Copeland, a professor of political science and humanities at Geneva College, set out to evaluate whether intelligence failures leading to mass casualty terrorism are inevitable. In doing this, he explored the degree to which four factors contribute to intelligence breakdown: failure of public policy leadership, organizational obstacles, analytical challenges, and the inherent ambiguities of warning information.
Forming detailed comparisons based on thirteen compelling questions, Copeland studied five mass casualty terrorist attacks: World Trade Center 1993, Oklahoma City 1995, Khobar Towers 1996, East African Embassies 1998, and September 11 2001. Contrary to the findings of the
9-11Commission he concluded that while organizational and analytical problems were important, failures of public policy leadership were most directly responsible for the surprise attacks. The conclusion has implications for intelligence reform, information sharing, congressional oversight and society’s expectations concerning the degree to which the intelligence community can predict or even prevent surprise attacks.
Copeland has published other works on this subject including publishing, “Is the ‘New Terrorism’ Really New?” in the Journal of Conflict Studies. He also edited The Information Revolution and U.S. National Security for the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. Before coming to Geneva, he was the chief of staff of the government services division of Lexis Nexis, serving a variety of intelligence and homeland security agencies. He is a member of the International Association for Intelligence Education and the International Studies Association.
Copeland is a graduate of Geneva College and the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. He lives in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania with his wife Ava and his two children Maggie and Ian.
Fool Me Twice: Intelligence Failure and Mass Casualty Terrorism is available at:
In the past four years, on average, 90% of Geneva students are working or in grad school within six months after graduation.