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Faculty Experts Weigh in on ISIS Leader Killed
Maher al-Agal, a top ISIS leader, was killed by a U.S. military drone strike in northwest Syria. In response to this news, William C. Banks and retired Vice Admiral Robert B. Murrett shared their thoughts.
Banks is a Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor at the College of Law and the Maxwell School as Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs.
He writes: “If the circumstances are as reported – the ISIS leader killed and no civilian casualties – this strike reinforces the utility of targeted drone strikes as a counterterrorism tool. A known terrorist leader was eliminated with little or no risk to U.S. personnel, and no civilians were injured in the operation. Not all U.S. drone strikes are successful, but this one was.”
A highly regarded and internationally recognized scholar, topics of Banks’ wide-ranging research include constitutional law and national security and counterterrorism law; laws of war and asymmetric warfare; drones and targeted killing; cybersecurity, cyberespionage, and cyber conflict; emergency powers; emergency preparedness and response; civilian-military relations; and government surveillance and privacy. Read his full bio here.
Murrett serves as a faculty member in the department of public administration and international affairs and serves as the deputy director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL). He holds a courtesy faculty appointment with the Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute and is on the advisory board of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, both at the University.
He writes: “The strike on Maher al-Agal is the latest of a series of attacks against key, senior ISIS leaders actively engaged in operations against the U.S. and our allies in the region. The announcement was made by U.S. Central Command, reflecting the ongoing military campaign against ISIS and other violent extremist organizations, that continue to gravitate toward ungoverned and semi-governed areas such as northwest Syria. It also underscores the need to continue a comprehensive strategy of precision strikes on this and similar targets, which will reduce the scope and reach of ISIS now and in the future.”
In 2016, Murrett was the recipient of the Birkhead-Burkhead Teaching Excellence Award and Professorship at the Maxwell School, and currently serves as the principal investigator for the Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence (IC CAE) Program. In addition, he is a staff member at the RAND Corporation and the Institute for Defense Analyses, and chairs the MITRE Intelligence Advisory Board. Read his full bio here.
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