The inspiration for my research topic (“September 11th and Terrorist Strategies against the U.S.”) was derived from my work with renowned terrorism expert, author and professor, Dr. Walid Phares, the Co-Secretary General of the Trans-Atlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter-Jihadi Terrorism. I lived and worked in Washington, D.C. from the fall of 2006 to the fall of 2010 and worked with Dr. Phares throughout that time on various issues related to terrorism, including homegrown terrorism, strategic communications, ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East and the process of recruitment, indoctrination and radicalization. Through that experience, I realized just how little our government officials understood about the ideology, strategic objectives and grand strategy of our Jihadist adversaries.
What I believe is most exciting about my research is that it will provide some much needed clarity about the strategies and tactics the Jihadists are using against the West and the U.S. in particular.
The primary challenges I anticipate with the final product will be 1) getting the attention of the relevant officials in government and 2) having the policy recommendations implemented. These challenges will be made all the more difficult by the ‘expert advice’ many of our national security officials are receiving – expertise which, often times, purposely misleading. I’ll be discussing this issue at length in my paper.