Entry-Level Certificate in Counterterrorism


This entry-level certificate is designed to give the professional in the Counterterrorism field or the student who is considering getting in the field, more comprehensive knowledge of key definitional and conceptual issues to describe terrorists (including the sociological and psychological characteristics of both leaders and members) and identify their methods, including organizational structures, target selection criteria, operational tradecraft, weaponry, etc.  This program examines the strategies, tactics, and techniques used to combat terrorism and will teach students to distinguish conceptually between defensive “anti-terrorism” approaches and offensive “counterterrorism” approaches.  Students will learn to recognize and describe the securing of financing and weaponry, the criteria used for target selection (symbolic or representative nature, functional importance, and vulnerability), the preliminary surveillance of targets, the role played by the group’s active and passive supporters (front groups, etc.), the exploitation of the media and post-facto claiming of responsibility, the avoidance of security force dragnets, and how terrorists  react to and  prosper from the action’s fallout.  And most importantly, students are given ample hands-on opportunity to learn, develop, and hone practical report-writing skills used throughout the intelligence community.


Upon completion of this certificate, students will be able to do the following:

  • Distinguish the different types of terrorist motivations including left-wing, right-wing, ethno-nationalist, and religious.
  • Differentiate terrorism from other forms of violence including political violence, guerilla warfare, insurgency, civil war, unconventional warfare, and crime.
  • Describe the historical foundations of terrorism and apply them to modern threats.
  • Distinguish between the various methods and philosophies of international counterterrorism.
  • Adopt the mindset of a terrorist and engage in an extended revolutionary campaign.
  • Demonstrate and hone practical report-writing skills used throughout the intelligence community.
  • Identify non-traditional forms of terror (e.g., narco-terror).
  • Recognize the political and psychological context in which terrorist techniques take place.
  • Distinguish between clandestine and semi-clandestine operations.


INT330     Writing for the Intelligence Professional

TCT390     Foundations of Terrorism

TCT395     Counterterrorism

TCT396     Terrorist Techniques

Course availability is subject to minimum class size requirements.