International media tap Ali’s wide-ranging expertise on cybersecurity, domestic terrorism, and global security

June 20, 2023

Ford School professor Javed Ali has called upon his experience from years in the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to give insights into many of the world’s most pressing issues, including U.S.-China cyber competition, the intelligence community and the Trump documents indictments, the war in Ukraine, and domestic terrorism.

Here are excerpts from his recent media appearances.  

Little cause for optimism that Blinken’s China visit changed cyber equation, The Washington Post, June 20, 2023

For now on the cyber front, things look like they’ll stay on the same level, said Javed Ali, a former U.S. national security official. “Secretary Blinken's visit with China's leader was a necessary engagement to address each country's respective concerns based on tensions over the last year,” Ali, now an associate professor of practice at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, told me via email.

“Despite U.S. warnings and moves like economic sanctions, diplomatic demarches, and criminal indictments against Chinese cyber hackers and intelligence officers, these have not yet deterred China from engaging in these attacks, and they will likely continue well into the future — especially with Beijing’s anger over expanding U.S. military and economic ties with Taiwan,” he said.

Long history of prosecutions under the Espionage Act: National security expert, MSNBC, June 17, 2023

“There is a long history of prosecutions under the Espionage Act for leakers, for people who unlawfully obtained information and then didn’t give it back when asked, and then classic spies, the people who actually commit espionage. This case with President Trump is different. But the indictment lays out a really strong case.”

‘We should all be holding our breath’: Trump’s Arraignment Sets Up Unprecedented Clash Between Politics and the Legal System, The Messenger, June 13, 2023

“The trial almost certainly will draw extensive media and political coverage, which is probably part of President Trump's strategy to not only contest the charges but further boost his standing in a crowded GOP candidate field for the 2024 presidential election,” said Javed Ali, University of Michigan professor and former National Security Council official.

‘A Dark Day in America’s History’: Trump Indictment to Push Legal, Political System to its Limits, The Messenger, June 9, 2023

“Unprecedented for a former President to be charged with criminal violations under the Espionage Act for the intentional and deliberate mishandling of highly classified and sensitive intelligence.  As a former senior intelligence officer and national security official, the scope and scale of the mishandling was so brazen that a whole slew of measures needed to be implemented (if they haven't already) to ensure this never happens again,” Ali said.

FBI Claims Secret Evidence Trumps Religious Discrimination Charges in Domestic Spying Case, Time, June 8, 2023

It’s a high bar to fight back against a state secrets defense, says Javed Ali, an associate professor of practice at Michigan University, who previously held senior roles at the FBI. Sometimes revealing classified information can cause unnecessary damage, he says: “There’s a tension in our legal system. That’s unfortunately why a lot of these cases are not successful.”

Trump lawyers notified that he is the target of classified documents probe, ABC Australia, June 8, 2023

If the media reporting is true about these meetings between the lawyers – Justice Department lawyers and lawyers for former president Trump’s team, one would think that charges are almost likely forthcoming. There are aspects of this story that aren’t clear, but by all accounts it seems that charges are very, very likely. Whatever the case may be, it needs to be, from the Department of Justice’s perspective, very solid.” 

FBI agent turned notorious spy Robert Hanssen dies, ABC News, June 5, 2023

"Robert Hanssen's death brings a somber end to one of the most infamous espionage cases in U.S. history," Javed Ali, former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, said to ABC News.

Now is the Time to Split NSA and CYBERCOM, The Cipher Brief, May 29, 2023

Recent news of another audacious hack against the US critical infrastructure and interests overseas—this time from the Chinese-based “Volt Typhoon” group–underscores the ongoing challenge from nation-states in the cybersecurity realm… Since cyber operations against the United States will most certainly persist in the coming years, now is the time to rethink a key element of the current US cybersecurity framework—the combined leadership of the National Security Agency (NSA) and US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).

What does Wagner Group’s pull-out from Bakhmut signify?, TRT World. May 26, 2023

“On the one hand, it suggests, if Pagosian’s claims are true, that at a terrible price in terms of loss of life, that the Wagner group has held some part of Bakhmut or pushed Ukrainian forces out of those sectors. And on the flip side, the Ukrainians say they are advancing in different sectors of the city. So this is the ebb and flow of the conflict that has been focused for the last several months on Bakhmut.”

Local man in Ukraine reflects on his year as a paramedic, WXYZ, May 19, 2023

While the immediate impact of the war in Ukraine is not being felt as strongly by the average American, it's likely to be a huge talking point in the run-up to 2024, said associate professor Javed Ali with U of M's Ford School of Public Policy.

"President Biden has said that he will do everything he can while he continues to be president to support Ukraine and currently that has totaled over 100 billion dollars," Ali told Action News, noting that the tab is expected to grow.

The Duality of Invasions: Iraq and Ukraine, Medill on the Hill, May 17, 2023

Javed Ali, a professor at the University of Michigan, an expert on national security and intelligence, and a former member of the FBI said he believes Putin’s motivations for war are constantly evolving. “Now, it’s more about protecting or preserving this historical notion of a greater Russia, of what Ukraine used to be part of, the ethnic-speaking Russians that are still in Ukraine, and the cultural and historical ties and the economic importance of Ukraine to that greater Russia. Those are the narratives that Putin is holding on to now.”

Ali suggested that the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the Russian invasion of Ukraine share a commonality, and why the leaders of both countries chose war remains murky. “Whatever the initial justification was, there was some personal motivation for Putin that’s just as unclear as it is for the Iraq war decision with Bush,” said Ali.

Mayhem inside': Texas shooting shows challenge of protecting malls, ABC, May 8, 2023

"The upstream part is addressing mental health issues and other behavioral signs that someone is on the path to becoming a mass shooter," Javed Ali, a former official at the FBI and Department of Homeland Security and a professor at the University of Michigan, told ABC News.

"And the gorilla in the room is the whole gun control issue," he added.

Javed Ali on domestic terrorism and the government's efforts on gun control, ABC, May 8, 2023

“There is a White supremacy and neo-Nazi phenomena. It has been active in this country. It ebbs and flows for decades… It’s almost always these lone gunmen, who fly under the radar screen, but who are demonstrating behaviors or activity that should be alerting, or giving signs of what they are going to do. And yet they are not caught, not stopped, until they go out and attack.”