Transnational Threats Project

Transnational Threats Project

The Transnational Threats Project assesses terror, insurgent, and criminal networks and the impact of government responses through targeted field work and an extensive network of specialists.

Terror, insurgent, and criminal networks are the focus of the Transnational Threats Project (TNT). TNT assesses these threats and the impact of government responses through targeted field work and an extensive network of specialists from government, academia, NGOs, and the private sector. TNT’s work is highly valued by intelligence analysts, policymakers, and leaders seeking to understand, prevent, and disrupt transnational threats.

Transnational terrorism and insurgent groups will continue to evolve in the years ahead. Meanwhile, international criminal organizations remain an intractable problem. Their trade in narcotics, weapons, people, and other illicit commodities is increasingly converging with ideologically-motivated networks, fostering a new generation of hybrid threats. Understanding and responding to this complex and dynamic environment has proven a difficult challenge for governments and institutions designed around the Westphalian model.

To help governments understand this convoluted landscape, TNT has organized and tapped some of the world’s top subject-matter experts. This has been achieved primarily through TNT’s two Trusted Information Networks, which generated important perspectives on transnational threats in Europe and Southeast Asia. Additional TNT fieldwork, outreach, and analyses have shed new light on Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas and parts of Central Asia. Other aspects of TNT’s activities include the ongoing Northern Distribution Network project, podcasts, roundtables, and a monthly newsletter.

National and international media frequently seek comment from TNT staff on these subjects. TNT also briefs dozens of ranking intelligence, law enforcement, and other government officials, as well as leading academic and NGO leaders from over 50 nations who visit CSIS every year.

Director Tom Sanderson leads TNT. Caleb Johnson is TNT’s associate director, and Joshua Russakis is TNT’s program coordinator and research assistant. The program also benefits from the advice of Judge William H. Webster. The former CIA and FBI director chairs a high-level TNT steering committee of past ranking intelligence, law enforcement, public sector, and private sector leaders. Advisers to the TNT project include John MacGaffin, former Associate Deputy Director for Operations at the CIA and former senior advisor to the Director of the FBI; Juan Zarate, Former Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism; and, Jeff Jonas, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Scientist of IBM’s Entity Analytic Solutions.

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