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The Business of Counterterrorism

Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security


Nathan E. Busch and Austen D. Givens

The Business of Counterterrorism focuses on the opportunities and challenges that public-private partnerships (PPPs) face in the post-9/11 world. Although these partnerships are a major topic of discussion and study among businesses and government agencies involved in homeland security efforts, they have received a much less thorough analysis by scholars. The Business of Counterterrorism identifies the essential role that PPPs are now taking in homeland security and explores the implications of this transformative shift in the field. In its discussion, it focuses on five areas in homeland security – critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, information sharing, security at U.S. ports of entry, and disaster recovery.
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4: Public-Private Partnerships and Information Sharing


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Chapter 4

Public-Private Partnerships and Information Sharing

Alhaji Umaru Mutallab walked into the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria on November 19, 2009.1 He was concerned about his son Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s increasingly radical Islamic beliefs. Compounding Alhaji’s worry, Umar had recently traveled to Yemen and abruptly cut off contact with his family, sending his father a text message that read, “I have found the true Islam. Don’t try to contact me anymore.”2 Alhaji planned to go to Yemen to retrieve his son, but the Yemeni government would not grant Alhaji a visa.3 Frustrated and out of options, Alhaji decided to warn the U.S. government about his son Umar and to ask for the U.S. government’s help in tracking Umar down.4 While at the embassy, Alhaji met with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) chief of station—the top CIA official in Nigeria—and expressed his concerns about his son.5

The next day at the embassy, U.S. State Department and CIA personnel met to discuss the information that Alhaji had provided to the CIA chief of station. These U.S. government employees then wrote a set of reports about Alhaji’s information, which they disseminated within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).6 But despite these concrete steps to document Alhaji Umaru Mutallab’s concerns about his son, and despite the possibility of Umar’s links to Islamic extremists, Umar’s name was not placed on any no-fly list or transportation watchlist. ← 137 | 138 →

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