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NYC: Terrorist Intelligence Indicator Exercise – Big Tows322

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NYC: Terrorist Intelligence Indicator Exercise

According to two intelligence intercepts there is a high probability of a terrorist event on US soil. DHS’s Counter-terrorism task force (CTTF) has been given the project to coordinate with the FBI to identify six pre-operational intelligence collection indicators of a pending terrorist event. The intelligence analyst is expected to produce actionable intelligence indicators to help the FBI in intelligence collections. The intelligence analyst is tasked with providing educated forecasts and identify the terrorist threats.1 The goal of this brief essay is to inform the intelligence community (IC) of the best guess forecast pre-operational intelligence collection indicators of an impending terrorist event on US soil.

The first collection indicator concerns the terrorist cell’s modus operandus, specifically communications. Logically, terrorist cells must communicate to effectively perform a terrorist event. The 9/11 Commission Report showed the terrorist groups communicated via phones, emails, and rare in-person meetings.2 In the 21st century, terrorist groups have access and use encrypted messaging apps like Signal and WhatsApp, so these communications must be monitored from the NSA’s metadata program. The metadata will provide the time, date, and length of the texts and or calls. The establishment of all foreign visitors’ watch lists is advised for the next three to nine months. Using the NSA’s capabilities to gain this intelligence, the FBI can detect and track suspicious activities from the intelligence collection communications indicators.

After communications, the second modus operandus collection indicator is logistics. The terrorist must move 100 liters of Sarin into position. Logistics involves renting moving vans and trucks. Logistics also include the procurement of hazardous material (HAZMAT) equipment to safely transport the deadly chemical warfare (CW) material to the desired location.3 The establishment of a mandatory report from all logistics store owners to include rentals and HAZMAT equipment in a 500 mile radius of New York City (NYC) within day zero to one month of the expected attack should be a requirement. After the FBI has a strangle hold of the view on the way a terrorist cell operates then the intelligence collections can focus on acquisition and dissemination.

The third and fourth collection indicators focus on CW acquisition and dissemination. The terrorist group must source the Sarin from a local industrial front for the group.4 The establishment of a mandatory report radius for all industrial plants making Sarin in a 500 mile radius of NYC within a week to three month period is ideal. Once the Sarin has been acquired then the terrorist cells would use the logistics to disseminate the Sarin to desired site. When the FBI has a good understanding of modus operandus as well as acquisition and dissemination then the FBI can concentrate on why the terrorist cells are performing a violent attack on US soil.

The fifth and sixth collection indicators cover the terrorist group’s motivation and psychology. The fifth collection indicator’s motivation is to create mass casualties in a CW attack. The motivation stems from the terrorist’s group’s misinterpretation of the terrorist group ideology, death to the infidels.5 The sixth collection indicator’s psychology is to cause political change in the US government. By doing a terrorist event on US soil, the terrorist’s psychological perspective yields the most media coverage as well as shock and awe to the terrorist’s groups cause.6 A CW attack is the ideal means for the terrorist’s ideological motivation and psychology to achieve the terrorist group’s intended purpose of political change.7

Conclusion

Two intelligence intercepts indicated a high probability of a terrorist event on US soil. The DHS’s CTTF was tasked with the effort to coordinate with the FBI to identify six intelligence indicators of a pending terrorist event. The intelligence analyst produced actionable intelligence indicators to help the FBI in intelligence collections. The intelligence analyst provided educated forecasts and identified potential the terrorist threat indicators. The goal of this brief essay informed the IC of the best guess forecast indicators of an impending terrorist event on US soil.

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Bibliography notes

1

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Terrorism: The Threat According to Unclassified Literature (Washington D.C.: National Defense University, 2002)

2

“9/11 Commission Report.” n .d. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks — The United States of America. Accessed May 15, 2014. 259–263, 167–168. http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf.

3

Krebs, E. Validis. “Mapping networks of terrorist cells.” ACLU.org. 2002. Accessed 10 Sep 2019, http://www.aclu.org/files/fbimappingfoia/20111110/ACLURM002810.pdf.

4

Maurer, Stephen M. WMD Terrorism : Science and Policy Choices. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009.

5

Asal, Victor H, Gary A Ackerman, and R Karl Rethemeyer. “Connections Can Be Toxic: Terrorist Organizational Factors and the Pursuit of CBRN Terrorism.”Studies of Conflict & Terrorism, 2012.

6

Perl, Raphael. Trends in Terrorism: 2006 (Washington D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 2007)

7

US Deptartment of Justice. “Terrorism 2002–2005.” FBI.gov. 2002–2005, Accessed 10 Sep 2019, https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/terrorism-2002-2005



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