DSU panel brings terrorism talk to state

 

DOVER — A panel discussion at Delaware State University on Thursday brought home the point that terrorism is not just a concern for those outside of the state.

DSU’s Global Societies Program hosted “The Islamic State (ISIS) and Counterterrorism: Which Way Forward For Delaware,” which offered a lot of discussion between students and panelists, as to why the issues of ISIS and counter-terrorist activities should be of concern for Delawareans.

The panelist included detective Timothy Kerstetter of Delaware State Police Terrorism Liaison Office; Ray Holcomb, retired supervisory FBI agent for the agency’s National Counterterrorism Center; Khalil I. Peterkin, representative of the Islamic Center of Central Delaware; and Khalil Ahmad, president of Muslim Students Association at DSU.

Recently, Mr. Kerstetter said there have been ISIS cases that have impacted Kent County.

“One of the cases happened at the Dover Mall,” Mr. Kerstetter said. A man was arrested, who once operated a kiosk in the Dover Mall for plotting to help the Islamic State militant group.”

“There are also some top-level concerns of people rationalizing it online and becoming adversaries of America even though they were born and raised here. We’ve seen cases of that too.”

Mr. Holcomb believes the Internet has played a huge part as well.

“We’ve never known a threat like this in our entire history of fighting terrorism,” Mr. Holcomb said. “A threat to Maryland today can easily be a threat to Delaware the next day. It requires a very close working relationship between states and the federal government.”

Mr. Ahmad said the Muslim students on campus believe the beliefs of ISIS are extreme.

“We think it’s extreme and most of their beliefs are called into the misconceptions of Islam,” Mr. Ahmad said.

“People tend to look at Muslims as radical and extreme when in reality most followers of Islam in the west don’t follow ISIS beliefs.”

Dr. Marshall Stevenson, dean of College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences for DSU said these type of discussions are important to expose students to the events that are happening around the world.

“Sometimes we tend to think that’s happening over there, but you need to understand much of what’s happening in the world today as it relates to terrorism directly affects every American in this country,” Dr. Stevenson said.

“In particular we need to understand the impact of terrorism as it relates to the state of Delaware.”

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