The Cipher Brief Daily Podcast

Get a daily rundown of the top security stories and previews of the exclusive content available on The Cipher Brief. Barcelona Attack: ISIS Plot or Copycat Contagion? | Mackenzie Weinger, The Cipher Brief Terrorists used a car to mow down pedestrians on Thursday in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas district, killing over a dozen people and leaving many more injured in a violent attack claimed by ISIS. The deadly incident in Spain marks the latest example of terrorists driving vehicles into a crowd to attack, a low-tech and low-cost tactic that can lead to significant casualties. Expert Commentary What Happens in the Middle East Doesn’t Stay in the Middle East | Emile Nakhleh, Former Member, CIA's Senior Intelligence Service "The threat facing Spain doesn’t stay in Spain. And, as ISIS moves from the local to the global, they will put several countries in their crosshairs. Similarly, over the years, our intel services have learned that what happens in the Middle East doesn’t stay in the Middle East." European Intel Bound Closer by Terror | Nick Fishwick, Former Senior Member of the British Foreign Office "Intelligence and security cooperation tends to be done most effectively on a bilateral basis, and in the case of Spain, they have nurtured extremely close ties with the UK, other European countries, and the U.S. over many decades. I think some other countries may have belatedly realized the need for closer intelligence relationships after the attacks in Europe over the last two or three years, but this is not a lesson that Spain needed to learn."

H. Keith Melton on Cuba’s “Acoustic Attack”

The U.S. State Department recently revealed that some government employees working in the U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba were sent home due to symptoms resembling a concussion, with at least one employee suffering from hearing loss. State Department officials have said this was an “acoustic attack,” using sonic devices outside the range of audible sound that were placed either inside or outside the diplomats’ residences. This week, The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spends 15 minutes with H. Keith Melton, an intelligence historian, author, and board member of the International Spy Museum, who recently co-authored Spy Sites of Washington, DC with former CIA Director of the Office of Technical Service Robert Wallace. Here, they talk about the history of espionage activities between the U.S. and Cuba, and which country is the biggest espionage threat to the United States.

In Brief: Jake Sullivan on Rising Tensions with North Korea

During a tumultuous week between the US and North Korea, The Cipher Brief’s CEO and Publisher Suzanne Kelly sat down with National Security expert Jake Sullivan to discuss the kind of crisis the Trump Administration is facing, and how best to handle the situation.

Rob Joyce on White House Cybersecurity

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. This week, The Cipher Brief’s CEO and Publisher Suzanne Kelly spends 15 minutes with Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator. Prior to his role in the new administration, Joyce was chief of the NSA’s elite hacking unit named Tailored Access Operations. Joyce now leads the government’s coordination of all things cyber, a big job to take on considering the number of agencies, departments, and threats. Suzanne spoke with Joyce about his role, and what he sees as the biggest cyber threats today.

Best of Special Featuring Jason Matheny, Director of IARPA

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. This week, The Cipher Brief brings you a special best of episode of one of our most fascinating guests, Jason Matheny, Director of IARPA, the research branch for the intelligence community that works on ways to tell the future. The Cipher Brief’s CEO and Publisher, Suzanne Kelly, spoke with Jason about what exactly IARPA does, what keeps him up at night, and if there’s ways to predict political instability and unrest.

Ambassador James Dobbins on America's Future Abroad

A U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, envoy to Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia: James Dobbins has had years of experience representing U.S. interests abroad. Along with his numerous positions, he was also lead negotiator to the Bonn Agreement, which re-created the state of Afghanistan following the U.S. invasion. In this week’s 15 Minutes podcast, The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge speaks with Ambassador Dobbins about his experiences as a diplomat, what role the U.S. has abroad under the Trump administration, and his new book, Foreign Service: Five Decades on the Frontlines of American Policy.

Former Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Russia, Fake News, and Twitterbots

15 minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. It’s a rough time for liberal democracies – with fake news and election hacking creating a growing erosion of trust in governments. Estonia, a small country in eastern Europe and previously under the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence, was hit by a wave of cyber attacks in 2007, which many believe Russia orchestrated. Since then, Estonia and former President Toomas Hendrik Ilves have been focused on building up cyber defenses. This week, The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spends 15 minutes with President Ilves, who is now a visiting fellow at Stanford’s Institute for International Studies. Here, they talk about fake news, twitterbots, and the future of artificial intelligence.

Appraisal of Trump's First G20 Summit

Last week, President Trump visited Europe, first giving a popular speech in Poland and then attending the G-20 Summit in Germany. While in Germany, he met Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time. So how should we assess President Trump’s European Trip? Here’s my perspective, In My Own Words, no holds barred.

Secretary Ray Mabus on Innovation in the Navy

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. The U.S. Navy protects our seas around the clock. But what else does the Navy do? It innovates – a lot. Ray Mabus, who was Secretary of the Navy under both Obama Administrations and held that post longer than anyone since World War I, created a fully green fleet during his tenure. Now, 65 percent of energy on navy bases around the world comes from non-fossil fuels. This week, The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spends 15 minutes with Secretary Mabus, who was previously the Governor of Mississippi and U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Here, he tells Kaitlin about other innovations in the Navy, like unmanned underwater vehicles that compete with Russia and China on underwater capabilities.

15 Minutes with Former Members of the Armed Services

15 Minutes is an interview podcast with the biggest names in the global security space. This week, The Cipher Brief celebrates Independence Day by looking back at interviews we did with men who served this country in the Armed Forces. From Robert 'Buzz' Patterson, a former air force pilot and military aide to President Clinton, to Senator John McCain, a former naval pilot and POW, to Jack Keane, a retired four-star general, these men have made important sacrifices for and contributions to national security.