President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday added former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Thomas DiNanno and Katharine Gorka, president of the national security organization Council on Global Security, to his transition landing team at DHS.
DiNanno and Gorka join Heritage Foundation defense and security expert James Carafano and Michael Dougherty, CEO of the industry trade association Security Identity & Biometrics Association, on the DHS landing team.
DiNanno is currently senior fellow for Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection at the International Assessment and Strategy Center (IASC). He served as in the White House Office of Homeland Security from 2001 to 2003 as director of Corporate Relations reporting directly to Tom Ridge, who later became the nation’s first secretary of Homeland Security when DHS stood up.
DiNanno also served as deputy assistant secretary for Infrastructure Protection at DHS between 2004 and 2007. In that position he had responsibility for projects such as nuclear power security, development and implementation of regulations to protect chemical facilities, initiatives to protect critical infrastructure, and design of certain intelligence and related planning activities, among his other responsibilities, according to his bio on the IASC website.
Gorka’s focus at the Council on Global Security, which she co-founded, is on the threat of Islamic terrorism and radical ideologies, according to her bio on the Council’s website. From 2009 to 2014, she was the executive director of the Northern Virginia-based Westminster Institute, which is focused on threats from extremism and radical ideologies.
In 2014, Gorka authored a white paper available entitled The Flawed Science Behind America’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which argues the President Barack Obama sees radical Islamism through Social Movement Theory, viewing extremists as “’activists’ with legitimate grievances.”
Gorka said in her white paper that “if you see economic or political grievances at the root of all terrorism, you must then set yourself a course of solving all those grievances. But because that is an impossible task, you are left, finally having to use force. The Social Movement paradigm thus condemns the United States to perpetual war.”
In her 19-page study, Gorka also said that and argument could be made that “radical Islam has made great strides since President Obama took office in 2009.” However, her report is light on comprehensive recommendations, offering that the U.S. must drop the term Countering Violent Extremism and specify global jihad as the threat.
“Once we agree as a nation on the name for the enemy, we must establish a national counter-ideological campaign that incorporates Muslim-partner nations and Muslim Americans to rob groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda of their claim to be the paramount representatives of Islam,” Gorka said in the study.