"Global Terrorism" course to host two special guest speakers

Feb. 27, 2013

Professor Jytte Klausen's POL 160, The War on Global Terrorism, will host two special guest speakers this Spring. Both events are open to the campus and will take place from 2:00-3:20pm in Mandel Center for the Humanities, Room G03.

March 12

Guermantes Lailari, Lt. Colonel, USAF (ret.) will speak to the class about counter-terrorism and technology with special focus on hijackings and the use of an airplane as a weapon.

GUERMANTAS LAILARI is a Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) defense contractor specializing in the provision of support for Research & Development in irregular warfare. He is a former US Air Force officer working in counterterrorism and irregular warfare. He has lived and served for nine years in the Middle East and North Africa, and for another six years in Europe. He directed training and courses at the US Air Force Special Operations School and served as a US Air Force Attaché in the Middle East. Lailari holds advanced degrees in International Relations and Strategic Intelligence, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in public policy at George Mason University. He was written on the modeling of terrorism and counter-terrorism and on the Israeli-Hezbollah War and is contributing author of chapters to Influence Warfare: How Terrorists and Governments Fight to Shape Perceptions in a War of Ideas, edited by James J. F. Forest (Praeger 2009) and Hybrid Warfare and Transnational Threats, edited by William Natter et al. (CENSA 2011).

April 9

Nasser Weddady, Civil Rights Outreach Director, The American Islamic Congress will speak on American Muslims and civil liberties after 9/11.

NASSER WEDDADY is a native of Mauritania and grew up in Libya and Syria, traveling extensively through the Middle East, before coming to the U.S. seeking asylum in 2000. A few days after the September 11 attacks, the FBI falsely detained Nasser because of his ethnic appearance. Nasser’s engagements with AIC reflect his background in anti-slavery activism in his homeland. Nasser has organized conferences for young activists across the Middle East that offer budding activists the leadership skills to pursue their own human and civil rights campaigns. Most recently, he spearheaded a series of workshops to launch AIC’s Tunisia Bureau. As one of the few activists working not only in the MENA region, but in the U.S. as well, Nasser has developed a unique perspective on the global struggle for human and civil rights. He has been published in the International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Baltimore Sun; appeared on Fox’s Hannity & Colmes, BBC World Service, Al Jazeera, and Radio Liberty; and testified to Congress’ Human Rights Caucus. Fluent in five languages, Nasser has lectured at the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and diverse interfaith settings. Nasser currently is the chair of AIC’s New England Council. On February 16 The New York Times published Weddady’s Op-Ed on “How Europe Bankrolls Terror” linking ransom payments by European governments to Islamist militants to the ongoing destabilization of the Sahel.

About the course:

Terrorism is defined as violent acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public (1994 UN General Assembly Resolution 49/60). Islamist extremism has emerged over the past decades as the deadliest of all modern terrorist movements. Al Qaeda’s attacks against US targets on September 11, 2001, marked a turning point in American history. Nearly 3,000 people died that day. The fight against Al Qaeda motivated two wars: the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in cooperation with NATO allies and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since then, 7,000 US and NATO soldiers and an unknown number of civilians have died as casualties of war against Al Qaeda and allies. “Homegrown” terrorism linked to Al Qaeda continues to present a threat here at home and in Europe, and has stirred a backlash against Muslims.