An Invaluable Resource. As the public hearings of the 9-11 Commission made disturbingly clear, the U.S. government is not yet fully equipped to win the war on terror. Bureaucratic wrangling among law enforcement and intelligence agencies has crippled government efforts to apprehend terrorists and dismantle the financial networks that support them. Most government agents currently lack the training and language skills required to track the dense and convoluted financing and recruitment networks of radical Islamic terrorist groups. Because these agents traditionally depend on surveillance and classified intelligence, they have little familiarity with the full range of public sources that the SITE Institute systematically utilizes to conduct research and obtain information crucial to success in the war on terror.
Thorough and Unique Methodology. Through continuous and intensive examination of extremist websites, public records, and international media reports, as well as through undercover work on both sides of the Atlantic, the SITE Institute swiftly locates links among terrorist entities and their supporters. Once a potential terrorist entity is identified, either through SITE's ongoing internal research or via a client's specific query, SITE conducts a comprehensive investigation on the target and entities affiliated to it, scouring corporate records, tax forms, credit reports, videotapes, internet newsgroup postings, and owned websites, among other resources, for indicators of illicit activity. Such research has often yielded important leads that have been, and are continuously being, forwarded to pertinent law enforcement or government agencies, and/or information that has been used for government investigations, raids, and prosecutions, in the U.S and abroad.
Unparalleled Track Record. The SITE Institute works regularly with and provides important and often unique information to journalists, law firms pursuing civil litigation, major corporations, law enforcement, U.S. Congress, and numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Treasury Department, Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), the FBI, Customs, and the Department of Justice. SITE provides clients and interested parties with well-documented and comprehensive reports on terrorist entities and the individuals and organizations supporting them. Excerpts from these reports frequently make their way into legal papers filed against terrorist entities and their supporters.
Educational Mission. The SITE Institute is guided by the principle that everyone must understand our enemy in order to prevail in the war on terrorism. In addition to its research and investigative activities, SITE seeks to educate the public about the history, ideology, tactics, and methods of Islamic terrorists. SITE Institute staff frequently gives expert interviews and provides information on terrorism to major media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and Time Magazine. They have repeatedly appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, the Fox News Channel, NPR, BBC, and a variety of other national and international television and radio networks.
Experienced and Dedicated Staff. The staff at SITE has years of experience in the research and analysis of terrorist networks, including how terrorist groups receive and transmit funding; how and where recruitment for new terrorist operatives occurs; where the money comes from; and how these groups communicate. SITE researchers are fluent in several languages including Arabic, French, German, Spanish, and Hebrew, and they maintain an unparalleled worldwide network of contacts and resources.
Rita Katz, Director and co-founder of the SITE Institute, has studied, tracked, and analyzed international terrorists and their financial operations for several years. Since well before September 11, she has personally briefed government officials, including former terrorism czar Richard Clarke and his staff in the White House, as well as investigators in the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland Security on the financing and recruitment networks of the terrorist movement. Many of her leads have prompted the government to investigate and take legal action against individuals and organizations suspected of ties to terrorism.
Before founding the SITE Institute in 2002, Ms. Katz served as Research Director of the Investigative Project in Washington, DC. Born in Iraq and a graduate of the Middle Eastern Studies program at Tel Aviv University, Katz speaks both Arabic and Hebrew with native fluency.
Ms. Katz is the author of TERRORIST HUNTER: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America (HarperCollins, 2003). Her commentary on terrorism issues frequently appears in prominent media outlets, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, 60 Minutes, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal.
Josh Devon, Senior Analyst and co-founder of the SITE Institute, focuses on the research and analysis of the global terrorist network. He has consulted on terrorism-related investigations for several government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. Mr. Devon has published numerous articles on terrorism, including the extensive use of the Internet by terrorist groups and their followers worldwide. He appears regularly in the media. Mr. Devon has a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Master's Degree in International Relations, concentrating in Middle East Studies, at Johns Hopkins University's School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS).