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LIU Hosts Inaugural Counter-Terrorism Symposium

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Long Island University welcomed representatives from more than 70 law enforcement agencies to the LIU Post campus on Friday, February 26 for the University’s inaugural Counter-Terrorism Symposium. The symposium was hosted by the Homeland Security and Terrorism Institute at LIU Riverhead, designated by an act of Congress as a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.

“This University goes above and beyond to prepare those who are going into law enforcement to take our place one day,” said Denis J. Monette, retired assistant commissioner of the Nassau County Police Department and a research fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. “They are the future of counter-terrorism.”

The Symposium featured a panel of speakers with unparalleled expertise in the struggle against terrorism, including Dr. Boaz Ganor, founder and executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

“Counter-terrorism is an art,” Ganor said. “The art of counter-terrorism is the art of finding the nuances, finding the right balances, understanding the dilemmas, and taking it from there.”

Ganor’s presentation focused on understanding terrorism and addressing the problem in terms of reducing both the motivation and the operational capacity of would-be terrorists. Other presentations complemented this approach, focusing on suicide bombers and so-called “lone wolves” in an attempt to neutralize terrorist attacks and limit their effect.

“Mitigation is all in our control,” said retired NYPD Detective 1st Grade Mordecai Dzikansky.  “Whether it’s private security, law enforcement, or the civilian population, we can limit the map of casualties.”

The Symposium also served as a crucial networking opportunity for security professionals from across the New York metropolitan area, allowing them to build relationships that will strengthen their cooperation in responding to crises.

“Networking is a part of the game,” said Dr. Harvey Kushner, Director of the Homeland Security and Terrorism Institute. “That’s why we have the Joint Terrorism Task Force. It’s so important to share information. It takes a network to beat a network – that’s an important distinction – and that’s why we’re here.”

“One of the most important parts of this symposium was the hour and a half we spent with people shaking hands, exchanging business cards, and making friends,” Monette said. “The time to exchange business cards is not at the scene of a disaster. You’d better have a relationship before.”

Congressman Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) addressed the Symposium remotely from Washington, as a mandatory vote in the House of Representatives prevented him from attending in person. “To have so many representatives here from all levels of government and various counter-terrorism organizations is extremely worthwhile and extremely beneficial,” said Rep. King, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee and is Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

“We are proud to support all of the people who keep us safe through the Homeland Security and Terrorism Institute and the Long Island Cyber College Partnership,” said LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline, thanking the attendees at the Symposium for their work in protecting the region and the country from terrorism.

For more information on the Homeland Security and Terrorism Institute, visit www.liu.edu/homeland.

Posted 03/03/2016

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