What Would You Do in a Counterterrorism Career?


counterterrorism professional

You hear a lot today about terrorist attacks and the need to develop effective protection and responses. Industries and governments rely on counterterrorism professionals who can conduct research, manage threats, and analyze terrorist techniques in order to protect people, fortify property, and secure data. Do you think you have what it takes to enter the field of counterterrorism? You’d need a passion for the work, critical thinking skills, sound analytical abilities, excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to handle the responsibilities of the job.

Collect, Analyze, and Share Actionable Intelligence

Whether you work for Homeland Security or in counterterrorism for private industry, it is important to collect, organize, sort, and analyze data related to any possible terrorist threats. Once you have the information, you need to share it with the appropriate personnel who can take action to avoid an attack. Imagine if counterterrorism professionals had gathered all the available data points before the September 11 attack. How many lives would have been saved?

Prevent Terrorists from Entering the United States

The FBI manages the Terrorist Screening Center that is responsible for the Terrorist Screening Database, also known as “the watchlist.” This list contains the identities of known or suspected terrorists and is used to identify suspected terrorists who attempt to obtain visas, enter the country, board an aircraft, or engage in other activities deemed a threat.

Enhance U.S. Infrastructure Protections and Community Preparedness

Among the assets you might be required to protect as a counterterrorism professional are local water supplies, the electric grid, nuclear power, and secure sites on the Internet. Access to these important systems must be restricted to those whose backgrounds have been thoroughly checked. Action plans must also be in place to ensure communities are prepared for any type of attack on our infrastructure.

Isolate Terrorists from Financial, Material, and Logistical Support

Terrorist groups rely on continuous sources of funding. Another way to stop them is to stop the money flow. An effective counterterrorism measure is to find and identify funding sources and freeze suspicious bank accounts or locate those who financially support terrorists. Or you might need to track down shipments of weapons and supplies or stave off logistical support such as transportation and housing.

Counter Terrorist Radicalization and Recruitment

Terrorist groups do not just come from outside the United States. There are many domestic terrorists, and it is important to monitor their activities as well as those from foreign countries. Recruitment of new members through encrypted sites on the internet and other means must be stopped. And suspicious leaders who use religion as a radicalizing technique must also be located and thwarted.

Strengthen the Counterterrorism Abilities of International Partners

The United State cannot fight international terrorism on its own. When appropriate, you may need to share information with other countries to try and locate terrorist groups and prevent acts of violence. When countries work together to educate their citizens and provide the necessary technology, we have a better chance to fight international terrorism.


Would you like to be a part of this interesting and challenging field? With a degree or certificate in Counterterrorism Studies, you could become an important member of a counterterrorism team. At National American University, we offer online Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies, as well as two levels of certificates, that will help prepare you for a rewarding career. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or hit learn more now.


Online programs for maximum flexibility
NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
Relevant degree and certificate programs
Years of online educational excellence