Author Biography

Todd Steinmetz has a Master of Science in Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies from Henley-Putnam University and is Homeland Security Analyst at Information and Infrastructure Technologies (IIT), a subsidiary of Electronic Warfare Associates (EWA) in Herndon, Virginia. During his time at IIT, he has provided system security engineering, critical infrastructure protection, homeland security, and intelligence services to government and commercial clients, including the National Guard, States, the Texas Border Security Operations Center, and the Critical Infrastructure Protection Center. In these roles, he developed the initial opensource collection process for the Texas Border Security Operations Center; published daily open-source analyses of Mexico's drug war and Texas border security operations; coordinated the collection of intelligence information from more than eighty law enforcement agencies; developed and delivered training for National Guard WMD Civil Support Teams and other homeland response forces; and supported process analysis, risk management, training, communications, marketing, and business management for EWA/IIT. The author may be reached for comment at: tsteinmetz@ewa.com.



Subject Area Keywords

Gangs and criminal organizations, Homeland security, Law enforcement, Narcotics trafficking, North America, Terrorism / counterterrorism


Following the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Government began improving security in large population centers and near potential highvalue terrorist targets. Included in these efforts was the development of a more robust border security program, with an emphasis on reducing the threat of terrorist infiltration at America's borders. However, nearly a decade after 9/11, terrorism and organized crime continue to pose significant threats to the United States. As many of these threats emanate from other nations, improved border security helps mitigate these threats. This article summarizes known terrorist activity along the U.S. northern and southern borders, and highlights the threat of organized crime in the southwest border region. Furthermore, it analyzes current border security efforts and identifies key deficiencies in the system. Finally, it provides a tool kit for future border security endeavors that center on developing a larger but more coordinated and nimble border security force, driven by intelligence, and supported by proven technologies and tactical infrastructure.