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Intelligence, Biosecurity, and Bioterrorism

Intelhub Speaker Series: Dr. Patrick Walsh, Associate Professor, at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University, Australia.
Attend Webinar 4PM EST November 29, 2018. 4PM EST

Since 9/11, there has been an explosion in the biological sciences and biotechnology. Biotechnology can make better health, food and pharmaceutical products for the planet, but in some cases this technology also has a dual use function. This means it can also be exploited criminally and by terrorists. This presentation summarises some of the key points that arose from my recent book: Intelligence, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism. The book is written for intelligence analysts, who don’t have a background in the biological sciences, but who want to understand emerging bio-threats and risks and how our intelligence communities can better meet the challenges they pose. Why our ICs have long dealt with bio-threats and risks (think WMD Iraq), their track record has not been good. I will argue in this presentation that all ICs need to do better organizationally to manage potential emerging bio-threats and risks. The presentation suggest some ways improvements can be made.

Dr. Patrick Walsh

Dr. Patrick F. Walsh is a former intelligence analyst and now an Associate Professor (Intelligence and Security Studies) at the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University, Australia. Prof Walsh is also an Honorary Visiting Fellow at the Department of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester. He is a senior researcher, who has published over 30 publications on intelligence reform issues. His first book, Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2011), examined a range of intelligence reform issues post 9/11 across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He is currently a chief investigator on two major grants examining security intelligence collection post Snowden and another examining emerging cyber threats. His most recent book (the subject of this webinar) Intelligence, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism (Palgrave Macmillan UK) was released in September 2018.

Event Archives

Principled Spying: The Ethics of Secret Intelligence

Intelhub Speaker Series: Dr. Mark Phythian, School of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester, UK
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The issue of the relationship between ethics and intelligence is a complex one. The question of how far a state should authorise its agents to go in seeking and using secret intelligence is one of the big unresolved issues of public policy for democracies today. The tension between security and privacy sits at the heart of broader debates concerning the relationship between the citizen and the state. The public needs - and wants - protection from the very serious threats posed by domestic and international terrorism, from serious criminality, to be safe in using cyberspace, and to have active foreign and aid policies to help resolve outstanding international problems. Secret intelligence is widely accepted to be essential to these tasks, and to be a legitimate function of the nation state, yet the historical record is that it also can pose significant ethical risks. This presentation, based on the arguments developed in the book Principled Spying: The Ethics of Secret Intelligence by David Omand & Mark Phythian (Georgetown University Press/Oxford University Press, 2018), analyses the roots of the ethics-intelligence tension and suggests approaches to thinking about the ethics of intelligence.

Dr. Mark Phythian

Professor of Politics in the School of History, Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester. He has published widely on intelligence and security issues and is the author or editor of several books, including Intelligence in an Insecure World with Peter Gill (2nd ed. Polity Press, 2012) and Understanding the Intelligence Cycle (Routledge, 2013). He is the co-editor of the journal Intelligence and National Security and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. His book with Sir David Omand, Principled Spying: The Ethics of Secret Intelligence, will be published by Oxford University Press and Georgetown University Press in 2018, when a 3rd edition of Intelligence in an Insecure World will be published by Polity Press. Presented October 22, 2018.


Understanding Threats, Adversaries, and Competitors Through Threat Profiling

IntelHub Speaker Series: Erik Kleinsmith
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Analyzing our threats, adversaries and competitors requires the establishment of a common framework of understanding called threat profiling. While threat profiling can assist in prioritizing the collection of threat information and help to organize analysis of the group, it can also help to establish a common framework of understanding about each threat amongst groups of analysts for effective cooperation and collaboration.

Erik Kleinsmith

Mr. Kleinsmith is the Associate Vice President for Strategic Relations in Intelligence, National, Homeland and Cyber Security for American Military University (AMU). He has extensive experience in the intelligence and security related training and analysis along with experience in counterintelligence, information operations, and asymmetric threats and tactical military operations. Spending over a decade as an Armor and Military Intelligence Officer in the US Army, Mr. Kleinsmith has been at the front of the intelligence community, in both the conduct of intelligence operations as well as in the future development of intelligence operations and analysis. Culminating his military career as the Chief of Intelligence for the US Army’s Land Information Warfare Activity, Mr. Kleinsmith pioneered the development of asymmetric threat analysis using the cutting edge data mining technology of the Intelligence and Security Command’s (INSCOM) Information Dominance Center (IDC). In this capacity, Mr. Kleinsmith gained US national notoriety related to his involvement in the Able Danger program as the military lead of a team of analysts profiling and mapping Al Qaeda prior to 9/11. In the commercial environment as defense contractor, Mr. Kleinsmith created a series of intelligence training courses and programs for the US Army and other Intel Community members growing his portfolio to over 150 instructors.

Throughout his career, Mr. Kleinsmith has made several public presentations and interviews. He has testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee and the US House Armed Services Committee. He has also appeared on several news shows including Fox News, CNN Radio, NPR, WTOP Federal News Radio and Veterans Radio. He has been a speaker for over a dozen conference and symposiums in the US as well as in several international forums. He has been featured in a December 2005 article in the National Journal entitled “Intelligence Designs” and is one of the main subjects of the 2010 book, “The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State” by Shane Harris. Most recently, he has been a member of a private investigative team in the ongoing case of identifying the true identity of the notorious criminal known as DB Cooper. As an executive with AMU, Mr. Kleinsmith is also the author of several intelligence and security related articles for and including “Sisters of Battle: Analyzing Female Terrorists” and “Terrorist Brothers: A Common Bond in Extremist Circles”. Erik is the author of the book Intelligence Operations: Data, Tools, People, Processes to be published later this year.  Presented September 27, 2018.

Open Source Intelligence

IntelHub Speaker Series:Arno H.P. Reuser
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Arno H.P. Reuser is the founder and owner on Reuser’s Information Services (RIS).  He is the principle instructor for Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), cybercrime, information warfare, and investigative internet search strategies at RIS. From 1995 to 2010 he designed, developed, and managed the Open Source Intelligence bureau for the Dutch Defense Intelligence and Security Service.  He now trains policy officers, researchers, academia, law enforcement and analysts from both the public and private sector in how to use OSINT, how to search the internet and social media, and digital tool use. Presented May 21, 2018.

Rethinking Intelligence

IntelHub Speaker Series: Randolph H. Pherson
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Randolph H. Pherson

Randolph H. Pherson is CEO, Globalytica, LLC; President, Pherson Associates, LLC; and a Founding Director of the non-profit Forum Foundation for Analytic Excellence. He teaches advanced analytic techniques and critical thinking skills to government and private sector analysts in the United States and abroad. Mr. Pherson has authored or co-authored eleven books, including Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis, 2nd ed. (2015), Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence, 2nd ed. (2017); Analyst’s Briefing Guide (2018), Analyst’s Guide to Indicators (2018). He recently edited and published Richards J. Heuer, Jr.’s memoir, Rethinking Intelligence. Mr. Pherson holds the patent on a suite of collaborative analytic tools, TH!NK Suite®. He was a career CIA intelligence analyst and manager, last serving as National Intelligence Officer for Latin America. Mr. Pherson is the recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal for his service as NIO and the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. He received his AB from Dartmouth College and MA in International Relations from Yale University.  Presented April 25, 2018.


Ethical Espionage: Beyond Professional Oversight

IntelHub Speaker Series:  Dr. Jan Goldman
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It may seem odd or strange to bring up the subject of ethics or morality in a field so apparently immoral as intelligence work, but there are many, important ethical questions to ask.  Perhaps at the most basic level, it is appropriate to ask, "Who decides what's necessary for the public good, and is it true that any service is permissible for the public good?"  Some people may answer this all depends on policy formulation and implementation, but it's hard to deny that some discretion exists at least in the field.  It's also hard to deny that espionage, a core component of intelligence, is perhaps the "dirtiest" component, and perhaps because of the company one has to keep. The basic task of getting somebody to become a traitor to their nation is a questionable if not "dirty" business.  After all, what does the virtue of "loyalty" mean in a world so heavily dependent on spies, double agents, traitors, tricks, traps, deception, invasion of privacy, and denial of the right to self-determination.  It's almost as if the whole field is based on the most devious and underhanded tactics imaginable.  Why then, the importance of ethics?  What kind of ethics?  The public, policymakers and even those in the intelligence community consider “ethics” a “dirty word” when it is applied to intelligence. However, ethics and intelligence is not an oxymoron, and it should be seen not as a sign of weakness, a flaw or a limitation but rather an attribute that should be embraced.  Presented March 21, 2018.

Dr. Jan Goldman

Dr. Jan Goldman has over 30 years of experience as both a practitioner and educator in the intelligence community.  He is the founding editor of the Security Professional Intelligence Education Series (SPIES) at Rowman and Littlefield Publishing and the founding editor of the International Journal of Intelligence Ethics; and board member of several international journals.  His recent publications include Intelligence and Information Policy for National Security: Key Concepts and Terms (2016); The Central Intelligence Agency: An Encyclopedia of Covert Operations, Intelligence Gathering, and Spies (2016); War on Terror Encyclopedia: From the Rise of Al Qaeda to 9/11 and Beyond, (2015).  Dr. Goldman is an internationally recognized expert on ethics and intelligence and the organizer of eight international conferences on ethics and intelligence.

Discussion on the Global Security and Intelligence Studies Journal

IntelHub Speaker Series: Dr. Melissa Schnyder and Dr. Matthew Crosston
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Dr. Melissa Schnyder and Dr. Matthew Crosston will discuss the Global Security and Intelligence Studies journal -- a peer-reviewed, open access publication published by the Policy Studies Organization on behalf of American Public University System. Topics to be covered include an overview of the journal’s aims and scope, the types of peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed submissions accepted, examples of submissions, and guidelines for contributors.  Presented February 27, 2018.

Dr. Melissa Schnyder

Dr. Melissa Schnyder is Associate Professor of International Relations and Global Security in the School of Security and Global Studies at American Public University System. Her research focuses on European Union politics, the politics of immigration and asylum, and the political participation of non-state actors in national and supranational policymaking processes.

Dr. Matthew Crosston

Dr. Matthew Crosston is Senior Faculty for the Doctoral Programs in Global Security and Strategic Intelligence at the American Military University. He has published top-tier research that has impacted real world decision-making in the US and beyond. His established work in cyber has made required reading lists at US CYBERCOM and Israel’s Mossad; the piece ‘Soft Spying’ is required reading at the US Army War College; and ‘Nemesis’ is highlighted on the journal of record for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has published over 100 analytical editorials and commissioned opinion pieces that represent the full spectrum of global security and they have been translated into Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Hebrew, Spanish, Turkish, Farsi, Greek, and Uzbek. He also serves as Vice Chairman at, where his passion for mentoring has resulted in more than 60 young Global South scholars and practitioners becoming published authors. He is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Israel; Senior Advisor for the Research Institute for European and American Studies in Athens, Greece; Senior Fellow at the China Eurasia Council for Political and Strategic Research in Nanjing, China; and was the first American invited to conduct a political analysis blog for the Russian International Affairs Council in Moscow, Russia. He has a BA from Colgate University, MA from the University of London, PhD from Brown University, completing a Post-Doc at the University of Toronto.

Extremism, Radicalization and Security. An Identity Theory Approach

IntelHub Speaker Series:  Julian Richards

Discussion around the recently published Extremism, Radicalization and Security. This book provides a detailed application of identity theory to contemporary questions of extremism, radicalization and security. The analysis considers how identity forms a central aspect of notions of extremism and security in Western societies, as articulated both by political leaders, the media and the government. It also takes a close and critical look at counter-extremism policy in contemporary Western society. With its detailed and empirical approach to these questions, this book is an accessible and invaluable resource for academics, practitioners, policy-makers and general readers keen to establish a deeper understanding of the key societal security threats of the day.

Julian Richards is co-director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (BUCSIS) at the University of Buckingham in the UK. He co-founded BUCSIS in 2008 following a long career in security policy with the British government. Presented December 14, 2017.

EU Intelligence and the importance of international cooperation in intelligence

IntelHub Speaker Series: José-Miguel Palacios
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Our world is increasingly interdependent. The threats tend to be transnational and the answers to them are often multinational. High politics has become an area for cooperation between the main centers of power, war is often coalitional (Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq) and peacekeeping operations always are. The intelligence necessary to support all these coalitional activities includes also some elements of multinationality.
The EU is probably the most successful example of regional integration in the world. And in an increasingly unstable world, with frequent crises and new threats affecting the lives of its citizens, the EU acknowledges (EU Global Strategy, 2016) that “none of our countries has the strength nor the resources to address these threats and seize the opportunities of our time alone. But as a Union of almost half a billion citizens, our potential is unparalleled”. Intelligence is one of the instruments the EU can use to protect the lives and interests of Europeans and Europe as a whole. Presented Oct 25, 2017.
This webinar addresses the following questions:

  • Why national intelligence may be too small to face contemporary challenges
  • Some conceptual and terminological clarifications
  • EU intelligence clients
  • EU intelligence network
  • The European intelligence community: a network of variable geometry
  • Tentative lessons for the post-modern world

Jose-Miguel Palacios

Between 2011 and 2015 José-Miguel Palacios was the Head of the Analysis Division in the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (EU INTCEN) of the European External Action Service in Brussels. He joined the EU Situation Centre (renamed EU INTCEN in 2012) in 2006 as an analyst, after having worked for the Spanish government since 1986 in several analytical roles. Currently he is a visiting professor at the College of Europe (Bruge, Belgium), a consultant at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Barcelona) and a lecturer at the “Master de Analista de Inteligencia” (UJRC-UC3M, Madrid). José-Miguel Palacios holds a PhD in Political Science, is fluent in Spanish, English, French, Russian and Serbian (Croatian, Bosnian), and is the author of Transición democrática postcomunista: democratización y estatalidad en la Unión Soviética y en Yugoslavia (2003) and a number of works in the fields of intelligence studies, post-Communist studies and military affairs.