NSI Program and OSIX to Host Speaker on Counterterrorism

Monday, April 23, 2012

The National Security and Intelligence Program and the Open Source Intelligence Exchange (OSIX) at Fairmont State University will host a special speaker at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, in Conference Room 3 on the third floor of the Falcon Center. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Matthew Levitt, Director, Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, will present a talk titled “Follow the Money: Combating the Financing of Transnational Threats.”

“Dr. Levitt is one of the country’s foremost experts on terrorism and transnational threats, with extensive experience spanning academia, the private sector and the U.S. Intelligence Community. His lecture will give our students and members of the community a unique opportunity to learn about how terrorism is funded and financed from someone who literally wrote the book on the subject,” said David Abruzzino, OSIX Director.

Levitt is a senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute’s Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He is also a professorial lecturer in international relations and strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). From 2005 to early 2007, he served as deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In that capacity, he served both as a senior official within the department's terrorism and financial intelligence branch and as deputy chief of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, one of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies coordinated under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. During his tenure at Treasury, Levitt played a central role in efforts to protect the U.S. financial system from abuse and to deny terrorists, weapons proliferators and other rogue actors the ability to finance threats to U.S. national security. In 2008-2009, he served as a State Department counterterrorism advisor to the special envoy for Middle East regional security (SEMERS), General James L. Jones.

From 2001 to 2005, Dr. Levitt served the Institute as founding director of Terrorism Research Program, which was established in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Previously, he provided tactical and strategic analytical support for counterterrorism operations at the FBI, focusing on fundraising and logistical support networks for Middle Eastern terrorist groups. During his FBI service, Levitt participated as a team member in a number of crisis situations, including the terrorist threat surrounding the turn of the millennium and the September 11 attacks. He has earned numerous awards and commendations for his government service at both the FBI and the Treasury Department.

Levitt holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Yeshiva University, as well as a master's degree in law and diplomacy and a doctorate from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He was a graduate research fellow at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, and has taught at both Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

An expert witness for the Department of Justice in several terrorism cases, Levitt has also lectured on international terrorism on behalf of the Departments of State, Justice, Defense and Homeland Security, consulted for various U.S. government agencies and private industry, and testified before the Senate and House on matters relating to international terrorism. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the international advisory board for both the Institute for Counter-terrorism in Israel and the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research in Singapore, and a CTC fellow with the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point).

Levitt has written extensively on terrorism, the Middle East, and Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, with articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Foreign Policy, Weekly Standard, Daily Star (Beirut), Jerusalem Post, The Australian, National Post (Canada) and numerous other publications. He is also a frequent guest on the national and international media, including NPR, CNN, BBC, FOX News, ABC, CBS and NBC. His latest books include “Hamas: Politics, Charity and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad” (Yale University Press, 2006) and “Negotiating Under Fire: Preserving Peace Talks in the Face of Terror Attacks” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008).