Target USA Podcast by WTOP

Whether its terrorists, anarchists, cyber criminals or nation states, America has a target on its back. WTOP National Security Correspondent J.J. Green investigates the threats facing the U.S., the people behind them, the agencies fighting them and their impact on Americans.


Target USA -- Ep 66: Terror in Manchester, England

The suicide bombing at pop star Ariana Grande's concert on May 22 l...The suicide bombing at pop star Ariana Grande's concert on May 22 literally shook the ground all around Europe's second largest indoor arena. But it also sent shockwaves around the world because the attack on a concert where very young children were attending left no doubt that terrorists today have no limits. On this program, we get the details about what happened. Philip Mudd, one of the world's best counterterrorism analysts, puts the event in perspective. Also, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official tells us what we can expect in terms of security changes here in the U.S.   Show More


Past Episodes

President Donald Trump's decision to share classified intelligence with Russia sparked yet another media firestorm. It also created serious concerns for U.S. allies. Those concerns are critical to the war against terrorism. We dig into the fallout on this episode.
The firing of FBI director Jim Comey by President Donald Trump has intensified an already raging, powerful international drama playing out in Washington and Moscow. The U.S. Congress and the intelligence community are trying to get to the heart of a strange story that connects President Trump, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and a cast of Russian and American characters in a plot that some say rivals Watergate. On this episode of Target USA, J.J. Green connects the dots.
Bill Evanina is the national counterintelligence executive and director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. In an exclusive interview, he speaks candidly about the damage that Edward Snowden's leaks continue to cause. From terrorists to hostile nation-states to hackers, Snowden's guidance has shown them how to avoid being detected by the U.S. intelligence community. This week's episode of Target USA examines why that's a serious threat to the nation and you.
In 2016, Mike Flynn burst on the national stage with his famous "lock her up" comments at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, in reference to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. He eventually became President Donald Trump's national security adviser but was fired 24 days into the job after suspicions about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russians came to light. Target USA digs deeper into who Flynn is, partly through a never-before broadcast interview from 2015 that sheds some light on his military career and his views on Russia.
The U.S. and North Korea, according to some observers, were on the brink of war on the weekend of April 15. Was it posturing? What's at stake? What does this situation mean for those innocent people struggling to survive in North Korea? We'll hear a gut-wrenching story from a young North Korean woman who knows what it's like to suffer inside of North Korea. Also in this episode, two experts -- Ambassador Joe Detrani, who is a former U.S. North Korea mission manager, and Greg Scarlatoiu, who is the executive director of The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea -- discuss the prospect of war with North Korea and what Kim Jong Un's main objective is.
Not only are terrorists trying to attack passenger planes, they're targeting cargo planes and airports, too. On this program, we continue our discussion with former Transportation Security Administration administrator Peter Neffenger, who candidly talks about screening problems in airports. We also hear from Brandon Fried, executive director of the Air Forwarders Association. He said the printer cartridge plot by al-Qaida in 2010 opened everyone's eyes -- including other terrorists.
After liquid and laptop bans were put in place on planes in 2017, a new twist on a very dangerous threat has emerged. Terrorists are competing for supremacy in aviation terror attacks. Whether it's ISIS, AQAP or other up-and-coming terror groups, they all have master bomb makers and access to extensive knowledge bases that make the terrorist threat to airplanes -- specifically those flying to the U.S. -- more dangerous than ever. Peter Neffenger, former head of the Transportation Security Administration, tells Target USA that terrorist groups never sleep. There are more potential threats out there than ever before.
There are no real boundaries in cyberspace. But the laws that govern it are limited. Joining Target USA to talk about the maddening difficulty of chasing criminals in cyberspace is Alexander Seger, who is the executive secretary of the Committee of the Parties to the Budapest and is the head of the Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe in Bucharest, Romania. Seger also explains why harassment and bullying are so prevalent.
In this episode, David Levinson -- the second son of Robert Levinson and Christine Levinson -- says his family is turning to President Donald Trump in what they believe is their best hope yet to bring Robert Levinson home. And they've also filed a lawsuit against Iran.

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