Todd Bensman is the author of the 2023 book OVERRUN, How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis in U.S. History (Posthill Press/Bombardier Books) and also America’s Covert Border War: The Untold Story of the Nation’s Battle to Prevent Jihadist Infiltration (Posthill Press/Bombardier Books, February 2021). The two-time National Press Club award winner, a former journalist of 23 years, currently serves as the Texas-based Senior National Security Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a Washington, D.C. policy institute for which he writes, speaks, and grants media interviews about the nexus between immigration and national security. He frequently reports from the southern border, traveling widely inside Mexico and in Central America. He has testified before Congress as an expert witness and regularly appears on radio and television outlets to discuss illegal immigration and border security matters.
He writes about homeland security and terrorism subjects for Newsweek Magazine, Homeland Security Today, The New York Post, The Daily Mail, Townhall, The Federalist, the Investigative Project on Terrorism, SpyTalk, The Daily Wire, The National Interest, and other publications. He serves as a Writing Fellow for the Middle East Forum and also teaches terrorism, intelligence analysis, and journalism as a university adjunct lecturer.
For nearly a decade prior to joining CIS in August 2018, Bensman led counterterrorism intelligence for the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division and its multi-agency fusion center. Before his homeland security service, Bensman worked as a reporter for more than two decades, covering national security after 9/11 as an investigative staff writer for major newspapers.
Contact Todd at email@example.com and (Sign up for his newsletter to receive alerts when new columns and reports publish.)
In 2009, Bensman left journalism to join the Texas Department of Public Safety as a senior counterterrorism programs specialist, analyst, and manager of an analytical unit. He designed and directed collection operations that fed the Intelligence Community, prompted or advanced FBI counterterrorism investigations, and produced confidential human sources. And he oversaw intelligence support for Texas capitol complex security in Austin.
Until departing in 2018 after nine years, he routinely briefed DPS leadership, elected leaders and members of Congress about domestic and international threats. Holding a DHS security clearance, Bensman worked frequently with FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces, ICE and its Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, the National Targeting Center, DHS Intelligence & Analysis Division, and the National Counterterrorism Center.
Prior to his government service, Bensman worked for 23 years as a reporter, on staff for The Dallas Morning News, CBS, and Hearst Newspapers and as a foreign correspondent in more than 30 countries. After 9/11, he began to specialize in national security and served on investigative teams, authoring long-form stories with emphases on homeland security, counterterrorism, the southern U.S. border, and Mexico’s drug wars. His reporting on migration from Islamic countries and cross-border gun smuggling to cartels earned two National Press Club awards (2008 and 2009), an Inter-American Press Association award, and two Texas Institute of Letters awards. His reporting on corruption also earned reporting plaudits after spurring numerous federal investigations, indictments and convictions.
During the early 1990s, he reported on the Gulf War, to include scud missile attacks and refugee issues, from Israel, Egypt and Jordan. He went on to cover Eastern Europe from Prague, to include armed conflict in Moldova, and spent a year covering warfare in Bosnia, where he provided frequent dispatches from the siege of Sarajevo at the height of hostilities.
Bensman holds an M.A. in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security (2015, Outstanding Thesis designee). He also holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism (2009). He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism (with honors) from Northern Arizona University. In 2017, he completed a 350-hour State of Texas Command College leadership program sponsored by the Texas Department of Public Safety.