The Use of Intelligence in the Battle Against Terrorism in the U.S.A.

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Course Overview

This self study course addresses this evolving counterterrorism (CT) challenge for America. Since 9/11 the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) and the U.S. military have been largely successful in restricting international terrorists’ ability to launch attacks within the U.S. Regarding local communities and police departments, this has been a “top down” approach led by Federal agencies, notably the FBI.

However, the new generation of potential domestic terrorists are U.S. citizens who are already resident in the U.S. This largely negates the effectiveness of most of the USIC and the U.S. military. But this evolving threat does require the full engagement of local U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) because they enjoy daily interaction with the civilian communities within their jurisdictions. Their “bottom up” information and intelligence gathering from within those communities will be essential to deter and detect future terrorists in America “Left of Boom”.  It will be their efforts that will save innocent lives and protect critical infrastructure.  

In the absence of a national domestic CT doctrine in the U.S., this course proposes local strategies and tactics to address how LEAs can better respond to the developing domestic terrorist threat through their improved collection of CT intelligence. 

All persons named and the currency of their respective positions are subject to the passage of time since this course was recorded.

Learning Objectives

  • To increase students’ awareness of the developing terrorist threats that face the U.S. during the next five years.
  • To use the British experience of CT to highlight the failures and successes  of different strategies and tactics during a domestic terrorist campaign.
  • To introduce students to the effective gathering and exploitation of intelligence  in the battle against terrorism in conjunction with local Federal liaison partners. 
  • To introduce students to the elements of a potential domestic CT strategy that  they could employ at a local level.
  • To incorporate other HS agencies in the efforts to collect local CT intelligence.
  • To provide LEA management with a CT template with which they can improve  their agencies’ intelligence collection and CT efforts in the future.

Module 1: Introduction and the Potential Future International Terrorist Threat to the U.S.

Module 2: The Potential Future Domestic Terrorist Threat to the U.S.

Module 3: The Potential Future Domestic Militant Islamic Terrorist Threat to the U.S.

Module 4: Lessons from the British Experience of CT in Northern Ireland

Module 5: The Use of the Intelligence Cycle in Counterterrorism

Module 7: LEA Potential Outreach in Support of Counterterrorism

Module 9: “Prepare” Techniques for Counterterrorism in the U.S.

Module 10: “Protect” Techniques for Counterterrorism in the U.S.

Module 11: “Prevent” Techniques for Counterterrorism in the U.S.

Module 12: “Pursue” Techniques for Counterterrorism in the U.S.

Module 14: The Use of CCTV in Counterterrorism “Left of Boom” 

Module 16: The Value of Table Top Exercises (TTX) in Counterterrorism  

Module 17: The Possibility of Using the British “Special Branch” Police Model in the U.S. for Counterterrorism 

Module 18: Lessons for Counterterrorism from Mass Active Shooter Incidents  

Module 19: The Role of Firefighters in Counterterrorism   

Module 20: A Counterterrorism Check List for Police Chiefs    

About the Instructor

Paul Smith served with the British Army for 20 years, completed five operational tours in Northern Ireland, served as an expert instructor in the Northern Ireland Training and Advisory Team, and was as Military Assistant to the Assistant Chief of the Defense Staff (NATO) during Operation Desert Storm.

Paul has also served with the Ministry of Defense (MoD), the British Embassy in Washington, DC, and the FBI as an Intelligence Specialist. Paul has provided counterterrorist intelligence and operational training to U.S. Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies, and has advising and teaching experience in data exploitation.

In 2008 Paul joined CHDS an adjunct Professor teaching the federal, state, and local first responders. Paul is also a Senior Fellow of the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is married, lives in Georgetown, Washington, DC, and is a keen student of the American Civil War.

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