Master Theses Regarding 9/11

Master Theses Regarding 9/11

The following master theses were published by students in war colleges and military academy’s. They are archived here for reference.

Master Theses

CBRN Terrorism Obsession Prior to 9/11 [103 Pages, 620kb]- 9/11 highlighted failures by both the intelligence and policymaking communities, and these failures were identified by the 9/11 Commission. These failures only related to the inability of the intelligence community to imagine how terrorists might use aircraft as a suicide vehicle, and how politicians failed to eliminate the al-Qaeda threat and Osama bin Laden. Completely unnoticed by the 9/11 Commission, but acknowledged by many within the academic community, was a failure of academia to understand the threat by al-Qaeda and focus too much on weapons of mass destruction terrorism. This thesis examines the question: To what extent were the academic, policymaking, and intelligence communities obsessed with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism prior to 9/11? The thesis concludes that CBRN terrorism was a concern, but was not the greatest national security threat prior to 9/11.

The Nation That Cried Lone Wolf: A Data-Driven Analysis of Individual Terrorists in the United States Since 9/11[111 Pages, 560kb]- Lone-wolf terrorist attacks have occurred in the United States throughout the country’s history. Attempted attacks from individual terrorists unaffiliated with terrorist groups may be becoming more prevalent. Both the general public and government officials acknowledge the presence and importance of these attacks; however, relatively little literature exists on the subject compared to group terrorism. Much of the information on lone wolves has been established by case study, inference, and known characteristics of group terrorism. The purpose of this study is to analyze the characteristics of lone-wolf terrorism through formal statistical models. The study synthesizes data with case study research and other literature to formulate a base of knowledge for lone-wolf terrorism. The study demonstrates that no single dispositional profile of a lone-wolf terrorist exists. The individuals who engage in the tactic of lone-wolf terrorism form a unique ideology that combines personal grievances with common terrorist goals. Still, many lone-wolf cases exhibit certain characteristics. This thesis analyzes these characteristics and their relationship to successful attacks. Data on the characteristics, goals, and motivations of lone wolves can form the basis of policies to curb lone-wolf terrorism and its effects. The appendix contains brief descriptions of 53 lone-wolf terrorist cases that occurred in the United States from September 2001 to November 2011. The descriptions include the attacker’s name, month and year of the attack, and a brief description of what happened.

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