Spies and Terrorists: Subversive Networks Across Ideologies and Times



Katya Drozdova,

Date and Time

April 30, 2009 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Reuben W. Hills Conference Room

FSI Contact

Justin C. Liszanckie

Clandestine craft and low-tech methods still serve to evade and attack hi-tech defenses. Technologies change, yet covert organizing principles persist. They can be traced through time and across different perpetrators - particularly terrorist and espionage networks - as different as al Qaeda and the Soviet KGB. The talk will use these two case studies to illustrate the underlying principles of how clandestine networks still apply strategies to limit information, connectivity, and traceable technology use in order to enhance their survival and asymmetric capabilities against superior opponents. Strategies evolve, but some of the core principles remain. Their better understanding sheds new light on organizational survival and national/international security issues. The research draws on the book manuscript in progress using organization and information theories, with discourse and technical analysis methods, to systematically examine documentary evidence found in the Hoover Institution Archives as well as the contemporary primary and other sources.

Katya Drozdova is a Senior Research Scientist at National Security Innovations (NSI) and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Dr. Drozdova's research focuses on the interplay between human and technological networks in organizations, with emphasis on asymmetric threats and US national security implications. Her work examines how organizations use technology to counter and conceal their human network vulnerabilities. This covers problems of countering terrorism, insurgency, espionage and weapons of mass destruction proliferation; advancing cyber- and energy security; and strengthening both security as well as liberty. She has published on issues ranging from organizational survival to intelligence analysis and defense policy. Katya conducts academic as well as applied research providing actionable findings and analytic tools to the US Department of Defense and Intelligence Community via NSI. Earlier, she has served as a Research Scholar at New York University's (NYU) Alexander Hamilton Center, as well as Science Fellow and researcher with NSA-funded Consortium for Research on Information Security and Policy at Stanford University's Center for International Security And Cooperation (CISAC), among others. Katya earned her PhD from NYU's Stern School of Business, Department of Information, Operations, and Management Sciences (MA in International Policy Studies and BA in International Relations and from Stanford University).

Martha Crenshaw is a senior fellow at CISAC and FSI and a professor of political science by courtesy. She was the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor of Global Issues and Democratic Thought and professor of government at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., from 1974 to 2007. Her current research focuses on innovation in terrorist campaigns, the distinction between "old" and "new" terrorism, why the United States is the target of terrorism, and the effectiveness of counterterrorism policies.

She has written extensively on the issue of political terrorism; her first article, "The Concept of Revolutionary Terrorism," was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in 1972. Her recent work includes "Terrorism, Strategies, and Grand Strategies," in Attacking Terrorism (Georgetown University Press), "Terrorism and Global Security," in Leashing the Dogs of War: Conflict Management in a Divided World (United States Institute of Peace Press), and "Explaining Suicide Terrorism: A Review Essay," in the journal Security Studies. She is also the editor of a projected volume, The Consequences of Counterterrorist Policies in Democracies, for the Russell Sage Foundation in New York.

She served on the Executive Board of Women in International Security and chaired the American Political Science Association (APSA) Task Force on Political Violence and Terrorism. She has also served on the Council of the APSA and is a former President and Councilor of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP). In 2004 ISPP awarded her its Nevitt Sanford Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution and in 2005 the Jeanne Knutson award for service to the society. She serves on the editorial boards of the journals International Security, Orbis, Political Psychology, Security Studies, and Terrorism and Political Violence. She coordinated the working group on political explanations of terrorism for the 2005 Club de Madrid International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security. She is a lead investigator with the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, funded by the Department of Homeland Security. She was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2005-2006. She served on the Committee on Law and Justice and the Committee on Determining Basic Research Needs to Interrupt the Improvised Explosive Device Delivery Chain of the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. She was a senior fellow at the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City for 2006-2007.

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