View Full Version : What & Who discovers terrorist plots?

08-08-2011, 08:17 PM
I have long been intrigued over the role of the public in the early identification of terrorist plots, with post scattered in several threads and hearing a variety of high-level speakers give differing answers, or no answer at all.

Hat tip to an Indian friend who pointed to a US study I'd missed:
research done by North Carolina based Homeland Security Solutions, a private group, proves this. They examined 86 terror attacks between 1999 and 2009. Of this, 18 were carried out, including 9/11; 68 were foiled; 20 each were detected by the public and federal agencies, 13 through advance intelligence and the local police detected 15.

The cited report awaits reading and I shall return another time, meantime the summary states:
More than 80% of foiled terrorist plots were discovered via observations from law enforcement or the general public

The link is:https://www.ihssnc.org/portals/0/Building_on_Clues_Strom.pdf

In the UK historically there has been very little public information, although of late officialdom cites two examples.

This is a thread in progress.

Bill Moore
08-09-2011, 04:55 PM
David, this should be an interesting and worthwhile line of study that potentially could increase the effectiveness of our unofficial civilian surveillance methods (meaning civilians looking for suspicious activity, not law enforcement intruding in civilian lives without just cause). Our public (in the U.S.) is sensitized to varying degrees to detect suspicious behavior, yet that could still be enhanced through public awareness programs (training for detecting both terrorist and criminal pre-execution behaviors). Although much improved since 9/11, our biggest challenge seems to be law enforcement's ability to receive these reports and fuse these reports in a common database (that local, state and federal can all access), and then have enough trained analysts to connect the dots. Fortunately, when want to be terrorists are dumb enough to buy certain materials and ask questions that makes the hair on the back of your neck raise, that is normally enough to prompt local law enforcement to investigate. For terrorists and criminals that are more sophisticated, like the 9/11 terrorists, the key is connecting the fuzzy dots.

08-09-2011, 10:09 PM
This is copied from a post added 23/1/10 to a thread on Turkey's experience.

One of the few open source articles that provides some context for the role of the public is from Turkey:http://ccj.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/23/2/142 (Behind a pay wall, although I have a copy).

In November 2003, a series of coordinated suicide bombings were carried out by al-Qaeda in Istanbul. The targets represented Israel and the West, including two synagogues, an HSBC bank, and the British consulate. The attacks resulted in 68 deaths and more than 700 injured. The investigation and arrests that ensued revealed that the network involved in the bombings had trained in Afghanistan. Of particular interest was the interpersonal web that grew from the four suicide bombers as well as the range of materials confiscated in the investigation. (My emphasis)Specifically, nearly 300 people were identified who had some knowledge of the planned attack. Of these, 48 were viewed as hard-core committed terrorists, leaving approximately 250 community members who were not ideologically committed to al-Qaeda’s goals and who had some information that potentially could have been used in preventive action.

Chilling and possibly a reason why it is the only example in the public domain I know of, with numbers.

08-09-2011, 10:13 PM
In June 2011 a Saudi diplomat at a lecture stated:
The most effective tool is the citizen in the neighbourhood and their reports to the police. That tip-off starts the process and this has been a tremendous tool for the KSA, especially since 2006'.

08-09-2011, 10:34 PM
In November 2005 after the 7/7 bombings Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, in the Richard Dimbleby Lecture, stated:
It is not the police and the intelligence agencies who will defeat crime and terror and anti-social behaviour; it is communities.

He also referred to the role of the public, acknowledging the information came after the 21/7 attacks:
A local authority worker identified the flat, which three men shown on the CCTV images had frequented: this was the bomb factory. However, he also mentioned that he had found dozens of empty peroxide bottles in the waste bins. Had we had one of our neighbourhood policing teams in place then he probably would have told us about what he had found. Peroxide is the basis of the bombs.


Bill Moore
08-09-2011, 11:27 PM
It is not the police and the intelligence agencies who will defeat crime and terror and anti-social behaviour; it is communities.

True if:

A formal or informal community watch is organized (either self organized or organized by local government officials) and sensitized to detect and report on certain types of behaviors.

Reports are acted upon by the appropriate officials.

This relatively simple and cost effective organization (formal/informal) would do more to limit terrorist and criminal freedom of movement than the billions we're spending now on technical surveillance.

08-10-2011, 03:13 AM
I know of a case (not in the US) in which a significant plot that was broken up due to specific intelligence was publicly attributed to a combination of police work and accident... presumably to avoid revealing or hinting at the source of the intel. I would not be surprised if this has happened in other cases, though it would be difficult to confirm.

09-28-2011, 01:39 PM
Recently there were a series of arrests in Birmingham (UK), which led to six men being charged regarding a planned bombing campaign; for some background and details see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15054790

What is noteworthy - for this thread - is that the senior police officer responsible has publicly commented:
The actual case does not rely upon what local people were telling us, that came later - afterwards and we are grateful for that.

Some, if not all of those arrested were known in their local communities as being Jihadist "hot-heads" and who had of late become more vocal; so people began to disassociate themselves from the group and stated words similar to "The police will be calling on them soon, if they keep on talking like this".

12-04-2011, 06:25 PM
Reading Stephen Tankel's book on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) I found references to prior information being given to the US authorities on David Headley, he Pakistani-American, by his wives, to officials in the USA, August 2005 and Pakistan, in 2007. The DNI later ordered a review, result not known to Tankel.

The original source was ProPublica, an investigative journalism site:http://www.propublica.org/article/newly-discovered-warnings-about-headley-reveal-a-troubling-timeline-in-mumb

Note this article refers to three other sources, friends or relatives, giving information.

I shall leave aside the many issues that arise, notably intelligence management decision-making and the value of such information.

One caller never had an update to his call. I know from my experience feedback is vital and can generate additional calls.

01-07-2012, 03:28 PM
Taken from a wider review of the 'Muslim 'Homegrown' Terrorism in the United States: How Serious Is the Threat?' which appears in the fall 2011 issue of International Security, from the Belfer Centre; with my emphasis:
In fact, the evidence suggests that engaging in terrorist activity in the United States carries a serious risk of exposure. First, although difficult to quantify, societal awareness about terrorism has grown considerably over the years. In October 2010, for example, members of a Hawaiian mosque reported to authorities a new member whose recent move to the area raised their suspicions. Contrast this with the hospitality and no-questions-asked reception that the Muslim community in San Diego gave to two of the September 11 hijackers in the months preceding the attacks. Additionally, over the past decade, alert citizens otherwise unacquainted with the would-be perpetrators have reported apparent terrorist activity involving American Muslims to authorities. Second, as the result of both a significant investment in grassroots counterterrorism efforts spanning the federal, state, and local levels as well as expanded prerogatives such as the availability of FBI assessments, would-be terrorists must contend with an increasingly sophisticated monitoring and investigative apparatus. Third, American Muslim communities have demonstrated a willingness to report aspiring terrorists in their midst—a dynamic that, according to several studies, has occurred in more than 20 percent of terrorism-related cases. Consider that Shahzad is the only homegrown Muslim terrorist unknown to authorities before he tried to execute his plot.

Link:http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/21390/muslim_homegrown_terrorism_in_the_united_states.ht ml

04-06-2012, 12:45 PM
Found on a previously unheard of blogsite:
...there were 161,948 suspicious activity files in the classified Guardian database, mostly leads from FBI headquarters and state field offices. Two years ago, the bureau set up an unclassified section of the database so state and local agencies could send in suspicious incident reports and review those submitted by their counterparts in other states. Some 890 state and local agencies have sent in 7,197 reports so far. And the results? Five arrests and NO convictions.

“Ninety-nine percent doesn’t pan out or lead to anything” said Richard Lambert Jr., the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville office. “But we’re happy to wade through these things.”

No, it’s not 99% doesn’t pan out…It’s 99.99997% that doesn’t pan out

Link:http://twshiloh.com/?p=4574 and originally in the WaPo 'Top Secret America' articles.

06-23-2012, 04:58 PM
From a longer article on a current UK terrorism trial; which covers other points, notably being self-radicalised:
Police were called to their marital home in Foster Street, Oldham, but as officers dealt with the domestic dispute and with Shasta still upset and worked up, a "wholly unexpected turn of events occurred", Miss Cheema said.

"A member of her family, one of her brothers, told the police, in Shasta Khan's presence, 'We have something that I think might be interesting to you, I think he's a home-grown terrorist'."

The wife then took the opportunity to "spill the beans" and cause "serious trouble" for her husband - but left out her own alleged involvement in any terror offences.

Link:http://www.asianimage.co.uk/news/9774036.Married_couple_on_trial_for_terror_offence s/

It's a classic, imagine the attending officer calling back "Can I have the CT police here".:wry:

07-27-2012, 01:13 PM
Hat tip to Stratfor giving a hint to the role of the public in the case of Naser Jason Abdo:
planning to attack a restaurant frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood (in July 2011)

The public's role:
On July 27, 2011, Abdo raised the suspicion of the staff of "Guns Galore" in Killeen Texas by buying an unusually large amount of smokeless gunpowder, three boxes of shotgun ammunition and a magazine for a pistol. A clerk notified the Killeen Police Department who, in turn, tracked Abdo to the America's Best Value Inn and Suites via the taxi that he had taken to make his purchase. Guns Galore was the store in which Nidal Malik Hasan bought a pistol used in the Fort Hood shootings.


I expect the Guns Galore staff and management were all too aware of the purchases being suspicious, even allowing for a two year gap. Would another local gun store have done the same thing?

08-13-2012, 09:16 PM
Within a far wider report by Clints Watts, aka CWOT on SWC, there is this passage, with my emphasis:
U.S. law enforcement has dramatically increased its community-oriented policing strategies with the Muslim community leading to increased detection and preemption of extremism. However, as noted by Kurzman and Jenkins, the past decade’s incidents of MuslimAmerican extremism provide no particular profile and provide no basis to conclude that extremists will reside in Muslim communities. In addition, if an extremist does reside in a Muslim community, there is no reason to assume that the Muslim community will be aware of potential extremists in their midst.

Link and the passage is on pg. 11:http://www.fpri.org/pubs/2012/201208.watts.radicalization.pdf

11-06-2012, 03:58 PM
The reverse of public sources and my error in not posting before today.

Nigel Inkster, ex-No.2 at SIS, in an article in 'Survival' a year ago made an interesting comment on the role of US intelligence in all UK CT investigations:
Referring to the USA acting as 'counter-terrorism collector of first resort to the international community. Of the many plots that Western European services disrupted between 2001 and the present, there was none which did not benefit from game-changing US intelligence....there is no doubt that the US did more to make Europe safe from terrorism that Europe was able to do for itself'.

From: 'In 9/11/11: A Decade of Intelligence', Survival December 2011-January 2012, pgs. 5-12 (quote pg.10).

03-01-2013, 12:13 AM
I refer to the recent trial and convictions of three main plotters in the UK, for some background:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21414518

...it has emerged that, at no point during the 18-month investigation, did anyone in Birmingham’s Muslim community inform on the behaviour of the three...This comes despite the families of the four other men – who later pleaded guilty – intervening early themselves to bring their sons back from Pakistan....the four families “had become aware” the men had travelled for terrorism training ...None of the men received any training as they left the camps after just a day....Three of the four came back almost immediately, while the fourth stayed with his family in Pakistan.

The senior police officer, for CT stated:
I agree it would have been really good if more could have been shared with us, and we could have dealt with it in a different way. In terms of community engagement, would I like them to come forward more? Yes, I would. Do I think they (the Muslim community) were being disruptive – no, I do not....For the evidential journey .. there was some reporting of (relatively minor - including fake charity collections on the streets of Birmingham) concerns of these people over the years and that was properly followed through.


Some of the reporting here differs on the four young men travelling to a terror training camp in Pakistan; the common features are that family pressure turned them round and no-one in the UK told the authorities.

I will try to get a community activist to explain what happened.

04-27-2013, 11:38 PM
Maybe a rather slanted claim in Canada, regarding the recent arrests of two plotting an attack on the Canada-US VIA rail link, as the author is the lawyer who handled the initial information on the plotters:
A tipoff from a prominent Toronto imam through our law office (Kutty, Syed and Mohamed) more than a year ago appears to be at the heart of the arrests this week in the alleged VIA Rail terror plot. In fact, counterterrorism police began their press briefing by thanking Muslim leaders.


05-09-2013, 07:20 PM
A third person has now been charged in NYC, with immigration fraud and is linked to the other two. A UC was involved.


05-15-2013, 11:01 PM
A blog piece by Brian M. Jenkins, which reviews more citizen involvement in the USA post-Boston:http://www.rand.org/blog/2013/05/crowd-sourcing-our-security.html#.UZPQITKhSG0.twitter

06-03-2013, 04:42 PM
A rather good BBC article which poses the question after the Woolwich murder and a particularly nasty child murder in rural Wales:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22731671

When "snitching" and other phrases are used to advocate public reporting more few ever mention this:
Criminologist David Wilson says it's impossible to pinpoint when oddball behaviour turns into something worth reporting: "There is no tipping point."

07-25-2013, 09:23 PM
The retiring head of UK police CT has made some remarks:

(Direct quote)There are some very dangerous and very committed individuals out there that have got deadly terrorist intent, and if people really don't start coming forward and reporting that activity, especially that lower level stuff where they're looking to do something without the wider command and control, then there's a real strong possibility that we're going to get more attacks and there's going to be more fatalities. In all those instances, if the people that had known about it, if they had come to us and given us that information, we would have been able to do something a lot sooner and the country would be a much safer place.


11-25-2014, 04:44 PM
An interesting CBC article 'Who are the most wanted extremists in Canada?' using open source material, then wonders why Canada does not have a public 'Wanted' website unlike those in the USA, notably the FBI's:http://www.cbc.ca/m/news/canada/who-are-the-most-wanted-extremists-in-canada-1.2845186

Within are two useful quotes for this thread's theme. First by a Canadian Muslim who became an informant on a terror plot:
They are missing public input...In this particular context it’s not going to be a police agent at a border point that’s going to pick the individual up. It’s going to be somebody who says ‘Hey, I know that guy.’ That’s how the information is going to come. I think there is a stronger case for making the information public.

Then a former FBI agent with a JTTF:
For any law enforcement organization your best asset at your disposal is the general public... Whether it’s an anonymous lead or somebody seeing a wanted poster and possibly motivated by the reward money - it’s to elicit help from the general public.

11-26-2014, 03:43 PM
A rare pointer to an accurate citizen part in discovering a plot; it is within an article on a new CT campaign in the UK, specifically trains:http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/26/police-leaflets-advise-run-hide-tell-terrorist-attack

Launching the campaign, the chief constable of British transport police (BTP), Paul Crowther, said: earlier this month a man was sentenced for terrorism offences after being caught in possession of information about how to make bombs. “This was as a direct result of a rail passenger reporting suspicions to train staff".

I shall try and identify the case involved.

12-07-2014, 01:37 PM
The headline this week in The Guardian, after a terrorism trial where two young men from Birmingham pleaded guilty - anticipating a minimal two years sentence - and got twelve years:http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/06/yusuf-sarwar-mother-british-jihadist-police-betray-syria?CMP=share_btn_tw

One family had reported their son's departure for Syria, to the police and to say the least she is unhappy:
This is not justice. They said I was doing the right thing, that when my son came back they would try to help, but this terrible sentence – all they have done was to set me against my son.

The police say ‘mothers come forward’, you can trust us, we will help. But now they will see what happened to my son. What kind of person would go to the police if they think their son will get 12 years in prison? Nobody wants to do that. I did not want that.

He told me many times he wanted to come home....I wanted to go to Turkey, to go to the border and find him, bring him back. The British Foreign Office and the police said ‘you must not go’ but they then did nothing to get him home. They did nothing. My son is not a terrorist, he didn’t make bombs, he didn’t kill anyone, he tried to help. He did a stupid thing and when he realised this he wanted to come home.The regional police CT leader:
This case typifies the challenges both police and families are facing when it comes to young people being influenced to join the conflict in Syria or Iraq.

These two men had no previous connections to extremist organisations and no police record. They were not known to us.....However, one of them was clearly being influenced by extremists he was talking to online, and he in turn was radicalising his friend. We had no choice but to arrest and charge the pair on their return.
An appeal has been lodged.

I expect the jihadists will be cheering this decision, it will reinforce the reluctance of families to volunteer information on their children being radicalised and travelling to Syria / Iraq.

A short, local BBC report also says this, plus the critical mother talking:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30370272

01-09-2015, 11:37 PM
A Canadian article on what did the Paris magazine attack (Charlie Hebdo) suspect's neighbours did, what they knew and what they did not do - tell the authorities:
A neighbour in Gennevilliers told The Globe and Mail that she and her husband became so concerned about the behaviour of the Kouachi brothers – whom they could hear loudly reciting the Koran inside their apartment at all hours – that her husband and a friend decided to break in to the Kouachi residence when the brothers left to buy groceries. She said they found a “cache of arms” inside.She said they were caught when the brothers returned home, and that they shoved her husband around and threatened him into silence. That was two months ago.

.....'They attacked my husband and pushed him against the fridge and said, ‘Are you going to betray us to the police?’

The answer was no, which partly speaks to the fear the Kouachis obviously instilled in their neighbours, as well as the chasm in understanding between French police and the Muslims who live in the banlieues of Paris.Link:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/suspects-in-paris-shooting-had-cache-of-arms-neighbour-says/article22372220/

(Added 14th Jan. The cited 'cache of arms' is very general and there are now reports some of the weapons, the automatic rifles and rocket launcher were purchased in Belguim in early December 2014. See:http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.637034? )

01-13-2015, 08:25 PM
Leaving aside the caveat "She would say that now, wouldn't anyone" this report illustrates one of the issues with expecting and seeking help from families and people about terrorist attacks. The headline:
Charlie Hebdo gunman’s wife had no idea he was extremist, lawyer says Saïd Kouachi reportedly kissed wife Soumya goodbye then told her he was going to Paris to see younger brother Chérif in Paris

Referring to the wife's lawyer explanation:
Hours before Kouachi and his younger brother Chérif stormed into the publication’s office in Paris, leaving 12 people, including two police officers, dead, the gunman kissed his wife, Soumya, goodbye and left their home in the Croix-Rouge area of Reims.

She doesn’t understand at all. Today she feels that she lived a lie. She had a normal life with a normal man, who didn’t show any radical views at home. Even after hearing the information, even after the police arrived and she heard what happened she couldn’t believe it. “I asked her if his religious commitment had evolved and she said he practised Islam, he kept Ramadan, he prayed at the local prayer place, but he didn’t proselytise. At home he was someone normal

08-09-2015, 09:55 AM
This remark by Sir Hugh Orde, ex-RUC Chief Constable and until recently spokesman for all UK senior police officers, was made in the context of a furore over how the police - facing 20% budget cuts - will respond to reports of house burglary:
I would add that if we step back from this task, it is inevitable that the essential confidence built up between police and citizen is eroded. This has far wider implications, if one looks for example at the current terrorist threat to this country, it is clear that it has shifted from dealing with highly organised organisations, such as the IRA, to highly disorganised individual actors who self-radicalise within our law-abiding and diverse communities with the intent of committing one atrocity, not some strategic objective.
The information and intelligence we desperately need to combat this will come from the very communities in which they are embedded.
If we lose their confidence by simply failing to protect them from crimes that are so personal, a vital link in the intelligence chain will be lost.


09-22-2015, 09:26 PM
An aspiring, if mentally ill British man trying to copy Andreas Breivik:
The family of a ginger terrorist who plotted to attack the Royal Family and put red-haired Prince Harry on the throne has been praised for alerting the police....Police had been alerted to his extremism by his half brother and mother found suspicious items, including chemicals, in his bedroom....
He was caught after his half-brother Kevin and came across receipts for chemicals in his bedroom.
He and mother Patricia then searched Colborne’s "extremely cluttered" bedroom and uncovered an assortment of chemicals, the books and other equipment and called the police.

11-18-2015, 10:34 AM
The setting for the two quotes on this theme is:
Commissioners and chief constables are kicking off up and down the country, from London’s Met to Liverpool, with unprecedented protest at the 25% of cuts they have suffered and worse to come in next week’s spending review. As France’s president, François Hollande, announces he is boosting its police force by 5,000, Britain is scaling back. Nationally, 17,000 police officers have gone, with another 22,000 to go this time: neighbourhood police no longer pound the streets in many areas.Link:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/17/britain-police-cuts-theresa-may

From the same article is an example from Bedfordshire, a small county north of London, although not a terrorist plot, maybe the prelude:
What worries them most is no longer patrolling neighbourhoods as they did, listening and earning local trust. In the past, a neighbourhood tip-off from a local Muslim led them to a machete-wielding convert from Jehovah’s Witnesses to Islamicism – building up these kind of contacts takes time they’re unlikely to have in the future.Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, has carefully added the standard "form of words" post-Paris as doubts are being heard amongst Conservative MPs:
When people trust the polcie...they tell us stuff. They might tell us who is burgling...they might tell us when someone is becoming a terrorist, when someone is becoming more radical in their behaviour. We've got to have those links.Link:http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-may-urged-to-defend-police-budgets-after-paris-attacks-a3116811.html

From the Soufan Group's briefing:
Given the virtual avalanche of threats, this is likely true; even more disruptions may remain undisclosed in order to protect sources and means. However, as international terrorism strikes out through local cells (http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-a-call-to-terror-inspiration-driven-wolf-packs/), the need for human sources is as vital as ever. Only human sources can assign proper context and priority (http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-the-local-war-on-global-jihad/) to targeted extremists,Link:http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-paris-and-the-pain-of-hindsight/

11-20-2015, 10:16 PM
A short article 'As an FBI agent, I know communities hold the key to fighting terrorism' and the thread title is his last phrase:http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/20/fbi-agent-terrorism-muslim-jihadi?

A key paragraph:
We believed trust is developed over time and if they viewed us as trying to keep them and their environment safe, then slowly they would cooperate. We are able to get cooperators and informants based on our soft approach. The people we did befriend and worked with on a consistent basis realised that we were concerned for the quality of their life and how we could make their conditions better, as opposed to using them for information only. The more of these intimate interactions occur, the more comfortable the community is going to feel.

Bill Moore
11-21-2015, 05:51 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with the comment below, what is shocking is that this appears to be recent discovery. Of course fear and the associated bias that comes with it can suppress commonsense out of existence. As I follow the U.S. news and BBC reporting on the Paris attacks in an attempt to discern the mood in the street, most reporting points to the people refusing to embrace hatred and condemn all Muslims for the acts of a few (but not as few as some would have us believe). Yet, I also think this is a form of media bias, and remain suspect there is a growing extreme right wing movement growing that will further exasperate the troubles. Strong leadership at all levels will be essential to quell the extreme rhetoric. While quieting the reactionary voices, strong leadership must demonstrate they're taking strong action and not ignoring the problem. It seems France is doing well on both accounts.

We believed trust is developed over time and if they viewed us as trying to keep them and their environment safe, then slowly they would cooperate. We are able to get cooperators and informants based on our soft approach. The people we did befriend and worked with on a consistent basis realised that we were concerned for the quality of their life and how we could make their conditions better, as opposed to using them for information only. The more of these intimate interactions occur, the more comfortable the community is going to feel.

11-21-2015, 07:37 PM
The Soufan Group's latest briefing ends with a passage that explains why the public will find it difficult to get information, let alone having the motivation to communicate this:
Terror cells composed of family members present tremendous challenges for intelligence and security agencies to infiltrate with human sources. Such tight-knit groups are loathe to bring in new people, since the trust is so tight among the existing members. The sense of loyalty stemming from familial or matrimonial bonds makes it less likely that one of the members would inform on the others; the betrayal of the group is made much worse by obligations to the family.

Bill Moore
11-24-2015, 06:39 AM
The Soufan Group's latest briefing ends with a passage that explains why the public will find it difficult to get information, let alone having the motivation to communicate this:

Read and understand, but it also seems this would be an opportunity for investigators to find leads to other members of the group. Even if they didn't support, it seems direct and indirect surveillance of family members (the law permitting) would help uncover cells and their plots. What am I missing?

11-24-2015, 03:16 PM
Read and understand, but it also seems this would be an opportunity for investigators to find leads to other members of the group. Even if they didn't support, it seems direct and indirect surveillance of family members (the law permitting) would help uncover cells and their plots. What am I missing?


It is the initial "finger of suspicion" or clue, indeed discovery that 'x' and 'y family' are possible suspects. The proverbial "needle in a haystack". Who do you surveill, given that "chatter", SIGINT and other sources fail to help.

12-08-2015, 11:17 AM
After each UK and I expect in the USA too questions are asked of law enforcement (and intelligence agencies) whether they knew of the attacker's intentions beforehand.

It now appears that the suspect in the recent knife attack @ Leytonstone Tube Station, in East London, may have been signalled on mental health grounds three weeks before to the police beforehand by his own family and the Met say without mention of him being radicalised:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/12036774/Leytonstone-Tube-attack-Muhaydin-Mire-appears-in-court.html

A recent Soufan Group newsletter asks how can a CT network adjust fully to a silent two person attack i.e. San Bernardino:http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-recalibrating-the-terror-threat-radar/

Perhaps we will learn one day how the mental health agencies responded to the likely referral; I note the Met gave advice to the family to make contact with them, but it not clear if such a referral was made.

12-12-2015, 06:08 AM
There is a weak and poorly funded mental health system in the States. People with good support systems and good health insurance cannot get proper care. If one is not affluent and/or cooperative care is dismal. When institutional programs for the mentally ill were closed the idea was to transition to community based care. This transition was never seriously funded, funding has been cut, any community care that worked withered and died. Community care can be as basic as having someone to remind and/or encourage people to obtain and take their meds. Chicago closed half of its public mental health clinics in 2012. Early in my career one of my duties was transporting mentally ill people to hospitals or state mental health facilities. I had many regular customers. Several times I took the same individual for care twice in one shift. The mentally ill were "freed" from institutional settings and they were abandoned. There is no way for the mental health system to aid in prevention of attacks.

As for lone or pairs of shooters there is nothing that can prevent them from acting if they keep quiet about their plan. Anders Breivik wrote about this in his manifesto.

01-23-2016, 11:48 AM
A slightly different report, maybe not a terrorist plot, but support activity whereby the accused encouraged support for ISIS. The headline:
Muslim doctor and sister help convict Isil supporters after confronting them

The doctor and sister are British nationals, of Iraqi origin and are Shia Muslim sisters - that IMHO provides enough motivation.

02-09-2016, 11:16 PM
A short article by Peter Bergen, to accompany a HBO documentary, 'Homegrown: the CT dilemma' broadcast last Monday, so behind a paywall:
A very telling indicator of future violence by a terrorist, FBI behavioral analysts have found, is what they term "leakage."..Leakage is, in short, when a violent perpetrator signals to people in his circle that he is planning an act of violence...In an ongoing study of some 80 terrorism cases in the States since 2009, which has not been previously reported, the FBI found that "leakage" happened more than 80% of the time...Strangers were the most likely to come forward.. rather than the 95% of the peers, family members and authority figures who generally had the most useful information about a militant.
(He concludes) The lesson of the FBI study of terrorism cases is that the most useful information comes from peers and family members. That's why community outreach to Muslim communities to enlist their help in detecting those who may be becoming militant is the most fruitful approach to dealing with the scourge of terrorism.

He does not cite the actual FBI report and a look on Google failed.

02-24-2016, 11:13 PM
From Walsall, a small city in the West Midlands and edited slightly:
...police only discovered the group after Rev Petty contacted the police after her son Jacob disappeared in the summer of 2014 and emailed his parents to say he was off to start a “new life” in Syria.

A senior West Midlands Police officer said:
The case here emerged from worried parents about their son who they reported missing. That was Jacob Petty. It turns out he had gone to Syria and joined Isis and from the inquiries we followed, it became a wider investigation and we were able to then open up these evidential routes into all of these people.

Background on the network today, from two sources:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/12168612/The-group-of-Walsall-friends-who-became-Britains-largest-group-of-Isil-fanatics.html and the BBC:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35653366

02-28-2016, 09:52 AM
It is rare to see such figures in public, even if they refer to allegations of state benefits fraud in the UK:
More than 85% of fraud allegations made by the public over the last five years were false, according to figures obtained by the Observer. A freedom of information request to the Department for Work and Pensions discloses that between 2010 and 2015 the government closed 1,041,219 alleged cases of benefit fraud put forward by the public. Insufficient or no evidence of fraud was discovered in 887,468 of these.

02-29-2016, 09:01 PM
Within a RUSI paper on Lone Wolves
Lone-actor terrorists are often less secretive than might be expected; their behaviour and activity can provide warnings of their extreme views or even intention to act. These indicators are often most evident to those around the perpetrator. Whether in the physical or virtual world, friends, family and work colleagues are more likely to be exposed to crucial indicators than the authorities. Recent research conducted by Michael J Williams, John G Horgan and William P Evans offers further support for this finding: examining countering violent extremism (CVE) programmes more broadly, they found that ‘those best positioned to notice early signs of individuals considering acts of violent extremism likely would be those individuals’ friends’.14 & 15 An important tool in combating the lone-actor terrorist threat is therefore ensuring the public is able to recognise extremist behaviour that might turn to violence, have avenues to report it, and crucially, are willing to do so.The footnotes 14 & 15 refers to:
Michael J Williams, John G Horgan and William P Evans, ‘The Critical Role of Friends in Networks for Countering Violent Extremism: Toward a Theory of Vicarious Help-Seeking’, Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression (Vol. 8, No. 1, October 2016), pp. 45–6.... the model as including ‘five cognitive stages between an emergency and the decision to intervene and offer assistance. Those stages are the following: (a) notice the event, (b) interpret the event as an emergency, (c) assume responsibility for providing help, (d) know appropriate forms of assistance, and (e) implement a decision to help.’ See also, John Darley and Bibb Latané, ‘Bystander Intervention in Emergencies: Diffusion of Responsibility’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 8, No. 4, April 1968), pp. 377–8 Link:https://rusi.org/sites/default/files/201602_clat_policy_paper_4.pdf

The article is currently available, for free:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19434472.2015.1101147#aHR0cDovL3d3dy50YW5kZm9ubGlu ZS5jb20vZG9pL3BkZi8xMC4xMDgwLzE5NDM0NDcyLjIwMTUuMT EwMTE0N0BAQDA=

03-11-2016, 09:13 AM
An indicator of what can happen within a family:
Javeed went missing in early 2014 and is believed to have been killed alongside another British jihadist. His older brother, Jamshed Javeed, a science teacher at the Sharples High School in Bolton, planned to join his brother in Syria.His family begged him not to go but when he refused they secretly recorded him talking about his plans for jihad. The recording was passed onto police and the older Javeed was jailed for six years (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-31749157).

04-11-2016, 03:29 PM
A lengthy WaPo report, using mainly French sources, reveals how one woman decided to help the police end an active terrorist after the Paris attacks:https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/one-woman-helped-the-mastermind-of-the-paris-attacks-the-other-turned-him-in/2016/04/10/66bce472-fc47-11e5-9140-e61d062438bb_story.html? (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/one-woman-helped-the-mastermind-of-the-paris-attacks-the-other-turned-him-in/2016/04/10/66bce472-fc47-11e5-9140-e61d062438bb_story.html?tid=ss_tw)

His plans were derailed largely because of his decision to involve two women whose impulses when faced with the choice of trying to help him or stop him were immediately at odds.

The relationship between the two women in many ways reflects broader tensions in Muslim communities across Europe over interpretations of their religion, degrees of loyalty to their countries and the insidious appeal of the Islamic State.

The most important factor, her motivation, with my emphasis:
It’s important the world knows that I am Muslim myself...It’s important to me that people know what Abaaoud and the others did is not what Islam is teaching.

06-15-2016, 09:36 PM
A short, post-Orlando article and citing Professor John Horgan:
People don’t act because they convince themselves that what they see is not serious enough to report — or they’re just afraid of speaking to the police.Link:http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/06/14/terrorism-s-bystander-effect.html

It only covers "lone wolves".

06-20-2016, 10:18 PM
A rare, first-hand account by someone who called the police with their concerns. In this case a WaPo article:https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/06/20/i-reported-omar-mateen-to-the-fbi-trump-is-wrong-that-muslims-dont-do-our-part/? (https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/06/20/i-reported-omar-mateen-to-the-fbi-trump-is-wrong-that-muslims-dont-do-our-part/?postshare=6831466452762820&tid=ss_tw)

09-23-2016, 09:17 AM
A NYT article on whether the warning by Ahmad Khan Rahami’s father to the FBI that his son should be of interest:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/nyregion/ahmad-khan-rahami-bombing.html?

This is not a "black -v- white" matter:
While Mr. Rahami has spoken briefly about his contact with the F.B.I., the interviews this week provided his most detailed public account so far. His description of that contact differs starkly from the one given by law enforcement officials, who on Thursday challenged the father’s account, saying he did not provide the F.B.I. with many of the details about his son that he now says he did.Worth citing NYPD's response in full, given at a Congressional hearing this week:
John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism for the New York Police Department, outlined the challenges facing agents as they investigate such cases — especially given the number of people they look into and the threshold that must be met to take action. 'If you have that many contacts with that many people over that period of time, it’s increasingly likely that the next time something happens, it’s going to involve somebody that you knew, heard about, investigated, bumped or otherwise checked out. Now, that’s a good thing in that, when you’re assessing who to look at first and they come up in those records, it gives you a basis to go forward. It’s also a liability in that people have somewhat of a misconception about our ability to put someone under surveillance, leave them there indefinitely.'

02-07-2017, 10:04 PM
This article is added as it has many links to research in the USA on the role of Muslims in CT; obviously the context is President Trump's Executive Order on restricting seven nation's citizens entering the USA.

I don't recall this:
According to the New America Foundation’s research (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-phone-record-collection-does-little-to-prevent-terrorist-attacks-group-says/2014/01/12/8aa860aa-77dd-11e3-8963-b4b654bcc9b2_story.html?utm_term=.7b1051124144), NSA’s phone records surveillance program “had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism."Link:https://shadowproof.com/2017/01/27/american-muslims-stop-terror-attacks-nsa/

03-16-2017, 10:51 PM
Adapted from the post added to the thread on UK CT.

Ten days ago UK CT's most senior police officer started a new campaign to explain and obtain greater public support. In doing so he revealed some new figures:
....there were 500 live counter-terror investigations at any time. Information from the public has helped police in a third of the most high-risk investigations, figures show.It has also contributed to stopping some of the 13 attacks - a figure one higher than the last update, given in October.Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39176110

There are two podcasts: Hostile Reconnaissance (23 mins) and Multiple Bombings (18 mins):
They tell previously untold stories of how terrorist attacks on UK soil were prevented thanks to information from the public.Link to the campaign:https://act.campaign.gov.uk/

The campaign is based on an opinion poll and a review, as the UK police leaders group explains on their website. They are now known as the NPCC and were formerly ACPO. With my emphasis in one sentence:
The research used to shape the ACT campaign was commissioned by CT policing and carried out by an external agency. In total 2198 adults across England, Wales and Scotland were asked about attitudes towards aspects of CT policing. Key finders were:

73% of respondents said they were concerned about terrorism.
17% (top score) of respondents said the main reason for concern is that terrorism is unpredictable and can affect anyone, anywhere.
75% of respondents said police were working hard to prevent terrorism.
79% of respondents said it was not just the responsibility of the police to tackle terrorism.
83% of respondents said it was important communities work together to defeat terrorism.
29% of respondents said they might not report suspicious behaviour in case their suspicions were incorrect.
39% of respondents said they were unsure what kind of activity they should be reporting.
26% of respondents said they might not report suspicious behaviour as they wouldn't want to be seen as wasting police time.

In addition, CT Policing analysed 100 of our most high-risk current/ongoing operations. In a third of these cases we found that we had received information from the public that assisted the investigation, including new leads or corroborating facts. This has helped us build a stronger intelligence and evidence picture to enable us to confront and manage the threat posed by these suspects.Link:http://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/police-call-on-public-to-help-tackle-increasingly-complex-and-varied-terrorist-threat

I have not seen such polling data and such a partial analysis in the public domain before. The polling data and the implications are detailed in a short paper:http://www.npcc.police.uk/ACT%20Campaign/NPCC%20Counter%20Terrorism%20Research%20Key%20Find ings.pdf

As UK CT policing have '500 cases at any time', the overall contribution would be far lower - 6.6%.

03-21-2017, 08:05 AM
AND what is interesting is the secular impact of those refugees especially coming from Syria and Iraq on the more conservative Turkish population... Side note....far more "tips" about radicalize individuals" are now coming in from those "refugees" than ever before....as they fully understand the "threat" far better than most.

Moderator's Note

This post has been edited down to fit here. The original is Post 4 on:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=24796

04-04-2017, 09:35 PM
A Chicago-based academic lawyer has a short note on a different approach; which fits here:
Community-led counterterrorism presents an untapped opportunity, as it recognises that religiously defined communities have a distinct role to play in responding to growing terrorist recruitment efforts in Europe and North America.Link:https://sustainablesecurity.org/2017/03/16/the-case-for-community-led-counterterrorism/

05-24-2017, 03:53 PM
Amidst the BBC News "rolling" coverage of the Manchester attack is this:
A Muslim community worker has told BBC News that members of the public called the police anti-terrorism hotline warning about the Manchester suicide bomber’s extreme and violent views several years ago.The BBC also understands that Abedi was in Manchester earlier this year when he told people of the value of dying for a cause and made hardline statements about suicide operations and the conflict in Libya.
The community worker – who did not want to be identified – said two people who knew Salman Abedi at college made separate calls to the police.
They had been worried that “he was supporting terrorism” and had expressed the view that “being a suicide bomber was OK.” The friends had argued with him, telling him he was wrong but had become so concerned they contacted the police.
The community worker told the BBC “all of the publicity is about Muslims not coming forward and this shows that they are coming forward and expressing their concerns.”
The calls are thought to have been made around five years ago after Abedi left school, where he was known to have smoked marijuana and mixed with gangs in south Manchester.
Greater Manchester Police said they would not comment on the claims.

Link and item is at 1635hrs:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-manchester-40007967

06-13-2017, 10:32 AM
Jason Burke, in The Observer writes again on the 'first line' of defence in CT, after the recent attacks in the UK and his article ends with:
The only way potential attackers will be identified before they kill and maim is through the most old-fashioned means one can imagine: someone warning authorities about what they plan to do. This can be people in the workplace, the mosque, or at school. Research tells us that more than 70% of Islamic militants who operate alone tell someone of their plans. The first line of defence against Islamic militancy is not our crash barriers or covert operations, nor armed cops or MI5, it is a potential terrorist’s brother, mother, partner or friend.Link:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jun/10/how-to-detect-potential-terrorist-heed-warnings-of-family-and-friends

07-10-2017, 08:05 PM
The reverse of telling the authorities. A mother in Birmingham (UK) whose son left for Syria and died there fighting with ISIS:
The clues were difficult to decipher; their contexts always allowed for other, perfectly innocent explanations.....With hindsight, I should have questioned more his distancing of himself from his usual social group — and, possibly, the watchful eye of his father. Naïvely, perhaps, I had passed off the changes in Rasheed as his exploring and forming an identity away from his parents. It was the biggest mistake and regret of my life. But ask any parent of teenagers: Would you have done better?Link:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/opinion/sunday/my-son-the-jihadist.html?_r=0

The mother told the police he had gone to Syria and went onto found a group to help families in such predicaments.

08-15-2017, 08:26 PM
A BBC report on a current trial of a Muslim convert who was radicalised quickly and left for Syria - where he was stopped and returned to the UK. It appears he had an arranged Muslim marriage, who disliked his extremism and told someone and two undercover MI5 agents become his trusted friends.

It almost fits what the UK's most senior CT police officer referred to in a Q&A:
Q: Police now work closely with MI5, sitting, literally, alongside them, so you’re getting all that intelligence. But is it harder to counter the threat from lone actors, because, by definition, they are loners and are working alone?
A: Well you can get intelligence about loners but it comes from different sources. So many of the lone actors have at some stage in their radicalisation connected into extremist groups in this country; or connected online to some of the propaganda being put out by Isis and other groups. So that gives us opportunities but also, of course, intelligence comes from communities. So, we’ve got examples where an escalating threat from lone actors has been spotted first by someone in the community who’s picked up the phone to us and that makes a difference. So when I talk about a “whole system effect”, I think expecting a small group of a few thousand police officers and security service officials to be able to solve this is not realistic. We will do everything we can to improve but we’re going to need that wider input from public and other agencies.Link:http://news.met.police.uk/blog_posts/the-threat-of-terrorism-60655

Update 21/12/17 after court:
Watson, 27, who held "deep radicalised views" was jailed for five years

08-21-2017, 10:08 AM
The police-operated ATS Hotline after a FOI request has reported:
Calls to a dedicated police hotline rocketed by more than 600 per cent in just six months as thousands of potential leads poured in.
(Later) It received 22,729 calls in the year to the end of June 2016 - almost double the tally of 11,892 in the previous 12 months. The service took 21,596 calls from July 2016 to June 2017.Link:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/calls-police-terror-hotline-tip-offs-up-600-per-cent-uk-attacks-a7897346.html

I wonder if calls to MI5 (Security Service) have also gone up.

10-03-2017, 01:22 PM
Nearly missed this report on Anglo-Australian academic research on 'community reporting'; the Australia research came first and was built upon here:
It expands and develops the approach of the Australian study through a sample of 75 community members and professional practitioners, with a particular focus on young adults, matching the demographic profile of many plotters and those who travelled to Syria. The UK study’s preliminary findings suggest we need to re-examine policy and practice approaches around two key issues.Two points emerged:
First, sharing concerns with authorities about an ‘intimate’ is likely to be the last resort, with respondents much more likely to seek help from figures of authority within communities first....Second, reporting processes around terrorism are not clearly understood by community members or professional practitioners and need to be both strengthened and clarified. As in Australia, respondents in our current study express a strong preference for face to face reporting – they largely do not trust on-line or telephone based methods.Link to summary article:https://crestresearch.ac.uk/comment/community-reporting/ and the full report (not yet read) is:https://crestresearch.ac.uk/resources/community-reporting-thresholds-full-report

(Added) A statement in November 2017 by a senior police officer, responsible for CT; which in sum says:
funding cuts for local policing will harm intelligence efforts

02-26-2018, 05:27 PM
Rather unusual as the discovery was made by a non-UK national:
Hussain's activities came to the attention of counter terrorism police after a man reported receiving an email from him. The court heard how the witness, who lives outside the UK, emailed the Home Office in March 2017 after receiving a private message on Facebook, from someone he did not know, inciting him to join Daesh.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: "This investigation started with one conscientious individual trusting his instincts and reporting something suspicious. He could have ignored the message Hussain sent him but instead he took a screenshot of the message and contacted the UK authorities immediately. It is in great part thanks to him that police were able to bring Hussain to justice."Link:http://news.met.police.uk/news/man-jailed-for-online-terrorist-offences-296161

03-10-2018, 09:20 PM
Came across this via a pointer in a journal article and it refers to the unsuccessful London bombings:
Said is wanted in connection with a blast on a No 26 bus in Hackney Road. In a statement, the family of the 27-year-old said that as soon as they saw his picture on news reports they contacted police....Said's family said they moved from Eritrea to the UK in 1990. They said he left home in 1994, lives alone and is "not a close family member."
Link (background): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21_July_2005_London_bombings and story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4718797.stm

03-19-2018, 08:25 PM
Earlier in this thread I have cited UK court cases where families have regretted calling the police after incidents etc.

Now we may see a high profile case in Florida, where the wife of the Pulse night club attack is due to reach trial and on March 30th 2018 she was found not guilty. From:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43599130

From the New Yorker:
Salman’s trial is expected to raise questions about what level of responsibility family members have to report suspicious behavior. It is also expected to draw more attention to the relationship between domestic violence and mass shootings. The link is well known among researchers, and increasingly part of the public conversation, but the domestic-violence laws that do exist—such as banning convicted abusers from owning guns, or a strangulation statute that could have put Mateen behind bars—are not always enforced. In recent years, domestic-violence incidents have foreshadowed shootings in Sutherland Springs, Texas; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Northern California; and Harvey County, Kansas.
Salman’s relatives say that she did not know Mateen planned to carry out the attack. Her lawyers will likely argue that if the F.B.I. failed to detect Mateen’s radicalization, his wife would not have been able to do so either.

03-20-2018, 10:56 AM
A new national CT campaign:
It’s more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism. Your actions could help the police prevent terrorism and save lives.

The BBC report citing the police:
The campaign - encouraging people to report suspicious behaviour - comes as figures reveal 30,984 reports were made to counter-terror officers in 2017. More than 6,000 of those reports helped inform live investigations, police say.

03-20-2018, 11:08 AM
Last week an Iraqi teenage asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan, who had been in foster care for two years, was convicted for a bomb attack on the London Underground, the bomb was faulty and only partly worked, injuring fifty-one. The foster parents knew nothing about his intentions, nor that for a year he had been subject of a counter-radicalisation action. Hassan awaits sentencing.

The carers were interviewed by ITV and this link is a detailed account. It ends with:
We've asked ourselves time and time again 'what did we miss? Link:http://www.itv.com/news/2018-03-19/stunned-foster-parents-tell-itv-news-they-loved-parsons-green-bomber-ahmed-hassan-like-a-son-and-never-suspected-him/
The BBC News report is shorter:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43463856

04-14-2018, 01:57 PM
A fascinating blog article from Belgium by:
a journalist working for the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws

The explanation:
Families of terror suspects often suffer from all kind of prejudice. It is thought that they are covering for their relatives, that they have contributed to the radicalization themselves, or that they quietly are proud. Sometimes that is true — but it seems rather rare, according to research published in the Belgian newspaper ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’. We examined how people landed on the Belgian list of foreign fighters and recruiters — and found that on a total number of 450 cases where authorities acted on external tip-offs, family members who raised the alarm were the most important factor.

(More on the research process): We based our research on a list of 811 suspected foreign terrorist fighters, people willing to leave for jihad, and recruiters — compiled by the Belgian federal government’s Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis (CUTA, also known as OCAD in Dutch and OCAM in French). Since the allegations often haven’t been proven in court, we don’t mention full identities unless an individual was publicly named and/or convicted already for a terrorist offense. It is crucial to add that a single allegation like the ones we mention, never was enough to be put on the list. That happened only after further investigations resulted in additional evidence. Finally, it has to be stressed that the percentages do not refer to the total number of suspects, but only to the 450 cases for which the list explicitly mentions an external tip-off as first indication or decisive confirmation of the suspected radicalism.

In a possibly unique way they explain the 'external sources' who provided tip-offs:

26% denounced by relatives
25% were flagged by foreign partners (notably Turkey)
13% gave too much away on social media
5% were exposed by public sources
4% spilled the beans themselves (one wrote to the Belgian King)
2% detected at schools / universities
1% reported by employers / co-workers
24% could not be classified (amendment after author update)

The individuals merely detected by police and intelligence work (or without any mention of external sources, at least) were not included in the 450 cases I've studied, so they are the remainder of the total number of 811.

09-21-2018, 10:31 AM
Both the mother and wife of Khalid Masood, who killed four pedestrians and a police officer in a car and knife attack @ Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster in March 2017, have offered their evidence on what they knew beforehand.

10-11-2018, 12:44 PM
A "lone wolf" example of a plot detected and in the USA:
A man who planned to blow himself up in Washington DC on the day of next month's mid-term elections has been held and charged, US prosecutors say.They say Paul Rosenfeld, 56, built a 200lb (91kg) explosive device and wanted to detonate it on the National Mall in the capital on 6 November.
They say he wanted to draw attention to his belief in "sortition" - a political theory that advocates the random selection of government officials.
This came after an individual had received letters and text messages from the suspect about the plot, and had alerted the authorities.

Link:https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-york-man-wanted-blow-himself-national-mall-election-day-n918771 and cited text from https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45818990


11-19-2018, 10:28 AM
From an Australian newspaper, written after the Melbourne street attack (where three were stabbed, one died and culprit was shot dead):
Most terrorism experts are agreed that the untempered lecturing of Muslim communities is counterproductive. It denies their history of co-operation and hints at some sinister recalcitrance. But it’s unlikely that these very public addresses are intended for Islamic leaders – they’re meant to reinforce a general impression of the government’s strength, even if it may perversely undermine it.
I spoke with one federal police officer with extensive experience in community policing and liaison with mosques. “Generally, the relationship between police and the Muslim community is good,” they said. “Counterterrorist and intelligence agencies understand that we get a lot of our intelligence from within the Islamic community, so it is important to foster a strong and lasting relationship. Generally, there is a multicultural liaison officer in each city, [for example] the City of Dandenong, that works directly with all the different communities and their leaders. These liaison officers are often the first point of contact between the community leaders and police. Some of the mosques tend to not be as receptive and are sceptical of police, while others have integrated well and collaborate well with police, sharing information openly and freely.
“My concern from a policing perspective is to not demonise the Muslim community. They are our primary source of intelligence in relation to radicalised individuals. I don’t think the greater community appreciate that this is where we get our intelligence from – members within that community. They have to continue to feel comfortable in coming forward and co-operating with police.”
Peter Lentini reinforced this: “The record needs to be set straight: when these problems started... take an investigation like [Operation] Pendennis – they actually began with tips from Muslim communities themselves. So that myth is shattered. That’s extremely important. It demonstrates that Muslims follow the law. I’ve written extensively on this, as have others. Many of these people have come from circumstances that anyone in a uniform is someone who may harm them. So for them to come to police, it’s a big vote of confidence in the state.

You may have to register to view, as their system allows one free article per week.

01-24-2019, 02:09 PM
Moderator adds: Copied from UK CT thread and edited down for this thread

The Independent:
Public tip-offs to terror police halve in year, officials warn as more UK plots foiled

From the later:
Mr Basu said the flow of intelligence from members of the public was vital. “I know some people are still reluctant to speak to us,” he acknowledged. “To them I say, reporting your concerns to us won’t ruin lives, but it might save them.”
In 2017, more than 31,000 reports were made to counterterror police, but last year the number fell to 13,000.
In both years, more than a fifth of tips were “very significant”, leading to the identification of a suspect or plot, or aiding prosecutions.

Locally a senior CTU officer added a little, with my emphasis:
However, crucial intelligence from the public has helped the police and the security services have prevented 18 terror attacks in just under two years. Twenty-two per cent of all reports we receive from members of the public produce important intelligence which is helpful to our investigations. “Like other criminals, terrorists need to plan and that creates opportunities for police and the security services to discover and stop these attacks before they happen. So if you see or hear something unusual or suspicious trust your instincts and ACT by reporting it in confidence by phone or online. The important thing for people to remember is that no report is a waste of our time. Reporting your concerns to us won’t ruin lives, but it might save them."