Terrorism and Homeland Security Issues

This page offers an easy way for policymakers to access terrorism research and analysis that is relevant to current Congressional agendas. For additional information, to request documents, or to arrange a briefing, contact the RAND Office of Congressional Relations at ocr@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5395.

Recent Findings

  • Commentary

    When the Car Is a Terror Weapon, Can We Prepare for Attacks?

    Aug 18, 2017

    Soft targets, so-called because they are more vulnerable to terrorism due to lower levels of security, are notoriously difficult to protect, and the latest shift to using vehicles to conduct ramming attacks only compounds the problem for authorities.

  • Commentary

    The Islamic State May Be Failing, but Its Strategic Communications Legacy Is Here to Stay

    Aug 17, 2017

    The Islamic State's caliphate is collapsing but its legacy will live on virtually because of its information operations. The scale of the menace presented by the group today pales in comparison to other global challenges, yet it manages to dominate and terrorize the public mind.

  • Commentary

    Assad's Attacks Should Not Be Repeated, Forgotten, or Excused

    Aug 15, 2017

    Despite signing the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty in October 2013, Assad has continued chemical attacks on the Syrian opposition. To counter Assad and others who might turn to the use of chemical weapons, the U.S. could collaborate with other major powers to bolster the international ban on them.

  • Commentary

    Islamic State 2.0

    Aug 10, 2017

    Many of Iraq's Sunnis are frustrated with the slow pace of reconstruction and a Baghdad government they consider too friendly to Iran. The U.S. needs to shift from supporting military operations in cities such as Mosul to helping the Iraqi government better address political grievances. Failure risks sowing the seeds of ISIS's resurgence.

  • Commentary

    Will al Qaeda Make a Comeback?

    Aug 7, 2017

    Al Qaeda's revival will likely hinge on its ability to take advantage of opportunities such as the withdrawal of counterterrorism forces from key battlefields, more revolt in the Middle East, U.S. or European policies that feed the perception of Muslim oppression, or the rise of a charismatic jihadist leader.

More Research on Terrorism and Homeland Security

Briefings

  • Lessening the Risk of Refugee Radicalization

    Feb 16, 2016

    Historical cases show that refugee radicalization is not inevitable, but fears within the United States persist. How does radicalization happen within refugee groups? And how can the U.S. government mitigate risks and safeguard the homeland?

  • Lessons from a Hacker: Cyber Concepts for Policymakers

    Sep 14, 2015

    What do policymakers need to know as they confront growing concerns over cybersecurity? Lillian Ablon provides insights into some of the complexities of cybersecurity policymaking, including why software vulnerabilities matter and the motivations of various cyber threats actors.

  • Information Sharing for Cyber-Security: Evidence from Europe

    May 7, 2012

    The U.S. House and Senate have numerous cyber-security proposals on the agenda to consider in the coming months. In this briefing, Neil Robinson presents evidence from empirical studies conducted in Europe regarding cyber-security and information exchange.

  • Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar

    Feb 22, 2012

    With dire warnings about U.S. cyber vulnerabilities, the Obama administration is pushing Congress to pass a comprehensive cybersecurity bill, and Senate and House committees are moving forward to craft such legislation. Martin Libicki, a RAND senior management scientist, discusses cyberwar and policy considerations.

  • Police Departments' Post-9/11 Focus on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security

    Jul 20, 2011

    In this July 2011 Congressional Briefing, Lois Davis discusses adjustments made by law enforcement agencies to strengthen their counterterrorism and homeland security capabilities, and the new funding challenges faced by police departments since 9/11.

More Terrorism and Homeland Security Briefings

Alerts & Newsletters

RAND periodically sends newsletters to update Congress on highlights of recent work about terrorism and homeland security.

  • Catch Up Quick: Homeland Security Issues for Congress

    Aug 15, 2017

    Catch up on the homeland security issues facing Congress, including cybersecurity, terrorism, terrorist financing, and countering violent extremism.

  • In Case You Missed It: North Korea's Continuous Provocations

    Aug 9, 2017

    Bruce Bennett briefed congressional staff North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, China's role on the Korean Peninsula, and implications for U.S. policy.

  • In Case You Missed It: The Terrorist Diaspora

    Jul 13, 2017

    An overview of the testimony presented by Colin Clarke before the House Homeland Security Committee Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the United States on July 13, 2017.

  • Homeland Security Issues in the 115th Congress

    Mar 9, 2017

    RAND experts provide insight on the biggest homeland security issues facing the 115th Congress, including cybersecurity, terrorism, emergency response, DHS management issues, and border security.

  • Can U.S. Social Media Strategy Weaken ISIS on Twitter?

    Aug 29, 2016

    ISIS opponents on Twitter outnumber supporters by a six-to-one margin, but the supporters are much more prolific, each producing 50 percent more tweets per day. What steps could policymakers take to help defeat the message of terrorists?

  • In the Wake of Terror, is it Safe to Travel?

    Apr 22, 2016

    Major terrorist events trigger public fear that other attacks may soon follow, but there is a lack of evidence to suggest this. Among other findings, RAND researchers discovered an absence of multiple terrorist events following large attacks over the last two decades.

  • American Response to the Terrorist Attacks in Paris

    Dec 15, 2015

    The November 13th coordinated assault in France punctuated a wave of terror attacks. What do the attacks mean for the coalition against ISIS and the global refugee crisis—and how should America respond?

  • Prior Removal and Recidivism

    Jul 30, 2015

    Where should local officials direct their funds in order to address criminally involved unauthorized immigrants? A RAND study suggests local public safety interests and federal immigration enforcement priorities may well align around unauthorized immigrants with a record of prior removal.

  • Securing Cyberspace: Is Information-Sharing Enough?

    May 6, 2015

    Information-sharing is an important part of helping to keep companies and government institutions safe from online threats. But in order to address the nation's cybersecurity problem, a broader approach is required.

  • Homeland Security Issues in the New Congress

    Jan 22, 2015

    From immigration and border security to terrorism and Department of Homeland Security management issues, the new Congress will be confronted with a legislative agenda and policy decision making that will have both major domestic and global repercussions.

  • October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    Oct 28, 2014

    Credit card data breaches and photo leaks have policymakers and companies scrambling to make financial data and private information more secure. RAND research focuses on identifying threats to information security and data integrity, and implications for personal and institutional privacy.

  • Why the U.S. Swaps Prisoners But Doesn't Pay Ransom

    Sep 9, 2014

    Why is the U.S. willing to exchange prisoners but not pay ransom? While there may be confusion about American policy on this issue, there are key differences between the Bergdahl and Foley cases.

  • Want to Fight Cybercrime? Start by Thwarting the Cyber Black Market

    Jun 6, 2014

    Ever since the major cybersecurity breach at Target Corp. late last year, Members of Congress have begun exploring how these breaches occur and how companies, and the government, can respond to prevent further attacks. An understanding of the cyber black markets is key.

  • Brothers Killing Brothers: The Current Infighting Will Test al Qaeda's Brand

    May 9, 2014

    How do terrorists resolve internal disputes? RAND terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins writes that they often do it the old-fashioned way: they kill each other. He examines a decentralized al Qaeda to ask whether its internal disputes create intelligence and public information opportunities for the U.S.

  • New Study: Extending TRIA Could Lower Federal Costs

    Apr 21, 2014

    The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act will expire at the end of this year and Congress is considering the appropriate government role in terrorism insurance markets. In a terrorist attack with losses up to $50 billion, the federal government would spend more helping to cover losses than if it had continued to support a national terrorism risk insurance program.

  • RAND.org's Redesign: New Homepage and Navigation Optimization for All Devices

    Mar 20, 2014

    RAND.org has been reimagined to make high quality research and insights more accessible to Hill staff like you. The new homepage and updated navigation optimize content delivery for your preferred device and place our most timely content at your fingertips.

  • Expiration of Terrorism Risk Insurance Act Could Impact National Security

    Mar 12, 2014

    The current terrorism risk insurance act will expire in 2014 and Congress again is considering the appropriate government role in terrorism insurance markets. If the act expires and the take-up rate for terrorism insurance falls, then the U.S. would be less resilient to future terrorist attacks.

  • What Should Immigration Reform Look Like?

    Feb 3, 2014

    While competing priorities have prevented Congress from enacting comprehensive immigration reform legislation, the core challenge at the U.S.-Mexican border has remained the same as ever: to balance the supply of workers with the demand for workers, neither of which stops at the border, regardless of border enforcement.

  • Could an Attack Like the One in Nairobi's Westgate Mall Happen in the United States?

    Oct 22, 2013

    The four-day terrorist attack on Nairobi's Westgate Mall closely mirrored a 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai. Could an attack like this happen in the United States? Brian Jenkins discussed this possibility in testimony for a recent Congressional hearing.

  • Border Security Is Key to Immigration Reform

    Jul 22, 2013

    Solving the United States' complex immigration problems requires using all policy tools and measuring the effects of reform immediately. By adopting these principles now Congress could give the United States an opportunity to improve immigration policy as it learns more about what parts of reform are working and which are not.

  • Better Preparedness for Natural Disasters

    Jul 17, 2013

    As the United States gears up for hurricane season, the RAND Corporation and the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, based in New Orleans, have research and experts available to assist you in preparing legislation related to disaster preparedness.

  • Is the United States Ready to End the War on Terror?

    Jun 13, 2013

    President Obama spoke on U.S. drone and counterterrorism policy, saying that we “must finish the work of defeating al Qaeda and its associated forces.” But RAND political scientist Paul Miller argues that while we do not want the war to last forever, defining conditions of the end is not an easy task: the enemy gets a vote, too.

  • What Will Immigration Reform Look Like?

    May 14, 2013

    As Congress debates immigration reform, how to measure border security is just one of many issues to consider. For instance, the passage of immigration enforcement laws by Arizona and other states raises the potential for state and local law enforcement agencies to be accused of racial profiling when enforcing immigration laws.

  • Is a Secure Border Possible?

    Mar 28, 2013

    With Congress considering various immigration bills, RAND researchers look at what the current state of research can tell us about immigration policy and border security.

  • SOTU Policy Preview

    Feb 11, 2013

    Preparing for the State of the Union address? Here is a preview of topics from President Obama's inaugural address that he may cover on Tuesday night, along with helpful links to related RAND analyses, reports, and commentary.


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Testimony

2010 and prior

December 6, 2010
The al Qaeda-Inspired Terrorist Threat: An Appreciation of the Current Situation

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented before the Canadian Senate Special Committee on Anti-terrorism.

May 26, 2010
No Path to Glory: Deterring Homegrown Terrorism

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment.

December 15, 2009
Understanding Terrorist Motivations

Kim Cragin

Testimony presented before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment.

November 19, 2009
Going Jihad: The Fort Hood Slayings and Home-Grown Terrorism

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

March 11, 2009
Antecedents and Implications of the November 2008 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Attack Upon Several Targets in the Indian Mega-City of Mumbai

C. Christine Fair

Testimony presented before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection.

February 4, 2009
Maritime Piracy: Reasons, Dangers and Solutions

Peter Chalk

Testimony presented before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

January 28, 2009
Terrorists Can Think Strategically: Lessons Learned From the Mumbai Attacks

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

September 18, 2008
Defeating Terrorist Groups

Seth G. Jones

Testimony presented before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism and Unconventional Threats and Capabilities.

June 24, 2008
Challenges of Applying Risk Management to Terrorism Security Policy

Henry H. Willis

Testimony submitted for the record to the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection.

April 15, 2008
Perspectives on the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

Roger C. Molander

Testimony presented before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

November 15, 2007
Developing Robust Border Security Technologies to Protect Against Diverse and Adaptive Threats

Brian A. Jackson

Testimony presented before the House Science and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation.

October 25, 2007
Testimony before the French Paper Commission on Defense and National Security

James Dobbins

Testimony presented before the Commission du Livre blanc sur la défense et la sécurité nationale, Paris, France.

June 14, 2007
Defining the Role of a National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment.

June 12, 2007
Understanding Terrorist Ideology

Kim Cragin

Testimony presented to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

April 5, 2007
Building an Army of Believers: Jihadist Radicalization and Recruitment

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment.

March 8, 2007
The Strategic Challenge of Border Security

Michael Wermuth and K. Jack Riley

Testimony presented before the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism.

February 7, 2007
Risk Informed Resource Allocation at the Department of Homeland Security

Henry H. Willis

Testimony presented before the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

January 30, 2007
Basic Principles for Homeland Security

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented before the House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Homeland Security.

September 20, 2006
Radicalization: Homeland Security Implication

John D. Woodward, Jr.

Testimony presented to the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment.

August 8, 2006
Border Security and the Terrorist Threat

K. Jack Riley

Testimony presented to the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Cybersecurity, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Science, and Technology.

July 25, 2006
Analyzing Terrorism Risk

Henry H. Willis

Written testimony submitted to the House Financial Services Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment.

July 18, 2006
Islam and the West: Searching for Common Ground: The Terrorist Threat and the Counter-Terrorism Effort

Bruce Hoffman

Testimony presented to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

May 4, 2006
The Use of the Internet by Islamic Extremists

Bruce Hoffman

Testimony presented to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

March 30, 2006
Information Sharing and Emergency Responder Safety Management

Brian A. Jackson

Testimony presented before the House Government Reform Committee.

March 28, 2006
Public Health Preparedness in the 21st Century

Nicole Lurie

Testimony presented before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness.

February 16, 2006
Combating Al Qaeda and the Militant Islamic Threat

Bruce Hoffman

Testimony presented to the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities.

January 26, 2006
Enhancing Emergency Preparedness in California

Michael A. Wermuth

Testimony presented to the California Little Hoover Commission.

November 17, 2005
Analyzing Terrorism Risk

Henry Willis

Testimony presented to the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment.

November 9, 2005
Stabilization and Reconstruction: No Longer a Non-Traditional Mission?

James Dobbins

Testimony presented to the House Armed Services Committee, Non-Traditional Missions Panel.

Testimony unavailable - closed hearing

November 1, 2005
Space Security

David Mosher

Testimony presented to the House Armed Services Committee, Asymmetric and Unconventional Threats Gap Panel.

Testimony unavailable - informal remarks

September 29, 2005
Does Our Counter-Terrorism Strategy Match the Threat?

Bruce Hoffman

Testimony presented to the House International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation.

February 28, 2005
Public Health Preparedness in California: Lessons from Seven Jurisdiction

Jeffrey Wasserman

Testimony presented to the California State Assembly Budget Committee, Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

February 2, 2005
Emerging Threats to National Security

Gregory T. Treverton

Testimony presented to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

January 26, 2005
The Department of Homeland Security: The Road Ahead

Michael A. Wermuth

Testimony presented to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

September 22, 2004
Combating Terrorism: The 9/11 Commission Recommendations and the National Strategies

John V. Parachini

Testimony presented to the House Committee of Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations.

June 2, 2004
Public Health Preparedness in California: Lessons from Seven Jurisdictions

Nicole Lurie

Testimony presented to the California State Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.

April 8, 2004
Terrorism and the Security of Public Surface Transportation

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented to the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

March 31, 2004
The Effect of Terrorist Attacks in Spain on Transatlantic Cooperation in the War on Terror

James Dobbins

Testimony presented to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on European Affairs.

March 23, 2004
Terrorism and Rail Security

K. Jack Riley

Testimony presented to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

March 16, 2004
Improving Terrorism Warnings — The Homeland Security System

Michael A. Wermuth

Testimony presented to the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations.

February 6, 2004
Empowering State and Local Emergency Preparedness

Michael A. Wermuth

Testimony presented to the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on the Judiciary.

November 19, 2003
Bio-Terrorist Threat to Agricultural Livestock and Produce

Peter Chalk

Testimony presented before the Senate Government Affairs Committee.

April 1, 2003
Remarks Before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Michael A. Wermuth

Testimony presented to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

March 31, 2003
Remarks Before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

October 8, 2002
Lessons of 9/11

Bruce Hoffman

Testimony submitted for the Record to the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence, Joint September 11, 2001 Inquiry.

June 10, 2002
After 9/11: Stress and Coping Across America

Mark A. Schuster, Bradley Stein, Lisa Jaycox, Rebecca L. Collins, Grant N. Marshall, Marc N. Elliott, Annie Jie Zhou, David E. Kanouse, J.L. Morrison, and Sanda H. Berry

Testimony presented before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions field hearing.

March 22, 2002
Privacy vs. Security: Electronic Surveillance in the Nation's Capital

John D. Woodward

Testimony presented before House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on the District of Columbia.

December 13, 2001
The National Guard and Homeland Security

Bernard D. Rostker

Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate.

November 15, 2001
Terrorism: Current and Long Term Threats

Brian Michael Jenkins

Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate.

November 14, 2001
Biometrics: Facing Up to Terrorism

John D. Woodward

Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate.

November 6, 2001
Anthrax Attacks, Biological Terrorism and Preventive Responses

John V. Parachini

Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate.

October 10, 2001
Terrorism, Infrastructure Protection and The U.S. Food and Agricultural Sector

Peter Chalk
Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring and the District of Columbia, Committee on Government Affairs, U.S. Senate.

October 9, 2001
Combating Terrorism: Assessing the Threat of Biological Terrorism

John V. Parachini

Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives.

September 26, 2001
Re-thinking Terrorism in Light of a War on Terrorism

Bruce Hoffman

Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. House of Representatives.

September 21, 2001
Preparing for the War on Terrorism

Bruce Hoffman

Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives.

March 27, 2001
Combating Terrorism: In Search of a National Strategy

Bruce Hoffman

Testimony presented to the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs, and International Relations, Committee on Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives.

More Testimony

Briefs

More Terrorism and Homeland Security Briefs