emerging Security Challenges Division, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); and Professor Don Wallace, Jr. (Chairman, International Law Institute). Because of the relevance of this topic, a summary of this event follows.

     Dr. Spector offered four main points: First, he warned that the West had only one to three years to counter Iran before it gained the ability to rapidly produce a small arsenal of nuclear warheads. Second, he stressed that although current measures to stop Iran from achieving this goal are often innovative and are being pressed aggressively by the United States and like- minded governments, they have not yet proven effective, and Iran continues to make progress toward acquiring a nuclear-weapon capability.

     Third, he said, this apparent reality makes it necessary to escalate U.S. and international efforts both to pressure Iran to halt its sensitive nuclear activities and to prevent its further progress. Such escalation is likely to entail tougher sanctions against the Central Bank of Iran and, in all probability, an intensification of covert operations against Iran’s nuclear program. Citing comments by the then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Dr. Spector noted that overt military action, while “on the table” in theory, appears to be “off the table,” as a practical matter, at least for now. But Panetta left the door open for covert actions. Some, such as “accidental” explosions at sensitive sites, Dr. Spector argued, might be as destructive as an air strike. He also noted that sanctions originally directed at the Iranian nuclear program had become so broad that they appear to be aimed increasingly at weakening the Iranian regime.
   

     That brought Dr. Spector to his fourth point, which he referred to as “Operation Arab Spring.” Noting that the regime of Bashar Assad appears to be crumbling in Syria, he stressed that when it falls, possibly within the next six months, Iran will lose its only national ally in the region. This would not only reduce the risk of Iran fomenting a wider war in the Middle East in response to interventions to curb its nuclear program, but would also force the Iranian Revolutionary Government to focus its energies on what will certainly be growing domestic challenges to its survival – challenges that will take strength from the Syrian precedent. Indeed, Dr. Spector concluded, if one looks at the combination of what is happening in Syria and the broader sanctions being imposed to undermine the legitimacy of the current Iranian regime, overall U.S. “grand strategy” may well be to promote the overthrow of the mullahs once the Syrian domino has fallen.

     The next speaker, Dr. Christopher A. Ford, discussed three distinct arguments against clandestine warfare and how he expected that U.S. officials might respond to those arguments in pondering the prospect of such a campaign. The first argument he addressed discussed the notion that clandestine warfare is illegal. Dr. Ford set the grounds for his argument acknowledging that both the United States and Israel have left overt military action on the table for addressing Iran’s nuclear program, which implies that a military offensive would be deemed legal by both actors. (Indeed, both nations have set a precedent of preemptive military strikes on rogue states’ nuclear weapon facilities as demonstrated in Iraq and Syria.) Dr. Ford argued that if preemptive action against an offensive weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program is an act of self defense and is a “legally available” option, then so also must be the “lesser-included” policy of covert war.

     He also discussed the implications of a covert war, as compared to an overt military strike, through the prism of international humanitarian law. Traditional military strikes might be more effective than most covert means in damaging a nuclear program, but they might also produce more collateral damage and come at a higher geopolitical cost than covert strikes. Covert methods might thus be depicted as morally superior to “legal” military action, and certainly not inconsistent with law-of-war principles stressing the minimization of suffering.

     Dr. Ford then discussed the “Caroline Case” of 1837, which provides a frequently-cited articulation of the legal precedent for preemptive warfare. The British viewpoint expressed in that episode – coupled with the parties’ difficulty in arriving at a common understanding of how to operationalize the agreed legal standard, which suggests the flexibility of the concept – arguably supports the idea that it is justifiable to engage in anticipatory self-defense against an assailant in the more modern context of emerging WMD threats. Dr. Ford then suggested that U.S. officials might find a further ground for a campaign against Iran because Tehran is passively and directly supporting terrorism, going so far as aiding and abetting al-Qa’ida and the Taliban in their war against the United States. The United States has demonstrated that it believes itself to have legal authority for using force against al-Qa’ida and all its supporters, grounded in self-defense and the Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted on September 18, 2001, and this might be felt now to apply against Iran.

     The next argument against covert action Dr. Ford addressed is the idea that covert warfare would provoke a bloodbath and that Iran is on a much more level playing field in this type of warfare. He agreed that Iran is adept at covert war, but noted that Iran already considers itself to be in such a conflict, and has been actively engaged in a covert war against the United States for the past three decades. Iran has supported and directed terror operations against the United States ranging from the Beirut bombing to the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. From Iran’s perspective, no covert war taboo remains to be broken; the main question is what the United States will do on its side of the campaign.

     The last idea that Dr. Ford discusses is that counter-proliferation is unlikely to stop Iran’s program. He acknowledges that this notion does indeed have some legitimacy, suggesting that disruptive tactics will not end the program but merely delay it. Though these tactics by themselves may prove to be unsuccessful, however, if coupled with other strategies to address the Iranian problem, they might provide enough time to stop the program by other means (e.g., regime change). Finally, Dr. Ford stresses the importance of making Iran policy with an eye not merely to counter-proliferation in Iran but also to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime as a whole. Even if Iran ultimately succeeds in developing nuclear weapons, U.S. officials might find it very important to make the cost of such a program to be as high as possible in order to serve as an example to other would-be nuclear proliferator states. This systemic rationale might provide a reason to justify a covert campaign against Iran for years to come.

     Michael Eisenstadt then discussed the larger consequences of Iranian nuclear proliferation, comparing it to Pakistan, China, Russia, and North Korea and their practice of sharing weapon technology. In response to the threat posed by Iran, regional powers have significantly increased their conventional military forces as well as expressed interest in pursuing their own “civilian” nuclear programs. This regional militarization is inherently dangerous for stability and could have massive international implications. Iran wants to create the perception that its development of nuclear power is inevitable with the creation of covert facilities, the use of mixed messages and double entendres, and symbolic demonstrations, such as showing their missiles instead of nuclear weapons. Thus, the Iranians are already using their program as a deterrent against the United States and other regional opponents. Eisenstadt suggests that Iran’s other option is to create all of the necessary infrastructure for an atomic weapon without making the bomb itself. He suggests that at the moment Iran might not have the capability to create a weapon, but if they stockpile enriched uranium and delivery systems, then years down the road they can make one rapidly if need be. Ultimately, Iran would not have invested this much energy and capital as well as such faced harsh sanctions if they were not bent on creating nuclear weapons at some point. Eisenstadt believes that U.S. policy towards Iran needs to be reset in order for the United States to rebuild its credibility and force Iran to believe our threats. The recent attempt to engage in terrorism on American soil is an indication that Iran no longer fears U.S. military retribution.

     Guy Roberts, the next speaker, explained that the United States is already at war with Iran, from Iran’s involvement with Hizballah to the Quds Force activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a result, covert war should continue, but overt war is also a perfectly viable option. Iran is moving deeper into South America, specifically Venezuela and Bolivia. Thus, the United States needs to be more assertive to stop Iran’s global spread. The United States needs to address every facet of any potential Iranian offense and show Iran the true cost of its nuclear program. If the United States and NATO become more assertive and aggressive, then Iran would be forced to see the west’s threats as credible and possibly end their program. The European Union and NATO also need to present Iran with incentives to stop their nuclear weapons program. The carrot and stick approach must be fully utilized to ensure the security of NATO members, especially Turkey which is vulnerable to Iranian hostility. Roberts suggests that the United States and NATO may have to demonstrate the “teeth to our bite” if Iran continues to develop its weapons program. He believes the region needs a strong military commitment to ensure stability and act as a deterrent to other nations who may attempt to proliferate. Ultimately, this commitment could lead to a potential WMD free zone in the Middle East, which Roberts believes to be the best scenario for future stability and security.

     Professor Don Wallace, Jr., closed the individual presentation portion of the seminar. He agreed with many of the speakers that, apart from the specific challenge of Iran, the viability of the Nonproliferation Treaty must be ensured. He believes the Iranians to be an extremely proud and ambitious people, so even if there were regime change, a new regime may not stop their attempts to build a nuclear weapon. In his view, co-existing with a nuclear-armed Iran is a scenario that is completely unacceptable.

     Indeed, the foregoing insights discussed three years ago do provide a useful context to the latest seminar on “Tehran’s Bomb Challenge: Crossroads, Roadblocks, and Roadmaps to Rapproachment?” held on December 5, 2013, at Potomac Institute for Policy Studies. This event, moderated by Professor Yonah Alexander, consisted of a panel with Bijan R. Kian (highest ranking Iranian-American to serve two U.S. presidents, held other careers in both business and a former Senior Fellow, Naval Postgraduate School); Ambassador Noam Katz (former
Dr. Anthony Fainberg (former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Director of Office of Policy and Planning for Aviation Security and
currently consultant for the Institute for Defense Analyses), and Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi (Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the author of The Pasdaran: Inside Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.).
As this report goes to press, several developments related to Iran during January-March 2014 are noteworthy:

     First, Saudi Arabia provided the Lebanese army a 3 billion dollar grant to counter Hizballah, Iran’s proxy.

     Second, the al-Qa’ida-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings targeting the Iranian Cultural Center in Beirut in retaliation to Hizballah and Tehran’s role in the Syrian war.

     Third, Iran reported that it perfected multiple-warhead, medium-range ballistic missiles designed specifically to attack American targets. It also declared that the West “cannot entertain illusions” of Tehran completely ending its enrichment program.

     Fourth, the Israeli Navy seized the Klos-C, sailing under a Panamanian flag, in the Red Sea, off the coast of Sudan. The ship was carrying dozens of M-302 rockets intended for the Islamic Jihad in Gaza. This “arms export” operation was coordinated by Iran.
Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria and Ghana and currently Minister of Public Diplomacy at the
Israeli Embassy in Washington);

     And fifth, the U.S. Congress in bipartisan letters to President Obama asserted that in whatever a final agreement with Iran, the Islamic Republic must not retain any capability to pursue a nuclear weapon.

     Finally, an appreciation is due to Michael S. Swetnam (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) and Professor Don Wallace, Jr. (Chairman, International Law Institute) who participated actively at the December 5, 2013, seminar. Additionally, the research background for this report was provided by the Winter 2013 and Spring 2014 team of graduate and undergraduate interns coordinated by Sharon Layani (University of Michigan). The team included James Nusse (The George Washington University), Michael Klement (University of Denver), Sheila Davis (Duquense University), William Docimo (London School of Economics), Stephanie Rieger (University of Wisconsin), David Wiese (University of Exeter), Kai Huntamer (University of California, Los Angeles), Courtney Van Wagner (University of Georgia), Garth Keffer (University of California, Davis), Roxanne Oroxom (University of Maryland), John Jermyn (University at Albany, the State University of New York), and G. Genghis Hallsby (University of Iowa). Mary Ann Culver prepared the manuscript for publication. All these individuals deserve special gratitude for their efficient support.

 

Cover IUCTS 2017On April 13,2017,the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies (IUCTS) published its eighth annual report, "Terrorism in North Africa and the Sahel in 2016," authored by Prof. Yonah Alexander, Director--IUCTS. The report finds the region & global community facing the most serious security challenges since 9/11, from natural and man-made threats. The rise of the Islamic State and the resilience of al-Qa’ida and their affiliates in Africa in 2016 have resulted in continued instability on the continent with a costly strategic impact inter-regionally. The study recommends the U.S. & allies engage more effectively to slow a security crisis that is erupting across Africa’s “arc of instability.”

Download the report here.

loneWbThe latest terrorist incidents in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere, are once again a grim reminder of the expanding operational roles of "lone wolves." Whether they are self-radicalized or linked to home-grown or foreign groups, their involvement reflects a worrisome weakness in the security chain of modern society.

This February 2017 report on “The Lone Wolf Terrorist: Past Lessons, Future Outlook, and Response Strategies” focuses on some of the “lone wolf” challenges. These include security threats to the safety, welfare, and rights of ordinary people; the stability of the state system; the impact on national, regional, and global economic development; the expansion of democratic societies; and the prevention of the destruction of civilization by biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons.

Download the report here.

NatoNATO, as it marked its 68th anniversary, is still facing a broad range of old and new challenges, including piracy, terrorism, regional and global conflicts, humanitarian crises, proliferation of WMD, and cyber threats.

In light of these and other strategic concerns, the latest NATO Warsaw Summit in 2016 focused inter alia on strengthening and modernizing the Alliance’s deterrence and defense posture and projecting stability beyond its Eastern borders. The question arises whether the 28 nations’ partnership will continue to play its essential political and military role in the coming years.

This January 2017 report on “NATO’s Strategy: Continuity or Change?” provides a recent academic effort to analyze whether NATO, at this stage of its evolution, is capable of completing its transformation from an earlier static defense alliance into a more effective regional and global security provider.

Download the PDF here.

JerusalemCover2

As the new administration of President Donald J. Trump is beginning to develop its Middle East foreign policy strategy, the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict still persists. In addition to the multiple outstanding issues to be resolved by the parties, such as the need for mutual recognition and the settling of boundary disputes, questions remain regarding the future of Jerusalem, the Holy City, which is considered by Israel as its eternal capital—and which the Palestinians also see as their own capital in a future state.

This current report on "The Holy Jerusalem: A Key to Middle East War or Peace?" provides a recent academic effort focusing on two questions. First, can religion in general serve as an effective bridge to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East and elsewhere? And second, will the antagonists and their partisan Jewish, Muslim, and Christian co-religionists be capable of a peaceful resolution on the final status of the Holy City?

Download the PDF here.

turkey2

In the wake of the failed coup in July 2016, many questions have arisen both domestically and internationally regarding Turkey’s future political, social, economic, and strategic direction. Among them are how will Turkey to continue to maintain a balance between security concerns and civil liberties domestically, as well as contribute to international efforts, including NATO’s mission, to advance stability regionally and globally.

This current report on “Post-Attempted Coup in Turkey: Quo Vadis?” provides a recent academic effort focusing on these issues as well as other related strategic concerns include the refugee crisis, the impact on the fight against the Islamic State, and Turkey’s relations with regional and global powers.

 

Download the PDF here.

roleofInfo1sm

The failure of contemporary societies during the past sixty years in the post-World War II period to effectively combat terrorism at home and abroad is, indeed, puzzling. After all, all nations are fully aware that the most critical element in combating the challenge of terrorism is intelligence. That is, the knowledge acquired, whether overtly or covertly, for the purpose of both internal and external statecraft.

And yet, despite this awareness, the grim reality is that terrorism is still attractive and works. For instance, according to recent press reports, during the past year and a half alone some 2,063 attacks were recorded in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, with a death toll of 28,031. Likewise, 46 attacks occurred in Europe and the Americas, and as a result of which some 658 were killed.

The purpose of this introduction is to provide an academic context for the apparent lingering confusion regarding the nature and implications of intelligence in democracies. It presents a brief overview of the challenge of modern terrorism, outlines key aspects of the role of intelligence in confronting the threats at home and abroad, and reports on the two latest academic efforts in this security area that are incorporated in this study.

Download pdf here.

roleofMilitaryThe role of force in the struggle for power within and among nations is a permanent fixture of international life. As James Madison observed during a debate on the adoption of the Constitution in 1787, “There never was a government without force.” Likewise, Sir Winston Churchill in a note to the First Sea Lord on October 15, 1942 remarked: “Superior force is a powerful persuader.”

Clearly, the primary actors capable of resorting to power domestically during periods of peace are the police and other law enforcement agencies. They are mandated to implement the preservation of public order, and thus represent the first layer of protection for civilians, including citizens, permanent residents, and visiting foreigners. These designated governmental bodies seek to encourage “good behavior,” prevent illegal activities, warnof potential internal threats, and develop strategies to assure an effective national security environment in accordance with the requirements of the administration of justice.

And yet, from time immemorial, military forces in particular have projected power at home and abroad during periods of both war and peace. It is not surprising therefore that there exists a comprehensive literature in this field, from antiquity to the contemporary era. Suffice to mention the infinite theological and secular sources covering the nature, role, and impact of armies on the direction of the statecraft of nations. For example, early religious texts focused on God’s directing military operations (e.g., assurance of victory),organizational structures (e.g., standing armies and mercenaries), arms supplies (e.g., slings, chariots, provisions), strategies and tactics (e.g., intelligence and spoils of war), and the virtues and vices of battles (e.g., magnanimity in victory and treatment of prisoners)...

Download the full PDF here.

RefugeeCrisiscoverFrom time immemorial humanity has been challenged by a wide range of manmade calamities, usually resulting from criminality, corruption, political violence, and economic and technological disasters. These events have been labeled by historians and contemporary observers as dangers bringing fear, suffering, destruction, and death. Such misfortunes were also characterized as multiple forms of “humanitarian and security crises” facing all societies.

One of the most lingering and devastating manifestations of this reality is the “refugee crisis.” According to a popular definition “refugees are people who vote with their feet,” as described by Berliner Illustrirte on crowds fleeing from Communist East Germany in its 1961 Special Issue. A more “formal” articulation of the term is provided by Merriam-Webster dictionary, stating that a refugee is “one that flees; especially: a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.”

Download pdf here.

roleofLaw3The International Center for Terrorism Studies produced a report in May reflecting on past and current assessments as well as anticipated future outlooks for the role of law enforcement in combating terrorism. The purpose of this report is to deal only with some selected terrorism-related dangers, focusing on law enforcement and police responses.

Additionally, a wide range of academic and practitioners’ phraseology must be noted in connection with the meaning of “terrorism.” Generic terms such as radicalization, extremism, violence, conflicts, armed struggle, war, and even peace spring to mind. Thus, “terrorism” challenges include organized crime, piracy, low intensity or low-level conflicts, guerrilla campaigns, insurgencies, asymmetric warfare, civil wars, cyber dangers, and weapons of mass destruction (e.g., biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear).

In the face of such and other security concerns, the missions of law enforcement and police agencies are therefore linked directly or indirectly to broad frameworks of national, regional, and inter-regional response strategies and tactics. Among the numerous prevalent concepts, mention should be made of those such as anti-terrorism, combating terrorism, counter-insurgency efforts, clandestine operations, overseas contingency activities, targeted killings, and the global war on terrorism.

Download the full pdf here.

 

QuoVadisProfessor Yonah Alexander

Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies

Contemporary Syria (formally the Syrian Arab Republic) is a United Nations member state under the regime of President Bashar Assad. Tragically, it ranks as one of the most brutal dictatorships in the history of mankind. As the country’s raging war grinds through its fifth year, a total of an estimated 300,000 citizens, including women, children, and elderly, have been killed and thousands more wounded. The gravity of the humanitarian crisis is demonstrated by the four million Syrian refugees who fled the unbearable costs of the unending battles, into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq and, with hundreds of thousands even journeying from the Middle East towards safety in Europe and elsewhere.

Download full PDF here.

 

Search All ICTS Events

Purpose and Scope

There exists the need to educate policy-makers, and the public in general, on the nature and intensity of the terrorism threat in the twenty-first century.  As a member of the academic and research community, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies has an intellectual obligation, as well as a moral and practical responsibility, to participate in the international effort to arrest the virus of terrorism.  The purpose of the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies (IUCTS) is four-fold:

1. To monitor current and future threats of terrorism;

2. To develop response strategies on governmental and non-governmental levels;

3. To effect continual communication with policy-makers, academic institutions, business, media, and civic organizations;

4. To sponsor research programs on critical issues, particularly those relating enabling technologies with policy, and share findings nationally and internationally.

ICTS Events

  • "European and U.S. Counter-Terrorism Strategies: Quo Vadis?" Briefing

    INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TERRORISM STUDIES AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES "European and U.S. Counter-Terrorism Strategies: Quo Vadis?" June 9, 2017 The latest attacks in the UK, France, and elsewhere have once again focused the world's attention on terrorism nationally, regionally, and globally. Moreover, in the aftermath of President Trump’s first foreign trip as well as his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate, what are the likely directions for U.S.…

  • "Is a New Middle East Strategic Order Emerging?" Seminar

    INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TERRORISM STUDIES AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES "Is a New Middle East Strategic Order Emerging?" May 24, 2017   In view of President Trump’s Middle East policies and actions during the first hundred days of his administration and in the aftermath of the president’s first foreign trip, including to Saudi Arabia and Israel, is a new regional strategic order emerging? An assessment of this potential direction was discussed by a panel…

  • Terrorism and the Media: Dilemmas for Government, Journalists, and the Public

    INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TERRORISM STUDIES AT POTOMAC INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES   "Terrorism and the Media: Dilemmas for Government, Journalists, and the Public"   April 20, 2017   The role of the press in reporting on terrorism has been under public debate for decades. Many issues have been considered, including whether the media encourages terrorism and whether governments should prevent the press from covering terrorism in the "name of security." These and related questions regarding the role…

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ICTS Books

 IslamicStateFlyer Page 1

 IslamicStateFlyer Page 2

The Potomac Institute Press is pleased to announce the latest book by Institute Chairman and CEO Michael Swetnam and ICTS Director Prof. Yonah Alexander, Al-Qa'ida: Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond (Potomac Institute Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-9678594-6-0 Paperback, 454 pages).  Orders for Al-Qa'ida, Ten Years After and Beyond may be placed through Amazon.com.  Click here to access the Amazon listing.

Al-Qa'ida: Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond follows the authors' 2001 book, Usama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida: Profile of a Terrorist Network, which came out just months before the 9/11 attacks.  The new volume offers comprehensive coverage of the group’s history, leadership, financing, propaganda, ideology, and  future outlook.

click here to purchase

 

Here's what prominent scholars are saying about Al-Qa'ida: Ten Years After 9/11 and Beyond:

“This is the indispensable book on al-Qa’ida, its spawn, and its affiliates.  Usama and many of his lieutenants have been killed, and the central “base” weakened. But radical Islam and sundry jihadi organizations live.  Yonah Alexander and Michael S. Swetnam have been writing about al-Qa’ida since 1988; they have not lost their touch.”  Don Wallace, Jr., Professor of Law at Georgetown University and Chairman of the International Law Institute.

“This comprehensive book on al-Qa’ida, its evolution, current status, ideology, modus operandi, and its affiliates provides an excellent source for both experts and those who want to learn about this organization and the challenges posed by international terrorism in general.” Shireen Hunter, Visiting Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and Distinguished Scholar, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Few experts on ‘jihadi’ terrorism can write with more authority on the past ten years of al-Qa’ida after 9/11 than Yonah Alexander and his colleague, Michael S. Swetnam.  Many things have happened in these ten years; 2011 was an important year just like 2001.  To understand what is likely to happen in the future, this book is a must read for both experts and all those interested in world peace.” Honorary Professor Ved Marwah, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi; Chairman, India’s Task Force on National Security and Criminal Justice System; Former Commissioner of Police Delhi; and Former Governor of Manipur and Jharkhand.

“Many books have been written on al-Qa’ida, but this comprehensive volume details not only the group’s origin and background, but also its evolution into the present. Yonah Alexander and Michael S. Swetnam have produced a much needed, up-to-date handbook on al-Qa’ida and its affiliated groups. An excellent source for all those who study or combat contemporary terrorism.” Michael Fredholm, Senior Researcher, Stockholm International Program for Central Asian Studies (SIPCAS), Stockholm University, Sweden.

“This book, produced from the pens of scholars that have been wrestling with the issues for decades, should come as a timely reminder that we might want to get back to business as usual but that the likes of al-Qa’ida won’t forget us.”  William J. Olson, Distinguished Professor, National Defense University.

Authors:

Yonah Alexander, PhD
Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies
Director, International Center for Terrorism Studies, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Arlington, VA, USA
Co-Director, Inter-University Center for Legal Studies at the International Law Institute, Washington, DC, USA

Michael S. Swetnam

CEO and Chairman, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, Arlington, VA, USA
Member, US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Technical Advisory Group
Former Special Consultant to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, Washington, DC, USA

 

Table of Contents:

Introduction by Charles E. Allen
Chapter 1: Ideological and Theological Perspectives
and Goals
Chapter 2: Key Leadership
Chapter 3: Selected Modus Operandi
Chapter 4: Propaganda and Psychological Warfare
Chapter 5: Al-Qai’da’s Key Networks
Chapter 6: Selected Affiliated Groups
Chapter 7: Selected U.S. Individuals with Alleged
al-Qa’ida Connections
Chapter 8: Operation Neptune Spear and Beyond
Appendices
• Selected Electronic Political Communication from
al-Qa’ida (October 2001 – 2011)
• U.S. Indictment of Usama bin Laden (November 5, 1998)
• Remarks by the President on Osama bin Laden
(May 2, 2011)
• Ensuring al-Qa’ida’s Demise (Remarks by John Brennan
on June 29, 2011)
• National Strategy for Counterterrorism (June 2011)
• Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent
Extremism in the United States (August 2011)
• The Honorable James R. Clapper, Statement
• David H. Petraeus, Director of CIA, Statement

terrorBy Yonah Alexander and Tyler B. Richardson

Terror on the High Seas: From Piracy to Strategic Challenge is a provocative look at maritime security and the steps that must be taken if terrorist threats are to be nullified. From the Achille Lauro hijacking to the bombing of the USS Cole to attacks on shipping channels by Somali pirates, terrorists have employed a variety of tactics, both successful and unsuccessful. These have included the smuggling of arms and plots to bomb shipyards, as well as attacks on Merchant Marine ships, maritime offices, fuel storage facilities, and Navy personnel, ships, and facilities, both on shore and in port.

 This book constitutes the first research effort after the unprecedented attacks of September 11, 2001, to provide government, industry, and the academic and policy communities with a major resource on potential threats to the maritime environment. Assuming that past tactics, as well as a variety of other unconventional attacks, will be utilized by both domestic and international groups well into the 21st century, the book sagely outlines the response needed from government and industry to meet the coming challenges.

"Professor Yonah Alexander and Tyler Richardson have written and compiled an outstanding and comprehensive review of piracy and terrorism at sea, an essential tool by anyone desiring to understand and fight this timeless, and yet modern day, threat to public safety, international security and commerce.  They have constituted this book to provide governmental leaders, policy makers, academicians, law enforcement officials, and the maritime industry, with the body of knowledge, easily accessible, to achieve the deep understanding of where we are in addressing terror on the high seas, the indispensable prerequisite for charting the future through pirate-infested waters."
- Jamie Barnett, Rear Admiral USNR (Retired), Director of Naval Education & Training from 2004-2006

YONAH ALEXANDER is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies based at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and the International Law Institute. He has published over 95 books in the field of international terrorism including The New Iranian Leadership: Ahmadinejad, Nuclear Ambition and the Middle East; Evolution of U.S. Counterterrorism Policy: A Documentary Collection (3 Vols.); and Turkey: Terrorism, Civil Rights, and the European Union.  TYLER RICHARDSON has served as the Director of Research for the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies and as Defense Fellow for the Long-Term Strategy Project, both in Washington, DC.  His work on maritime terrorism and port security issues has been published by The Washington Times, United Press International, The Jerusalem Post and The Lexington Institute.  Mr. Richardson holds a B.A. in English from Georgetown University and an MBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He currently works as a Senior Analyst in North Carolina. 
 
Publication date:  September 2009;  ISBN: 0-275-99750-2 (Two volumes, 660 pgs.)
$195.00  U.S. Dollars £134.95 Sterling

20% Pre Publication Discount  $156.00 U.S. Dollars; £107.95 Sterling

To order outside the US or for more information please contact:
Marston Book Services Ltd
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By Yonah Alexander

To date, no definitive study has dealt specifically with the role of American citizens in supporting foreign political, ideological, or extremist religious agendas.  Dr. Yonah Alexander's forthcoming book, Terrorists in Our Midst: Combating Foreign-Affinity Terrorism in America, remedies that.  In the book, seven expert authors discuss the threats to American security interests in the United States and elsewhere.

Terrorists in Our Midst focuses not only on foreign nationals operating in the United States, but also on American citizens participating in terror networks at home and abroad. The book presents an overview of both conventional and unconventional terrorism, surveys the terrorist threat in the United States by state and non-state actors, and analyzes the foreign-affinity links of American operatives in this country and abroad. Most important for the safety and security of the United States, it offers an assessment of what policies worked and what did not work, specifying a “best practices” agenda of recommendations that should be adopted by the United States and the international community. Also included are case studies and a discussion of various U.S. policies, including intelligence, law enforcement, border security, and civil liberties.

Yonah Alexander is Professor Emeritus of State University of New York and a former research Professor and Director of Terrorism Studies at George Washington University. Currently he is Director of the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, a consortia of universities and think tanks throughout the world. He is also a senior fellow and director of the International Center for Terrorism Studies (at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies) and is a co-director of the Inter-University Center for Legal Studies (at the International Law Institute). Dr. Alexander has published 95 books as well as founded and edited three International Journals: Terrorism; Minority and Group Rights; and Political Communication and Persuasion.
His co-contributors to Terrorists in Our Midst are Prof. Raymond Tanter (Michigan); Prof. William Lewis (GWU); Prof. Edgar H. Brenner (ILI); Bruce Zagaris, Esq.; Martin Sieff (UPI); and Oliver “Buck” Revell (former FBI).
 
Publication date: 12/30/09 0-313-37570-4; 978-0-313-37570-5; $49.95 U.S.Dollars; £34.95 Sterling

20% Pre-publication discount: $39.95 U.S. Dollars; £27.95 Sterling

To order or for more information please contact:
US Contact: ABC-CLIO
Call: 1-800-368-6868;
Fax: 1-805-685-9685
Online: www.abc-clio.com
Orders by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Marston Book Services Ltd
160 Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4SD, UK
PO Box 1437 • Oxford, UK OX4 9AZ
Tel: +44 (0)1235 465500
Fax: +44 (0)1235 465555
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