Angel Rabasa and William Rosenau talked about al-Qaeda's evolution and the emergence of groups affiliated, associated, or inspired by al-Qaeda. They are contributors to the two-volume RAND Corporation study Beyond al-Qaeda: Ideology, the Terrorist Universe, and Fighting Back which examines how the evolution of the U.S. response to terrorism since September 11, 2001, has been countered by the evolution of terrorist enterprises.
They discuss global jihadist movements, policy recommendations to counter al-Qaeda's ideology, links between global and local jihadist organizations, and ways to strengthen the capabilities of front-line states and moderate civil society groups. After their presentation they respond to audience members' questions. This program at the International Spy Museum was co-sponsored by the RAND Corporation.
Peter Earnest is the founding executive director of the International Spy Museum and a 35-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency. He served 25 years as a case officer in its Clandestine Service, primarily in Europe and the Middle East. He ran intelligence collection and covert action operations against a range of targets including Soviet Bloc representatives and Communist front organizations. At CIA headquarters, Earnest ran counterintelligence and double agent operations, working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and military intelligence. He was chief of the task force in charge of the highest-ranking Soviet defector to the U.S.
Assigned to the Office of the Director of Central Intelligence, Earnest served as an inspector with the inspector general, liaison with the U.S. Senate and director of media relations and spokesman. A member of the Senior Intelligence Service, he received the CIA's Medal of Merit and Career Intelligence Medal. He is the former president and chairman of the Board of the Association for Intelligence Officers and still serves on its board of directors.
Earnest was the primary researcher for a book on the CIA's top secret agent in Poland, A Secret Life, by New York Times reporter Ben Weiser. As International Spy Museum director, he has played a leading role in its extraordinary success as a Washington attraction. He edits the museum's book ventures and has frequently been interviewed by the major media in radio, television and the press on current intelligence issues.
If you don't think that the 19th and early 20th century anarchists were "into bombs," etc., you really need to go back and take another look at the works of Mikhail Bakunin, Sergei Necheyev, ("propaganda by deed"), Johann Most (theory of "Attentat", and "Philosophy of the Bomb",Luigi Galleani, just to name a very few. If your point is that this strain of theory and praxis is not representative of ALL anarchists, you are technically correct -- but only 'technically'. Yes, there have always been some dissenting (usually pacifist) voices in the anarchist ranks, but militant anarchism has almost always inevitably descended (or 'ascended' -- depending upon you point of view...) into violent 'direct action' against 'the established order'.
The reason that the 19th century and early-20th century anarchists are of interest today, stems from the present re-emergence of so-called "leaderless resistance", or more specifically, "leaderless jihad", which sees spontaneous, sporadic, and individual terrorist attacks as being functional in creating fear and insecurity in society, quite apart from building any kind of mass revolutionary or insurrectionist movement. Jihadist violence directed against and within the West, is increasingly "Al Qa'ida-inspired", rather than "Al-Qa'ida-directed", and is perpetrated by small, disconnected, primary peer groups (what Marc Sageman refers to as "bunches of guys").
RAND is among those who are doing a great job of describing this newly-emergent kind of 21st century terrorism. In fact, they are, by-and-large, actively promoting a humanistic, and highly-political "hearts-and-minds" theory of warfare, which takes cognizance of the underlying sources of perceived deprivation, powerlessness, frustration, and the sense of humiliation that produces terrorism and terrorists. They are to be lauded and thanked.
The content that is there is eh *sigh* ok, but I note: no mention of Mujahideen, CIA or Russians. Which is typical of RAND as they are the 'best and the brightest' that got us into things like Vietnam with ulterior motive. I was also a bit disappointed, but not surprised at their characterization of anarchists as being into bombs, revealing their complete lack of knowledge of anything real anarchist philosophy states. It was a propaganda effort, and a framing such as the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago which painted anarchists as interested in bombthrowing. It is commonly known historically that it was an agent provocateur at the Haymarket operating to create the chaos that ensued.... not unlike when police agents dress as black bloc in ski masks at things like the WTO protests and start tearing things up to discredit the protesters.