Since Christmas Day I've noted two good sources for counter terrorism information which go far beyond the surface detail offered by the news media.
As everyone knows by now, the Christmas Day attempt to bring down a Northwest/Delta flight during its approach over southwest Ontario to Detroit has again ignited spirited media discussion about Al Quaida and international terrorism.
Much to my chagrin a lot of the discussion seems to be a repetition of the same basic information. One commentator who appear with some frequency on MSNBC is Evan Kohlmann, an acknowledged expert on terrorism. His reports provide greater depth and understanding than most. Having some interest in going deeper myself, I checked out his blog called Flashpoint Intelligence.
According to information Kohlmann provides on his blog, he's spent more than 10 years following Al Quaida and other terrorism groups. He "has amassed one of the largest and most extensive open source databases in the world of original documents, communiqués, and multimedia. He currently works as a senior investigator for the Nine Eleven Finding Answers (NEFA) Foundation--and has also served at various times as a contract consultant in terrorism matters on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTFY) at the Hague, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), the U.K. Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Scotland Yard's SO-15 Counter Terrorism Command, the Central Scotland Police, West Yorkshire Police, and the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET)."
This guy is well qualified to speak about international terrorism, and the battle to stop it.
I've returned to Flashpoint Intelligence several times, always finding something new and relevant. Another excellent blog I keep returning to is Counteterrorism Blog which describes itself as, "The first multi-expert blog dedicated solely to counterterrorism issues, serving as a gateway to the community for policymakers and serious researchers." Its goal is to provide "a one-stop gateway to the counterterrorism community." It is even more information-laden than Kohlman's blog.
Taken together, these two blogs probably offer as much information as is anywhere readily available to those of us who don't have access to government intelligence briefings. The information is offered in a professional and objective manner. Check it out.