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Instructions: Please respond to the following students POST OF THIS WEEKS WORK. Responses should be a minimum of 150 words and include direct questions.
Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas. Sources utilized to support answers are to be cited in accordance with the APA writing style by providing a general parenthetical citation (reference the author, year and page number) within your post. Refer to grading rubric for additional details concerning grading criteria.
Responses Due: Sunday, by 11:55pm, ET
STUDENT # 1
Threats to the Homeland and Terrorist Tactics
1. Identify the top three threats to homeland security and why you chose those as the primary threats.
The three threats to homeland Security that I see are Violent Extremism in the form of homegrown radicals, CBRNE attack and finally Cyber attack. 1. As we have seen an exponential rise in the arena of homegrown radicals, we have seen vast amounts of people have traveled to the middle east, such as Afghanistan and Syria attempting to join ISIL or it’s affilaites to fight alongside them. As Nicholas J. Rasmussen, Director,
National Counterterrorism Center stated in his testimony before Congress “We assess at least
3,400 of these fighters are from Western countries including over 150 U.S. persons who have
either traveled to the conflict zone, or attempted to do so.” 1.
2. CBRNE attack, I feel is the next highest threat that America is faced with. According to the 2014 Quadrennial Review: DHS highlighted 4 key areas of risk to Homeland Security. These 4 areas are defined as: 1. Pathogens- such as Anthrax; 2. Emerging infectious diseases such as a Human Pandemic); 3. Animal diseases such as Foot-and-Mouth Disease); and
Bioterrorist contamination of the food supply chain and water systems.
3. Cyber attack. As we have seen a steady rise in this form of threat to our country, Cyber threats are becoming a norm in this day and age. We are seeing intrusions in not just government agencies, but down to individuals being attacked. We have seen more and more evidence of these attacks becoming trends that a Federal position of Cyber Chief was enacted. From the possible involvement of Russian hackers of the Democratic National Convention to the North Korean hacks of etc. We see that it has been established that these foreign governments are becoming more involved in state sponsored Cyber Terrorism. As indicated by Rand Beers, the Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs Directorate at
the Department of Homeland Security: “How we rise to the cybersecurity challenge will determine whether our nation’s best days are ahead of us or behind us.” 2.
2. Considering individual tactics, which one do you consider to be the most intimidating and which do you see as the most likely to be used to carry out the next attack on U.S. soil?
The Violent Extremism is an extremely intimidating action. However, I see the Cyber Attack as most likely to occur on our soil in the near future as evidenced by the numerous attacks that have been perpetrated against in the not too distant past!
1. Hearing before the House Committee on Homeland Security, “Countering Violent Islamist Extremism: The Urgent Threat of Foreign Fighters and Homegrown Terror”, February 11, 2015.
2. A Vision for Homeland Security in the Year 2025, Darrell M. West, Brookings Institute.
STUDENT # 2
Identify the top three threats to homeland security and why you chose those as the top primary threats.
Homeland security faces many threats that are ever changing in today’s world. The biggest threat in which we currently face is that of radicalized individuals. This threat has been constantly growing and we are unable to detect them until it is too late in most cases. One of the main issues in combating this threat is that “foreign fighters have taken the lead in recruiting a new generation of terrorists and are seeking to radicalize Westerners online to spread terror back home.”1 Given that these individuals could be anyone at all increases the threat in which they pose. These individuals either travel to the foreign countries to join them in the fight over there or they commit an attack on US soil while pledging allegiance to the organization at the same time. It is nearly impossible to counter a threat if we don’t know where it is coming from.
The second biggest threat in which we face is terrorism. Terrorists have been not only working to radicalize individuals as mentioned above, but are also creating other threats that can not be ignored. The threat in which they pose is one that is ever changing. Whenever we believe that we have defeated an organization, another one arises.
Cyber security is the third biggest threat in which we face as a country. Looking at the past election, we witnessed the hacking of the DNC and what many believe was the hacking of the votes in the Presidential Election. “This infrastructure provides essential services such as energy, telecommunications, water, transportation, and financial services.”2 If these were to be attacked, our country could be thrown into chaos.
Considering individual tactics, which one do you consider to be the most intimidating and which do you see as the most likely to be used to carry out the next attack on U.S. soil?
Looking at the future attacks that are most likely to take place next, I believe that more incidents with radicalized individuals will be happening again soon. While most of the recent events have been taking place in Europe, with July 4th right around the corner, I foresee something happening here in the US next.
Homeland Security Committee. (2015, September). Final Report of the Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel. Retrieved June 27, 2017, from https://homeland.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/TaskForceFinalReport.pdf
Department of Homeland Security. (2014, June). The 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. Retrieved June 27, 2017, from https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/2014-qhsr-final-508.pdf