Intelligence Support in Combatting Terrorism ICT2A08L

This module contains some basic information on intelligence sources. Intelligence sources such as Imagery Intelligence, Human Intelligence and Signals Intelligence are identified, while some basic tenets of intelligence dissemination are discussed.

Some goals of intelligence analysis are also discussed. These items are better dealt with by the specific articles that cover their topics, including my list of intelligence analysis techniques.

Counterintelligence is defined (US Army, 1993):

Information gathered and activities conducted to protect against espionage and other clandestine activities, sabotage, international terrorist activities or assassinations

The goals of counterintelligence include detecting foreign forces intelligence activities (both overt and covert), and Counterintelligence Force Protection Source Operations (CFSO). The US Army Field Manual 34-60 Counterintelligence (1995) defines CFSO as:

human source operations, normally clandestine in nature, conducted abroad that are intended to fill the existing gap in national level coverage, as well as satisfying the combatant commander’s intelligence requirements

Essential Elements of Information (EEI) are discussed. These are “the most critical information requirements regarding the adversary and the OE needed by the commander to assist in reaching a decision” (US Army, 2013)

EEI answers the basic questions about terrorist attacks including:

  • What was attacked and when
  • Are the enemies known?
  • Did they use weapons?
  • Have they taken hostages? What are their demands?
  • Where would they be most likely to flee?

And other elements in order to begin mounting an effective response and add to one’s knowledge base for future analysis.

Threat Assessment

Six factors are identified in this module for conducting threat assessments. They are:

  1. Existence – Does a threat from a terrorist group actually exist in a specific area?
  2. Capability – What is this group realistically capable of accomplishing?
  3. Intentions – Of the things they can do, what are they interested in actually doing?
  4. History – This is more bibliographic and detailed information about the history of the group. Past activities and motivations will likely continue in the future
  5. Targeting – Targeting refers specifically to the groups’s section of targets historically and who or what targets might be selected in the future
  6. Security Environment – This involves looking at the terrorist group vulnerabilities or weaknesses that can be exploited

Threat assessment is a complicated subject best covered in its own article. Please see my article on Threat Assessment in Education for an introduction to one subset of this topic.

Force Protection Conditions

Force protection, defined as “preventive actions and responses to terrorist threats against U.S. personnel and facilities” (DoD, 2006) involves a variety of measures to harden military targets (including physical structures and personnel) from attack.

There are five level of Force Protection Condition (FP CON; DoD, 2007):

  • Force Protection Normal, when there is no known or suspected threats. Examples of force protection measures at this level are random spot checks of vehicles and personnel entering military facilities.
  • Force Protection Alpha, when there is the possibility of terrorist activity. Examples of force protection measures at this level are briefing individuals to report suspicious activity and testing the mass notification system.
  • Force Protection Bravo, an increased, predictable threat of terrorist activity. Force protection activities at this level include inspecting the facility at regular intervals for suspicious packages and searching vehicles (especially large ones) entering the facility for IEDs.
  • Force Protection Charlie, a specific, imminent threat exists. At this level, force protection activities include limiting access to food and water storage and distribution centers.
  • Force Protection Delta, a localized, specific imminent threat exists. At this level, all vehicles within the operational area will be identified and all briefcases or other storage items are searched upon entry to the facility
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