As Americans remember and honor those we lost ten years ago, homeland security officials warned of a "credible but unconfirmed" al Qaeda threat tied to the 9/11 anniversary. This alert highlights three fundamental facts of life in 2011. First, both in improving and reorganizing the response at home, and taking the fight to al Qaeda abroad, the US has had significant success in combating terrorism. Second, while mass casualty events, such as we saw ten years ago, are less likely as a result, smaller-bore plots are a continued concern. Finally, the American people's vigilance and resilience is the deciding factor in our strength. As New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a press conference yesterday, "the best thing we can do to fight terrorism is to refuse to be intimidated by it." Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, told the National Security Network, "This is exactly how information should be shared. Domestic law enforcement, local and state officials and first responders working together. They are being honest about we know and what we don't." The tenth anniversary is a moment of remembrance and national unity - something that al Qaeda cannot bear.
From the bevy of coverage, reminiscences and commentary in the lead-up to the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, three themes emerge. We pay tribute to those we lost and all those who serve - whether in our armed forces, as first responders or as citizens building up our communities - by learning the lessons of what has worked, and what has not, over the last decade. We can be proud, as a nation, of our resilience, our institutions and our values. And we can resolve to strengthen our institutions and prize our unity in diversity going forward - and in so doing, defeat terrorists' aim of sowing fear, disunion and overreaction.
Ten years ago America and the world were shocked by the most horrific foreign attack on U.S. soil in our history. In the decade since we have learned a great deal about ourselves, about how to handle the terrorist threat and about what works and doesn't work in combating terrorism.
Washington, D.C. - Ten years ago, America and the world were shocked by the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks perpetrated by al Qaeda. In a new paper, "Lessons In Counterterrorism Ten Years After 9/11: What Works And What Doesn't" theNational Security Network outlines lessons military and security experts have drawn from the experiences of the past decade, and what that means for counterterrorism policy going forward:
As Norwegians struggle to make sense of last Friday’s tragic terrorist attack, a debate has broken out in the U.S. about speculating before the facts are in, about connections among different kinds of extremists, and even about what terrorism is. Experts with decades of experience in journalism, counterterrorism and trauma management have a common message: terrorists’ goal is to instill fear. Responses that heighten fear, choose scapegoats and re-traumatize the public do more to achieve the terrorists’ ends than to keep Americans safe. We can choose alternatives – and we can support Norwegian leaders as they respond to this tragedy with determination not to let extremist violence change who they are.