The Evolution of Terrorist Tactics featuring panelists William McCants, Nadia Oweidat, and Brig. General Mark Schissler. This panel was moderated by Daniel Benjamin.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a two-day conference featuring high-profile leaders, experts, and opinion-makers to develop a shared international agenda for protecting civilians from terrorist violence. In addition to examining government responses and legal structures, the conference considers how local communities and international partners can transform the enabling environment that can intimidate local actors into silence or acquiescence. Topics include the impact of new media tools, changes in international humanitarian law, the evolution of terrorist tactics, the proliferation of suicide bombings, and innovative approaches to protecting civilians.- CSIS
Daniel Benjamin is a journalist and scholar on international security. From 1994 to 1997 he served on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration; before that he worked as a journalist for Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal.
He was formerly a Senior Fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and he writes a column for Slate Magazine.
He currently serves as the Director for the Center on the United States and Europe, and Senior Fellow of Foreign Policy Studies at The Brookings Institution.
William McCants is a Fellow at West Point's Combating Terrorism Center. He is an expert on Jihadi ideology and strategy, as well as medieval and modern Islamic thought. Recently, he has consulted on militant Salafism for various branches of the U.S. government and military, translated an important al-Qaeda book on strategy, and directed the Jihadi Ideology Project, which maps the intellectual influence of Jihadi authors. He is currently designing curricula on jihadi-inspired terrorism for the FBI and teaching its new agents. His work has been featured in various media outlets, including the front page of USA Today, CNN's website, NPR's "Morning Edition," the New York Times, the Washington Post, Anderson Cooper 360, and a Zawahiri video. He has a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University and has lived in Egypt and Lebanon.
Nadia Oweidat is a Research Associate at the RAND Corporation. Since joining RAND, Ms. Oweidat has researched and written about Islamic extremism and counterterrorism strategies, the ideological evolution of al-Qaeda from 1984-1996, Salafist jihadi networks, jihadi strategies in Iraq, Iranian ascendancy in the Arab world, radicalization of Muslim youth, and democracy initiatives in Egypt. Ms. Oweidat, who was born and raised in Jordan, immigrated to the United States in 1999. Before joining RAND, Ms. Oweidat worked with the law firm of Motley Rice, LLC, supporting a number of cases to expose the financiers of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. She has also worked with a government contractor to help develop software used to familiarize government agents with the Arabic language and culture as well as Muslim beliefs and practices. She is fluent in Arabic and English and proficient in French. Ms. Oweidat has a B.A. from the University of Jordan in Arabic and English languages, and an M.A. with two honors from the University of Wyoming in International Studies with a concentration on the Middle East.
Brigadier General Mark O. Schissler is responsible for all aspects of developing, coordinating, refining, and assessing the U.S. military and national strategies related to the Global War on Terrorism. He has served in a variety of operational and staff assignments around the world. He has flown over 3500 hours in the C-130 Hercules aircraft, including over 150 combat and combat support hours and over 500 hours in combat theater operations. He has commanded at the squadron, group, and wing levels, including two expeditionary wing command tours. Brigadier General Schissler also has extensive staff experience on the Air Staff and Joint Staff. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Human Resource Development from Webster University, a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from the University of Saint Thomas. He was selected as a 1998 National Security Fellow at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.