Radical Islam has declared itself at war with the West as well as with moderate Muslims. The enemy is well organized, well funded, and grounded in the authority of religious texts. The United States therefore has a particularly difficult battle to fight. It is engaged with an enemy who cares first and foremost about the ideological battle -- rebuilding a distinct Muslim identity, strengthening the ummah, and defeating the West, both materially and spiritually. Without directly confronting the ideology driving such groups as Al Qaeda, the United States will never be able to defeat the threat of terrorism. Drawing on the expertise of those who were directly involved in the fight against past totalitarian ideologies and of those who are intimately familiar with the ideology and strategy of the current enemy, this conference will draw lessons from the past for today's fight against Al Qaeda and associated movements.
Dr. Sebastian L. Gorka
Military Affairs Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Public Policy Institute
Senior Editor, Long War Journal
Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Dr. John Lenczowski
President, Institute of World Politics
Former Director of European and Soviet Affairs, National Security Council
Prof. John Moore
President Emeritus, Grove City College
Former Deputy Director, National Science Foundation
Robert R. Reilly
Author and Former Director, Voice of America
Former Senior Advisor for Information Strategy, Office of the Secretary of Defense
Senior Fellow, Jamestown Foundation
Founder and Former Editor of Jane's Terrorism Security Monitor
Dr. Sebastian L. v. Gorka is director of the National Security Fellows Program and Military Affairs Fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracy and a contributing Co-Editor of the 2001 book, Toward a Grand Strategy Against Terrorism.
He is the founding director of the Institute for Democracy and International Security and associate fellow of the Joint Special Operations University. An internationally recognized expert on matters of national security and democratic transition, he advises and briefs at the highest levels to NATO, SOUTHCOM and SOCOM.
Thomas is a Senior Fellow and Executive Director of the Center for Law and Counterterrorism at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is a terrorism analyst and writer living in New York. Most of Thomas's research and writing has focused on how al Qaeda and its affiliates operate around the world. He is a regular contributor to the Weekly Standard and its online publications, the Daily Standard and Worldwide Standard. He is the Senior Editor of The Long War Journal. His work has also been published by National Review Online, the New York Post, and a variety of other publications.
Thomas is the author of Iran's Proxy War Against America, a short book published by the Claremont Institute that details Iran's decades-long sponsorship of America's terrorist enemies. In 2010, he published What President Obama Doesn't Know About Guantanamo. He makes regular appearances on radio programs around the country and has appeared on MSNBC.
Thomas served as the senior terrorism adviser for Mayor Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign. In 2006 he was named one of the Claremont Institute's Lincoln Fellows. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago.
Dr. John Lenczowski is President of Institute of World Politics and Former Director of European and Soviet Affairs, National Security Council.
Prof. John Moore is President Emeritus, Grove City College and Former Deputy Director, National Science Foundation.
Robert R. Reilly
Robert R. Reilly is an author and Former Director of Voice of America and a Former Senior Advisor for Information Strategy, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Stephen Ulph is a Senior Fellow with The Jamestown Foundation. One of the preeminent analysts of the Islamic world, Mr. Ulph specializes in the economic and political developments of the Middle East and North Africa. He is the founder and former editor of the Terrorism Security Monitor and former editor and analyst of Islamic Affairs for Jane's Information Group.
Dr. Sebastian Gorka, assistant professor at the College of International Security Affairs, argues that the 1979 siege of Mecca and subsequent political events, led to the rise of al-Qaeda. Gorka argues that it wasn't the seizure of the mosque, but rather the Saudi government's response to the seizure, that led to Saudi Arabia becoming a hotbed of Islamic extremism.
Broad-based Islamic militant organization founded in Afghanistan by Osama bin Laden. Its members supported Muslim fighters during the Afghan war of 197989; afterward the organization dispersed but continued to oppose secularized Muslim regimes and foreign (notably U.S.) presence in Islamic lands. It staged numerous terrorist attacks, including the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, the destruction of two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, and a suicide bomb attack against the U.S. warship Cole in 2000. During that time it merged with other Islamic extremist organizations and eventually reestablished its headquarters in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, where it trained thousands of Muslim militants. In 2001, 19 such militants staged the September 11 attacks. The U.S. and allied forces responded by attacking Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan, killing and capturing thousands and driving the remainder into hiding.