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In the wake of the Mumbai attack in November 2008, there was a concerted effort to prepare for and respond to Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (CCTA). However, in the intervening years, focus on these low probability/high impact events has diminished.

Dr. Peter Forster, professor emeritus at Penn State University and co-chair for the Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC)'s Combating Terrorism Working Group, is leading a FREE webinar on 14 September focused on Understanding and Mitigating Complex Coordinated Terorrist Attacks.

The ASIS Blog sat down with Dr. Forster to get more background on the importance of preparing for CCTA.

Q: Why should security professionals have Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks on their radar?

My research shows that CCTAs are more prevalent than assumed by DHS. More critically, more groups are using them. They are proliferating globally and represent the impact of knowledge sharing among extremist groups. Terrorist groups learn from each other.

As a result, the topic deserves on-going consideration from security professionals and academics. Security professionals should, at least, be discussing them with their security teams.

Q: What advice you would give security professionals interested in Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks?

Awareness is the first issue for security professionals. With the exception of 9/11, the US has been fortunate to avoid CCTAs, but the same is not true for Europe.

Security professionals should be aware of what a CCTA is and assess the risks of it occurring. Understanding that these are devastating events, they need to develop prevention and mitigation strategies.