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The SRA Club’s Counter-Terrorism Panel

The Security and Risk Analysis club held its second Counter-Terrorism Panel earlier tonight, with over 90 attendees.  Hosted in the Cybertorium (113 IST Building), three outstanding speakers fielded questions by moderator Russ Beck as well as from the audience.  You can find more about the speakers from the event announcement posted yesterday.  The SRA Club Twitter account was humming away live-tweeting the event.

Here are some notable highlights from the CT Panel (paraphrased):

I don’t like the term “war on terror”.  The name “war on terror” suggests that it can be won.
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

Energy independence is a big factor in suppressing terrorism. Energy is profoundly linked to terrorist threats
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

There will be no surrender ceremony (like the Japanese surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri in WWII).  Al-Qaeda will not surrender.
-Prof. Shemanski

The first great age of global terrorism is between 1890 and 1910.
– Dr. Phillip Jenkins

Terrorism is not a movement.  It is a tactic associated with a conflict.
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

The President faces an enormous challenge with what to do with the hardcore detainee in Guantanamo who cannot be reformed. Some detainees are even second time visitors.
-Prof. Shemanski

You can’t wait until the terrorism act, you must stop the attack in advance.
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

Read more intriguing comments on terrorism after the break.

Terrorism violence is indiscriminate, and there are no limits to the types of targets that will be attacked.
-Prof. Shemanski

A normal judicial system could not handle the challenges of terrorism.
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

There are certain aspects of today’s terrorism that are undoubtedly different.  Mass casualty terrorism is a relatively new tactic.
-Prof. Shemanski

The next 20 years, if conditions don’t change in terms of global policy, wealth distribution, the terrorism landscape will look like it does today.
-Prof. Shemanski

Terrorists are rational, they respond to incentives.  When we defend one area, it has the effect of shifting smart terrorists to a different area.
-Dr. Scott Bennett

One of the biggest threats is based on shipping,  The absolute nightmare is to take a list of cargo containers and look at shipping ports.  The other obvious danger is airport security.  They don’t take into account the lines containing hundreds of people that are waiting to check their bags and get their tickets.
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

There are an unlimited number of terrorist recruits coming in the pipeline in the coming years.
-Prof. Shemanski

Jihad is neither good nor bad.  It depends on the tactic and how it is taught.  The real Jihad is the one you fight inside yourself against negative impulses.
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

Hezbollah is the Shia version of Al-Qaeda.  They have the capacity to engage in all-out warfare.  They have a global reach, with cells in Europe and possibly the U.S.
-Prof. Shemanski

Islamic Jihad Union has cells throughout western Europe with a central concentration in Germany.  They are not in anyone’s radar screen in the media, but certainly on the U.S.’s radar
-Prof. Shemanski

Every good policy maker considers a range of options when combating terrorism.  There are cases where military force is very effective.  There is a place for diplomacy, but sometimes not public diplomacy.
-Prof. Shemanski

We disrupted the leadership of Al-Qaeda after 9-11 (one reason why there hasn’t been an attack on U.S. soil.
-Prof. Shemanski

There is no direct relationship between terrorism and poverty.  Many European countries look to combat terrorism by enacting social change.
-Prof. Shemanski

People turn to terror when they don’t see any other options.  There is a difference between the hardcore terrorist and the reluctant terrorist.
-Dr. Scott Bennett

If everyone in this room decided to be in a terrorist group (~90) you would represent one of the largest terrorist groups.  There is a 10:1 ratio of supporters to actors.  (actors being suicide bombers, gunmen, etc.)
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

Someone is going to lose a city at some point.  Most likely through a seaport.
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

Penn State works on long term causes of terrorism and international diplomacy.  People in Washington are interested in hearing from people outside the beltway on the topic of terrorism.
-Dr. Phillip Jenkins

IST has hired terrorism experts with experience in the field, and is developing courses for the next few years on the subject.
-Prof. Shemanski

About the Author

Steve S.

Steve Sharer is a Security and Risk Analysis major and an overall good guy. He brings Onward State readers enticing posts such as "Question of the Day" and "Campus Explorer" and will continue to do so until he becomes the President of the United States of America in 2024.

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