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Aspen Security Forum to assess terror risk in 10th year after 9/11

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano addresses the National Fusion Center Conference in Denver on Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Napolitano spoke on the importance of fusion centers in protecting communities nationwide against all types of threats. She says U.S. emergency agencies constantly reherse for a disaster like the one unfolding in Japan, and American first responders will learn from the experience of their Japanese counterparts. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
AP | AP

ASPEN – Some top U.S. government officials, including Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, will be among the featured speakers at the Aspen Institute’s 2011 Aspen Security Forum.

The second annual conference will be held July 27-30 at the Aspen Meadows campus.

The forum’s speakers will explore topics like the apparent growth in the homegrown terror threat, the government’s efforts to prevent another attack and the balance between security and liberty.

“Osama bin Laden is still at large somewhere in the badlands of ‘Afpak,’ and ‘Al Qaeda Central’ is still plotting and planning. Meanwhile, an increasing number of recent incidents attributed to naturalized citizens, legal residents, and native-born Americans suggests that, like Europe, the United States is now plagued by homegrown terrorism,” the website for the forum says.

Other speakers at the conference will be Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole and Admiral Eric Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Forces.

Two former National Security advisers, Gen. Jim Jones and Stephen Hadley, are also in the lineup. All told, more than 50 top-level current and former government officials, industry leaders, noted print and broadcast journalists, leading thinkers, and concerned citizens will discuss and debate the key issues in homeland security and counterterrorism.

A list of currently confirmed speakers and registration information is available at http://www.aspensecurityforum.org. A general forum pass is $1,200. Passes for university students and faculty and employees of government or nonprofits are $1,000.

The strength of the conference is its breadth and depth, and the ability to engage with some many key decision-makers and leading thinkers in national security and counterterrorism, according to Clark Kent Ervin, director of the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Program.

Ervin said the forum is timely because the terror threat has never been greater in the 10 years since 9/11.

An Oscar-nominated short film, “Killing in the Name,” will be screened at the forum and discussed by a panel of terrorism experts along with Carie Lemack, the film’s co-producer. “Killing in the Name” is about terror victims’ and survivors’ experiences.


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