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Counter-Terrorism Intelligence, Policy and Theory Since 9/11

Counter-Terrorism Intelligence, Policy and Theory Since 9/11


The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on American landmark sites reshaped contemporary counter-terrorism. Using civilian airplanes as weapons, nineteen trained terrorists destroyed symbols of American economic and military power and killed thousands of people, which provoked changes in counter-terrorism. The Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Counterterrorist Center (CTC) was considered to include personnel “who had ended up there after failing at more prestigious assignments,” but after the attack it was immediately expanded with hundreds of CIA officers moved from other duties and became the “CIA's beating heart.” New ideas and capabilities were introduced to previous counter-terrorism efforts, including President George W. Bush signing a “secret order” that authorized the CIA for the first time in decades to use assassinations, which is now a central part of the drone program. The effectiveness of these new approaches to counter-terrorism, including the use of drones to kill terrorists, policy changes, de-radicalization programs, and international cooperation have been intensely debated in the scholarly literature. Indeed, academics have questioned whether some of these changes have actually created more terrorists by causing the death and destruction of innocent people in foreign countries. Regardless of where one stands, the transformation of counter-terrorism efforts since 2001 is undeniable. This article reviews seven books about how counter-terrorism has evolved, looking at intelligence, training, government policy as well as new responses and strategies.

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Full Citation: 

Shaffer, Ryan. 2015. "Counter-Terrorism Intelligence, Policy and Theory Since 9/11." Terrorism and Political Violence 27 (March): 368-375. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09546553.2015.1006097

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