Monday, August 22, 2011

The End of Al Qaeda’s WMD Threat

I continue to enjoy the responsible attitude and thought-provoking discussions at Homeland Security Watch...

From Alan Wolfe's post of 22 August 2011 titled The End of Al Qaeda’s WMD Threat

"Despite a decade of continued terrorist incidents against the West, resulting in tens of thousands of casualties every year, we have yet to see a mass casualty incident caused by a nuclear, biological, or chemical weapon."

He makes a solid case that is well worth reading if you worry about such things.

UPDATE: On a related axis Bruce Schneier (8/26/2011) steers his readers to an excellent anthology examining Islamic terrorism cases in the US since 9/11.

TED Talks for a Class I've Been Asked to Teach in October

I'm excited to be working on the curriculum for a class I haven't taught before...

When teaching the Principles of Security Management class (SM401) in the B.S. in Security Management program at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota I use several TED talks with good effect.

Loretta Napoleoni: The intricate economics of terrorism

Misha Glenny investigates global crime networks

Steven Levitt analyzes crack economics

Philip Zimbardo shows how people become monsters ... or heroes

Steven Pinker on the myth of violence

Winter semester I plan to add Bruce Schneier: The security mirage

In SM404 Security Techniques and Technology we will examine "current issues, trends, and technologies available to address security problems and issues. Topics include environmental design, executive protection, and technology advances for information and physical security, along with professional development practices."  New class calls for new tools so I'm having a relook at several TED talks I've enjoyed, including the following:

Ralph Langner: Cracking Stuxnet, a 21st-century cyber weapon

Rogier van der Heide: Why light needs darkness

John Kasaona: How poachers became caretakers

Alan Siegel: Let's simplify legal jargon

Gary Lauder's new traffic sign: Take Turns

Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds

Julian Treasure: The 4 ways sound affects us

David Kelley on human-centered design

TED has more than a thousand talks to choose from.  Try one for work, for school, or for fun.

Photo credit Sam Magraby at 

UPDATE: I was informed 18 October 2011 that the class will not be held this semester.  Rats...would have been fun.