HSM: Comparing Homeland Security Research Products Essay Examples
The impact of terrorist activities on 9/11 created a significant shift in the perception and relative safety of life in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security as well as relevant research and development of resources is beneficial to the cumulative safety of our society as a nation. In this research study, two specific homeland reports will be evaluated with relevance to their effectiveness. The report published by the New York Police department entitled “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat” evaluates specific homegrown terrorist incidences within the US. Meanwhile, “Right-wing extremism: Current economic and political climate fueling resurgence in radicalization and recruitment” addresses right wing extremist groups. Both of these articles provide a consistent yet unique perspective on matters of homeland security.
In this essay several questions will be addressed regarding the reports and the information contained within them. Certain relevant literature will be included to support the theories explained in this analysis. Further, the research methods as well as data collected for each report will be put into the greater context of such classified information. Analysis regarding the extremists in question as well as the research questions being asked in the investigation will be demonstrated. After exploring the efficacy of each a postulation regarding the best methodologies as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each will be brought to light.
One article was published by the city of New York in 2007. The report illustrates cases of recent threat. These included attacks on Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Australia and London. The purpose was to illustrate Islamic-based threats of terrorism in New York City since the 9/11 attacks. The purpose was to understand how individuals radicalize and the way that plots emerge. It attempts to elucidate the origin of attacks and create a framework to address future potential threats. The article goes through the commonly held practices in a radicalization process such as self-identification, indoctrination and jihandization. These are described in the context of their practice and the scope of the individual transformation that leads to extremist activity (Silber and Bhatt, 2007).
Published on April 9th 2009, the right wing extremism article encompasses activities from the office of intelligence and analysis. Their work in coordination with the FBI includes a variety of assessments that allow understanding of radicalization. In order to benefit the formation of public opinion, these results influence the way that transparent federal efforts are interpreted. The goals are to deter and prevent future terrorism while understanding and reacting to the current terrorist threats with tact and timeliness. Key findings utilized a variety of reports that included environmental, and societal conditions that may contribute to radicalization (DHS 2009).
There are several findings that are pertinent in the NYPD Radicalization report. These can be seen in the executive summary. The report asks the question how ideologies, processes and the various phases of radicalization can promote certain mindsets and activities for individuals and communities. The research question is to examine trajectories and relevant paths of raicalization as they have already been performed in major cities. In support of this research, literature regarding terrorism cases in Lackawana, New York as well as several instances within NYC and Northern Virginia are included. Support of the jihadization or other relevant ideologies are found through profiles of terrorists as well as documents published regarding the Muslim face and rise of radicalism within their culture. Most of the methods were qualitative in their analysis of pre-existing events and conditions. There were few quantitative support pieces used in this argument outside of the radicalization timeline. The major contributions to this were descriptive evidence of the terrorist attacks and planning. These were forms of existing data. Overall the report conclusions and analysis were supported by the research. However, this was done only in relative context as there was hardly any new information provided regarding these acts or the organization behind their execution. The inclusion of profiles of important suspects and previous terrorists provides useful qualitative information and subtly directs the reader’s attention to the points presented in this report (Silber and Bhatt, 2007).
Meanwhile, the DHS Right-wing Extremism Report asks a different research question. Information gathered regarding intelligence assessments aims to create a transparent invesigation of violent radical activity. The research is geared towards responding to terrorist attacks and understanding their origin. In support of this information, literature regarding historical threats within the United States and the profiles of members of each notable group was used within the report. The research methods indicate that there was new quantitative and qualitative data collected regarding the presence of terrorist activity. Further, the report provides qualitative examples of situations in United States history as well as present day socioeconomic conditions that resemble those that may have contributed to dispute in the past. The research is collected through organized efforts of the DHS and is presented in the context of each cultural and radical threat chronologically. The report used existing information about previous attacks as well as the input of new intelligence reports and surveys. The report’s conclusion does reflect impressions created throughout the report. However, it does not attribute the information directly nor provide references to the specific analyses of terrorism (DHS 2009).
The report that provided the best analysis was produced by the NYPD. This is because it reflected best practices of cross-referenced sources and ideas pertinent to the development of homeland security and understanding the real basis of threats (Lundberg, 2013). Since this report was produced with respect to existing information about terrorism and the profiles of previously identified radicals it allowed for a clear view on the subject without creating too much thematic or broad conclusions. This is a more reliable methodology to gather data than the other report as it provides consistent and supportive examples. There were several weaknesses that these reports exhibited in their methods. While the NYPD’s publication allowed for specific context within a broad topic, it failed to provide significantly new information within the report that could benefit the furthering of terrorist profiles or pre-emptive strategies. Meanwhile, the DHS report allowed for significant new data but did not address the subtle more specific nature of the problems identified within radicalization. In other words, the NYPD failed to provide quantitative or relevant new information while the DHS report failed to create a broad scope to explicate their unique contribution. Some research methods that may make these reports more effective include improvement to the quality of surveys used and the scope of distribution. It would be beneficial to have the perspective of individuals within each community as a baseline for the impression that radicalization has on the public.
While there is useful information provided in both articles there are significant holes that limit the ability for their findings to be applied universally. I agree with the theories utilized in explaining the process of radicalization. It allows for an understanding of the basis for violent action and organized criminal activity within the United States (Reese, 2012). There can be further clarity provided with more recent examples or information regarding the public opinion on these topics. However, the support of this information is necessary to create the most meaningful conclusions amongst future homeland security research efforts.
DHS (2009). “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division. Retrieved 26 January 2015 https://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf
Lundberg, R. (2013). Comparing Homeland Security Risks Using a Deliberative Risk Ranking Methodology.
Silber and Bhatt (2007). “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat” NYPD Intelligence Division. Retrieved 26 January 2015, from http://www.nypdshield.org/public/SiteFiles/documents/NYPD_Report-Radicalization_in_the_West.pdf
Reese, S. (2012). Defining Homeland Security: Analysis and Congressional Considerations. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress.
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