Center on Law and Security kicks off fall season

The semester is off to a busy start for the Center on Law and Security, with high-profile events and new works by CLS fellows.

The center began its fall event schedule on September 14 with an Open Forum, “The Threat Today: An Assessment.” Moderated by CLS Executive Director Karen Greenberg, the forum features Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst; Mitchell Silber, director of Intelligence Analysis at NYPD; and Juan Zarate, senior adviser, Transnational Threats Project and Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program, CSIS. [Watch video of the Open Forum.]

Four CLS fellows, Lawrence Wright, Carol Dysinger, Nir Rosen, and Brian Palmer, have recently produced works examining legal and security issues in the post 9/11 era. On September 7, HBO aired My Trip to Al Qaeda, a one-man play drawn from Wright’s best-selling book, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. In October, Wright himself will perform a piece about the crisis in Gaza, based on a November, 2009, article he wrote for The New Yorker. A film by Dysinger has begun airing on public television stations around the country, and will be screened by the CLS on October 6. The documentary is the first to examine the reality of building a functioning Afghan military—the initial critical step toward bringing stability and peace to Afghanistan. Also in October, Nation Books will publish Rosen's Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World. The book is already garnering a string of laudatory reviews. And on November 17, CLS will be showing a documentary by Palmer, Full Disclosure, which provides a soldier's-eye view of the war in Iraq. Palmer did three stints as an embedded reporter with U.S. Marines there.

The center has just released the 2010 edition of its Terrorist Trial Report Card, which has exhaustively tracked U.S. antiterrorism prosecutions since CLS's inception. In her introduction to the new edition, Greenberg noted that the past year "saw more significant terrorism plots alleged than in any one-year period since 9/11," and pointed out the increasing media and political scrutiny of "homegrown terrorism." Greenberg concluded: "How to understand and assess the current threat of terrorism in the United States remains a challenge."

CLS also recently welcomed two new research fellows: Thomas Hegghammer, a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, who specializes in the study of violent Islamism; and Alexandra Starr, a longtime journalist, who is currently researching family separations in the U.S. immigrant community.

Published September 14, 2010

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