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  • Counterterrorism Strategy

    Al-Qaeda: 'Spreading Like Wildfire'

    Last week, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee held a hearing provocatively titled “Is Al-Qaeda Winning?” The answers that the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade received were profoundly unsettling. Former Senator Joseph Lieberman (I–Conn.) testified that Syria had become a key focal point of al-Qaeda’s efforts. He noted that there … More

    Al-Qaeda Seeks American Recruits in Syria

    Al-Qaeda forces in Syria are actively seeking recruits from Americans who have traveled there to fight or to assist opposition forces, according to U.S. officials quoted in today’s New York Times. At least 70 American citizens have traveled to Syria, and most of them are still there, according to U.S. … More

    Overuse of U.S. Special Operations Forces Makes Them Less “Special”

    President Obama’s love for America’s unconventional warriors is taking the “special” out of U.S. special operations forces (SOF), according to a recent article by Richard Russell in Foreign Policy’s national security section. Russell quotes former head of Joint Special Operations Command General Stanley McChrystal that Presidents get the idea that … More

    Fighting New Terror Threats Requires Defining Them

    The way the U.S. President talks about terrorism matters. As chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Michael McCaul (R–TX), recently put it, “Great leaders do not tell their constituency what they want to hear; they tell them what they need to know.… The American people deserve to make … More

    U.S. Embassies Remain Closed: 5 Heritage Must-Reads on Counterterrorism

    Twenty U.S. embassies and consulates remain closed throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia this week. The State Department says that “current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in … More

    Q&A on Embassy Closings and Terrorist Threats

    James Carafano, Heritage’s vice president for foreign and defense policy and the E. W. Richardson Fellow, sat down with us to answer some frequently asked questions about the recent terrorist threats, embassy closures, and National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs. Q. Is the threat against U.S. embassies credible? A. Yes. … More

    GUEST POST: 10 Years of Mixed Results from Homeland Security

    This year marks the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS was established to help prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce our overall vulnerability to terrorism, and help us rapidly respond to any attacks that may occur. DHS was also tasked with the … More

    Morning Bell: President Obama Is Tired of Fighting Terrorism

    “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…” These were words President Obama never used during his speech at the National Defense University yesterday. Rather, … More

    Central Al-Qaeda May Be Wounded but Terrorist Threat Remains

    On March 12 the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) released a report on the “Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community.” The report stated the following: Senior personnel losses in 2012, amplifying losses and setbacks since 2008, have degraded core al-Qa’ida…. However, the group has held essentially the same … More

    The U.S. Should Ignore U.N. Inquiry Into Drone Strikes

    Airstrikes carried out by U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly referred to as drones) have been criticized for several years by international human rights activists, including certain “special rapporteurs” operating out of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. One such special rapporteur, Ben Emmerson of the United Kingdom, has … More