Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Policy Analysis

Counterterrorism Lecture

Looming Challenges in the War on Terror


Also available in

February 13, 2008

The following is an excerpt from a speech prepared by Michael Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, who addressed a Washington Institute Policy Forum on February 13, 2008.

It has been six-and-a-half years since 9/11. More than seven years since the attack on the USS Cole. Almost ten years since the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Nearly fifteen years since the first attack on the World Trade Center and twenty-five years since the bombing of the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut. Over that quarter-century, the threat we face from terrorism has constantly mutated, sometimes in tragically unexpected ways. This has compelled us to adapt and evolve as well. Today, I would like to speak to you about some components of that evolution -- in particular, the enhancements brought about by the creation of my organization, the National Counterterrorism Center or NCTC. I also want to speak to the challenges and changing landscape we anticipate in the future, and what we know we must do going forward to defeat this enemy...

Download the complete prepared remarks. (PDF)