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Thread: What & Who discovers terrorist plots?

  1. #41
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Friends ID Lone Wolves?

    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 Latanť, ‘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...cy_paper_4.pdf

    The article is currently available, for free:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/...EwMTE0N0BAQDA=
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-29-2016 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Add 2nd link
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  2. #42
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    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.
    Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-to-jihad.html
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  3. #43
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    Default Not in my name

    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?

    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:
    Itís important the world knows that I am Muslim myself...Itís important to me that people know what Abaaoud and the others did is not what Islam is teaching.
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  4. #44
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    Default Why do so many stand by and let these attacks happen?

    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/article...er-effect.html

    It only covers "lone wolves".
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-15-2016 at 09:51 PM. Reason: 24,603v
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  5. #45
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    Default I reported Omar Mateen to the FBI.

    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/?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-20-2016 at 10:24 PM. Reason: 25,195v
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  6. #46
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    Default Father told the FBI "watch him"

    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/ny...-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.'
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-23-2016 at 09:19 AM. Reason: 29,908v
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  7. #47
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    Default One of the U.S.ís major CT assets: Muslims themselves

    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, NSA’s phone records surveillance program “had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism."
    Link:https://shadowproof.com/2017/01/27/a...r-attacks-nsa/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-07-2017 at 10:07 PM. Reason: 37,353v up by 7k in four months
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  8. #48
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    Default Communities Defeat Terrorism

    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/...rrorist-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%20Camp...20Findings.pdf

    As UK CT policing have '500 cases at any time', the overall contribution would be far lower - 6.6%.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-16-2017 at 11:44 PM. Reason: 40,005v 2.6k up in a month
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  9. #49
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    Default

    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/...ad.php?t=24796
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-21-2017 at 07:01 PM. Reason: Edited and Mods Note added

  10. #50
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    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...nterterrorism/
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-04-2017 at 09:36 PM. Reason: 41,635v
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  11. #51
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    Default Muslims help on Manchester attack's extremism

    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-en...ester-40007967
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-24-2017 at 03:54 PM. Reason: 45,269v
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  12. #52
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    Default Listen to the people they know

    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/...ly-and-friends
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 06-13-2017 at 10:33 AM. Reason: 46,942v
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  13. #53
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    Default A mother's tale from B'ham

    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. NaÔvely, 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/o...dist.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.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-10-2017 at 08:47 PM. Reason: 48,924v
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  14. #54
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    Default Pregnant wife 'snitches on' Muslim convert 'trying to join IS'

    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.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...yside-40863216

    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...errorism-60655

    Update 21/12/17 after court:
    Watson, 27, who held "deep radicalised views" was jailed for five years
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...yside-42440771
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-22-2017 at 06:35 PM. Reason: 51,224v 2.3k up. Add 2nd link.
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  15. #55
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    Default UK: public tips up 600% recently

    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...-a7897346.html

    I wonder if calls to MI5 (Security Service) have also gone up.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-21-2017 at 10:10 AM. Reason: 51,786v
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  16. #56
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    Default Community reporting: UK academic report

    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/...ity-reporting/ and the full report (not yet read) is:https://crestresearch.ac.uk/resource...ds-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
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...head-neil-basu
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-06-2018 at 10:02 PM. Reason: 54,882v 3k up since last post
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  17. #57
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    Default Man jailed for online terrorist offences - after an alert

    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-j...ffences-296161
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-26-2018 at 05:28 PM. Reason: 62,123v since last post. 7.2k up since last post.
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  18. #58
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    Default Back to the 21/7/2005 London attack

    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_Jul...ondon_bombings and story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4718797.stm

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  19. #59
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    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.
    Link:https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-...goes-on-trial?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-30-2018 at 07:47 PM. Reason: 63,654v. Edited to add ct result.
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  20. #60
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    Default New UK PR campaign

    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.
    Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6Sj...ature=youtu.be

    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.
    Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43465966
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