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 -- Episode 84: Anatomy of a Russian Attack Part 2: Inside the Russian operation

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded Russian President Vladimir...The U.S. intelligence community has concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered operatives to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election. A Target USA investigation that began in November 2016 examined how the attack happened, when it started, who was involved and what lay ahead. In part two of our four-part Target USA series, "Anatomy of a Russian Attack," we explore the mindset of the Russian operatives behind the meddling and the early origins of the operations.   Show More


Past Episodes

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered operatives to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election. A Target USA investigation that began in November 2016 examined how the attack happened, when it started, who was involved and what lay ahead. Dozens of interviews were conducted in the U.S. and abroad with current and former U.S. intelligence officials, members of Congress, cybersecurity and intelligence experts, foreign government officials, Russian nationals and American victims.
Sixteen years after the worst terror attack in U.S. history, a former senior operations officer with the CIA says, "the situation is even worse." Mike Maness was overseas when the 9/11 attacks took place. But now he says: "As a country, we tend to have a very short memory. The average citizen seems to have forgotten, or is choosing to ignore, the fact that terrorism is still a very real threat." On this episode, experts Tara Maller with the Counter Extremism Project and Robin Simcox of The Heritage Foundation put the lessons learned and the new threats into perspective.
North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Han Tae Song, said on Sept. 5 that the country's recent nuclear and missile tests "are a gift package addressed to none other than the U.S." The same day, U.S. Ambassador U.N. Nikki Haley said, "Enough is enough," indicating that it's time for more drastic measures to stop North Korea's provocative and dangerous actions. Nuclear weapons in an unstable North Korea raise a range of concerns, including, as Dr. James Turner, former Department of Energy director of the Office of Nuclear Weapons Surety, asks, who's in control of North Korea's nukes?
Eleven trillion gallons of water have fallen in the Houston area. Veteran first responders and globally seasoned journalists stand in awe of the scope of the devastation. The damage is unprecedented, according to Texas National Guard spokesperson Lt. Col. Travis Walters. On this episode we set the scene, examine the rescue efforts and look at how you can help.
John Eustace retired from the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security in late July. On Target USA, he warns that unless the "leadership" wakes up, a tragedy like the one in Benghazi that left a U.S. ambassador and three others dead is going to happen. Money is the issue. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is being asked to trim its budget at the worst possible time. "The world is on fire, " Fred Burton, former deputy secretary for counterterrorism at the Diplomatic Security Service, told Target USA, and diplomats are the first line of defense.
"Official" Washington was rattled on Aug. 9 when news broke that U.S. diplomats in Havana had been sickened a mysterious illness that no one could put their finger on. It was so bad that several had to be sent home or reassigned. It had been going on for months. But no one had any answers until doctors determined they were likely suffering from some kind of ultrasonic device. It is a weapon that authorities struggled to define. CBS correspondent Steve Dorsey broke the story. He tells Target USA what he's learned. Also, former State Department counterintelligence official Robert Booth tells us he believes he's figured out what happened.
The Defense Intelligence Agency is bracing and preparing for "alarming" global changes, which include more frequent and more destructive wars, increasingly damaging cyberattacks, progressively belligerent and hostile nation-states, more clever and deceptive terrorists, and natural disasters that dwarf the scale of those in previous years. This podcast, featuring Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, examines the agency's plan to stay ahead of those threats.
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism has released its latest report on terrorism. The news is good and bad. Acting Coordinator Justin Siberell gave Target USA the most engaging and forthcoming assessment on terrorism to date. Islamic State group, al-Qaida, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations are using technology to elevate their aptitudes to plan and execute sophisticated attacks and, at the same time, incite sympathizers worldwide to support them. Siberell discusses, in depth, the report, examines state sponsors of terrorism, terrorist safe havens, foreign terrorist organizations, and the global challenge of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear terrorism.
The Defense Intelligence Agency has produced a new assessment that indicates the North Korean regime, led by Kim Jong Un, will have an intercontinental ballistic missile that can carry a nuclear weapon as early as 2018. Joby Warrick from The Washington Post, who broke the story, joins us with the details about what he and his team learned. Also, Ambassador Joe Detrani, the former U.S. Special Envoy on North Korea, joins us to put North Korea's threat to the U.S. into context.

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