About the Research Center
The Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center was named in
honor of Lt. Colonel William R. Higgins USMC, a senior military
advisor in Lebanon who was abducted in Beirut in 1988 and
subsequently murdered by Islamist terrorists. The Higgins
Counterterrorism Research Center is a nonprofit organization,
staffed by former U.S. Government antiterrorism/counter-terrorism, intelligence
and defense experts who are committed to providing Anti-Terrorism training to America’s first
responders - its Firefighters, Police Officers and Emergency Medical Technicians as well as its
Military and Intelligence Officers.
In the government mobilization after the September 11th attacks, many resources were marshaled to
fight terrorism, but, thus far, none to provide the comprehensive anti-terrorism training so vital for the
men and women who are closest to the action.
As the September 11th attacks revealed, radical Islamic terrorist organizations pose extreme
challenges to federal law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and the military. The federal agencies
cannot meet these challenges alone. Therefore, the Higgins Center strives to train the operational
personnel and “trainers” of each organization in an attempt to mobilize key personnel, who can act as
“force multipliers” in the War on Terrorism.
Answering President Bush’s call to all Americans to contribute their talents in the War against
Terrorism, the Higgins Center responded by developing modular seminars specifically designed to
provide key personnel with the tactical, strategic, operational, and intelligence skills necessary to
uncover and pre-empt the Radical Islamic Threat. The Center provides half-day to week- long
seminars and exercises, tailored to the needs of front- line personnel as well as upper-level managers
of their organizations.
The focus of the Higgins programs is on the pre-emption, dissuasion, and disruption of terrorist
organizations and their support networks. The tools, information, and techniques provided have
enabled investigators to pursue new avenues of inquiry, revisit cases previously closed, and
refocus internal resources to more effectively pursue the counter-terrorism mission.
Unfortunately, as of September 11, 2001, U.S. local, state and federal law enforcement agencies were
unprepared to contend with this phenomenon, and for the most part, these agencies did not regard
Islamist terrorism as a threat to the American community.
The Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center originally created the Islamist Terrorism 101 seminar
precisely to fill this vacuum. This seminar was specifically designed to provide law enforcement
officers with a comprehensive understanding of Islamist terrorist groups to include the history of the
Islamist movement, its ideology, the characteristics of the movement and its personnel, its political,
financial and educational organizations and front companies, state sponsors of terrorism, missionspecific
and local support cells, the crimes they commit, the strategic alliances they have made, their
intelligence gathering capabilities, an explanation of their use of suicide bombing, and their efforts to
acquire and use Weapons of Mass Destruction, etc.
A major accomplishment is the fact that, in almost every jurisdiction in which the seminar has been
provided, new investigations have been initiated, old cases have been reviewed, and force protection
training and implementation have been adjusted.
The Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center, on a daily basis, advises various police agencies
regarding ongoing investigations.
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