Dr. Jennifer Hesterman, Watermark’s Vice President of Business Resiliency and Education Services, and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, is warning of a new security challenge facing the U.S. and its allies — the battlefield in the mind. “The people arrested in al Qaeda plots after 9/11 are coming out of prison in the next couple years, and they have not been rehabbed. It’s a concern to me,” Dr. Hestermann says. “They are coming back out and we can’t keep track of them; we don’t have the resources. We’re not actively trying to work with them and train them to go the right direction.”
Dr. Hesterman’s comments are part of an interview where she was interviewed by Security Management Magazine, an ASIS International publication, for an article on terrorism in the U.S. and abroad. Also interviewed for the article was Michael McGarrity, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.
Both Dr. Hesterman and Mr. McGarrity say the threat these soon-to-be-released prisoners will pose in terms of recruitment and resuming their terrorist activities is significant. Both concede that counterterrorism efforts are struggling to keep up with the rapid evolution of recruitment and communication techniques. According to the article, “In the United States, about 25 Americans charged with terror crimes are expected to be released by 2021, and that number will jump to 72 in 2025.”
Unfortunately, there is currently no way to track those convicted of terror-related crimes.
To read all of Dr. Hesterman’s comments on the topic, check out the full article in Security Management Magazine, click HERE.