Friday, May 11, 2012

Terrorism Expert to Speak

Well-known counter terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross will be guest of the Maine Chapter of the Association for Intelligence Officers at the May 19 meeting. Author of the recently published “Bin Laden’s Legacy: Why We’re Still Losing the War on Terror,” Gartenstein-Ross is director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank. In line with his major areas of research into radicalization of homegrown terrorists and the Somali-based jihadi group al Shabaab, he will discuss strategic issues in the global struggle against a resiliant al Qaeda, with an extended discussion of Somalia and briefly touch on funding for terrorist groups.
Gartenstein-Ross is a frequent consultant on counter terrorism for various government agencies as well as private groups. He has testified before the U. S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and is a regular lecturer for the Naval Postgraduate School’s Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace.
Growing up in Ashland, Oregon, the son of non-practicing Jewish parents, Garstenstein-Ross converted to Islam in his early twenties after becoming impressed with the religious devotion of his Muslim friends. In 2000 he converted to Christianity after helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conducting their investigation of Al Haramain, a Wahhabi charity now considered a terrorist group.
The speaker holds a J.D. from the New York University School of Law, and is a Ph.D. candidate in world politics at the Catholic University of America where he received a M.A. in the same subject.
The meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Brick Store Museum Program Center, 2 Dane Street, Kennebunk. The meeting is open to the public. For information call 207-967-4298.