Covering Terrorism

Civic Resilience in the Information Age

If the point of a terrorist attack is to provoke fear and change behavior in a target population, then one of the greatest weapons in a terrorist’s arsenal is arguably publicity. But who exactly wields that weapon in the age of social media?

Join New America for “Covering Terrorism: Civic Resilience in the Information Age,” our first event of a three-part series to discuss the role of political rhetoric, government communications, social media, and news media in shaping public reactions to terrorism.

The event is a part of a larger project that will culminate in a final report, “Building Civic Resilience to Terrorism,” scheduled for release in October 2016.

Lunch will be provided.


Peter Bergen
Vice President, New America and CNN National Security Analyst

JM Berger
Associate Fellow, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague and a George Washington University's Program on Extremism Fellow

Mary DeBree
Manager on the Content Policy Team, Facebook

Shane Harris
Correspondent, The Daily Beast


Sharon E. Burke
Senior Advisor at New America and former Assistant Secretary of Defense

Peter Bergen is a print, television and web journalist, documentary producer and the author or editor of six books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers and three of which were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by The Washington Post. Documentaries based on his books have been nominated for two Emmys and also won the Emmy for best documentary in 2013. In 2011 he published The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda. Newsweek and The Guardian named Longest War as one of the key books about terrorism of the past decade, and it won the Washington Institute’s $30,000 Gold Prize for the best book on the Middle East. In 2012 he published Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad. It won the Overseas Press Club award for the best book on international affairs. In 2013 he published Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics and Religion, a collection of essays about the Taliban that Bergen co-edited. In 2016, he published United States of Jihad, which examined Americans who have joined al Qaeda or ISIS since 9/11, and which was the basis for an HBO documentary on the same issue.

J.M. Berger is a researcher, analyst and consultant, with a special focus on extremist activities in the United States, and extremist propaganda and use of social media. He is an associate fellow with theInternational Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague, a fellow with George Washington University's Program on Extremism, and was previously a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution. Berger is co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern and author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam. Berger has written for the New York TimesPoliticoThe Atlantic and Foreign Policy. He has served as anon-air consultant with PBS and as a producer for NPR.

Mary deBree is a Manager on the Content Policy team at Facebook, where she helps develop and define the platform's policies for content posted on Facebook. Her team focuses on a range of issues, including counter-terrorism, freedom of expression, hate speech, and safety. Prior to joining Facebook, she most recently served in Secretary Kerry's office at the Department of State as a Special Advisor as well as the United States Mission to the United Nations under Ambassador Power. Previously, she worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She also worked for then Senator Clinton on her 2006 and 2008 campaigns as the NY Director of Outreach. She has significant experience abroad, including having worked for the International Rescue Committee in Uganda and as a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam. She has a Masters in International Affairs from Georgetown University and her Bachelor’s degree from Skidmore college. 

Shane Harris is a Sr. Intelligence and National Security Correspondent for The Daily Beast and an ASU Future of War Fellow at the New America Foundation. He's written extensively about intelligence and national security. His latest book @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex explores the frontlines of America’s new cyber war. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,  Slate,, National Journal, The Washington Post, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings.