Ahmed Humed Abdella, Deputy Commissioner and Senior Advisor to The Afar National Regional State Police Commissioner General, Ethiopia who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Hyderabad, Department of Political Science, under the supervision of Prof. Venkatesu E participated in the International Visitors Leadership Program entitled “protecting soft target against terrorist attack” in the United States of America, joining emerging leaders from 20 selected countries worldwide, from November 4 – 26, 2023.
During his stay in the U.S., he gained deep insights into the historical and cultural significance of various sites, from lectures and field visits or observations, including lectures from George Mission and George Washington University. The visit to Washington, D.C., provided a profound appreciation for government buildings such as the White House, Capitol Hill, Department of Justice, State Department, and other federal government offices. The meticulous attention to their historical context, relationships, structure, and the checks and balances process between federal, state, and local governments, including power-sharing, shared and exclusive power, collaboration between private and government security agencies, and the African American Museum, showcased diversity and respect regardless of different backgrounds.
In New York City, his visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum underscored the profound significance attached to historical and cultural sites. Understanding the impacts of terrorism on political, social, and economic well-being highlighted the need for united efforts in combating terrorist attacks. He also visited the Port of New York/New Jersey, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and New York Pennsylvania Station.
In Georgia, Atlanta, he engaged with representatives from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS), Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC), Counterterrorism Task Force (CTTF), Atlanta Police Department, and Atlanta Public Schools. His visit included the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, where he learned about power-sharing and collaboration between local, state, and federal law enforcement organizations, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Police Department, CIA, and Homeland Security.
In Louisville, Kentucky, he visited the Muhammad Ali Center and participated in different cultural activities, including Thanksgiving celebrations, and observed U.S. cultural values and tolerance within diversity and mutual understanding collaboration.
1. Perceptual Changes: During his stay, he was struck by the profound significance attached to historical and cultural sites, particularly evident during his visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. It is important for him to foster a similar appreciation for his own historical and cultural heritage. Understanding the impacts of terrorism on political, social, and economic well-being, as exemplified by the museum, highlights the need for united efforts in combating terrorist attacks.
2. Private Sector Engagement: He observed a strong emphasis on private sector engagement in national security during discussions with Business Executives for National Security. Exploring ways to involve the private sector in his national security strategies could enhance our capabilities and effectiveness. He recommends initiating dialogues with relevant businesses to explore potential partnerships and collaborations.
3. Professional Insights: Interactions with organizations such as the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center, and the Bureau of Counterterrorism provided valuable professional insights. Their expertise in areas such as diplomatic security, threat assessment, and counterterrorism strategies can enrich his security measures. Establishing channels for knowledge sharing and collaboration with these organizations is recommended.
4. Follow-up Contacts: He made valuable contacts during his discussions, particularly with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Their expertise in diplomatic security and collaboration strategies for protecting foreign missions make them important connections for potential future cooperation. He suggests establishing communication channels with these organizations to explore collaboration opportunities.
5. International Partnerships: The Atlantic Council discussions highlighted the significance of international partnerships in law enforcement and national security. Exploring opportunities to establish similar partnerships in his own countries could enhance the effectiveness of their security efforts. He recommends initiating discussions and identifying potential areas of collaboration with international partners.
His visit to the United States provided valuable insights and opportunities for collaboration in historical preservation, private sector engagement, and professional knowledge sharing. Implementing the observations and recommendations mentioned above could contribute positively to his national security. He is available to provide further information or discuss these matters in detail.