ARLINGTON, Virginia – Capturing new insight into how Al-Qaeda operates was the order of the day at the Office of Naval Research (ONR), as internationally recognized Al-Qaeda expert, Dr. Jarret Brachman spoke to ONR researchers on April 14, 2009.
Due to the continuing threats throughout the world, investing in science and technology (S&T) continues to be a priority for ONR, the Navy´s premier destination for ground-breaking S&T, which provides technological advantages for U.S. warfighters.
"Brachman´s presentation is part of ONR´s Distinguished Lecture Series that features world class scientists, engineers and policy experts in an effort to promote collaboration and highlight frontier science and thought", said Dr. Larry Schuette, ONR director for innovation. "Brachman was invited as a guest speaker for this series because of his expertise and due to the enormity of S&T challenges that must be overcome in dealing with irregular warfare."
In particular, because the ongoing global war on terrorism places an emphasis on U.S. force readiness to counter terrorist threats, Brachman´s lecture, entitled, "The Punditry of al-Qaeda," was yet another strategic and knowledge-enhancement tool aimed at ensuring that ONR continues to deliver relevant results designed to improve the warfighters´ ability to anticipate, counter and defeat adaptable adversaries.
Focusing on several of the leading al-Qaeda pundits, Brachman examined representative samples of their writing. He detailed how writings are distributed by the al-Qaeda online support network, noted that the writings resonate strongly with their audiences and opined on why the writings lack prominence in the United States. "Few Americans have ever heard of Al-Qaeda pundits like Abu Dujana al-Khorasani or Abd al-Rahman al-Faqir, for instance," said Brachman. "These figures are neither covered in the news nor are they regularly discussed by policymakers. In many ways, however, the writings by these al-Qaeda pundits are becoming the glue that holds al-Qaeda´s internet movement together."
Since ONR is a leader taking proactive steps to address S&T challenges that affect the Navy and Marine Corps´ technological warfighting dominance, these internet writings may need to be considered as part of the terrorist threat and an effort made to see how S&T can be used to deter their effectiveness.
ONR´s staff of highly talented military leadership, program management staff and cadre of scientists and researchers work on many projects that leverage S&T to enhance warfighter´s effectiveness against terrorists. ONR´s department, the Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare and Combating Terrorism S&T, specifically seeks solutions to problems brought on by terrorist threats.