Articles Brussels

On the Brussels Attack (by Bruce Hoffman)

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Today’s tragic events in Belgium once again underscore the complexity of the current terrorist threat. ISIS has built a terrorist infrastructure in Belgium that facilitated these attacks. They were carried out by determined individuals with the requisite skill set, tradecraft, technical knowledge and discipline to execute simultaneous suicide attacks. There is a world of difference between this type of terrorist operation–and the infrastructure that has long been in place to support it–and the more spontaneous, often idiosyncratic violence coming from isolated individuals or lone wolves, such as the husband and wife team responsible for last year’s shootings in San Bernadino. Today, the terrorist threat for law enforcement and intelligence agencies is not an either/or proposition: it is posed by both lone wolves and established terrorist cells within existing organizations. The threat from the established cells has always shown itself to be more lethal and consequential in terms of body count.  The challenge is to avoid becoming so consumed and preoccupied with the former so that insufficient attention is paid to and inadequate resources are devoted to that latter. Overwhelming law enforcement and intelligence with isolated, individual threats is an intrinsic part of the strategy of terrorist groups today.

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And Here We Go Again (by Dr. Douglas Weeks)

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Waking up this morning to yet another terrorist attack, this time in Brussels, the recurring theme of what can be done to stop attacks like this from occurring is again raised. Before completing the first of a handful of live interviews which I have now been asked to do today, I watched the media raise this question to numerous other ‘experts’ with the common response that perimeters around airports must be expanded, that more police are needed, that the sharing of intelligence between intelligence agencies across Europe must be expanded, and that intelligence agencies must increase the sharing of intelligence with their respective police forces. Fifteen years on from 9/11, the resonance of the same recurring themes remains apparently unresolved.

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