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Terrorists continue to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) because they are relatively easy to make and cause outsized harm to targets. In a new report, Research Challenges in Combating Terrorist Use of Explosives in the United States, the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE) outlines the current terrorist IED threat environment and identifies key priorities for explosives experts – in government, industry, and academia –  for preventing and disrupting future terrorist IED attacks. 

 

Join NCITE for a panel discussion on the new research featuring project leadership and representatives from government agencies. Panelists are:

 

Austin Doctor, Ph.D., principal investigator and head of counterterrorism research initiatives, NCITE

Austin Doctor is the head of counterterrorism research initiatives at the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology, and Education Center (NCITE), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, and a political scientist at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has served as a non-resident fellow with the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy at West Point as well as the National Strategic Research Institute, a Department of Defense University Affiliated Research Center. He earned his Ph.D. from the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia. His research focuses on militants, terrorism, and emerging threats. 

 

Jason Stewart, deputy branch chief, CISA OBP

Jason Stewart serves as the Deputy Branch Chief for the Office for Bombing Prevention’s (OBP) Strategy Branch at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Infrastructure Security Division (ISD) as of April 2021. In this role, he leads and assists in implementing national counter-IED (C-IED) policy, which is articulated through Presidential Policy Directive 17: Countering IEDs. Prior to joining CISA, Stewart supported the Department of Justice and Department of Defense as a subject matter expert in C-IED and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD). He supported the development of interagency C-IED policy and doctrine, as well as North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) C-IED and EOD standards. Stewart has a Master in Project Management from Georgetown University and has received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. He is a graduate of the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal School and holds the EOD master badge.

 

Kirk Yeager, Ph.D., chief explosives scientist, FBI

Kirk Yeager received his B.S. in chemistry from Lafayette College and Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Cornell University. He worked as a research scientist and associate director of R&D at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC). While in the Land of Enchantment he also held the position of adjunct professor in the New Mexico Tech chemistry department. For 10 years he served as a physical scientist/forensic examiner for the FBI Laboratory’s Explosives Unit where he deployed as a bombing crime scene investigator to dozens of countries. Currently, he is the FBI’s chief explosives scientist. Yeager has approximately 30 years of experience with explosives and IEDs, has presented over 200 talks at international meetings and conferences, has produced over 80 specialty publications in the area of explosives and IEDs (to include four book chapters). Over the course of his colorful career he has served as a subject matter expert for the National Academies of Sciences, worked as a technical advisor for the Mythbusters, been the subject of a feature article in Popular Mechanics, and become a published non-fiction author.

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