My short bio: Between over 6 years of studying terrorism and almost 4 directly working in the field, I'm hoping I can answer any lingering questions anyone has about our current understanding of terrorism, why it happens, and how we can combat it best.

I was an intel analyst for the Region 13 Counterterrorism Task Force Fusion Center and a specialist for the City of Pittsburgh Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Our primary objective was to prepare, mitigate, and educate our region against the threat of terrorism. I carry a BA in International Relations with a security focus and a MA in Security & Intelligence Studies. My greatest interest is in finding the most efficient ways to combat terrorism and prevent it from developing in the first place. I am also an avid traveler and have discussed the issue of terrorism with locals in countries such as Egypt, Morocco, and most recently, Tunisia. Bottom line - it pisses off everyone, regardless of their religion or nationality.

My Proof: Here is a picture of me happily getting my head wrapped in a bandage while teaching local CERT volunteers how to respond to a mass incident, and here is a picture of me happily sitting here now.

Resubmitted with better proof. AMAA! *Grammar

Note: For those who want to learn more about the subject in a fairly easy manner, check out the movie Dirty War. It can be found here for free on YouTube and was made by the BBC in partnership with HBO. It is probably the best piece of media describing the current realities of terrorism from numerous angles.

Signing off for the night, thank you everyone for your excellent questions! Best wishes to all, and thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the Paris attacks. Vive la France! Thoughts and prayers also to those in Beirut. It is unfortunate how common these incidents have become for you.

Comments: 448 • Responses: 50  • Date: 

kibblznbitz439 karma

You've answered how we might combat terrorism that's already arisen. How do you think we can stem, or slow its rise in the first place?

Do you think it is more similar to the rise of crime from poverty, or simple extremism of various beliefs (religious or otherwise) and the eventual willingness of some to "do what is necessary, even if it seems 'extreme.'"?

j_mitso272 karma

I really wish this question had more upvotes because it's a really important one.

The link with poverty is actually pretty weak. It plays a role, but not to a massive degree. To my understanding the poverty link is more closely related to people being paid to shoot at our convoys, make IEDs, and go on suicide missions.

While individual motivations vary, there seem to be two generic reasons for why individuals join a terrorist group, and they seemed to be separated by gender:

Men: A strong feeling that their tribe/people/group has been unfairly attacked and taken advantage of. They must right the wrong that has been committed. (For a western example of this, see every keyboard warrior who has come out saying they're ready to go "blow off some heads in the middle east" because of Paris.)

Women: Shame and a sense of burden. They feel like they are a weight to those around them. For whatever reason, they have been ostracized by their family and this is their way out.

These mental states are the tinder Daesh recruiters set fire to. There's a lot more to it as this is truly a full subject unto itself, but these are some basic starting points.

GuessWhat_InTheButt30 karma

How does education play into this? Does good education prevent extremism?

j_mitso94 karma

As I commented below, education itself does't seem to deter terrorism - in fact, many terrorists are quite well educated.

HOWEVER - I think education plays a serious role in the long term, and it's something I'd like to personally work on. While we can't use education to stop terrorists themselves, we can use it to educate the population they nest themselves in. And as I said before, the two best targets we have against terrorism are financially gutting them and having their host population force them out. Education could absolutely play a role in achieving the latter.

kibblznbitz16 karma

Relevant education on affairs that people might feel extreme about, perhaps, in the way acquiring a broader perspective usually can. But acquiring a high level of education does not seem to completely prevent extremism.

j_mitso40 karma

This is very true. Many terrorists are actually highly educated.

We examined the educational backgrounds of 75 terrorists behind some of the most significant recent terrorist attacks against Westerners. We found that a majority of them are college-educated, often in technical subjects like engineering. In the four attacks for which the most complete information about the perpetrators' educational levels is available -- the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the 9/11 attacks, and the Bali bombings in 2002 -- 53 percent of the terrorists had either attended college or had received a college degree. As a point of reference, only 52 percent of Americans have been to college. The terrorists in our study thus appear, on average, to be as well educated as many Americans.


helpful_hank14 karma

Men: A strong feeling that their tribe/people/group has been unfairly attacked and taken advantage of. They must right the wrong that has been committed.

Seems like a great argument for a nonviolent response.

Some initial resources: resources:**

Nonviolence, the Appropriate and Effective Response to Human Conflicts, by the Dalai Lama following September 11th .

What can we do about terrorism? by Harry Browne, a lucid and fact-based case for abandoning the "war" on terror --lots of economic factors here as you presented elsewhere.

The facts are in: nonviolent resistance works

j_mitso75 karma

I am a huge advocate for non-violent responses, although I am far from a pacifist. The short war is won by getting rid of the immediate threat of violence and hitting them first, but the long war is won by education, understanding, and changed perceptions.

Long story short - if people knew how to deal with their emotions, learned how to connect with their cores, and treated themselves with compassion, love, and respect, terrorism would not be an issue. The real conflict that propagates terrorism is internal, not external.

This is a bit of a stretch, but there isn't a massive amount of difference between the average terrorist and the average schoolyard bully. Both are a response to feeling weak.

DirtyRyandtheBoyz57 karma

Do you think the NSA collecting information on US citizens is an effective method of terror prevention and if so give some examples of when its stopped or aided in stopping an attack.. and if not explain why its not effective?

j_mitso126 karma

I do not support the bulk collection of US citizen communications.

Edit: Just to be clear, this is not to suggest that I don't want there to be zero collection. But mass collection without reason just seems like bad form. It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack while pouring in new hay every second. I don't know what the final answer is, but it must be realistic, balanced, and fit within our beliefs as Americans. That's a tall order that every country is struggling to meet, not just us.

jetpackswasyes60 karma

There's no way he'd be able to answer this without losing any security clearances he has. He's not going to throw away his career to answer with anything that's not already public and declassified (things can be public and still be classified).

j_mitso72 karma

You don't really deserve downvotes for this. You're basically correct, though personal opinion is not restricted. I have not, and will not, look at leaked documents for this very reason.

limbodog45 karma

Seeing as terrorism is a tactic, and not an ideology, what's the best way to prevent terrorist attacks, in your opinion?

j_mitso135 karma

Finances and culture.

No organization can survive without financial support. If you want to truly gut an organization, get rid of it's donors and revenue streams.

Same goes for culture. Every terrorist organization needs a population that is willing to tolerate it. It doesn't mean they like them, but they don't hate them enough to rise against them. If you change this, they are in a world of trouble.

For example, Daesh supposedly almost lost a city because they banned smoking and there were recent protests in Afghanistan because, in part, a 9 year old girl was beheaded. If you can get the population pissed off enough, there is nowhere left to hide.

limbodog30 karma

So, basically, get much better at PR campaigns than we are now.

j_mitso101 karma

Basically. But where our government can shine most is finances. Daesh is reported to make $3 million a day between oil, smuggling, human trafficking, and donations. If we want to kill them, we attack them there. They will always find new bodies to fill in the ones we kill.

Think of it as if you wanted to attack a castle that's completely fortified. Fighting it head on will be hard. Cutting off their food and water supply is much easier. You can beat them without firing a single shot.

TheLowSpark5 karma

How do you pronounce daesh? Seems to be a lot of different answers online

manualburner4 karma

TheLowSpark - There are a huge number of dialects and accents in Arabic. But I think "Daesh" is more or less pronounced similarly.

D: Pronounced as the regular English D.

A: The "A" is more difficult. It is actually an ayin (ﻉ) described formally as a glottal stop, but casually described better as an Arnold Schwarzeneggeresque sound. Think, "get to tha ChOOOpah". Pronounced from the back of the throat.

E: Pronounced as "ea".

SH: Pronounced "sh--".


Hope I was helpful!

j_mitso6 karma

My Arabic teacher compared ayin to the French "r". Different sound, but same idea.

yes_its_him41 karma

The attitude in the general population for domestic mass shootings vs. Islamic terrorist attacks is dramatically different. When the former occurs, some people blame all gun owners, when only a few are responsible. When the latter occurs, a different group of people, typically with no overlap on the first, blames all Islamic people.

What is your sense about the line of thinking?

j_mitso128 karma

Interesting point.

I would argue it's off the fact that we fear the things we don't understand most. Why are we afraid of the dark as kids? Because we don't know what's out there. It could be anything!

Nothing really changes as adults. Those who fear guns usually haven't held one in their life. Those who hate Muslims generally have no knowledge of them. As a personal point of interest, this is why I took a semester in college to go to my local mosque each Friday and join them for prayer. I even wrote a pretty sweet ethnography on it for my anthro class. That experience changed a lot of assumptions I had about them.

So bottom line, go toward the things you fear. If you fear guns, go to a range and fire one. If you fear Muslims, stop by your local Muslim-Arab owned eatery and talk with them. Sitting at home talking about things you know nothing about helps no one.

MyCoxiFlopin39 karma

'To lose beauty through terror, terror through inquisition.' -T. S. Eliot

j_mitso17 karma

Brilliant quote.

yes_its_him7 karma

Thanks for replying!

For a time it seemed there was a concerted effort at DHS to downplay Islamic terror in preference to the threat of home-grown "militia" efforts. It smacked of trying to redirect a pitchfork-wielding mob towards political opponents as much as anything.

j_mitso31 karma

While on the subject though, home grown militias are a serious threat. Statistically they are a greater threat than Islamic extremists.

Here is a NYT piece of right wing violence v. Islamist violence since 9/11:

And the wiki:

LzrdKing7029 karma

The hacker group Anonymous is planning a major cyber attack on ISIS. What effectiveness do you think this will have on combatting ISIS?

j_mitso96 karma

If their "attack" is just going to be turning their twitter accounts into ones about cat facts and changing what's on their websites, meh. If they're going to drain their bank accounts, word - though the question would be where is that money now going?

Edit: I actually want to update my answer on this. If there is one thing Anonymous could do, it would be to expose the realities of what it's like to go over and join Daesh. Daesh's propaganda machine is pretty solid. They sell you on the idea that this is where true believers come and you will be surrounded by the most pure, honest, and brave "believers" in the world. It has been shown that helping people see through this farce is one of the best ways to prevent individuals from going off to join them. So if Anonymous is reading this, go for it.

The man told Horgan he was lured into a movement as a teen when recruiters romanticized the cause. But he soon discovered his comrades held sectarian values, not the idealistic ones he had, and he was horrified when he killed his first victim at point-blank range.


Dittybopper25 karma

Are you aware of a case where an actual Al Qaeda or ISIS attack in the US has been thwarted?

Also, do you believe the US should be doing more in the middle east to cripple ISIS? If so, what, in your opinion?

j_mitso58 karma

In regards to your first question: OPSEC buddy, OPSEC. Ask your congressman to get an answer for you, not me.

Second question: This is a really, really hard question to answer. As I've answered elsewhere, our primary objective should be to financially isolate Daesh and all similar groups. Other than that, you're talking about trying to massively change culture on a level that is almost incomprehensible. We open a school, they convert the basement to a weapons depot. We build them a mosque, they use it as a command and control center. Does this happen all the time? No. Not always. I'd love to hear a USAID worker chime in here with a success story. But until we can get the average citizen to hate Daesh and the Taliban enough to rise up against them, we will lose significant lives and treasure for very little gain.

leadfoot32324 karma

We often hear "If you see something, say something." Not to be an idiot, but what exactly are we looking for that makes someone or something suspicious?

j_mitso35 karma

Great question!!

Answer: ANYTHING. It if makes you feel weird, report it. If it seems odd, off, or "just not right", report it. Use your gut. Trust me - we would much rather have you say something than just brush it off. Call 911 and say you see suspicious activity. They'll either take a report themselves or connect you with the police. Either way, always err on the side of safety. You seeing some small, tiny thing may be the link that brings together a major investigation already underway.

Remember this post about guy acting slightly off at the G20 meeting? THAT is an example of something worth reporting. Room full of important people and some guy shows up acting super awkward, especially in front of a camera? That may have been nothing, but it is a prime example of something worth reporting.

jcarnegi22 karma

With your security background in mind, how do you view the refugee crisis and in particular, the US's plans to locate 10,000 Syrian refugees here?

j_mitso74 karma

The issue is vetting. If we can bring someone in and make sure they actually are Syrian, actually were involved in the conflict, actually are who they say they are, etc., then fine.

To be honest though, legal refugee integration is a pretty bold mood for a terrorist to use in order to seed the US with agents. I'd assume most entry would be illegal for these types of people, but that's just a personal assumption.

Edit: Actually, I want to change my take on this. While illegal entry may happen for grunts coming in at the last minute, the real people we have to worry about generally do come in legally. They're often well educated and have some money as well. The idea that terrorists are poor, destitute individuals living in caves is a myth. They are professionals and professors, and may have lived here all their life. Psychographics are far more important than demographics.

Good2Go528054 karma

I'd love to know what the vetting process is like.

"Are you terrorist?" "No." "Are you sure?" "Yes" "Are you lying?" "No." "Are you sure you're not lying?" " AKBAR!!!" "Back of the line."

j_mitso16 karma

"Back of the line."

This made me laugh considerably harder than it should have...

hitbyacar18 karma

How do you prove that for people with no documents who left Syria after their houses and all their possessions were destroyed?

j_mitso35 karma

Keep asking them questions until they make a mistake. Where are you from? What accent is that? Hey, have you ever been to (place that doesn't exist) in Syria? I was just there myself, how did you like it there?

This article lays out how some European countries are dealing with this issue right now.

kbrimage19 karma

what is your opinion of the Paris killings?

j_mitso79 karma

Personally or professionally?

*Edit: I want to answer both so I'll answer both.

Personally: Absolutely awful. I have been to Paris. I have French friends. As an American, I have massive respect for the French. Both of us have spilled blood in order to free the other. Both of us have completely overhauled our governments and went on a grand experiment to test the political ideals and beliefs we both share. The French are kindred spirits. I am proud to call them our allies. More than anything, I want them to know they are not alone - the rest of the world stands by France and is here to work with you, fight with you, and grieve with you. We are all in this together.

Professionally: Excellent response by the authorities. It was rapid, balanced, and on point. I agree with the curfews, though they may have been controversial. The question though is how they will fill the intel gaps. The French are generally regarded as having excellent intelligence services, so I'm wondering what they plan on doing.

ShadyHighlander16 karma

How often did you encounter false alarms in your former line of work?

j_mitso52 karma

Pretty frequently. This is why it's a basic rule of thumb to assume that the initial report is 100% wrong and trust nothing until you get actual boots on scene.

One of the best skills I learned in this field is to approach life from a response perspective, not a reaction one. Staying cool, calm, and collected is key.

elypter12 karma

if you could anonymously speak with a terrorist what would you talk about?

j_mitso24 karma

I would ask them what they came looking for within, and whether or not they found it.

gb1004life11 karma

What made you want to join this field? Also what steps must be taken for you to be qualified?

j_mitso23 karma

Wanting to help, just like everyone else. It has little money, little prestige, and isn't the best for relationships. While others went into the military, I saw this as my best route to serve.

There are no formal steps you have to take. It doesn't really matter what degree you have as long as you can find a way to apply it in a meaningful way. Having an analytical mind and thirst to know more is more useful than anything else.

PoshFox10 karma

Maybe this is just a stupid question, but why doesn't anybody actually fight them? There are quite a few estimations on the size of their army, and the results vary from 20k to 200k. Seems like a one month job for a country like USA or Russia or even France. I read your reply on somebody else's question stating that they would eventually fine new human resources to fit the gaps, but that sounds a bit weird. If it's obvious that they're going to lose, why finding new resources if they'll always going to be outnumbered?

j_mitso28 karma

Daesh is an idea, not a country. We could kill everyone in Syria and Iraq today, but all it takes is for someone to raise the flag literally anywhere else in the world to keep the game in play.

One of the best comparisons I've heard is that terrorists groups can be thought of as franchises. If you want to destroy a franchise, you must destroy its image first. Do that, and all the stores will close by themselves.

Daesh itself is an example of the dying Al Qaeda franchise. It was formed by a disgruntled group that split off from Al Qaeda in Iraq. How long the Daesh franchise will stay in business has yet to be seen.


And a very relevant John Oliver clip:

rishi1310 karma

Do you think fight against ISIS is going in right direction ? Bombing ISIS will end ISIS ?

j_mitso25 karma

As mentioned elsewhere, nothing will fundamentally change until those under the rule of Daesh refuse to do so any more.

dustbunnyrevolution10 karma

What is the hardest place/event to counter terrorists? I see TSA is at least some kind of barrier to getting on planes with bombs and guns, but events like the Boston Marathon bombing bring to light the idea that terrorists can strike anywhere.

j_mitso20 karma

Yes, and that's exactly the idea they want to create. They want us to fear them under every rock and around every corner. Open events and locations such as marathons, night clubs, etc. are called "soft" targets. There's almost no barrier to entry and no one to really stop you from doing what you want.

So any soft target is an easy one. It's a mind game.

dustbunnyrevolution5 karma

Is there a particular "soft target" that you yourself would never visit/attend given your burden of knowledge?

j_mitso52 karma


rdt659 karma

Are you familiar with Dr. Walter Ender's work on the economics of terrorism? If so, what do you think of his published work?

j_mitso18 karma

I am not, but I will most certainly look into it.

Economics is an AMAZING field for terrorism analysis. During my masters, I fell head over heels in love with behavioral economics and game theory. Everything started to make sense. The White House is finally looking into behavioral sciences for policy, but I'm not aware of any terrorism-specific agencies or organizations. If there were, I'd probably be working for them right now.

DirtyRyandtheBoyz7 karma

Do you think the lack of citizens/police officers in Paris having weapons aided terrorists in the sense that it made them an easier target than say, trying to attack a city in the US?

j_mitso96 karma

Not really. Shooting people is hard. Plus, the belief that more guns automatically leads to more safety has zero bearing in reality. Afghanistan is chock full of guns, but that doesn't make it a safe place.

ayushman-singh7 karma

What is the definition of terrorism?

j_mitso15 karma

There is none that is currently agreed on, which is a major reason why this has been a difficult problem to tackle. The border between terrorism and crime is nothing but shades of grey. They conduct crime to fund terrorism, and if terrorist acts were in the pursuit of money instead of producing fear and pursuing a political aim, we'd probably call it crime.

Frajer7 karma

How do you locate terrorist cells?

j_mitso51 karma

Asking them to raise their hands when we call for attendance

AnElepahntCage6 karma

Something a little different. As someone who is currently getting their BA in International Relations and plans to go into the counterterrorism field, do you have any suggestions for college student looking into this profession?

j_mitso12 karma

There are a couple other questions like yours, so I'll answer all of them collectively here.

There are a few things to consider when coming into this field. First, it's very popular and quite competitive. There are more candidates than slots available. However, there is significant turnover and moving of one position to another, so openings can pop up unexpectedly at any time. Staying vigilant on is a good piece of advice, as is getting an internship with your local homeland security office as I did.

So what does this mean? First, it means building your network. Get internships, make contacts, etc. This is pretty straight forward.

Second, it means being able to stand out. This means skills or language. Top skills I would recommend are statistics, economics, or math. I have a special place for econ in my heart and think it should be mandatory at every school at the undergrad level. It isn't about studying money; it's about modeling incentives and behavior. Those are obviously quite relevant. There may be some room for psych work too, but I'm not aware of any skills at the undergrad level that you could really get to stand out. AFAIK Psychology is the 2nd most popular major in the US.

Languages are always a toss up. They can either be a huge asset or massive waste of time. Russian, Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Mandarin, and a few others can get you in the door very fast. Everyone can speak Spanish, and I'd bet there's probably a glut of Arabic speakers as well. If Arabic is your pick, make sure you can get some dialect in there. That will probably be your ticket over Fusha. Picking a language that somewhat matches your looks can be useful as well, especially if you ever want to do in-country work. It doesn't really matter for analyst work though.

However, as someone who has studied numerous languages, I can tell you that you really have to want to know a language to excel in it. Doing it just for the job or for the requirement won't be enough. You have to want to know the culture, music, and learn about how they think. Whatever language you pick, buy a ticket to that region as soon as possible. See what it's like. Make sure you really like it and want to stick with it.

Hope that helps! I'm trying to think of things I wish I knew earlier on, but let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck moving forward to you and all others interested in this field.

Turrurism6 karma

What was your first job? I majored in Justice studies and concentrated in Homeland security/ counter terrorism but I find most homeland security jobs listed by the government being offered to enlisted men.

j_mitso5 karma

Local homeland security office. Vets get points at the federal level, but there is no point system for local.

nessie76 karma

Is there a lot of social anthropologists in the field? What kind of backgrounds do analysts and researchers generally have?

j_mitso7 karma

I don't know any myself, but that background would be excellent for this field. Most analysts I know come from pretty vanilla liberal arts backgrounds: poli sci, international relations, history, languages, etc. With that being said, having a slightly different background may make you stand out, especially at the federal level.

Blueemperor5 karma

Hello j_mitso,

How many terrorist group are currently in world?

j_mitso14 karma

1BigUniverse4 karma

Your thoughts on aliens, UFOs, and the possibility that we are intentionally shooting them down?

j_mitso23 karma

This is probably what those space shuttle door gunners do that I hear so much about...

chevronstripes4 karma

This may be outside your scope of practice, but I am a pharmacy student interested in counter-bioterrorism. Would this line of work even hire pharmacists?

j_mitso5 karma

I would absolutely think so. Not for analysis maybe, but there is plenty of stuff going on in regards to bio-terror research. Create a profile at and search for jobs relevant to your field.

Otherwise, your next best bet may be to get hired at an academic lab that does research in this field.

adventurepony4 karma

What colleges did you attend?

j_mitso8 karma

Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh

noholdingbackaccount3 karma

What programs?

I'm also becoming interested in game theory and think I might like to study it at a university level once I retire.

j_mitso4 karma

Duq liberal arts and GSPIA at Pitt.

There are no game theory-specific programs I'm aware of in the US, though I believe there are a few masters programs in Europe.

PrincessWintersprig4 karma

Hello, how do you think the Obama administration is doing in the fight against ISIS? Are they doing too little? What should they be doing differently? Thanks for the a.m.a.!

j_mitso10 karma

Very broad question that's difficult to answer. I'm going to break it into two parts: fighting Daesh domestically, and fighting them abroad.

Domestic: We seem to be doing very well here. The FBI is doing a fantastic job of catching those who wish to go overseas and based on academic research papers I've read, we basically know what citizens have made it abroad and are keeping tabs on them. This is a small example, but it is a very meaningful one.

Overseas: Hard question to answer. There's a difficult balance between fighting appropriately and keeping your domestic populace happy. There's no major improvement I could offer at this time.

TomShrugged4 karma

Do you think we will see the end of Muslim extremism terrorist attcks in our life time?

j_mitso19 karma

I'd consider the KKK to be an example of Christian extremism, and Christianity is significantly older than Islam. So unfortunately, no.

CarolinaRanger4 karma

Do you think we are fighting the war against IS in an appropriate way? As a layperson with only a bit of knowledge of the structure of IS, it seems to me that COIN would bring diminishing returns, seeing as IS, unlike Al Qaeda, is actively trying to establish a state, complete with borders, a central governing body, and a codified law. Why can't we strategically approach this like a more traditional war, instead of attempting to infiltrate the populace and change them?

j_mitso3 karma

Yes and no. They're a state and an idea. The idea is the more dangerous part. See my reply here for more:

Acatinmylap3 karma

What should the average person do if the fund themselves in the middle of a terrorist attack? (Provided one is still physically capable of concerted action, of course.)

j_mitso3 karma

Your primary opponent is your own panic. So the best thing you can do from the beginning is get focused and stay calm.

For an active shooter event, the FBI recommends Run, Hide, Fight:

For a large incident you're not immediately in but around, I like the UK's angle of Get in, Stay in, Tune in.

Bottom line for both: First make yourself safe, and then find a way to tune in and get further instructions from your local government. If you're American and abroad, get in contact with the embassy ASAP. It's always a good idea to keep their emergency hotline with you while traveling.

monkeyheadyou3 karma

Where is the line between terrorism and a systemic warfare?

j_mitso3 karma

Can you clarify what you mean by systemic warfare?

Mesha83 karma

I hope I'm not too late.

Do you think ISIS threats to Bosnia are something to be concerned for?

j_mitso7 karma

Unfortunately, I have no knowledge on this subject.

gurupro3 karma

Where could I find good entry level positions for the field? I know federal agencies like the CIA and many others offer internships for college students, but are there any other effective ways to get your foot in the door?

j_mitso4 karma

Local homeland security offices, and plug away at are by two best pieces of advice. See my education response here:

archidoge2 karma

Hello and thank you for this AMA. It is something that we are all much involved in lately. I have been thinking, is there a way to protect yourself further while visiting "soft spot" event. Do you always sit next to a fire escape or just behind a wall or something? It may sound really stupid but I am sure other people are wondering as well.

j_mitso5 karma

I do not. While I don't do anything stupid, I also do not let the threat of terrorism change how I live my life as a member of a free society.

NomTook2 karma

Are there any private sector jobs that do terrorism investigations/counterterrorism? I am interested in the field but federal ad local LE opportunities are few and far between.

j_mitso3 karma

Defense contractors. Lockheed, Booze Allen and others all have people sitting side by side with government analysts in DC right now. Snowden was a contractor for Booze.

dxdifr1 karma

Isn't putting terrorism on the news all the time helping the terrorists and encouraging more terrorist acts? IF you really want to combat terrorism, you need a media blackout for all terrorist activities don't you agree?

j_mitso1 karma

Perhaps, but we also need the media to tell people where to go and how to stay safe as events unfold. Unfortunately having a blackout would likely not work. Good idea though.

On a different note, Facebook's "I'm Safe" feature is brilliant. Taking the load off cell towers is a huge help.

to-be-determined1 karma

Thank you /u/j_mitso for taking the time to answer questions,

What is your take on David Rapoport's Four Waves of Terrorism? Do you believe that acts of terrorism have fundamentally changed in recent years and that we're living in a "Post 9/11 World?" How do you expect terrorism to change in the near future/what will be the next "wave?"

j_mitso1 karma

Good question. I'm signing off for tonight, but I hope to be able to answer this later in the week.

Rizzoriginal-5 karma

Is there a nonviolent version of the quran?

j_mitso10 karma

I researched terrorism, not religion. Conflict is brought up in the Quran just as it is in the Bible. Besides that I'm not qualified to answer your question.