Corri Zoli Co-Authors Safety Science Article on “Terrorist Critical Infrastructures”

INSCT Director of Research Corri Zoli has published “Terrorist Critical Infrastructures, Organizational Capacity, and Security Risk” in the engineering journal Safety Science. This interdisciplinary article is co-authored with Zoli’s Syracuse University colleagues Professor Laura J. Steinberg of the School of Engineering and Computer Science and Professor Margaret Hermann of the Maxwell School, along with Martha Grabowski, an engineering professor at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY.

This essay addresses gaps between studies of terrorism and infrastructure resilience to explore “terrorist critical infrastructures” (TCIs) as one critically missing framework to understand the rise of terrorist political violence globally. This approach to global terrorism maximizes core perspectives common in resilience and safety research and uses comparative analyses from terrorism studies, systems engineering, and infrastructure protection.

The authors develop a topology of terrorist infrastructures, introduce the concepts of “enabling” and “coopted” TCIs, and contrast characteristics of TCIs with those of conventional infrastructures. They argue that the organizational intelligence that comes from aligning strategic goals with infrastructural capacity is critical to explaining the prevalence, durability, and resilience of many terrorist organizations (as well as their increasing use of violence).

“We can understand these emerging organizational forms by their design and development, often flat, mobile, and flexible ‘networks of networks’ themselves,” the authors explain.

Article Highlights
  • Analysis used a systems-based interdisciplinary approach to terrorism.
  • Informal, illicit non-state groups, such as terrorist organizations, build and design critical infrastructures to effect terrorist aims and goals, including targeting soft targets.
  • The types of TCIs can be categorized according to terrorist organizations’ strategic targeting priorities; interface with existing context-specific civilian infrastructure systems; and their need to design, build, and engineer new infrastructure systems particular to illicit organizations.
  • Such TCIs involve formal and informal, legitimate and illegitimate, and physical and virtual systems.
  • TCIs often interface with criminal networks and low-governance.
  • Results show the need for more research and a targeted, infrastructure based approaches to combating terrorism.\
  • Practical implications for governments and security sectors are discussed.

 

David M. Crane Testifies About Postconflict Justice Options for Sri Lanka

INSCT Faculty Member David M. Crane testified in front of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on June 19, 2018. The hearing, chaired by Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), investigated postconflict justice options and human rights issues related to the long Sri Lankan Civil War, which lasted from 1983 to 2009.

Joining Crane as witnesses were J.S. Tissainayagam, journalist and human rights advocate;
Michael Jerryson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Youngstown State University; and John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch.

In his statement, Crane told the committee that, “I approach this issue as a neutral, someone who stands for the rule of law, particularly on the battlefield and for the protection of noncombatants. We live in an age of extremes. Dirty little wars arise across the globe. Parties to the conflict pay little heed to the laws of armed conflict. Many of these largely non-international armed conflicts see civilian casualties mount, most of
them women and children. The conflict in Sri Lanka was one such dirty little war, which saw the death and destruction of tens of thousands of human beings on both sides.”

Crane was a member of a panel of experts advising the Commission of Missing Persons set up by the Sri Lankan government in 2014. “I spent days walking the battlefields of the conflict in Sri Lanka, particularly of the final campaign in the Winter of 2009.”

Crane enumerated several humanitarian and war crimes issues that arose from the conflict and that have yet to be properly reconciled. These include violations of international humanitarian law committed by all sides, the intentional targeting of civilians in a campaign of terror to seek a military and political conclusion, and a brutal final campaign in the winter of 2009 that was exacerbated by an increasingly desperate Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam army (the LTTE, or “Tamil Tigers”).

Noted Chairman Smith, “Although the civil war ended almost 10 years ago, important work remains to make sure basic human rights are being respected in Sri Lanka. The resurgence of Buddhist Sinhalese nationalism poses a particular challenge to ethnic reconciliation. It is imperative for Congress to exercise leadership on this issue and ensure that a country as strategically located as Sri Lanka doesn’t collapse again.”

 

Corri Zoli Discusses North Korea Summit with WSYR

Speaking to WSYR’s Dave Allen on June 12, 2018, Director of Research Corri Zoli analyzes the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un and the fate of the verbal de-nuclearization agreement between the two leaders. While cautioning some skepticism, Zoli says Kim’s action’s before and after the summit offer some amount of hope that a lasting nuclear and peace deal can be reached and that the Western-educated dictator might be a “change agent” for the hermit nation.

David M. Crane to Discuss Yemen Crisis at Stimson Center Discussion

The conflict in Yemen is currently one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, yet is often forgotten by the international community. It is reported that close to 6,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict and almost 9,000 wounded as a result of indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes, artillery fire, and rocket launches. Many civilians languish and are tortured in secret prisons. The suffering of ordinary citizens is exacerbated by blockades of humanitarian aid and food.

On June 26, 2018, INSCT Faculty Member David M. Crane will join other distinguished speakers at a Stimson Center event to explore how war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the most egregious human rights violations can be addressed via international law to promote accountability, uphold fundamental humanitarian standards, and obtain reparations for the countless victims of the Yemen crisis.

Crane will lead the discussion with former Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Stephen Rapp. Discussants will be Amanda Catanzano, Senior Director for International Program, Policy, and Advocacy, International Rescue Committee; Waleed Al Hariri, Director of US Office, Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies; Raed Jarrar, Advocacy Director, Middle East and North Africa, Amnesty International; Kate Kizer, Policy Director, Win Without War; Don Picard, Chief Legal Advisor, Yemen Peace Project; and Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch.

Learn more about the event.

 

INSCT Hosts State Board of Elections Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise

On June 7, 2018, the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT) hosted one of a series of statewide exercises that focus on cybersecurity preparedness and response to threats to New York State election systems. These first-of-their-kind tabletop exercises are sponsored by NYS Board of Elections (BOE) and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the NY Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, NY State Police, and the NYS Intelligence Center.

Taking place in the College of Law, the Onondaga County tabletop exercise–like the other five regional exercises–was designed to identify areas for improvement in cyber incident planning, preparedness, and response through realistic scenarios that simulate the undermining of voter confidence, voting operations interference, and attacks on the integrity of elections.

State and local officials, led by the BOE and DHS Cyber Incident Response Team, will utilize information gleaned from these tabletop exercises with state, local, and federal stakeholders to identify risks and develop necessary steps to safeguard the election process.

Contoured for each region, the scenarios are based on a combination of real world events and potential risks facing election infrastructure. These threats include possible social media manipulation, disruption of voter registration information systems and processes, attacks on voting machines, and the exploitation of board of elections business networks.

The tabletop exercises are part of a BOE cybersecurity plan that was approved on May 3, 2018, to further strengthen cyber protections for New York’s elections infrastructure through the Secure Elections Center.

NYSBOE_Tabletop_Exercise

Corri Zoli Speaks to CNYCentral About Planning the North Korea Summit

WSTM News Channel 5 | May 24, 2018

Transcript:

HOST: Let’s bring in some new perspective on this international news. Corri Zoli is an assistant professor at the Maxwell school at Syracuse University and a familiar face here on CBS 5.

Thanks for coming in. This is sort of an unconventional from the start, the way this plan for the summit was announced. Maybe it won’t happen, maybe it will. We’re hopeful it’ll happen, and then finally today … what do you make of today’s announcement.

ZOLI: I think that this is a great example of how negotiations are a language of power, so we’re seeing stuff on the surface … somehow this president of all people is impacted by insults … so what we think we’re seeing on the surface is not reflective of what’s actually going on here in terms of the power dynamics …

Corri Zoli Collaborates on IVMF’s “Women in the Military: From Service to Civilian Life” Infographic

Women_in_the_MilitaryThe Institute for Veterans and Military Families’ (IVMF) “Women in the Military: From Service to Civilian Life” infographic provides key highlights on women in service along with invaluable data on women veterans. 

The information and statistics in the document are taken from various data collection efforts by the IVMF centered on military life, transition, employment, entrepreneurship, and higher education. This data collection includes “Missing Perspectives,” an ambitious research program, supported by a Google Global Impact Award, aimed at cultivating a deeper understanding of the social, economic, and wellness concerns of post-9/11 transitioning service members and veterans, and particularly the role of higher education in the transition experience. INSCT Director of Research Corri Zoli collaborated with IVMF and other researchers on both the “Missing Perspectives” and “Women in the Military” efforts.  

On April 26, 2018, the “Women in the Military” infographic and research was the topic of conversation for the Transition Researcher’s Forum, a group of military servicemembers, veterans, medical professionals, researchers, and others convened monthly by the US Department of Defense’s Transition to Veterans Program Office. Zoli and IVMF’s Rosalinda Maury presented the research during this teleconference.

“Women in the Military” Data highlights include:

  • Population
    • There are over 2 million female veterans.
    • Female post-9/11 veterans are one of the fastest growing population.
    • They represent 17% of the post-9/11 veterans’ population.
  • Military Service
    • Top motivations for women entering the military include educational benefits; opportunity to pursue new experiences, adventures, or travel; desire to serve country; a sense of purpose; and career opportunities.
  • Most Significant Transition Challenges:
    • Navigating VA programs, benefits, and services
    • Finding a job
    • Financial struggles
    • Depression
  • Employment
    • Female veterans earn less than male veterans.

Download Women in the Military: From Service to Civilian Life infographic

Download Accessible Version

William C. Banks Speaks to Bloomberg Law on the One Year Anniversary of Mueller’s Appointment

Senate Releases New Document Trove in Russia Probe

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses the release of 2,500 documents related to the chamber’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s “Politics, Policy, Power and Law.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2018-05-17/senate-releases-new-document-trove-in-russia-probe-audio