Updated: Nov 14, 2019
President and CEO, Stefano De Angelis was recently interviewed by Joe Grecco in America Oggi (or America Today) is the only Italian newspaper written and published in the United States. For a full-translated version of the article, see below:
DE ANGELIS: The Changing Strategy of Terrorism
Anti-terrorist expert explains the new challenges launched by Islamic terrorism to our civilization.
A world-traveler, with four books written and translated into twelve languages; one is a bestseller with continued records sales and widespread acclaim among decision makers. A speaker at highly acclaimed conferences in New York, Washington, Boston, Rome and London. A United Nations board-member dedicated to protecting Nigeria, a country fighting for peace after the devastation and murderous madness of Boko Haram. And finally a consulting company, which is emerging as one of the most reliable and expanding companies in the international security sector. Stefano De Angelis, 32, is considered among the top authoritative experts in the world in matters of counter-terrorism, we interviewed him in his offices in Lexington, South Carolina.
De Angelis, your resume is generally built by decades of hard work. How did you manage to advance in such a short amount of time?
It depends on what is meant by “advanced.” Personally, I consider myself only an honest worker who tries to do my job well. The goals achieved flatter me, but we must always be driven by passion and never by the thirst for money or power. For example, every day I remember what first motivated me to embark on this career. I was practically still just a child when, in the wake of the September 11 tragedy, I decided that I wanted to devote my life to making the world a safer place. I was a dreamer; the same way I am today. I had and still have a huge passion for everything related to security and counterterrorism. This healthy and realistic ambition continues to accompany my projects. But above all, I always work hard while keeping an eye on the changing terrorist behaviors. I have no designated work hours or days of rest, but I'm in the office by 5 every morning, because I love what I do and that pushes me to give my best. I think this not too secret recipe has allowed me to reach certain goals.
What are the most important challenges for those who fight terrorists and criminals?
They are innumerable. Above all, I would say cybersecurity, human trafficking and money laundering. The first because it is making the web, a place frequented and familiar to us all, basically a virtual war zone, with leaks of sensitive data and daily hacking to corporations, banks and governments. Human trafficking and money laundering, allow Islamic terrorism and other organizations to proselytize and, even more so, reinvest billions of dollars in criminal activity, and in this case, it is terrorism. If we want to stop the attacks and the spread of fundamentalism, we must take away their money and human resources, that's for sure.
September 11th is the day that has changed your life and more generally the course of history. What has changed since then in the fight against terror?
The world has drastically changed, as has the concept of security. Nonstop globalization, social media, faster and more widespread modes of transportation, constant waves of migration, the spread of electronic money that allows billions to move with the click of a button, these are all phenomena that have contributed on one hand to the development and spread of Islamic terrorism and crime in general, but on the other hand have provided new tools in the fight against terror, allowing the emergence of new technologies and job positions like drones, cyberwar experts and space defense. Obviously, terrorist behaviors have changed, which today prefer a strategy of low-tension attacks on a smaller but constant scale, as well as counterterrorism, with more in-depth monitoring and preventative operations on territories at risk. In this aspect, 2001 seems centuries away from 2019.
With your company De Angelis & Associates, you are building a name in the complicated defense industry. What do you see on the horizon for the future?
It’s an industry that is very complex and competitive especially here in the United States. There are huge corporations with thousands of employees and contractors who are even replacing the military practicing missions abroad and foreign companies supported by governments with virtually unlimited funds. In this scenario fits my company, born from the desire to offer services of the highest quality in an industry that does not allow errors, composed of people who come from the civil and military world, men and women with incredible abilities, who work every day a project that at first seemed like utopia and today is a reality that counts among its clients local organizations, government institutions and larger corporations. For the future, the goal is to continue to build on the solid foundations that we have put in place, without ever forgetting why we decided to do this job: to save lives.
© 2019 De Angelis & Associates