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  • Issue Brief posted February 22, 2013 by Luke Coffey U.S. Should Back a Robust Afghan National Security Force

    Overshadowed by the announcement in President Obama’s State of the Union address that 34,000 U.S. troops will be brought home from Afghanistan was an acknowledgement that the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) need to improve. The U.S. should argue that the ANSF should not be reduced in numbers as currently planned, and the White House should press…

  • Commentary posted January 21, 2013 by Peter Brookes Think al Qaeda is Dead? Think Again.

    President Obama’s stump speeches last fall, which often featured phrases like al Qaeda “is on the run” or “on the path to defeat,” were—like much of his overheated campaign rhetoric—prone to wishful thinking. Yes, al Qaeda’s founder and leader Osama bin Laden is dead, but from the looks of it, al Qaeda is very much alive. It’s true that over the years the American…

  • Issue Brief posted November 14, 2012 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Morgan Lorraine Roach Lessons from Benghazi: Rethinking U.S. Diplomatic Security

    Understanding what was behind the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi and the tragic results is vital for preparing for future security threats to embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions. The attack in Benghazi reveals a terrorist attack profile that the U.S. is likely to see again. If the U.S. is to learn the lessons of this…

  • Commentary posted October 17, 2012 by Peter Brookes Al-Qaeda Again on Rise

    After Team Obama’s horrid handling of the terrible tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, does anyone out there really cling to the left’s quickly unraveling yarn that this administration has a strong record on foreign policy and national security? Sure, the prez and veep continue to chant the mantra that “Osama bin Laden is dead” — and, without a doubt, that’s a good thing.…

  • Issue Brief posted September 17, 2012 by Jessica Zuckerman Chicago Bombing Attempt Marks 52 Terrorist Plots Since 9/11

    Last Friday, the FBI arrested 18-year-old American citizen Adel Daoud in a plot to detonate a car bomb outside a local Chicago bar. Daoud, who was active in online Jihadi forums and vocal in his desire to commit violent jihad, considered 29 possible targets before settling on the Chicago bar. Thankfully, the car bomb had been deactivated by the FBI and the public was…

  • Lecture posted July 24, 2012 by The Honorable Patrick Meehan Boko Haram: An Overlooked Threat to U.S. Security

    Abstract: Since 2009, the jihadist insurgency in Nigeria known as Boko Haram has been escalating its attacks across the country, targeting security forces, politicians, and civilians. Assuming that Boko Haram will refrain from targeting U.S. interests in Nigeria (a country of strategic significance) or in the U.S. homeland is a dangerous gamble—as was the case with other…

  • Backgrounder posted July 16, 2012 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Jessica Zuckerman, Robin Simcox U.S. Should Assist Britain in Meeting Security Threats to the 2012 London Olympic Games

    Abstract: The 2012 Summer Olympic Games and the Paralympics will be held from late July through early September in London. They are an obvious target for attacks by radical Islamist terrorists, as well as anti-capitalist anarchists, supporters of various national causes, and other groups. Britain is one of the world’s most experienced and capable practitioners of…

  • Commentary posted June 4, 2012 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. No Terrorist Left Behind

    Christmas Eve, 1999. Indian Airlines Flight 814, en route from Nepal to India, was taken over by a group of armed men. The plane zigzagged to Lahore, Pakistan, then to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and, finally, to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. One passenger was stabbed to death; several others were wounded. Taliban fighters ringed the plane to prevent any rescue…

  • America at Risk Memo posted May 14, 2012 by Peter Brookes Protect America from What?

    A North Korean long-range ballistic missile launch into the Pacific Ocean, Russian threats of a preemptive strike against U.S. missile defenses in Europe, the Syrian regime’s continuing violence on protestors, and Taliban terrorist attacks in Afghanistan are just a few of the recent events that should serve to remind us that we are living in uncertain times…

  • Issue Brief posted May 8, 2012 by Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Jessica Zuckerman 51st Terrorist Plot Against the United States: Continued Threat of al-Qaeda and Affiliates

    Earlier today, the White House and FBI confirmed reports of a terrorist attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner, reminiscent of the planned attack that was foiled on Christmas Day 2009. The plot, perpetrated by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), appears to have been planned to coincide with the first anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.…

  • Backgrounder posted April 25, 2012 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Steven P. Bucci, Ph.D., Jessica Zuckerman Fifty Terror Plots Foiled Since 9/11: The Homegrown Threat and the Long War on Terrorism

    Abstract: In 2007, The Heritage Foundation became the first and only organization to track thwarted terrorist attacks against the United States. That year, Heritage reported that at least 19 publicly known terrorist attacks against the United States had been foiled since 9/11. Today, that number stands at 50. The fact that the United States has not suffered a large-scale…

  • Issue Brief posted March 1, 2012 by Lisa Curtis U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan: Costs of Accelerating Troop Withdrawal Too High

    The situation in Afghanistan has spiraled downward over the past 10 days, but before making hasty decisions on next steps in Afghanistan, U.S. policymakers need to consider what has contributed to this ominous turn of events and what options there are for adjusting the U.S. strategy to avoid further such incidents. U.S. policymakers should also be aware that leaving…

  • Issue Brief posted March 1, 2012 by Charles "Cully" Stimson Majid Khan: Anatomy of a Terrorist’s Plea Bargain

    The first Guantanamo detainee to have been in CIA custody (a so-called high-value detainee, or HVD) pleaded guilty yesterday before a military commission judge in a courtroom on the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay. In exchange for a cap on his confinement related to his military commissions case, Majid Khan agreed to testify truthfully in future military commissions…

  • Issue Brief posted February 17, 2012 by Jessica Zuckerman Forty-Fifth Attempted Terrorist Plot: U.S. Must Resist Complacency

    FYI: Heritage WebMemos are now called Issue Briefs. On Friday, authorities arrested a man in an attempted suicide attack on the U.S. Capitol. The attempt marks at least the 45th publicly known attempted terrorist attack against the United States since 9/11 and is the sixth such attack targeting Washington, D.C. This latest attempted attack serves as yet…

  • WebMemo posted November 20, 2011 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Foiling 43rd Terror Plot Test for Administration’s Priorities

    On November 20, the mayor of New York City announced the arrest of Jose Pimentel. Pimentel, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Dominican Republic, was charged with a number of offenses in connection with a terrorist bomb plot. Allegedly, Pimentel drew inspiration from al-Qaeda to attack postal facilities, police stations, and U.S. military personnel returning from Iraq…