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  • athena@terrorismunveiled terrorism.minerva@gmail

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Biography

Terrorism Unveiled is a blog focused on counterterrorism issues, specifically those involving Islamist terorrism within the Middle East and South Asia.

Contributors "Athena" and "Minerva" work as intelligence analysts.

Athena has studied in the Middle East and Minerva has an intelligence background in Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and South Asia.

Athena can be reached at "athena_at_terrorismunveiled.com" and Minerva can be reached at "terrorism.minerva@gmail.com"

Sometimes, Athena can be reached by AOL Instant Messenger at: "AthenaBlog"


Questions Athena's received by email:

Who are you?

I am a recent college graduate with a double-major in International Relations and Conflict Studies. Within those two, my concentrations were economics, the Middle East and international security.

My primary focus now is the Middle East and counterterrorism. I have studied Arabic in Jordan and researched how terrorism is reported in the Arab media and the effect this has on Arab public opinion.

Now, I am working as an intelligence analyst with a defense contractor that creates software for the US military.

In the next few years, I hope to pursue a graduate degree or who knows what else.


Why the alias?

Athena is generally known as the goddess of wisdom, practical reason and war. I do not blog by name because of my time spent overseas and the people I wrote about while there. "Athena" seemed like a well-known but less-often used alias.

It's really unfortunate that I did so poorly in my Ancient Greek warfare class!


How can I contact you?

The best way to reach me is by email. It is Athena-at-[enter: terrorismunveiled].com.

Sometimes you may catch me logged on Instant Messenger. My screen name is "AthenaBlog."


Do you hate Muslims?

No, I take issue with Islamists -- those who promote political Islam.

I believe Islam in its Qur'anic form advocates regression to a time period where liberalism has little place. Because of the rigid Islamic Shari'a (law), I think it's difficult for moderate Muslims to succeed in advocating a reinterpretation of the text. However, I do think it is possible (and obvious) that Muslims as a community can reject violent scriptures and embrace tolerance, diversity and peaceful coexistance with other religions.

I am encouraged when I see Muslims advocating liberalism. Terrorism comes in many forms. On this blog, I mainly speak of Islamist terrorism because it is my area of study.

I do have Muslim friends whom I respect, like. Two families in particular took me into their homes and I will always remember their hospitality---they are some of the finest people I know.


Are you a Christian fundamentalist?

I am a Christian. I believe that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. I believe in the power of prayer and the grace and mercy of one God.

And, just so you know, I'm not a fan of Jerry Falwell and Benny Hinn or the Southern Baptist Convention. And lately I've seen a preacher man on TV who talks about Iraq, the anti-Christ, and tries to educate people on the Middle East. I'm not sure what scares me more---his "teachings" or the certainty that many people probably call-in to order his Bible videos.


Are you a neo-con?

I'm a neo-liberal with with a hefty amount of realism. So in some circles, that would make me a neo-con. I believe in the power and rationale of capitalism, market integration and collective cooperation. However, I do not believe that a nation should sacrifice its sovereignty and security for the simple sake of multilateralism. I believe the United States has a moral duty to intervene in humanitarian situations. I believe that international institutions can and should help with solving world problems, but I think these institutions have failed in implementing collective security.

Often I feel I am much more liberal than many of those who claim to be liberal in the United States. I believe in freedom for all people, and true progressivism rather than being stuck in a cultural-relativist mindset.

Too often, I think we all take democracy and freedom for granted in the West. It's easy to have no concept of how lucky we are when we've lived in it our entire lives. It really hit home with me even more after spending some time with women in the Middle East.


My favorite quote that really resonates with our current situation:

"The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." -Frederick Douglass


Oh--and just so you know, I'm a Condi Rice fan.