Homeland Security Policy and Leadership

Homeland Security Policy and Leadership
Homeland Security Policy and Leadership

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Homeland Security Policy and Leadership


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A weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other device that is intended to harm a large number of people. The United States faces a rising danger from terrorists and rogue states seeking to use weapons of mass destruction. The Department of Homeland Security works every day to prevent terrorists and other threat actors from using these weapons to harm Americans.

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National Security Intelligence: Homeland Security

National Security Intelligence
National Security Intelligence

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National Security Intelligence: Homeland Security

Discussion Replies

Reply to peer 1

It is true as the author says that the organization of the security intelligence systems in the USA has not made the security situation perfect. However, the writer is also quick to acknowledge that the streamlining of the flow of information is a good step that the government took to better the collection and administration of intelligence. For instance, the creation of the Director of Intelligence as the author points out has improved sharing of information among the agencies and therefore better use and access to information (Bullock, Haddow & Coppola, 2016).

Reply to peer 2

The sentiments of the second peer are also correct. The reason is that the establishment of the fusion centers, the giving of grants as well as the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative are important recommendations that ease not only the collection of information from grass root levels but also preparedness of the security agencies and states. For example, the fusion centers enable the interaction among the different federal agencies with regards to technical support and access to security clearance, therefore increasing corporation among the agencies (Bullock, Haddow, & Coppola, 2016). The unifying of the agencies that have resulted from the recommendations has undoubtedly improved effectiveness within the intelligence community.

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Reply to peer 3

The Director of National Intelligence is indeed an addition to the system that is meant to unify the intelligence community. It is also agreeable that in the initial times, it was hard for anyone accepts the directorial role as it bears responsibilities that most people feared. However, the author echoes the improved efficiency ad flow of information using the example involving how the CIA plays the lead role in the collection of data and training, therefore streamlining the dissemination of the intelligence to other agencies (Bullock, Haddow, & Coppola, 2016).


Bullock, J. A., Haddow, G. D., & Coppola, D. P. (2016). Introduction to Homeland security: Principles of all-hazards risk management (5th ed.).Waltham, MA: Elsevier.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2012). Implementing 9/11 Commission Recommendations: Progress report 2011

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Emerging Cyber Security Approaches

Emerging Cyber Security Approaches
Emerging Cyber Security Approaches

Emerging Cyber Security Approaches


People have become more dependent on information systems over the past few years. Even as societies are increasingly embracing open networks, the demand for new cyber security measures grows each day. Emerging trends such as internet of things (Iota) have further prompted governments, businesses and institutions to seek advanced ways of tackling cyber threats. 

One of the reasons that make it difficult to handle these threats is the occurrence of global laws that require investigation of facts across international borders. This has increased the complexity of networking infrastructure resulting to demand of new approaches to address cyber threats. There several existing cyber security strategies being used by organizations, and while their monitoring system can help secure information, they are hardly enough to challenge today’s external and persistent problems efficiently.

Current methods include facial recognition and finger biometrics that have seen a wide range of applications and usage. However, these approaches need to be updated and highly sophisticated to address emerging threats and issues. However, there are new approaches being researched and tested to address cyber security issues such as the use of random numbers, remote agent technologies, real-time forensic analysis, and smart card technologies. 

Although these technologies have not been widely accepted and have received insufficient pragmatically application, they can offer strategic solutions to the issue of cyber security when well researched.

Use of random numbers

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have come up with a masterpiece project on cryptography where new methods for producing random numbers could be used to encrypt data (Bowie, 2016). At the core of the random number technology is David Zuckerman, UT scientist and Eshan Chattopadhyay, a computer science graduate. The two scientists developed a theorem that lays the foundation for new methods of producing random numbers that require little computer efforts (Ransom, 2016). 

The idea behind the technology is to create a random application that creates sequences which do not obey a particular pattern and thus cannot be predicted.  Scientists use randomness to create algorithms and model complexities. Some of the most general uses of randomness are measuring demographic changes in the economy and electoral polling.

In their draft -paper titled Explicit Two-Source Extractors and Resilient Functions, the scientists state that their efforts are “motivated by the ubiquitous use of randomness in various branches of computer science like algorithms, cryptography, and more”(Zuckerman & Chattopadhyay 2016, pg. 2).

According to Ransom (2016), extractors are functions that output and distribute random numbers randomly that vary from the input source. Most applications require truly random, uncorrelated bits, but most easily obtainable sources of randomness do not satisfy these conditions. The study of randomness extraction pays attention to nearly uniform numbers from sources that are only weakly random.

Government Role

The federal government faces a lot of cyber security threat that has the potential of jeopardizing infrastructure, economy, and freedom of citizens. The failure to actively seek new and sophisticated actions against cyber threats can have multidimensional effects. Furthermore, nations and states such as Russia, China, and Iran have expressed willingness to grab US digital data for their gains.

For these reasons, the federal government is at the forefront of supporting emergent cyber security technologies such as the Explicit Two-Source Extractors and Resilient Functions based on random numbers. The government has supported these researchers indirectly  through federal aid, provision of sufficient resources and infrastructure and provision of a free atmosphere to carry our scientific experiments freely.

Additionally, the government has the developed of viable cyber security liability and insurance system, coupled with the advocacy for more private sector efforts to enhance general awareness and ratings.

 Real examples

According to Zuckerman (2016), high-quality randomness can help keep online channels more secure. People need randomness when making online transactions to protect information from hackers. For example, buying something from online sites like Amazon will require randomness functionality. While there are current randomness technologies in play, use of the emergent Explicit Two-Source Extractors and Resilient Functions can offer more secure and unpredictable random patterns.

The masterpiece cryptography can be used to encrypt data, make electronic payments more secret while providing more accurate statistically significant polls.  The emerging technology creates truly random numbers with minimal computations than existing methods. This will go a long way in facilitating high levels of security for consumer credit cards and military communication…


Tarala, J. (2011, Feb). A real-time approach to continuous monitoring. Retrieved from http://www.sans.org/reading-room/analysts-program/netwitness-splunk-monitoring

Tarala, James. (2011).  A Real-Time Approach to Continuous Monitoring. SANS White Paper.

Tiwari, V., Shailendra, G., Tiwari, R., & K, M. (2010). Computational analysis of .net remoting and mobile agent in distributed environment. JOURNAL OF COMPUTING, 2(6), 34-39. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1006/1006.4538.pdf

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Foundations of Terrorism: Case Study

Foundations of terrorism
Foundations of Terrorism

Foundations of Terrorism

Case Study of Aum Shinrikyo terrorist group


Terrorism is founded on carefully planned structures. This paper intends to discuss terrorist organizations by developing a case study of Aum Shinrikyo terrorist group.

Origin of Aum Shinrikyo

Aum Shinrikyo refers to a doomsday cult whose origin is in Japan. The cult was formed by Shoko Asahara in the year 1984 (Ingram, 2017). Aum Shinrikyo earned international infamy after carrying out a deadly attack on Tokyo subway in the year 1995. Furthermore, in 1994 Aum Shinrikyo was also involved in a small sarin attack (Ingram, 2017). However, initially, Aum Shinrikyo conducted its activities in secret and never confessed. Shoko Asahara, the founder of Aum Shinkyo, bought a signal in Russia, which he directed to Japan and uses it in broadcasting his singing and persisting on his blamelessness (Ingram, 2017).

In 2007 Aum Shinrikyo was divided into two groups a group known as Aleph and a group called “Hikari no Wa” (Ingram, 2017). Thus, Aum Shinkyo became designated by many countries as a terrorist association. Among the countries is Japan and North Korea. For instance, in Korea, the commission in charge of examining public security made a public announcement in 2015 in the month of January that the group Aleph along with “Hikari no Wa” group is both branches of religion, which is considered as dangerous (Ingram, 2017). The commission also added that it would continue surveillance on the two groups for three subsequent years.  

As a logistical set-up, Aum Shinkyo inspired and is still inspiring acts of terrorism globally. Notably, Aleph which is one of the groups of Aum Shinrikyo is a system based on syncretism belief (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014). Aleph draws upon an idiosyncratic understanding of elements by Shoko Asahara regarding ancient Indian Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Hinduism. The main icon of worship was taken to be Shiva (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014). Aleph also incorporates millennialism ideas, which it borrows from the Bible’s Revelation book (Orsini, 2015).

Aleph also borrows from Yoga and Nostradamus writings (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014).  Aum Shinrikyo’s group Aleph was founded by Chizuo Matsumoto who alleged that he was seeking to reinstate original Buddhism. Thus, in the year 1992, Chizuo Matsumoto started calling himself Shoko Asahara, which became his name (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014).

In the same year 1992, Shoko Asahara was able to publish an introductory book where he declared himself to be “Christ.” Furthermore, in the book Shoko Asahara refers to himself as the only master who is fully enlightened and identifies with “God’s Lamb” (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014).

Command structure of Aum Shinrikyo

Aum Shinrikyo is known to apply precise methodologies. Furthermore, Aum Shinrikyo has a prearranged study of doctrine which is in harmony with a particular system of learning. For a follower of Aum Shinrikyo to reach another stage, it is expected that the member successfully passes a given exam (Orsini, 2015). The practice of meditation is combined with hypothetical studies.

However, Shoko Asahara emphasized to his followers that hypothetical studies cannot serve any purpose when practical experience is not achieved. Additionally, Shoko Asahara also advised members of Aum Shinrikyo never to try explaining anything if they could not mostly experience it (Orsini, 2015).

Aum Shinrikyo’s followers were grouped into two. The first group was lay practitioners. The lay practitioners are Aum Shin rik yo’s members who live together with their families (Orsini, 2015). A second group is a group of members who lived a lifestyle that is ascetic. In most cases, the second group included individuals who usually live as a group (Orsini, 2015). For any follower to earn the status of an attained member, it was an obligation for the member to meet precise conditions so as to influence senior members to recognize that the member has reached a state of higher spirituality (Orsini, 2015).

For instance, in the stage of Kundalini Yoga a member was required to give a demonstration regarding his or her ability in showing abridged oxygen consumption, modification of electromagnetic activities of the brain, and reduced rate of the heart, which was to be proven by being measured using a corresponding equipment (Richards, 2014). When a member demonstrated all the changes described above, then he or she was considered having entered a higher state referred as Samadhi (Richards, 2014). Thus, a member who has attained Samadhi state was given permission to educate other members.

The purported mission of Shoko Asahara was taking all the sins that people in the world have committed. Shoko Asahara claimed that he had the ability to transfer spiritual power to Aum Shinrikyo’s members (Richards, 2014). Additionally, Shoko Asahara claimed he would ultimately cleanse Aum Shinrikyo’s members’ sins by taking them away. Consequently, scholars view Aum Shinrikyo as an outcome from Japanese Buddhism. The view by scholars influenced how Aum Shinrikyo’s definition and view of itself. Notably, Shoko Asahara made an outline of a prophecy on doomsday that integrated the “World War III” to be prompted by the United States (Richards, 2014).

Leadership of Aum Shinrikyo

Shoko Asahara is known to be the historical leader of Aum Shinrikyo. Furthermore, Shoko Asahara was also the chief of senior operations for Aum Shinrikyo (Sageman, 2014). Shoko Asahara came from a Japanese family that was poor. After realizing a personal enlightenment in religion, Shoko Asahara formed Aum Shinrikyo, a religious cult (Sageman, 2014).

Shoko Asahara had recruited almost 10,000 followers to Aum Shinrikyo during the 1990s. Notably, Shoko Asahara dreamt of being an emperor in Japan. Thus, Shoko Asahara assumed the role of interim commander of Aum Shinrikyo (Sageman, 2014).

Shoko Asahara tried to register Aum Shinrikyo with Japan’s government based on the law of religious corporations known as “Shukyo-hojin-Ho” in 1989 (Shapiro, 2013). The registration was to include benefits such as privileges regarding taxation, rights of owning property as Aum Shinrikyo organization, along with protection from interference by the state and other external bodies (Shapiro, 2013).

Initially, the Japanese government denied permission of registration to Aum Shinrikyo citing a string of complaints raised by families with members practicing the Shukkesha (Shapiro, 2013). Shukkesha refers to a practice where members are demanded to sever all the ties they have with family and ensure they cease communication (Shapiro, 2013).

Aum Shinrikyo gave a response to the Japanese government’s rejection by holding public demonstrations, holding lawsuits, and starting legal appeals to counter the government’s decision. Consequently, in the month of August in the year 1989 Aum Shinrikyo was approved of a legal status (Zúquete, 2015).

Thus, Aum Shinrikyo started a new trend in 1989 of greeting every difficulty that comes their way with vigorous denials accompanied by lawsuits (Zúquete, 2015). Notably, in May of 1989 many parents had hired a lawyer from Yokohama known as Sakamoto Tsutsumi. However, Sakamoto uncovered claims that were faulty arguing that tests had been carried out in Kyoto University revealing that he had a unique DNA in his blood (Zúquete, 2015).

Afterward, Aum Shinrikyo started the practice of blood initiation, which was assumed to increase the spiritual power of an individual though no tests were run (Shapiro, 2013). Later, Sakamoto, his wife along with infant son disappeared. An Aum badge was found indicating that Aum Shinrikyo was involved with the disappearance, but no direct evidence was available to link the group.

Thus, Aum Shinrikyo embraced the accusations as an opportunity of getting publicity. Asahara professed the need for political action in saving the world thus, launching “Shinrito” political party which translates to “Supreme Truth Party” (Shapiro, 2013).

Motivation of Aum Shinrikyo

Aum Shinrikyo is motivated by both general reasons and particular motives. For instance, Tomomitsu Niimi attacked a VX victim at 7 am on the 12th of December in 1994 after Shoko Asahara reported of suspecting the victim of being a spy (Zúquete, 2015). The victim was murdered by being sprinkled on the neck for being a nerve agent. Aum Shinrikyo capitalizes on visions of the millennium along with predictions of the apocalypse in framing its doctrine. Consequently, Aum Shinrikyo is highly prejudiced by Nostradamus work. Notably, Nostradamus work provides a cornerstone to Aum Shinrikyo’s teachings.

Markedly, the followers of Aum Shinrikyo actively recruit students along with professionals working in the medicine field, field of science, field of computers, the engineering field, along with other areas, which are technical. Therefore, the charisma by Shoko Asahara and his messages appeared to have more appeal to a majority of people who felt estranged by the modern society, the secular society and the conformist features of the Society of Japan (Zúquete, 2015).

At the crest of Aum Shinrikyo, it is approximated to be worth over $1.5 billion. Notably, having enormous financial resources, Aum Shinrikyo is motivated to invest its capital in high-technology, laboratories for “state-of-the-art,” and funding Aum’s research. Thus, Aum Shinrikyo can circumvent restrictions, which are associated with large laboratories for corporate research.

Additionally, for Aum Shinrikyo to raise funds, they collect money from donations, followers tithe, and selling of sacred materials. Aum Shinrikyo also conducts seminars along with courses regarding the teachings of the cult where it charges all individuals who are participating in the sessions (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014). Furthermore, Aum Shinrikyo diversifies its enterprises through running a string of hotels in Tokyo and a firm for manufacturing computers that assembles and sells computers within Japan using parts traded in from Taiwan.

Aum Shinrikyo is also motivated by the support it gets from a Japanese mafia known as the Yakuza, who provide the group with an agreement for marketing illegal drugs manufactured by Aum Shinrikyo. Aum Shinrikyo is also motivated by cooperation given by community leaders through engaging in greenmail practice, which involves extorting money from community leaders (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014).

Aum Shinrikyo extorts money from community leaders through threatening them about establishing Aum Shinrikwo’s branch office or an Aum Shinrikwo’s school in the local community in question. Consequently, Aum Shinrikyo also aims at gaining leverage by engaging in extortion, acts of coercion, engaging in theft along with murder as a way of raising money for the group.

Goals of Aum Shinrikyo

The primary goal of Aum Shinrikyo is to defend the ancient faith by promoting worldwide operations that endorse theologies collected from diverse sources. Furthermore, Aum Shinrikyo also operates on a goal of collapsing dictatorship from western countries and institutions within the Middle East. According to Shoko Asahara, Aum Shinrikyo has the goal of uniting all doctrines and establishing, forcefully a desperate need of the society adhering to rules given by the original Caliphs (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014).

For instance, in his religious decree, Shoko Asahara talks of individuals duty globally being leading a holy life through cleaning one’s sins based on the doctrine of Aum Shinrikyo, with Shoko Asahara as the self-proclaimed “Christ”. Furthermore, in the book Shoko Asahara refers to himself as the only master who is fully enlightened and identifies with “God’s Lamb” (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014).

The ideology of Aum Shinrikyo is based on an idiosyncratic understanding of elements by Shoko Asahara regarding ancient Indian Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Hinduism. The main icon of worship was taken to be Shiva (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014). Aleph one of the groups of Aum Shinrikyo also incorporates millennialism ideas, which it borrows from the Bible’s Revelation book (Orsini, 2015).

Furthermore, Aleph also borrows from Yoga and Nostradamus writings (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014). The ideology is manifested by Tomomitsu Niimi’s willingness to attack and murder a VX victim at 7 am on the 12th of December in 1994 after Shoko Asahara reported of suspecting the victim of being a spy.

 Even though most doctrines disagree with almost all thoughts of Shoko Asahara, Aum Shinrikyo is rooted in earning a status (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014). For instance, the doctrine of Aum Shinrikyo dictates that in order for any follower to earn the status of an attained member, it is the obligation that member to meet precise conditions so as to influence senior members to recognize that the member has attained a state of higher spirituality (Orsini, 2015).

In one of the stages known as Kundalini Yoga a member was required to give a demonstration regarding his or her ability in showing abridged oxygen consumption, modification of electromagnetic activities of the brain, and reduced rate of the heart, which was to be proven by being measured using a corresponding equipment (Richards, 2014).

Threat posed by Aum Shinrikyo

Aum Shinrikyo poses a number of threats. According to an annual report by the department of state in the United States regarding global terrorism, Aum Shinrikyo is a great threat as it has evolved. Aum Shinrikyo has evolved leading to its current dispersion in the Middle East. The two groups Aleph and a group known as “Hikari no Wa”, which are operationally self-governing affiliates of Aum Shinrikyo are developing to be increasingly aggressive (Kearns, Conlon & Young, 2014).

Furthermore, the affiliates of Aum Shinrikyo in the Middle East use the instability of their regions to their advantage. Moreover, affiliates of Aum Shinrikyo tend to be financially sovereign from the central leadership of Aum Shinrikyo. Notably, affiliates of Aum Shinrikyo raise funds to run their operations from illegal activities such as extorting money from community leaders, acts of coercion, engaging in theft along with murder-kidnapping people and requesting for ransom or fraud of credit cards.

Aum Shinrikyo is also highly active in Japan according to the department of the state of the United States. Compared to all affiliates Aum Shinrikyo in Aleph is the greatest threat to the United States. The head of Aleph in Japan was appointed in 2013 to be the deputy leader of the entire system of Aum Shinrikyo globally (Finn & Momani, 2017). Furthermore, in 2013, acts of terrorism were influenced by sectarian reasons, which present a major threat.

It was also revealed that there was the resurgence in the activities conducted by Iranian security forces along with Iranian intelligence, as the two institutions were linked to primarily supporting Iran for its Assad administration in Syria. Iran also was revealed to have allies in Japan, known as “Hikari no Wa”. “Hikari no Wa” is a renowned terrorist group known for its high-level illegal activities and affiliation to Aum Shinrikyo.

Policies of combating Aum Shinrikyo

There are various policies of combating Aum Shinrikyo. Notably, Aum Shinrikyo is no longer hiding when performing its operations. At the moment Aum Shinrikyo controls its operations mainly from Japan. Thus, America is faced with a great challenge regarding its lifestyle. Aum Shinrikyo constantly fights against the United States with the aim of creating a global caliphate. Consequently, it has been globally recognized that there is need to acknowledge the terrorism problem intensity, and the magnitude required in terms of effort for combating the problem (Eid, 2014).

One of the policies of combating the problem of terrorism is having coordinated regional counterinsurgency operation. Markedly, this policy involves robust efforts of stabilization and combination of diplomatic efforts, political attempts, security endeavors, and informational attempts. The second policy is to end the brutality that averts regional cohorts from fighting Aum Shinrikyo, thus creating space or energy for Aum Shinrikyo to make recruitments and execute its operations.

The third policy is a unification of the private sector with the government in an effort of fighting Aum Shinrikyo. The fourth policy is creating strong partnerships locally as a way of ensuring the stability of governments (Eid, 2014). Notably, a majority of countries have developed less responsiveness to terrorism while others have been overpowered by terrorism through terrorists acquiring and staying on their land.

The main aim of having partnerships is to ensure that Aum Shinrikyo will not reemerge after it has been defeated. The fifth policy is analyzing the position held by key players who notably are within the majority world of Buddhism, Muslims, and Hinduism (Eid, 2014). For instance, partnering with Russia requires careful diplomatic engagement as its presence of forces within Aum Shinrikwo’s territories develops a challenge.


Terrorism is a global problem. For years the problem of terrorism has been shifting from one continent to another. Consequently, it has been established that terrorism is founded on carefully planned structures. Thus, this paper has discussed terrorism foundations by developing a case study of Aum Shinrikyo terrorist group. Aum Shinrikyo is known for dominating its operations within Japan along with the Middle East.

The paper above has revealed that initially, Aum Shinrikyo was a logistical set-up that aimed at defending the ancient faith by promoting worldwide operations that endorse theologies collected from diverse sources. Furthermore, it has come out clearly through the paper above that there are two separate groups of Aum Shinrikyo terrorist group. A group is known as Aleph and a group known as “Hikari no Wa”.  

However, the paper has also revealed that Aum Shinrikyo cannot be termed as an organization rather Aum Shinrikyo refers to a doomsday cult whose origin is in Japan. Furthermore, the paper has revealed that activities of Aum Shinrikyo are motivated by both general reasons and specific motives. Thus, Aum Shinrikyo tends to engage in illegal acts as a way of gaining leverage. The illegal acts include engaging in extortion, acts of coercion, engaging in theft along with murder, as a way of raising money for the group.


Eid, M. (2014). The Media Amid Terrorism and Counterterrorism. Terrorism And Political Violence, 26(5), 842-854. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2014.968025

Finn, M., & Momani, B. (2017). Building foundations for the comparative study of state and non-state terrorism. Critical Studies On Terrorism, 1-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2017.1287753.

Ingram, H. (2017). The Strategic Logic of the “Linkage-Based” Approach to Combating Militant Islamist Propaganda: Conceptual and Empirical Foundations. Terrorism And Counter-Terrorism Studies. http://dx.doi.org/10.19165/2017.1.06

Kearns, E., Conlon, B., & Young, J. (2014). Lying About Terrorism. Studies In Conflict & Terrorism, 37(5), 422-439. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1057610x.2014.893480

Orsini, A. (2015). Are Terrorists Courageous? Micro-Sociology of Extreme Left Terrorism. Studies In Conflict & Terrorism, 38(3), 179-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1057610x.2014.987593

Richards, A. (2014). Conceptualizing Terrorism. Studies In Conflict & Terrorism, 37(3), 213-236. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1057610x.2014.872023

Sageman, M. (2014). The Stagnation in Terrorism Research. Terrorism And Political Violence, 26(4), 565-580. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2014.895649

Shapiro, S. (2013). The Intellectual Foundations of Jewish National Terrorism: Avraham Stern and the Lehi. Terrorism And Political Violence, 25(4), 606-620. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2013.814502

Zúquete, J. (2015). Martin A. Miller.The Foundations of Modern Terrorism: State, Society and the Dynamics of Political Violence. Terrorism And Political Violence, 27(4), 786-788. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546553.2015.1068094

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Counter Terrorism in The United States of America

Counter Terrorism
Counter Terrorism

The various counter terrorism units in the country play an integral role in ensuring that the fight against terrorism is won. They are focussed on ensuring that not only the USA but the world in general is peaceful. A number of agencies are involved in the fight against terrorism in the USA but the focus of the paper will be centered on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The FBI serves as an intelligence and law enforcement agency and has its headquarters in Washington D.C. The agency was started in 1908 and has grown immensely to cover a wider range of responsibilities. It currently has over 35,104 employees that have a wide range of skills and knowledge that are essential in protecting the citizens of the USA from terrorism attack (Gulati, Raffaelli, and Rivkin, 2016).

Counter terrorism: Structure of FBI

            The FBI has a centralized organizational structure that ensures a seamless flow of information. The head of the agency is the director who works in close conjunction with the office of the General Counsel, chief of staff, inspection division. The next in line is the deputy director who works in close conjunction with the office of professional responsibility, office of equal employment, office of the public and congressional affairs.

The other units that are controlled directly by the director and deputy director are criminal justice information service division, tracking division, administrative services division, training division, information resource division, information resources division, national security division, criminal investigative division, laboratory division, finance division, investigative services division, and counter- terrorism division ( United States Federal Bureau of Investigations(FBI) Academy Handbook, 2014, p.89).

From an international perspective, the FBI has over 64 legats and smaller sub offices in various cities around the world. The presence of the agency is present in over 200 countries and they have been set up through a mutual understanding from the governments and the agency. Most of the offices are located within the U.S embassy or the consulate. Their main aim is to ensure that they share intelligence information that will benefit the country they are operating and the USA (International operations, 2017).

The agencies that they work with are Interpol, foreign police, CIA and other international organizations that safe guard the people. The interactions between the country they are hosted and the USA is based on the treaties, statues, executive orders and Attorney general guidelines that are agreed upon by all the agencies.

The Legat program goes further ahead to offer international intelligence training to the security agencies in the different countries that they operate. The training does provide an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the agency, USA and the countries they operate in. Moreover, it does provide an opportunity to consolidate the security of the entire world with respect to combating terrorism activities (International operations, 2017).

After the 9/11 attacks in the USA, the agency’s responsibility, intelligence work increased immensely to ensure efficiency in the operations to combat terrorism (McClintock, 2016). The counter terrorism division within the FBI is divided into four branches which are operations Branch 1, operations Branch II, analytical and operations support branch.

The Operations Branch I is further divided into two sections which are the international Terrorism Section I that does concentrate on al Qaeda activities on a regional and international basis. The second section concentrates on terrorism affiliated groups in Iraq/Syria/Libya, Palestinian rejectionist groups, Iran and Hezbollah, and other terrorist groups that are present in different parts of the globe (Anderson, 2010, p. 19).

The second branch, operations branch II, concentrates on weapons of mass destruction, terrorist financing operations, domestic terrorism and communications exploitation sections. The FBI does provide intelligence information on nuclear, radiological, biological, chemical or other weapons that are used by terrorist groups to clear a large number of people or cause extreme damage to the infrastructure of any nation. The second section, terrorist financing operations section, focuses on the investigating the funding of the terrorism groups and freezing their assets to decapitate their operations (Gulati et al., 2016).

The section does play a vital role in carrying out in depth investigation, prosecution, disruption and continuous demolishment of the terrorist activities that are tied down to fund-raising activities. The section has been further divided into four units to enhance efficiency, they are financial intelligence analysis, global extremist financial investigations, radical fundamentalist financial investigative, and domestic WMD, and global financial investigations unit (Gulati et al., 2016).

The third branch is the counter terrorism branch that deals with analysis and preparation of the intelligence reports.  The branch does serve as the clearing house for all the intelligence gathering and processing. The branch has five divisions which are activities, ideology, linkages, trade craft and terrorist group composition. The branch does identify intelligence assets, blind spots and gaps in the intelligence system, evaluating the threat levels within the country, and the source of funding for all the terror groups.

The most dangerous groups that the branch monitors are the Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. Last but not least it does share the intelligence they have gathered with other security agencies in the country to consolidated their work efforts (FBI Counter terrorism Analysis Branch Jobs and Salary, 2017).

The last branch, operations support branch, does focus on handling a number of responsibilities that are essential in ensuring that the tactical personnel are able to operate efficiently in the various missions. They develop budgets, organize training programs for the units, formulate CTD strategies, and consolidate partnerships with external private entities in the intelligence security organizations (FBI Counterterrorism Operational Support Branch Jobs and Salary, 2017).

The branch has two divisions which are the national threat center and the counter terrorism operational response section. The division is the backbone of the FBI and does share intelligence information with the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Department of Homeland Security to counter terrorism. Moreover, the unit also shares information with the general public when it comes to counter terrorism programs.

Additionally, the branch oversees the FBI personnel who have been seconded to other security agency and finally it does work in close conjunction with the Department of Defense when it comes to coordinating operations (FBI Counterterrorism Operational Support Branch Jobs and Salary, 2017).

On the logistic perspective focuses on ensuring that the agency can be able to work effectively in their operations. The employees in the logistic centre work in construction, space management employee health and safety, telecommunications management, facilities operations, mail/freight management, and security electronics. The logistics of the team does go beyond consolidating the operations within the Washington D.C offices and the legate in different parts of the world (Our very own global logistics Service, 2017).

 Logistic aspect also does come into action when the FBI is engaged in field activities. The team that handles their logistics is referred to as the Rapid Deployment Logistic Unit (RDLU), the unit is the first respondents when the agency is called to handle an attack and it does constitute counter terrorism experts, communicators, medical staff, military liaisons, lab personnel among others. They also have the Crisis Advance Team (CAT) that does determine the number of specialist that are required to combat counter terrorism.

When the specialist responds to any attack the field specialists segregate areas to set up the command post, and other machines that will be essential in linking the operation to the FBI offices in the USA. The RDLU also does work in setting up temporary operation centers that provide the team with an opportunity of hosting major diplomatic meetings, international sports and other special events (Our very own global logistics Service, 2017).

On the financing aspects the agency does receive funds for operations mainly from the federal government. The president does provide the agency with the finances required to run the operations each financial year based on the budget prepared by the operational support branch of the FBI. The machinery and weapons used by the tactical team vary based on the mission that the agents are carrying out. As discussed, the unit has different agents handling varying issues with respect to countering terrorism (Operational Technology, 2017).

The one aspect that is clear is that the agency uses the latest technology in their role to combat terrorism in the USA and the world at large. The FBI has launched the operational technology division located in Virginia that does incorporate technology in the intelligence, law enforcement and national security aspect of the nation. Some of the specific areas that they focus on are advanced electronic surveillance and search, digital forensics, radio program, specialized support and coordination, tactical operations, technical personnel and defensive programs among others (Operational Technology, 2017).

In conclusion, counter terrorism is an issue that does affect everyone in the different parts of the world. The FBI is one of the agencies that our focus group concentrated on evaluating their organizational structure, size, the different responsibilities of the branches, the finances and the type of machinery that is used. The FBI is not the only agency that tackles terrorism issues, but it does play an effective role by collaborating with the internal and external agency to combat terrorism.


Anderson, J. W. (2010). Disrupting Threat Finances: Utilization of Financial information to Disrupt terrorism. Diane Publishing.

FBI Counterterrorism Analysis Branch Jobs and Salary. (2017). Fbiagentedu.org. Retrieved 11 August 2017, from http://www.fbiagentedu.org/careers/countert…….analysis/

FBI Counterterrorism Operational Support Branch Jobs and Salary. (2017). Fbiagentedu.org. Retrieved 11 August 2017, from http://www.fbiagentedu.org/careers/countert…….operational-support/

Gulati, R., Raffaelli, R., & Rivkin, J.W. (2016). Does “what We Do” Make Us” who We Are”? Organizational Design and Identity Change at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Harvard Business School.

International Operations. (2017). Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 11 August 2017, from https://www.fbi.gov/about/leadership-and-structure/international-operations

McClintock, M. (2016). Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights since 9/11. The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Violence, 411.

Operational Technology. (2017). Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 11 August 2017, from https://www.fbi.gov/services/operational-technology

Our very own global logistics Service. (2017). Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 11 August 2017, from https://archives.fbi.gov/archves/news/stories/2017/april/rdlu040805

 United States Federal Bureau of Investigations(FBI) Academy Handbook. (2014). International Business Publication, USA.

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Impact of criminological research on social policy

criminological research
criminological research

Impact of criminological research on social policy

Criminological research can impact social policy in a considerable way, given that crime and criminal justice are generally considered social issues. While criminal justice is involved in studying crime, social policy aims at establishing how the society promotes the welfare of individuals. Both areas are also related to social problems that relate to crime and are concerned about how better responses can be undertaken to prevent crime (Wincup, 2013: 5).

Therefore, research in criminology provides useful findings on crime, criminal behavior, causes of crime, ways of preventing crime and how to deal with offenders in order to reduce crime, all which provide solutions that can be applied in social policy development to make the society a better place to live.

Sociology aspect: Criminological Research

Crime is considered a social problem and social policy concerns itself with addressing social problems. In this relation, criminology and social policy have a direct relationship in that criminology studies provide solutions for addressing crime in order to promote societal welfare. The application of criminological research provides a more comprehensive approach to identifying social problems that lead to crime.

It provides a more scientific approach in the collection of data, analysis and presentation, which provides highly relevant information for use in managing crime (Liebling, Maruna & McAra, 2017: 58). A majority of these interventions revolve around social policy and this implies that criminological research has significant implications on criminal research. This could also explain why criminological research as a course is offered together with social policy, given that they both have a beneficial relationship.

The more recent research on whether prisons are more useful or harmful in promoting reducing crime is an example of research in criminal justice that has a direct impact on social policy. This is because while the use of prisons has been predominant over the decades as a means of correction, statistics have also shown that the use of prisons has only resulted in overcrowded jail facilities and increased crime as witnessed in the rate of recidivism among former criminals.

In this relation, criminology research has also focused on determining social interventions that would be more effective in reducing crime such as poverty reduction, education, early child development programs, job creation, war on drugs, help for mental problems and community-based punishments for crime (Liebling, Maruna & McAra, 2017). This would impact social policy in that based on the recommendations from criminology research, it is possible to implement such measures to provide solutions that improve social welfare.

Such actions have been observed in the United States there is increased efforts towards addressing underlying social issues that influence crime. A notable intervention has been the implementation of prison education programs that ensure that prisoners are able to take reintegrate into the society through finding decent jobs (Davis, 2014: 1). The same applies for prison overcrowding, where criminological research has been prevalent and established that overcrowded prisons have led to more problems in the United States’ attempt to reduce crime.

The government has consequently called for action to address the problem of prison overcrowding to promote the welfare of prisoners and reduce deaths, injuries, immorality and recidivism associated with prison overcrowding. To address such issues, social policy must rely on findings from criminological research because they are more accurate and are based on well researched theories, such that interventions are likely to lead to better outcomes.


Davis, Lois M., et al. (2014). How Effective Is Correctional Education, and Where Do We Go

from Here? RAND Corporation, 2014, Report No. 564. Retrieved from https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/criminal-justice/effects-prison-education-programs-research-findings

Liebling, A., Maruna, S. & McAra, L. (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford University Press

Wincup, E. (2013). Understanding crime and social policy. New York: The Policy Press

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Social security Field Work

Social security field work
Social security field work

1. • Any legal considerations on social security during your field education experience that you may have had to address or that you might address

2.• An explanation of potential challenges in adhering to legal considerations during your field education experience

I concur with my colleague’s sentiments with regards to social security legal considerations. It’s true that all social security laws must be adhered to avoid possible legal implications of violation. It is even more complicated when serving a client who is legally mandated to have a representative payee. More importantly, many clients do not understand their rights and responsibilities under the social security law (Laureate Education, 2013).

This is challenging when clients pose legal questions since we have to refer them back to social security legal experts. In fact, I should think that the role of helping clients find adequate housing can be a challenging one considering the logistical, financial and legal issues involved. Considering the high attachment that people attach to homes, it can be a daunting task to try to help a client in deciding with regards to a choice of where to live. Notwithstanding the financial aspects, people have other factors for preferring to live in certain neighborhoods and not others.

Therefore my view is that besides the information and the advisory part, it is a challenging endeavor given the emotional aspects involved in choosing a home. It’s even worse when you have to help a family due to multiple conflicting preferences and interests of individual family members. Another legal challenge could arise when assisting a client who has a representative or interpreter given the legal implications involved particularly when information provided turns out to be inaccurate (ASS, 2013).

In my experience, I have learned that most people do not understand the legal requirement on full disclosure of all medical treatment sources and especially for people with disability. Thus there is a need for clients to be allowed to have a legal expert to guide them through the social security application process.

Social Security Retirement Benefits

In addition to Social Security’s retirement benefits, workers earn life insurance and SSDI protection by making payroll tax contributions:

  • About 96 percent of people aged 20-49 who worked in jobs covered in 2019 have earned life insurance protection .
  • For a young worker with average earnings, a spouse, and two children, that’s equivalent to a life insurance policy with a face value of over $725,000 in 2018, according to actuaries.
  • About 89 percent of people aged 21-64 who worked in covered employment in 2019 are insured in case of severe disability.


Administration, S. S. (2013). Social Security programs in the United States. Social Security Bulletin, 56(13), 3–82.

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2013). Legal considerations [Audio file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu.

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Operation Anaconda Command Structure

Operation Anaconda
Operation Anaconda

Operation Anaconda Command Structure

Thesis: In the eyes of the public Operation Anaconda was a success but some challenges in the aspects of joint command structure, the unity of command, and joint operations.

Supporting Topic 1: Joint Command Structure on Operation Anaconda

Supporting Idea 1: The command structure is made up of a team which execute orders based on the instruction from the authority. The forward support structure in the Anaconda operation was essential to ensure proper allocation of the resources and the tactical conductivity of the process. Being a military operation, it comprises of several troops which create multiple levels of complexity. Interactions between the troops are highly complicated creating a challenge in the organization flow of information.

Supporting Idea 2: The need for forwarding command structure is essential especially when the scope of the operation is expanding. However, the command structure experienced some communication breakdown between commanders and the component units. Thus, conflicting the proper integration of upholding the directives according to the plan. In a join operation, all the commandants must coordinate closely in a joint decision-making process. The operation provided an opportunity to eliminate the enemy in a large group. However, in an operation point of view, the command structure on the ground squared the activity, and hence the operation was never executed according to the plan.

Supporting Idea 3: Having overthrown the Taliban government, the command structure felt that it had achieved success. As a consequence, they felt no need to focus on the operation as much of their emphasis was on the Iraq operation. On that account, there was an inadequate allocation of the resources to the operation. The commanding generals assumed a minimal number of the enemies existed. However, that was an assumption as there were many Al-Qaeda fighters in the valley. The assumption led to an inadequate allocation of troops for the operation contrary to what the commandants on the ground required.

Supporting Topic 2: Unity of Command in Operation Anaconda

Supporting Idea 1: A distinguished Unity of command requires placing of all the troops in a unique theatre to achieve the objective under one brain. Unity of command was essential in the success of the Anaconda Operation. It required unification of the local forces, the Special Forces and the airpower. Unity of command facilitated communication between the ground commanders and the Central command unit. The hierarchy facilitates efficient allocation of resources and mobilization of troops to the operation.

Supporting Idea 2: Conflict of unity of command was also evident from the operation. For example, as the troops carried on with the operation, a contingent of navy seals was brought into the process. The decision was in contrast to what the Army special operators thought. They did not understand the basics of inclusion of the Navy seals by the Central Command unit. The scenario depicts a breakdown in the structure of unity of command which requires the involvement of critical parties in a decision-making process. The structure of unity of authority requires that before an issue gets to the top executives, it should follow all the steps depicted by the structure.

Supporting Idea 3: Failure to adhere to the operational protocol lead to a series of mistakes by the team. The theory is enhanced by the fact that the fighting theatres came from different troops which had a separate command structure. During the early phases of the operation, instruction protocols were clear as per the plan. However, as the operation proceeded, different communication issues erupted. For instance, the splitting of the air support theatre led to confusions in the action as there were different requests from the controllers.

Supporting Topic 3: Joint Operations

Supporting Idea 1: Joint operations brings together wars troops to a broader national scale in which forces from the Army, Navy and Air are brought together in a joint operation. Operation Anaconda included the Navy, Air force and the military working together. The operation was different as it did not conform to the information battles. At the time of its occurrence, the joint military presence was not mature for the service. It also coupled up with the harsh terrain of the valley which contributed to lapse of operation at the initial stages. Coordinating the logistics in a large force increases the chances of friction within the operation.

Supporting Idea 2: Communication barrier was another challenge experienced during the Operation Anaconda. The troops were inclusive of local soldiers who were not very conversant with the communication language of the United States troops. Therefore, it was challenging for the army commanders to give instructions during the course. More importantly, the lack of similar political culture between the U.S and the Afghanistan soldiers manifested itself as a practical barrier which hindered operational efficiency.

The critical lesson from the joint operation includes regular pieces of training at the lower levels. It will enhance the level of corporation as well as the adhesiveness of the troops. Having a joint operation was beneficial to the procedure as it brought together different knowledge and experience required to fight a common enemy.

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