The Science and Technology of Counterterrorism

1st Edition

Measuring Physical and Electronic Security Risk

Authors: Carl Young
Paperback ISBN: 9780124200562
eBook ISBN: 9780124200616
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 12th March 2014
Page Count: 512
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Scientists with little or no background in security and security professionals with little or no background in science and technology often have difficulty communicating in order to implement the best counterterrorism strategies. The Science and Technology of Counterterrorism offers the necessary theoretical foundation to address real-world terrorism scenarios, effectively bridging the gap. It provides a powerful security assessment methodology, coupled with counterterrorism strategies that are applicable to all terrorism attack vectors. These include biological, chemical, radiological, electromagnetic, explosive, and electronic or cyber attacks. In addition to rigorous estimates of threat vulnerabilities and the effectiveness of risk mitigation, it provides meaningful terrorism risk metrics.

The Science and Technology of Counterterrorism teaches the reader how to think about terrorism risk, and evaluates terrorism scenarios and counterterrorism technologies with sophistication punctuated by humor. Both students and security professionals will significantly benefit from the risk assessment methodologies and guidance on appropriate counterterrorism measures contained within this book.

Key Features

  • Offers a simple but effective analytic framework to assess counterterrorism risk and realistic measures to address threats
  • Provides the essential scientific principles and tools required for this analysis
  • Explores the increasingly important relationship between physical and electronic risk in meaningful technical detail
  • Evaluates technical security systems to illustrate specific risks using concrete examples


Security and counterterrorism practitioners; engineers and scientists in terrorism-related fields; students of security or security technologies

Table of Contents



About the Author


Part I: Modeling Terrorism Risk

Chapter 1: Terrorism Threats, Risk, and Risk Assessments

1.1 Introduction: Decisions and Risk

1.2 Threats and the Components of Risk

1.3 Risk Assessments

1.4 Security Risk Trade-Offs

1.5 Security Risk in Context

1.6 Risk Factors

1.7 Counterterrorism Controls

1.8 Counterterrorism Methods

1.9 Operational Requirements

1.10 Performance Specifications

1.11 Security Risk Assessment Frameworks, Security Standards, and Security Risk Metrics



Chapter 2: Organizing and Assessing Terrorism Risk

2.1 A Taxonomy of Terrorism Threats

2.2 Counterterrorism Standards and Risk Metrics

2.3 The Cost of Risk Mitigation

2.4 Medical Analogies

2.5 Simple Risk Assessments

2.6 Security Theatre



Chapter 3: Uncertainty and Terrorism

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Uncertainty, Entropy, and Randomness

3.3 The Normal Distribution

3.4 Uncertainty Applied to Terrorism



Chapter 4: Physical Models of Terrorism

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Point Sources of Radiation

4.3 Exponential Growth and Decay

4.4 Harmonic Motion and the Single Degree of Freedom Model

4.5 Gaussian Plumes



Supplementary Problems

Chapter 5: Exploiting Terrorism Uncertainty

5.1 Introduction: Addressing Terrorism Risk Factors

5.2 Risk Factor-Related Incidents; Indirect Measurements of Security Risk

5.3 The "Probability of Protection" Method

5.4 The Probability of Protection Method Summary

5.5 Physical Access Control System Risk Statistics



Part II: Measuring


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© Butterworth-Heinemann 2015
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About the Author

Carl Young

Carl S. Young is a recognized subject matter expert in information and physical security risk management. He is currently a Managing Director and the Chief Security Officer at Stroz Friedberg, an international security risk consulting firm. He is the former Global Head of Physical Security Technology at Goldman Sachs as well as a former Senior Executive and Supervisory Special Agent at the FBI. He was also a consultant to the JASON Defense Advisory Group. Mr. Young is the author of Metrics and Methods for Security Risk Management (Syngress, 2010), and The Science and Technology of Counterterrorism (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2014) as well as numerous journal publications. In 1997 he was awarded the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) James R. Killian Award by the White House for significant individual contributions to U.S. national security. Mr. Young received undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics and physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Managing Director and Chief Security Officer, Stroz Friedberg and Adjunct Professor, John Jay College, City University of New York, NY, USA


"After completing the entire book and applying its lessons, the security professional may have the means to better justify security-related expenditures by using math and science to explain the effectiveness of the proposed technology."--ASIS Dynamics Newsletter, February 2015