Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 3, 2015

Friday Free Forum

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on April 3, 2015

William R. Cumming Forum

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Comment by Matt Doyle

April 3, 2015 @ 8:00 am

This week I want to discuss terrorists’ use of social media. Terrorists often use the internet, specifically social media, for the purpose of indoctrination and radicalization. Through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, as well as, online message boards and chats, terrorist organizations have the potential to inspire, encourage, or even support potential homegrown violent extremists (HVE). Helfstein (2012) warns that the online relationships and connections are becoming more personalized and interactive; this makes it easier for terrorists to indoctrinate sympathizers and keep them hidden. The United States has experienced the potential for homegrown violent extremism very recently with the Tsarnaev brothers (Boston Bombers) and Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter. All three HVEs were inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki and his radical online sermons (Anti-Defamation League, 2014, p. 2-3). The internet can also be used to look up bomb manuals. The Tsarnaev brothers learned how to make “the pressure cooker bombs they planted at the Marathon from Inspire magazine, an online English-language propaganda magazine produced by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to which Awlaki contributed. (Anti-Defamation League, 2014, p. 3). It is through the internet that the sermons of Awlaki and the bomb instructions from Inspire magazine became available to these self-radicalizing Americans.

More recent attempts to gather donors, sympathizers, and potential recruits can be seen with the actions of ISIS on social media. On a daily basis, ISIS updates Twitter feeds to inform the world of their goals and their recent brutal successes. While ISIS has gained attention for recruiting sympathizers to join them in the Middle East, we must remain cautious of the potential for sympathizers who have chosen to remain hidden within our nation. The previously mentioned Inspire magazine has often directed readers to carry out attacks in their homelands: “AQAP insists that aspiring terrorists can serve the group better by staying in the West and attacking their home countries…An article in its May 2012 issue told readers ‘that attacking the enemy in their backyard is one of the best ways to help the jihad’” (Anti-Defamation League, 2014, p. 7-8). Social media sites have been criticized for being complacent and reactive (as opposed to proactive). In order to restrict terrorists’ use of social media, companies and governments need to do a better job of working together.

Carmon and Stalinksy (2015) argue that American companies are “facilitating global jihad” (p. 1). Social Media sites need to crack down on suspicious accounts rather than waiting for public outcry. Fuentes and Rahman (2013) write that both Twitter and Facebook suspend and delete accounts “when prodded by external reports of their existence (Fuentes & Rahman, 2013, p. 1). In other words, both sites do not actively monitor their sites for content relating to terrorism. This reactive response, spurred by complaints, is insufficient and inadequate. Companies need to be proactive: identify suspicious accounts, and delete them. In order to do this, companies should make use of algorithms to identify inappropriate content. Many companies already have the potential to use this remedy: “Every major social media network employs algorithms that automatically detect and prevent the posting of child pornography. Many, including YouTube, use a similar technique to prevent copyrighted material from hitting the web” (Carmon & Stalinsky, 2015, p.2). This same technique should be employed to remove radical sermons, brutal videos, and violent images from social media sites.

Naidu (2013) warns that suspensions are not a long term solution and that there have been instances where suspended accounts have resulted in many new accounts and fake accounts. The growth of fake accounts can make it difficult for the authorities to determine which posts and accounts are real. Rivers (2013) writes that “social media generates so much ‘stuff’ and there are so many people involved in chatting with radicals on the internet and to monitor that would require really huge resources and no intelligence service has completely figured out how to separate the ‘chatter’ from the ‘real,’ significant stuff” (Rivers, 2013, p. 1). In order to sift through the information and gather intelligence, companies and government need to communicate and cooperate more effectively. The Associated Press (2013) writes that governments in many countries “are just waking up to the fact that the conversation (about extremism) is moving to newer social media platforms (p.2). Governments need to be more aware and proactive; this includes the creation of new laws to help prosecute criminals and terrorists for their actions online (The Associated Press, 2013). Our strategies to defeat terrorism, as well as, the laws we use to combat terrorists, need to be constantly reevaluated and updated. Terrorists are becoming increasingly sophisticated when it comes to using the internet and social media, and we need a national, as well as, a global effort to combat them.


Anti-Defamation League (2014). Homegrown Islamic Extremism in 2013: The Perils of Online Recruitment & Self-Radicalization. http://www.adl.org

Carmon, Y., and Stalinsky, S. (2015). Terrorist Use Of U.S. Social Media Is A National Security Threat. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2015/01/30/terrorist-use-of-u-s-social-media-is-a-national-security-threat/print/

Fuentes, J., and Rahman (2013). Social Media: A New Medium for Terrorism. http://www.projectcensored.org/social-media-new-medium-terrorism/

Helfstein, Scott (2012). Edges of Radicalization: Individuals, Networks and Ideas in Violent Extremism. Combatting Terrorism Center, West Point. https://www.ctc.usma.edu/v2/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/CTC_EdgesofRadicalization.pdf

Naidu, P. (2013). Increased Presence of Terrorist Organizations on Social Media: Challenges For Social Networks. http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/increased-presence-terrorist-organizations-social-media-challenges-social-networks

River, Dan. (2013). How terror can breed through social media. http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/27/world/rivers-social-media-terror/
The Associated Press (2013). Social media sites now recruiting tools for terrorists. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/asia/around_asia/AJ201306210097

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 3, 2015 @ 8:11 am


First, it seems the whole of mankind seems to be struggling with the notion of what is an EMPIRE, what is a NATION-STATE, what is a City-State. And of the three at what level is democracy most likely to thrive. THE LINCOLN FORMULATION OF GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE seems a sound one to me but perhaps its time has come and gone.

Reversing the order of governance above in human recorded history the CITY-STATE seems to have allowed the concept OF THE PEOPLE to be established, principally in some of Classical Greece’s city-states.
In the last century perhaps an authoritarian Singapore is the best example, but others may be better examples and for that I would pick LONDON.

As to EMPIRE, skipping the NATION-STATE for the moment, clearly under varying definitions several EMPIRES have existed in human recorded history. Some were transient, some were not. Certainly ROME is the best historical example to my mind. But did ROME thrive as an IDEA or as example of what organized military force can accomplish? The basic argument behind ROME’s expansion was INTERNAL SECURITY not external security. And defense of the MARCHES became the raison-d’etre for ROME’s expansion. A wonderful little book, IMO of course was LUTTWACKS (sic) 1970’s THE MILITARY STRATEGY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. As I am somewhat an economic determinist I believe ROME never really fell but it just became too expensive, meaning costs versus benefits, to be part of the ROMAN EMPIRE.

As to NATION-STATES, The Treaties of Westphalia, opposed by the Roman Catholic Church, were the principal source of the modern NATION-STATE and even International Law.

It is the tensions between these concepts and the notions of INTERNAL SECURITY and CIVIL SECURITY that now are working themselves out IMO.

But EMPIRES, if I am correct in my understanding, can be driven by culture, religion, and history, not just by military force.

USE OF MILITARY FORCE is a symptom of lack of understanding of cultures, religions, and history.

Clearly IRAN once an Empire may in fact, like post-WWII Germany and Japan, learned over time that much can be gained, by having its military forces in MUFTI and not organized as traditional Western Armies.

MYFEAR IS THAT THE USA still relies on conventional military force as if it solves rather than creates problems.


Comment by William R. Cumming

April 3, 2015 @ 8:23 am

I know of only one THESIS written as a requirement for a Doctorate of Juridical Science at the University of Wisconsin by William Chipman and approved in 1960 dealing with the passive and/or non-military defense of the United States. Bill Chipman became the brain of the federal civil defense effort after heading the STATE OF WISCONSIN civil defense program.

IMO this document provides a baseline for any discussion of HS but unfortunately is not to my knowledge available virtually.\\

And as I have mentioned before on this blog, there is NO NATION-STATE today that does not base its military strategies and tactics on killing civilians, including the USA.

The last figure I know of counted 19% of the National Guard and Reserves as employed in policing and the FIRE SERVICE.


Comment by William R. Cumming

April 3, 2015 @ 8:25 am


Comment by John Comiskey

April 3, 2015 @ 8:57 am


The Military and the Police are comparable in the sense that on any given day they can save a life/lives and/or take a life/lives. Both transition from humanitarian aid givers to warfighters.

Not so much a conflict ….A paradox, perhaps.

Comment by Gianna Gallo

April 3, 2015 @ 10:54 am

After yesterday’s development of a nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S., I wanted to focus on the ever-present Iranian cyber threat.

The evolution of technology is rapidly connecting people, processes, data, and physical devices. The wide range of application connectivity has created an extremely risky security environment. While consumers are able to take advantage of the opportunities this inter-connected, global data cloud has presented, cyber terrorists and terrorist organizations have taken advantage of it as well. All of this data in motion needs to be protected and security professionals are trying to keep up. Transcendence from a physical to a virtual realm has created a challenging security environment. Cyberterrorism and computer crime are on the rise and millions of people, as well as the nation’s critical infrastructure, are highly at risk. Cybersecurity has quickly become one of the most important homeland security issues for our country and the rest of the world. Although technology and the Internet is harnessed for negative means by many different criminals, terrorist organizations, sovereign nations, and lone wolves, I wanted to focus on the Iranian cyber threat to American critical infrastructure. According to the GAO Report, Cybersecurity: Threats Impacting the Nation (2012), nations use cyber tools as part of their information-gathering and espionage activities (Wilshusen). In addition, several nations are aggressively working to develop information warfare doctrine, programs, and capabilities. “Such capabilities enable a single entity to have a significant and serious impact by disrupting the supply, communications, and economic infrastructures that support military power— impacts that could affect the daily lives of citizens across the country,” (Wilshusen, 2012, p.3).
Iran is intensely investing to expand its cyber warfare capacity. “There is an arms bazaar of cyber weapons, and our adversaries need only intent and cash to access it,” (Cilluffo, 2012). Malware and weapons all can be bought or rented through the Internet. Iran has long relied on the terrorist organization, Hezbollah, which now has a companion organization named Cyber Hezbollah, to strike at the country’s enemies. Hezbollah’s nexus with criminal activity is greater than that of any other terrorist group. “Elements of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps have also openly sought to pull hackers into the fold. There is evidence that at the heart of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ cyber efforts one will find the Iranian political/criminal hacker group Ashiyane; and the Basij, who are paid to do cyber work on behalf of the regime, provide much of the manpower for Iran’s cyber operations,” (Cilluffo, 2012). The current climate is particularly concerning, however, because the level of tension appears to be rising. After establishment of the Cyber Hezbollah organization, it did not take long for them to completely exploit social media tools, such as Facebook, and the Internet to gain intelligence, information, and more supporters. Such exploits generate additional opportunities to gather data, as new potential targets are identified, and tailored methods and means of approaching them are discovered and developed. “Law enforcement officials note that the organization’s goals and objectives include training and mobilizing pro-government of Iran-regime activists in cyberspace. In turn and in part, this involves raising awareness of, and schooling others in, the tactics of cyberwarfare,” (Cilluffo, 2012).
Cyber attacks range in severity, frequency, and sophistication. As mentioned numerous times above, investigations of these incidents are usually unsuccessful and cannot be tied to anyone. This is one of the most fundamental problems: In the relative anonymity and complexity of the Internet and the ability to cross international borders and jurisdictions with impunity, it is very difficult to know exactly who is behind the attacks and their exact motive. In order to prepare for such unexpected attacks, the Cisco Annual Security Report suggests that there are a number of best practices that should be regularly reviewed, tested, and implemented that will greatly help enterprises to prepare for and react to network events (2013). For example, if an electrical grid goes down due to a natural disaster or cyberterrorist attack and responders are unprepared then it may take an extremely long time to have power restored. This could eventually lead to a greater loss of human life and suffering. Stakeholders should be responsible and intensively engaged in preparedness efforts to avert this kind of disaster. There is a cyber armsrace that is rapidly developing in the world today. Flexibility and diligence are extremely important when it comes to adjusting and responding to ever-changing cyber security threats. As our nation’s critical infrastructure, businesses, government, and financial institutions increasingly use the cloud environment, security practices must proactively evolve to protect them. According to the Cisco Annual Security Report, security infrastructures need to move from individualized information technology security to one based on real-time intelligence sharing and collective response (2013). Cyber security professionals along with Homeland Security stakeholders must adopt an adaptive organizational behavior and open up lines of communication amongst one another. Collaboration among homeland security stakeholders on all levels is extremely important. A lack of communication between public administrators, the private sector, and other stakeholders could result in an unprepared community when disaster does strike. Knowledge and preparation among first responders, government agencies, and other homeland security entities and partners is key. We must continue to learn from both our successes and failures in response to such events. Through a collaborative framework, security entities will be able to thwart terrorist organizations’ cyber attacks and efforts.

(2013). Cisco annual security report. San Jose, CA: Cisco Systems, Inc.

Cilluffo, F.J. (2012, April 26). The iranian cyber threat to the united states. Washington, DC: The George Washington University.

Wilshusen, G.C. (2012). Cybersecurity: Threats impacting the nation. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives. United States Government Accountability Office: Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/590367.pdf

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 3, 2015 @ 11:36 am

Tha and Gianna!

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 3, 2015 @ 11:37 am

Correction: Thanks John and Gianna!

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 3, 2015 @ 11:40 am

Question? Do the Armed Forces of the US have the capabilities needed to deal with sub-state actors. Why or why not?

Am I right or wrong that answering this question will determine then fate of the Uniformed military?

Comment by Chris Kears

April 3, 2015 @ 4:38 pm

For this weeks post, I want to address what I believe our national focus should be to defend against cyber-related threats. In accomplishing this, it is important to address: what and who are the current threats we are facing; a brief introduction on recent cyber-related activities; and what should be implemented to improve this national focus moving forward.

What and who are the threats?

Since 9/11, today’s ever-changing threat environment has been challenged by numerous threats; most of them have some form of relationship with terrorist groups. Although they pose as a serious threat on a continuous spectrum, their propaganda seems to be shifting towards cyber-based threats. According to GAO (2012), these cyber-based threats derive from a variety of different sources and can be both intentional and/or unintentional. GAO lists these threats as:

Intentional threats:

-criminal groups



-organization insiders

-foreign nations engaged in crime

-political activism


-information warfare

Unintentional threats:

-software upgrades

-defective equipment

(GAO, 2012)

Although both threat categories are dangerous and can disrupt and dismantle our nation’s critical infrastructure, intentional threats are more likely to occur and have become the primary threat that our homeland security enterprise is concerned about. What makes these threats so much more problematic is that they can “vastly enhance their reach and impact due to the fact that attackers do not need to be physically close to their victims and can more easily remain anonymous, among other things” (GAO, 2012, p. 1).

Cyber-threat awareness.

According to GAO (2012), its been reported that cyber threats are quickly ascending and there are increasing numbers of security incidents that have placed sensitive information, assets, and people at serious risk. The data in these reports show that there have been a huge increase in incidents, ranging from 5,503 incidents in fiscal year 2006 to 42,887 incidents in fiscal year 2011. Just within those five years, that is nearly a 680 percent increase and it only makes sense that as our society becomes more interconnected and depend on technology, that these numbers will continue to increase if our cyber security protocol is not up-to-date to counter these threats. In addition to these rising numbers, here are some previous cyber-related threats that have made a serious impact:

Utah Department of Health (April 2012): 280,000 people had their Social Security numbers exposed and 350,000 people listed in the eligibility inquiries have had their names, birth dates, and addresses stolen from hackers breaking into a server

Global payments (March 2012): This firm that processes payments for Visa and Mastercard had a security breacher from hackers that left millions of American’s credit-and debit-card information being revealed; which eventually led to this firm having its stock fall more than 9 percent.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (March 2012): Another theft of 57 unencrypted computer hard drives that contained protected public health information of over 1 million individuals

Inspector general at the National Aeronautics and Space administrations (February 2012): One of their unencrypted notebook computers was stolen from the agency in March 2011; which resulted in a loss of their algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station

What can be done?

Here lies the issue. The homeland security enterprise understands that these cyber-related threats are evolving and growing each day with new actors coming and going. This acknowledgement focuses on “ensuring the security of these systems is critical to avoiding potentially devastating impacts, including loss, disclosure, or modification of personal or sensitive information; disruption or destruction of critical infrastructure; and damage to our national and economic security” (GAO, 2012; p. 13). The homeland security enterprise has done a better job acknowledge and understanding what needs to be done; however, that does not mean that these acknowledgements and understandings can be implemented effectively. As Former Director of NSA and CIA Gen Hayden stated, the emerging threat of cyber attacks have left more questions unanswered (Hayden, 2011). His questions are:

Would it be more effective to deal with recovery than with prevention?

At what point do we shift from additional investment in defense to more investment in response and recovery?

Are there any cyber capabilities, real or potential, that we are willing to give up in return for similar commitments from others?

(Hayden, 2011)

Moreover, these questions set the new foundation for the homeland security enterprise to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate as a unified entity. Addressing these questions will allow for their national focus to be “more defined” as to what needs to be done to provide more opportunities to defend against today’s ever-changing cyber threat environment.


GAO. (2012, April 24). CYBERSECURITY: Threats Impacting the Nation. Retrieved from https://monmouth.desire2learn.com/d2l/le/content/191074/viewContent/1953697/View

Hayden, M. V. (2011). The Future of Things “Cyber”. Retrieved from https://monmouth.desire2learn.com/d2l/le/content/191074/viewContent/1953699/View

Comment by Colton Strano

April 3, 2015 @ 7:53 pm

For this weeks post, I would like to focus on specific attack that has been looked upon as important enough to begin planning and form response plans for if one of these attacks occur – Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attacks. Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack is a not a new weapon, but has been altered to be a powerful weapon against all electronics. In today’s world full of technology and electronics, the effects would be much more devastating than only a few decades ago. What an EMP is exactly, is “a single nuclear weapon exploded at high altitude above the United States will interact with the Earth’s atmosphere, ionosphere, and magnetic field to produce an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) radiating down to the Earth and additionally create electrical currents in the Earth. EMP effects are both direct and indirect. The former are due to electromagnetic “shocking” of electronics and stressing of electrical systems, and the latter arise from the damage that “shocked”—upset, damaged, and destroyed—electronics controls then inflict on the systems in which they are embedded” (p.1) according to the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. There have been tests done by the Soviet Union, along with the US, between 1958 to 1962 (Foster et al, 2008). The event of an EMP would have catastrophic consequences on the US as a whole because the ranges of these attacks would hurt from Maine all the way down to Florida in one single EMP (Foster et al, 2008). With a single blast going off, the electrical grid would be shorted and disabled along with any telecommunications systems as well. This would blind our country, literally and figuratively, because there would be no means of electric in certain regions as well as no means of communication. These two, very important, security measures (electrical power and communication) are now disabled, leaving any and all critical infrastructures vulnerable to attacks without them being able to notify anyone about it. We take for granted that satellite communication and radio communication but if an EMP had gone off in the Chicago area, there would be no communication nor power in the entire northeastern region. Until the problem could be assessed and repaired, the ability for a foreign body to attack one critical infrastructure would be easy at worst. Because there is no radio transmissions, normal communication means would not work, along with telephones. Leaving a soldier blind in the battlefield for one second could cost him his life, leave a nation blind for an entire day would be catastrophic for that nation. In essence, the entire region effected by an EMP would be put on pause until the utilities, services, and all other effected sources can be repaired and put back online. The precautionary and responsive actions discussed in the Threat Assessment would be a good starting point to build upon so that, in the event of an EMP attack, there is no coming up with one on the spot leaving out key aspects that could results in a very ineffective response.


Foster et al. (2004). Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. Volume 1: Executive Report 2004.

Foster et al. (2008). Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. Critical National Infrastructures.

Comment by Justyna Gromadzka

April 3, 2015 @ 10:22 pm

For this week’s forum I would like to discuss the “Ring of Steel” security strategy used in cities like London and NYC. It utilizes CCTV technology and controlled entry and exit points in order to monitor what happens within the area. Such a method has many benefits but also comes with its downsides. Officials can observe what is happening in the area at all times and address any problem areas quickly. Furthermore, it allows us to monitor who enters and exits the city daily and can help us flag any suspicious individuals. However, implementing such an elaborate security system is very expensive. The system also requires for entry and exit points into the city to be narrowed and scaled down which is not an option in busy cities.
The “Ring of Steel” concept can be looked at as both an effective preventative and detection tool. However, its preventative capabilities are limited. Architectural design changes are utilized to prevent truck bombs but they can not prevent individual suicide bombers. Analyzing software is used to detect unattended packages and bags which can also prevent attacks. Although, as we have seen the system is not foul proof and individual bombers do get around the security measures. New technologies are being researched to further our preventative methods such as software that analyzes peoples walking styles which is being researched at NYU. The strategy does work very well as a detection tool as seen in the past. By scanning license plates and capturing faces of commuters we can focus our efforts on the suspicious individuals. Additionally, once an attack happens we can use the information gathered to find images of the people responsible and see how they succeeded in order to learn for the future.
This elaborate security system is very expansive to put into place and monitor. Cities considering implementing this technology should consider other options before making the decision. Although, the ring of steel is pretty effective in preventing attacks and decreasing crime, using that money in other places might be just as effective. For instance, it can be used to hire more police officers and have more patrol in the area. Adopting such an elaborate concept might not be the most cost effective for metropolitan areas such as Boston or Chicago but that does not mean it should not be done. When it comes down to it, the safety of citizens should be first priority even when it comes with a high price tag.

Barret, D. (2013, July 10). One Surveillance camera for every 11 people in Britain. Retrieved from The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/10172298/One-surveillance- camera-for-every-11-people-in-Britain-says-CCTV-survey.html
Harshbarger, R. (2011, July 28). NYPD’s Ring of Steel Surveillance has 2,000 cameras running. Retrieved from New York Post: http://nypost.com/2011/07/28/nypds-ring-of-steel- surveillance-network-has-2000-cameras-running/
New York City to expand Ring of Steel’s coverage. (2009, Oct. 5). Homeland Security News Wire. Retrieved from http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/new-york-city-expand- ring-steels-coverage
Rosen J., R. (2001, August 9). London Riots, Big Brother Watches: CCTV Cameras Blanket the UK. Retrieved from The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/ 2011/08/london-riots-big-brother-watches-cctv-cameras-blanket-the-uk/243356/

Comment by Ally M

April 3, 2015 @ 10:31 pm

For this week I would like to focus my discussion on the threat of terrorism. Recently in the media coverage we have all heard about what is happening in the Middle East. Terrorist organizations such as ISIS are taking over. They are forcing the people that live in the region to either convert to Islam or face the sword. As Americans either option is wrong. Here we promote freedom of religion and do not persecute people for this decision. In other words from our point of view we need to help these people because as human beings they deserve the right to choose how they live their lives. As the West we do not want to be seen as pushing our values onto other cultures. However there is a line that cannot be crossed and that is basic human rights. But how do we even prepare to handle such a threat? Besides the use of military force the world needs to work together to prevent terrorist organizations from praying on the weak. Terrorism is a global threat and the entire world needs to partner up to combat it.

At this point in time society deals with terrorists the way they should, by being afraid. The idea of terrorism is to induce fear. Through their violent methods, terrorist organizations attempt to create political change through this fear. It is this fear that can lead society down two different paths. This fear could lead society on a downward spiral. Society can become so scared that they see anyone and everyone as a terrorist, racism comes out. Hate crimes spiked after the terrorist attack on 9/11. This is not the way that society should deal with terrorists. If we continue to be afraid we play right into their hands. Fear manipulates society in a way that we do not think about our actions. If we give in to the fear that they produce then we are giving into what they desire. To truly fight against the threat of terrorism the world needs to find it courage and become brave in the face of danger. As a global society we need to show terrorist organizations that we will not stand for their methods or their cause. Change can be created through nonviolent means. Society can become stronger and more aware of the threat. They can help the officials by telling them about a suspicious bag and becoming involved in their community. Society can become a part of the fight against terrorism.

The entire homeland security stakeholder community needs to be able to work together to deal with terrorists. Each stakeholder has a different role to play in the fight against terrorism yet each role is vital. Communication between the stakeholders is the key to be able to protect the homeland. Every stakeholder needs to be up to date with all possible terrorist threats. The way to deal with terrorism is to stay ahead of terrorists. Through information sharing each stakeholder can continue to enhance their capabilities. The stakeholder community needs to continue to advance. We as a nation need to be ready for any possibility in which terrorists could beat our defenses. The ability to be able to think like terrorist organizations do is an important way to approach this threat. By understanding their point of view we learn how they may see our vulnerabilities. This will allow for us to fix these vulnerabilities before they are taken advantage of.

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 4, 2015 @ 8:44 am

Thanks Ally, Chris, Colton and Justyna for terrific comments.

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 6, 2015 @ 9:41 am

Although not identified in budgets existing or submitted DHS is increasing funding for “domestic” “spying”!

Please remember that integration, collection, analysis, and distribution. and that mission was #3 of the reasons DHS was created. CAN YOU NAME #1 AND #2?

But there is a caveat! DHS was also supposed to be the lead in the Cabinet on preservation of civil liberties and privacy.

How has DHS done on the latter portion of the “domestic spying mission?

And remember it was to lead not just itself but the federal establishment! My grade is an F but welcome other opinions.

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