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As we have unfortunately witnessed first-hand, terrorism has gone from a persistent yet marginal security concern to one of the most important security problems of our day: indeed, there are few countries that do not suffer from some form of terrorism. Though many terrorist attempts fail, some groups wage lengthy and bloody campaigns and, in some cases, kill hundreds or even thousands in pursuit of their ends.

This October, I invite you to join me, thought-leaders from the Georgetown Faculty and students around the world to explore the timely, complex, and important questions about terrorism and counterterrorism.

Terrorism and Counterterrorism, one of the nine featured GeorgetownX MOOCs on edX, brings together leading faculty and staff from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service’s Security Studies Program, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown Law Center, Georgetown’s Department of Psychology, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, and Lauinger Library, as well as individuals with prominent careers in federal agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency.

This course will include topics such as terrorist use of technology, the nature of Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and other important groups, the effectiveness of different counterterrorism tools like detention and military force, terrorist recruiting, the rule of law, the political context in South Asia and the Middle East, and linkages (or the lack thereof) between terrorism and world religions like Islam.

As long as there has been terrorism, there have been people trying to stop it. We will also examine intelligence services and how they try to determine who is a terrorist and what they do with the information; how military forces has been used to fight terrorism and how it has been effective and its problems. We will also look at how law and even society has been impacted and changed in response to terrorism.

Furthermore, the MOOC will help inform students’ thinking about current events. We will be regularly interviewing experts in the field, use our discussion board to prompt student engagement and discussion, and post and share relevant stories about current events.

We look forward to welcoming you to GeorgetownX Terrorism and Counterterrorism. Sign up today and join our global community of learners as we take a balanced and nuanced look at terrorism and how to fight it.

Guest Post: Professor Daniel Byman

Photo of Daniel Byman
Professor Byman is a Senior Fellow and Director of Research at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Byman served as a Professional Staff Member with the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States (the “9/11 Commission”) and the Joint 9/11 Inquiry Staff of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. He also worked as the Research Director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy at the RAND Corporation and as a Middle East analyst for the U.S. intelligence community. Dr. Byman received his B.A. in religion from Amherst College and his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Follow him @dbyman.