For Immediate Release
February 17, 2006
Contact: Colleen Coffey
SHAPING A STRATEGY TO STOP TERRORISTS IN THEIR TRACKS
WASHINGTON -- In a new Migration Policy Institute report, a former senior counsel for the 9/11 Commission provides a blueprint for an integrated strategy to thwart terrorists by focusing on terrorist mobility.
In Countering Terrorist Mobility: Shaping an Operational Strategy, Susan Ginsburg notes that all but the most recent government counterterrorism strategies since 9/11 omit mobility as a distinct element of terrorism requiring its own operational strategy. Terrorists' need to travel can provide valuable leads about their networks and operations that the government can use to counter their ability to enter, live in, or move within the United States and like-minded countries.
"While public discourse tends to equate blocking terrorists' ability to travel with reforming the immigration system, terrorist mobility confronts us with a set of problems distinct from, although clearly linked to, controlling immigration," Ms. Ginburg said. "Terrorist mobility deserves comparable attention and resources to those devoted to terrorist finance and communications."
Ms. Ginsburg argues that a strategy to undermine and disrupt terrorist mobility must serve three purposes -- defensive, offensive, and deterrent -- and requires that eight arenas of action are effectively integrated and continually improved:
Ms. Ginsburg finds that while the United States must secure its own entry channels, it must also work with allies to ensure greater security within their borders as well as common global travel and trade pathways. Examples of programs and priorities focused specifically on terrorist mobility include:
Ms. Ginsburg finds that strengthening performance across the range of foreign and domestic efforts will require dismantling institutional barriers that have evolved between immigration and border security, intelligence, crime control, defense, and other government agencies. A successful terrorist mobility strategy will also require establishing new arrangements within and among these agencies to capitalize on existing expertise and best integrate various counterterrorism efforts.
MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner noted, "The National Counterterrorism Center submits a classified report to Congress today that, for the first time, addresses the issue of terrorist mobility. Susan Ginsburg's analysis sets the standard by which its strategy should be measured."
Countering Terrorist Mobility: Shaping an Operational Strategy is available online now at: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/MPI_TaskForce_Ginsburg.pdf
report was commissioned as part of MPI's Independent Task
Force on Immigration and America's Future, a bipartisan panel of
prominent leaders from key sectors concerned with immigration that
aims to generate sound information and workable policy ideas.
Former Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) and former Congressman Lee
Hamilton (D-IN) serve as co-chairs of the Independent Task Force.
panel's work is directed by MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, the
former commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization
Service. MPI's partner institutions in the project are Manhattan
Institute and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
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