The Munich Olympics. The Lockerbie bombing. Oklahoma City. 9/11. London, Madrid, Mumbai. Terrorism is by no means a localized or recent phenomenon. Similarly, efforts to both catalog and counter terrorism, both at home and around the world, have been a key focus of RAND research since the early 1970s.
The recent decision to close 19 U.S. embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa because of intelligence indicating terrorist planning for unspecific attacks underscores the need to continue focusing attention and resources on the danger al-Qaida and its affiliates pose to the United States and its allies.
Tensions between rival militant groups al Qaeda and Hezbollah have reached a fever pitch following bombings at two mosques in Lebanon, making a bloody sectarian conflict an increasingly real possibility.
Over the last 12 years, the campaign against al Qaeda has dominated U.S. policy. From this perspective, al Qaeda has been a beneficiary of the Arab uprisings in general and of recent events in Egypt and Syria in particular. The longer the turmoil continues, the greater al Qaeda's possible gains.
Provides an overview of research on how observable behavioral indicators might be used to detect potential violent attacks, such as by suicide terrorists or those laying improvised explosive devices.
Perceived threats to liberty by the military-industrial complex that gave great cause for concern in the past have given way to fears of a security state, which has fueled perception of a perpetual danger requiring endless war.
RAND terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins discusses the current unrest in Egypt and Syria and what benefits that may provide al Qaeda.
RAND terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins will lead this exclusive Hill discussion on current events in the Middle East and North Africa. Jenkins will share a firsthand account of what he learned from key leaders during his recent trip to the region.
An autonomous Kurdish region that remains an integral part of Syria, even one dominated by the PYD (the Democratic Union, the largest and best organized Kurdish opposition party), would be far less dangerous than one dominated by forces affiliated with al Qaeda. And that should be welcome news to more than just Turkey.
RAND experts Brian Michael Jenkins and Dalia Dassa Kaye discuss current events in the Middle East and North Africa. Their discussion with RAND Media Relations Director Jeffrey Hiday includes how changes in Egypt, Iran, and Syria are reverberating within the region, and beyond, via terrorist networks including al Qaeda.
The United States should not be too quick to write off Iraq based on recent violent trends, says Jason Campbell. After all, if there is anything that should be remembered from years past it's that the Iraqi populace can endure astonishing levels of violence and still maintain confidence in the survival of the state.
Many people, including President Obama, have talked about al Qaeda's imminent defeat. But right now, all signs indicate that the group founded by Osama bin Laden is far from dead, says Seth G. Jones.
The escalating war in Syria presents a growing threat to the Middle East and the West more broadly. Led by groups like Jabhat al-Nusra (the Victory Front), an al-Qaeda-affiliated organization, Syria is becoming a training ground for foreign fighters and a microcosm of sectarian conflict.
If Hezbollah's participation in the Syrian civil war begins to clearly tip the balance in favor of the Assad regime, the U.S. could face pressure to adjust its position and support efforts to minimize Hezbollah's position in Lebanon.
The United States needs to adopt an increasingly nuanced — but long-term — approach to countering the al Qa'ida movement, says Seth Jones. U.S. policymakers should view the al Qa'ida threat as a decades-long struggle like the Cold War.
In an episode of the History Channel's “America's Book of Secrets,” Erik Nemeth discusses the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist of 1990 and the broader implications of art crime for national security.
There is, at present, no known terrorist group in the United States that has the organization and human resources to assemble an operation of the complexity and scale of the Mumbai attack, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.
We cannot assume, based on Boston's response to the marathon bombings, that other U.S. cities are as prepared. Emergency managers and public safety agencies remain focused on disaster preparedness, but some hospitals have lapsed into thinking that it is a costly distraction from daily business.
Dozens of people were killed in a series of bomb blasts across Pakistan Sunday, just a week after 10 foreign mountain climbers and their Pakistani guide were shot and killed in Northern Pakistan. The attacks again demonstrated the Pakistan government's inability to prevent terrorist violence in certain areas.
The RAND Center for Catastrophic Risk Management and Compensation seeks to identify and promote laws, programs, and institutions that reduce the adverse social and economic effects of catastrophes.
Lashkar-e Taiba poses a grave danger to U.S. interests and citizens in South Asia, but is less of an immediate risk to the American homeland than a Mumbai-style attack — one dramatic and shocking enough to inspire widespread terror even without the use of weapons of mass destruction or a casualty-count in the thousands.