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UTEP Colloquium to Focus on Evolution of Terrorism Threat

About 200 experts and educators in the fields of intelligence and national security will learn about the nature and character of the “Next Generation Terrorism” during the annual National Security Colloquium at The University of Texas at El Paso.

Representatives from the CIA, FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center, RAND Corp., and the Air War College will be among the scholars, practitioners and students from the United States and Canada who will participate in discussions about evolving terrorism threats, approaches to counterterrorism, the role of various U.S. agencies to respond to terrorism, and the role of the private sector to fight terrorism. The colloquium also will include a video presentation hosted by U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, from his Washington, D.C., office.

Experts today agree that the Internet has become a key tool terrorists use to plan and coordinate violent attacks in ways that help them avoid detection, said Sara K. McGuire, Ph.D., assistant professor of Security Studies, and associate director for Teaching and Learning of the National Security Studies Institute.

McGuire, who organized the colloquium, said the proliferation of terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda, ISIL, Al Shabaab, and Boko Haram demonstrates the continued threat that these organizations pose to the United States and its Western allies.

“In a security studies context, terrorism remains one of the most significant threats to global security,” McGuire said. “In order to counter this threat, it is important to understand the ways in which terrorist networks are evolving.”

The 2016 election campaign has made the war on terrorism a hot topic, said Larry Valero, Ph.D., associate professor and director of UTEP’s National Security Studies Institute.

“It’s important to be able to disseminate this type of information to educate the public about the Islamic State and other similar groups that the U.S. and its allies will face in the future,” Valero said.

Among the guest speakers will be David Sorenson, Ph.D., professor of international security studies at the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

Sorenson, whose presentation is titled, “Countering the Islamic Appeal of the Islamic State,” said he was honored to participate.

“The National Security Colloquium at UTEP is a nationally known forum for exchanging ideas on national security,” he said.

The event, sponsored by the NSSI through its Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence grant, was organized in part by the UTEP chapter of the Students in Intelligence and National Security.

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What: UTEP’s National Security Studies Institute has organized the annual National Security Colloquium with the theme “Next Generation Terrorism.” 

When: Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 24-25, 2016. See agenda below.

Where: UTEP’s Tomás Rivera Conference Center, third floor, Union Building East.

Colloquium Program  Wednesday, February 24, 2016

09:00 – 09:30 Welcome and Introductions
09:30 – 10:15 Dr. David S. Sorenson (Air War College) – Countering the Islamic Appeal of the Islamic State
10:15 – 11:00 Dr. Barak Mendelsohn (Haverford College)Al Qaeda vs. the Islamic State: A Troubled Relationship
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break
11:15 – 12:00 Dr. Stephen Coulthart (UTEP) – Testing a Theory of Leadership Decapitation: The Case of al-Muhajiroun
12:00 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:15 Dr. Joel J. Sokolsky (Royal Military College of Canada) – ‘More of Themselves’: America, Its Allies and the Future of the War on Terrorism

 

14:15 – 15:00 Dr. Amy Pate (National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) – Boko Haram: Strengths, Vulnerabilities and Policy Options
 

15:00 – 15:20

 

Coffee Break

 

15:20 – 16:05

 

Royal Canadian Mounted PoliceCritical Infrastructure Protection and the RCMP: National Critical Infrastructure Team

 

16:05 – 16:50

 

 

16:50 – 17:00

Dr. Christopher Linebarger (UTEP) – Shaken or Stirred? Terrorism and Third Party State Resolve in Civil War Interventions

 

Closing Remarks

 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

 

09:00 – 09:30 Dr. Patricia Witherspoon (Dean, College of Liberal Arts) Welcome and Introductions

 

09:30 – 09:45 Congressman Will Hurd (TX-23)

 

09:50 – 10:35 Dr. Colin P. Clarke (RAND Corporation/ Carnegie Mellon University) –Terrorism Inc., The Financing of Terrorism, Insurgency and Irregular Warfare

 

10:35 – 11:00 Coffee Break

 

11:00 – 11:45 Dr. Richard Stubbs (McMaster University) – The Malayan Emergency 60 Years On: The Militarization of Counterinsurgency?

 

11:45 – 13:15 Lunch
13:15 – 14:00 Dr. Craig W. Gruber (Northeastern University) – The Psychology of Radicalization and the Role of Analysis

 

14:00 – 14:45 Mr. Brandt A. Smith (UTEP) – Political Mobilization: Leadership and Religion in the “War on Terror”

 

14:45 – 15:00 Coffee Break

 

15:00 – 15:35

 

 

15:35 – 16:10

 

 

16:10 – 16:45

 

 

16:45 – 17:00

Mr. Daniel Lindstrom (UTEP/ Joint Terrorism Task Force) – Cyber and Technical Challenges to the Investigation and Prevention of Terrorism

 

National Counterterrorism Center – Evolving Threats to the U.S. Homeland

 

Jose Almanza and Mark Arriaga (UTEP) – Forecasting ISIL and Their Social Media Use

 

Closing Remarks

 

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