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Terrorism: Threat Assessment, Countermeasures and Policy


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Colin L. Powell was nominated by President Bush on December 16, 2000 as Secretary of State. After being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he was sworn in as the 65th Secretary of State on January 20, 2001.

Prior to his appointment, Secretary Powell was the chairman of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of young people.

Secretary Powell was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held myriad command and staff positions and rose to the rank of 4-star General. His last assignment, from October 1, 1989 to September 30, 1993, was as the 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf war.

Following his retirement, Secretary Powell wrote his best-selling autobiography, My American Journey, which was published in 1995. Additionally, he pursued a career as a public speaker, addressing audiences across the country and abroad.

Secretary Powell was born in New York City on April 5, 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud Powell, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. Secretary Powell was educated in the New York City public schools, graduating from the City College of New York (CCNY), where he earned a bachelor's degree in geology. He also participated in ROTC at CCNY and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958. His further academic achievements include a Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington University.

Secretary Powell is the recipient of numerous U.S. and foreign military awards and decorations.

Secretary Powell's civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President's Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Several schools and other institutions have been named in his honor and he holds honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country.

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Francis X. Taylor was sworn in as the State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism with the rank of Ambassador at Large on July 13, 2001.

The State Department is the lead federal agency dealing with international terrorism, and Ambassador Taylor's office (S/CT) has primary responsibility for developing, coordinating, and implementing U.S. counterterrorism policy. On behalf of the Secretary, Ambassador Taylor represents the Department on the Counterterrorism Policy Coordinating Committee, and S/CT chairs the interagency working groups dealing with counterterrorism that develop and coordinate policy. His office plays a leading role on the Department of State's counterterrorism task forces organized to coordinate responses to international terrorist incidents. Ambassador Taylor's responsibilities include coordinating U.S. Government efforts to improve counterterrorism cooperation with foreign governments, including the policy and planning of the Department's Antiterrorism Training Assistance Program.

During his 31 years of military service, Ambassador Taylor served with distinction in numerous command and staff positions, rising to the rank of Brigadier General in September 1996. Prior to his State Department appointment, Ambassador Taylor headed the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, where he was responsible for providing commanders of all Air Force activities independent professional investigative services in fraud, counterintelligence, and major criminal matters.

From August 1995 to July 1996, Ambassador Taylor was Director of Special Investigations in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Inspector General. He served as Director of Mission Guidance in the Office of Special Investigations at Bolling Air Force Base from August 1994 to August 1995. From July 1990 to July 1994, he led two Air Force Offices of Special Investigations both at higher headquarters and overseas bases, and from July 1988 to July 1990, he was Deputy Commander of 487th Combat Support Group. He retired from active duty on July 1, 2001.

Ambassador Taylor has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. He received his commission in 1970 through the University of Notre Dame ROTC program, where he was honored as a distinguished graduate. He also has a Masters Degree in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

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Paul R. Pillar was appointed National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia in October 2000 upon returning to the Intelligence Community from the Brookings Institution, where he was a Federal Executive Fellow.

He joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1977 and has served in a variety of analytical and managerial positions, including as chief of analytic units covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. He previously served in the National Intelligence Center (NIC) as one of the original members of its Analytic Group.

He has been Executive Assistant to CIA's Deputy Director for Intelligence and Executive Assistant to DCI William Webster. He headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center and from 1997 to 1999 was deputy chief of the center.

Pillar is a retired officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and served on active duty in 1971-1973, including a tour of duty in Vietnam.

Pillar received an A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, a B.Phil. from Oxford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is the author of books on peace negotiations and counterterrorist policy. His most recent work, Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy, was published by the Brookings Institution Press in February 2001.

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Paul Rodgers is the assistant unit chief, Outreach and Field Support Unit, National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He joined NIPC in 2000, after working as a senior executive with the Critical Infrastructure Assurance Office (CIAO) from 1998-99. He was named commissioner to the President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCCIP) in 1997.

From 1965 to 1996, Rodgers had worked as executive director and general counsel to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), an organization of state and federal agencies engaged in the regulation of public utilities and carriers. And, from 1960-65, he was assistant attorney general of the State of Georgia. He holds bachelors and law degrees from Mercer University.

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Alan O. Bigler entered service with the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security as a Special Agent in 1976 with his first posting in Beijing. Subsequent assignments included security positions in New Delhi, Kabul, and Taipei. After completing Arabic language training, he was then posted to the American Embassy in Beirut in 1983.

In 1985, he was selected to form the Bureau's Mobile Security Division whose mission is to provide rapid security enhancements to Embassies under heightened threat conditions. In 1988, he was assigned as the Regional Security Officer in Tel Aviv until 1991. After completing German language school in 1992, he was then posted in Frankfurt for two years where upon return to the United States in 1994, he became chief of the Bureau's Personal Intelligence and Investigations division where he managed, among other duties, the Department of State's rewards program. In 1997, Bigler was selected to become the Regional Security Officer in Cairo where he assisted the Egyptian police and security forces in its fight against terrorism. In October of 2000, Bigler assumed his present position as Chief of the Bureau's Office of Antiterrorism Assistance.

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Bruce Hoffman is presently Vice President for External Affairs and Director of The RAND Corporation Washington, D.C. office. He was the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he was also Reader in International Relations and Chairman of the Department of International Relations.

Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, the leading scholarly journal in the field, and a member of the advisory boards of both Terrorism and Political Violence and Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs. He holds degrees in government, history, and international relations and received his doctorate from Oxford University. Dr. Hoffman's latest book, Inside Terrorism, is published by Columbia University Press in the United States and by Orion Books in Britain. Foreign language editions have been published in nine countries.

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Jason Pate is a Senior Research Associate and Manager of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Project at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

His primary interest is law enforcement/first responder response to and emergency planning for terrorist incidents, and his research focuses on understanding motivations and patterns of behavior associated with terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction and the militia and Christian Identity phenomenon in the United States.

He is co-author of "The Minnesota Patriots Council," in Jonathan B. Tucker, ed., Toxic Terror (MIT Press: 2000), a case study of a militia group that acquired a biological toxin for possible use against local law enforcement officials. He holds an A.B. in International Relations and National Security Studies from Stanford University and a Master of Public Management in International Security and Economic Policy from the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland.

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Peter Raven-Hansen is the Glen Earl Weston Research Professor of Law in the George Washington Law School. He received a B.A. and J.D. from Harvard University.

Before joining the Law School faculty in 1980, Professor Raven-Hansen was in private practice with the firm of Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C., and worked as a senior economic analyst with Abt Associates, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He now teaches civil procedure and a variety of public law courses, including administrative law, legislation, local government law, national security law, and the law of the presidency. Professor Raven-Hansen is co-author of Understanding Civil Procedure, First Use of Nuclear Weapons, National Security Law, and National Security Law and the Power of the Purse. He currently writes primarily in the field of national security law.

Back to top | Contents, U.S. Foreign Policy Agenda, November 2001