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Thread: State & Local Intel in the GWOT

  1. #1
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    Default State & Local Intel in the GWOT

    RAND just published another good product:

    State and Local Intelligence in the War on Terrorism
    Most discussion of information sharing in the war on terrorism has concentrated on the federal government. Yet, state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) may be uniquely positioned to augment federal intelligence capabilities by virtue of their presence in nearly every American community, their knowledge of local individuals and groups, and their use of intelligence to combat crime. How widespread is counterterrorism intelligence activity among state and local LEAs, and how is this activity managed? What are those state and local authorities doing differently since 9/11 in collecting and processing information? How are courts and other oversight bodies guiding that process? And what might an “ideal” division of labor among the various levels of government look like?

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default Localities Operate Intelligence Centers To Pool Terror Data

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...123000238.html


    Frustrated by poor federal cooperation, U.S. states and cities are building their own network of intelligence centers led by police to help detect and disrupt terrorist plots.

    The new "fusion centers" are now operating in 37 states, including Virginia and Maryland, and another covers the Washington area, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The centers, which have received $380 million in federal support since the 2001 terrorist attacks, pool and analyze information from local, state and federal law enforcement officials.

    The emerging "network of networks" marks a new era of opportunity for law enforcement, according to U.S. officials and homeland security experts. Police are hungry for federal intelligence in an age of homegrown terrorism and more sophisticated crime. For their part, federal law enforcement officials could benefit from a potential army of tipsters -- the 700,000 local and state police officers across the country, as well as private security guards and others being courted by the centers.
    But the emerging model of "intelligence-led policing" faces risks on all sides. The centers are popping up with little federal leadership and training, raising fears of overzealousness such as that associated with police "red squads" that spied on civil rights and peace activists decades ago. The centers also face practical obstacles that could limit their effectiveness, including a shortage of money, skilled analysts, and proven relationships with the FBI and Homeland Security.

    Still, the centers are emerging as a key element in a sometimes chaotic new domestic intelligence infrastructure, which also includes homeland security units in local police forces and 103 FBI-led terrorism task forces, triple the number that existed before the Sept. 11 attacks.
    Fusion centers are becoming "part of the landscape for local government," said the incoming D.C. police chief, Cathy Lanier. But she warned that police are navigating a new patchwork of state and federal privacy laws that govern the sharing, collection and storage of information. "We're in a very precarious position right now," she said. "If we lose community support, that is going to be a big deal for local law enforcement."

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    ...the centers are emerging as a key element in a sometimes chaotic new domestic intelligence infrastructure, which also includes homeland security units in local police forces and 103 FBI-led terrorism task forces, triple the number that existed before the Sept. 11 attacks...
    Guidelines for Establishing and Operating Fusion Centers at the Local, State, Tribal, and Federal Level

    FY 2007 Homeland Security Grant Program Supplemental Resource: Fusion Capability Planning Tool

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    We have a Fusion Ctr. here in MA, though no one can tell this street cop how to access or contribute to it. It is quite frustrating as at the street level, we get very little intel or tips.

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    Default Lessons to Learn?

    All too easy from this side of the Atlantic to say - the 'Need to Know' prevails, rather than the 'Need to Share'. No wonder the cop on the ground has been given little guidance on what to look for.

    Dispite our experience of the 'Irish Troubles' for over thirty years, we too are struggling to find satisfactory guidance for the cop on the ground.

    Davidbfpo
    U.K.

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    Info-sharing within the broad LE community has come a long way since 9/11 - but there are still significant obstacles to overcome before emerging capabilities can be leveraged and exploited by the average cop.

    When I first began working with a county-level "joint" gang task force, it was very frustrating to realize that none of the individual city jurisdictions could communicate with each other - no 'net connectivity at all, and extremely limited comms otherwise. "Info sharing" was conducted the old-fashioned way - by physically going over to the other guy's office and comparing notes. Given the size of the county and the tempo of ops, this was a long way from being even minimally effective.

    Now, any LEO can obtain access to systems like CyberCop, FPS Link Portal, LEO and their respective part of the RISS system. Each is a very useful resource in its own context, and provides information that your average city cop would have had an extremely hard time getting his hands in a timely fashion pre-9/11. However, none of these even begin to address the problem of rapid dissemination of tactical intelligence across jurisdictions.

    The real point is that the bad guys stay abreast of LE capabilities and they exploit these comms gaps and manning issues. (Manning issues - in CA the cost of living has resulted in many jurisdictions being significantly understrength, and attempts to concentrate manpower in hotspots and during critical time periods only results in constant catch-up as the bad guys displace)

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Without going onto a long rant and rave about all this, I could not agree more with all the above posts. I have done the meet me at the local coffee shop so many times just to find out what is going on routine it is ridiculous. This is a serious problem and needs to be fixed. Yes improvements have been made but we still have a long ways to go.

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Cool Online Lectures On Intelligence Analysis


    WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE?
    "Common sense is not so common" (Voltaire)

    Intelligence is different from information-processing. It's not the sort of brain intelligence, or small-letter i intelligence that psychologists study. Intelligence can be defined as "secret knowledge of an enemy, the kind of knowledge which stands independently of the means by which it is obtained and the process by which it is distilled" (Troy 1991). Intelligence is the same as "foreknowledge, a kind of prophecy-like craft, which is always on alert, in every part of the world, toward friend and foe alike" (Dulles 1963). Intelligence is never an end in itself, but is always directed toward other ends, such as winning a war, coming out ahead of the competition, or aiding with the investigation of crime, in which case the title "intelligence analyst" is synonymous with "crime analyst." Intelligence is also like social science, since it tries to analyze and predict political, economic, and social behavior. However, social science is value-free, and intelligence is inherently partisan. Shulsky and Schmitt (2002) define intelligence as "the collection and analysis of intelligence information relevant to a government's formulation and implementation of policy to further its national security interests and to deal with threats from actual or potential adversaries." Intelligence can be thought of as a PROCESS (the means by which secret information is collected, analyzed, and disseminated), as a PRODUCT (the analyses, reports, and briefings that are useful or "actionable"), and an ORGANIZATION (a collection of units or agencies that carry out intelligence work).
    ONLINE LECTURES ON INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS

    http://faculty.ncwc.edu/toconnor/427/427lects.htm



    Lessons Learned Information Sharing

    Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS.gov) is the national network of Lessons Learned and Best Practices for emergency response providers and homeland security officials. LLIS.gov's secure, restricted-access information is designed to facilitate efforts to prevent, prepare for and respond to acts of terrorism and other incidents across all disciplines and communities throughout the US.

    Secure: LLIS.gov is an encrypted system and all users are verified emergency response providers and homeland security officials.

    Peer-validated content: All Lessons Learned and Best Practices are peer-validated by homeland security professionals.

    After Action Reports and Information clearinghouse: LLIS houses an extensive catalog of AARs as well as an updated list of homeland security documents from DHS, and other Federal, State, and local organizations.
    DHS LLIS
    https://www.llis.dhs.gov/index.cfm
    Last edited by sgmgrumpy; 01-29-2007 at 11:37 PM.

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    Interesting article on the Terrorism Liaison Officer concept and its implementation from a FD perspective in the current (Feb 07) Fire Chief magazine: The Best Defense
    ...Firefighters are instinctual and often recognize when something isn't right, but without some basic awareness training, they likely are unable to verbalize these instincts. However, a program recently launched in Arizona could provide a solution.

    The Arizona Terrorism Liaison Officers program features weekly briefings on the newest terrorism techniques, trends, tactics and procedures. The program is operated out of the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center, or ACTIC, and includes participants from 21 law enforcement, four military, five federal and 13 fire service agencies throughout the state....

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    N-DEx: Law Enforcement National Data Exchange
    Create an electronic catalog of criminal information from around the country, give it some powerful search and analytical tools, push relevant information to users through subscription alerts, and enable new levels of communication and collaboration between those with similar interests. That’s our vision for N-DEx, the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange initiative. N-DEx is currently under development by the FBI and its partners, and the first stage will be launched early next year. Learn more here about how it works and how it will improve law enforcement’s ability to fight crime and terrorism.

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default FBI seeks vendor for NGIC gang intelligence

    Jedburgh,

    You aware of this new NGIC? Interesting how this has come about.


    FBI seeks vendor for NGIC gang intelligence


    The FBI is seeking proposals to develop and integrate gang intelligence analysis and workflow capability for its National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) to support law enforcement.
    Currently, NGIC does not possess a centralized information system that can receive, store, manipulate or exchange gang information, including photographs and other identifiers, from federal, state and local law enforcement. In addition, the center does not connect to either the Regional Information Sharing System Network or GangNet, two major gang intelligence systems that law enforcement agencies nationwide use. NGIC participants agree that equal and equitable information sharing is a key to the center’s success.
    The NGIC information technology support system will be a sensitive-but-unclassified system.

    The contract would have a one-year base period and four option years. The base period will start one year from the award date. Proposals are due July 9.

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    Exclamation State & Local Intel in the GWOT

    I was glad to see that the article in the Fire Chief magazine was quoted in this forum. I have worked in the AcTIC (Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center) since it's inception, and can tell you that we are very proud of what we have built out here. With all of the AZ links to 9-11, we had to get much better at communicating between all agencies, and we had to do it fast. (AZ is cited 59 separate times in the 9-11 Commission report)

    We have been operational since 2004, and continue to make improvements to our system. I am saddened to see some of the other posts about the lack of information getting out to the line level officers, from other centers around the country. With the federal agencies and all the state and local agencies all in one building it makes information sharing very simple and easy. Sometimes we in law enforcement make information sharing too difficult a task than what it has to be... we put up barriers where they don't need to be between levels of government and other agencies.

    As mentioned in the Fire Chief magazine, our Center also includes a very close knit partnership with the states Fire Agencies. I ask the states that don't have close ties with their fire agencies, is where is all your information coming from then? Partnering with the Fire agencies and Private Security increases your "eyes & ears" out in the State and builds your protective lines and levels of security around your state.

    I can't think of too many things that other states come to AZ for to learn how to do things right... and we aren't saying that we have all the correct answers, but we know we have a great program out here, and we continue to evaluate what is working and what doesn't and we change from there. Our citizens in AZ expect it from us, and we are doing everything we can to keep AZ Safe.

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    CRS, 6 Jul 07: Fusion Centers: Issues and Options for Congress
    ...Fusion centers are state-created entities largely financed and staffed by the states, and there is no one “model” for how a center should be structured. State and local law enforcement and criminal intelligence seem to be at the core of many of the centers. Although many of the centers initially had purely counterterrorism goals, for numerous reasons, they have increasingly gravitated toward an all-crimes and even broader all-hazards approach. While many of the centers have prevention of attacks as a high priority, little “true fusion,” or analysis of disparate data sources, identification of intelligence gaps, and pro-active collection of intelligence against those gaps which could contribute to prevention is occurring. Some centers are collocated with local offices of federal entities, yet in the absence of a functioning intelligence cycle process, collocation alone does not constitute fusion.

    The federal role in supporting fusion centers consists largely of providing financial assistance, the majority of which has flowed through the Homeland Security Grant Program; sponsoring security clearances; providing human resources; producing some fusion center guidance and training; and providing congressional authorization and appropriation of national foreign intelligence program resources, as well as oversight hearings. This report includes over 30 options for congressional consideration to clarify and potentially enhance the federal government’s relationship with fusion centers. One of the central options is the potential drafting of a formal national fusion center strategy that would outline, among other elements, the federal government’s clear expectations of fusion centers, its position on sustainment funding, metrics for assessing fusion center performance, and definition of what constitutes a “mature” fusion center. This report will be updated....

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    Registered User ntstlkr's Avatar
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    Default LE and the Color Purple

    Cheers All,
    Having stumbled upon this site a little while back I've been reading the threads with great interest, but this one in particular stood out as I reflect upon my own experience and observations.

    A little background on yours truly. I currently work in ICE, within DHS, as part of a multi-agency "Task Force", for want of a better term, primarily in the counternarcotics/human trafficking/CT fields, doing case coordination/deconfliction between agencies and analysis of TIII information. I've only been working in the LE field since 1998 (back when ICE was US Customs), previous to that I was in the Army since the mid-80s (with all the appropriate campaign ribbons and deployments etc). Although it's going on nearly a decade, I find my mindset still revolves around military terms and methodology (for better or worse).

    This is the context that I place the title of my post in. For all that the LE community has a large number (not absolute and no numbers on specific ratios) of current/prior service personnel, I find that at least one thing has not been carried over from our collective time in uniform. Purple. In military terms, purple is more than a color, it's a mindset, backed by doctrine and continuous review of practices. Surely Joint Operations has come along way since the Goldwaters-Nochols Act of '86. It's execution is not perfect by any means, and there remains, even at this date two decades later, plenty of inter-service rivalries/redundencies which need to be addressed. But the US Military of the 21st Century is far and above a more cohesive fighting machine than the one I was a part of when my unit moved out to the GDP in West Germany (when there was a West Germany). Or even when, a few years later, we hit the big sandbox in Saudi Arabia and crossed into Iraq the first time. By the time I made it to Sarajevo with IFOR, Joint Operations had probably gone from a grudging exception to something a little more approaching the norm. And it continues to this day.

    Faced with a glaring inability to operate together and several operational failures/almost failures (Desert One, Grenada, etc), some members of Congress, at least (one of the few times that political body has done anything worthwhile some would say), recognized the fact that confronted with an enemy that numerically outmatches us, and in some cases technologically as well, our only recourse in order to win when fighting against such a foe would be to fight harder, faster, and smarter than what the enemy was capable of responding to. We could no longer afford to allow the interservice rivalries and self hindering practices we indulged ourselves with to get in the way of the most fundamental aspect of military operations: finding and destroying the enemy.

    Sure, as I've said, there always remains room for improvement. But noone even questions the existance of Joint Operations nor the basic principles involved in it's Doctrine, even if debate occurs regarding it's execution.

    In a few short monthes it will be 6 years since 9/11. That one day provided the impetus for the LE community to undergo the same shift in focus and practice that the Military underwent after Desert One and Grenada. Yes, the Department of Homeland Security was created to bring all the disparate LE agencies which should have been working together beforehand under one roof and central direction. But creating a new department and org charts alone does not create "jointness". In the military context at least, which is the lens through which I still judge effectiveness.

    We still wrangle over enforcement jurisdiction and keep investigative information from each other. There is constant in-fighting over case information disclosure and operational details that should be shared between impacted departments, determining who is going to "lead" the investigation, and so on. And this is in a unit that, I have to admit, is actually one that's better than most at "sharing" information. If anything it's exactly what the unit was created to address.

    So the question is why, after all this time, is the concept of Joint Operations still foreign to LE? I have my own ideas about that and what to do about it but I'd ask the readers of the forum what they think about the idea/issue.

    For all that Intelligence needed a reform after the events of 9/11, I would forward that Intelligence Reform will be ineffective without basic LE Reform. That LE Intelligence Operations will never reach their full potential for effectiveness until LE itself has undergone a sea change.

    Sorry for the long and drawn out rant but any thoughts?
    "Heart grow stronger, Will more firm, Mind more calm, as Our strength lessons.."
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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default Crime info trumps terror data at fusion centers

    Crime info trumps terror data at fusion centers


    http://www.washingtontechnology.com/...topic=homeland


    Anti-terrorism information-sharing and analysis is taking a back seat to criminal intelligence at the more than 40 state intelligence fusion centers, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

    State governors created the centers, and the Homeland Security Department provides part of the funding. Their purpose is to fuse federal, state and local intelligence against terrorism, but CRS found the fusion centers have gravitated more toward collecting and analyzing criminal intelligence and all-hazards intelligence. The service found few indications that the centers have been making efforts to become aware of terrorist plans and foil attacks.

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    Registered User ntstlkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgmgrumpy View Post
    Crime info trumps terror data at fusion centers :confused
    Cheers SGM,

    This is an interesting article but, in itself, not very suprising nor, when you think about it, should be.

    For all that terrorism and terrorism related activity is ongoing 24/7, when compared to the more common concerns of drug and human trafficking it becomes obvious where the ratio of effort will slide. This isn't to say that the CT function gets shelved, but that to be perfectly honest, terrorism isn't the only game in town nor is it the only thing that threatens national security. For every terrorist (home grown or import) there's a thousand drug dealers, traffickers, and those who trade humans as commodities. And that's just here in the good 'ol US of A.

    The number of CT related investigations being pursued by an individual state or even a group of states could probably be counted in one hand. Two at most. The number of narcotics, money laundering, and human trafficking (the red headed step child of the bunch) can number in the hundreds easily within one state alone.

    Other factors include the limited resources a state or group of states may have to bring in collecting intelligence on any potential terrorist group and, if such a group gets noticed, whether the matter automatically brings federal attention (and usurption) in the process. It would be hard to imagine the FBI, upon being notified of a possible terrorist cell operating in Nashville say, not wanting to become a part of the investigation. Much less taking the lead should the presence and activities of the cell become confirmed.

    The fusion centers, at least from the federal perspective, are little more than middle men. They coordinate info sharing and leads during the initial phases of an investigation, but they would subsequently be subsumed should the case actually trip to something substantive.

    In the mean time, they are rather expensive (and knowing that no government program, whether state or federal, is beyond the bureaucratic intertia to keep growing, expand services, increase funding etc) to keep around to JUST work CT issues. Especially when there is so much else that can use the effort. As a FC manager, I'd probably be selling my programs ability to coordinate investigations, case information, etc for all it's worth to the drug enforcment community. Likewise, those "FCs" like EPIC and NDIC and so on have done the same in reverse.

    The question should be can CT inspired fusion centers retain their focus while working these other adjunct areas? Will they forget their primary purpose for being?
    "Heart grow stronger, Will more firm, Mind more calm, as Our strength lessons.."
    Battle of Malden 991 AD

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    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    usurption Forgive me; I had to look that one up


    Personally I think they should be used in such a manner. Nothing wrong with a METL for a fusion center. I would assume priorities are controlled and changed on a 24/7 basis.

    Article does not cover exactly how they are operated in-depth, as they should not, but to the average civilian, it looks as if Uncle Sam is again throwing money towards something it was not intended for. Drugs, Gangs, Org Crime as far as I am concerned are all just as important to NS as terrorism.

    The benefits of those fusion centers are just too great not to have them covering the entire spectrum of insuring homeland is secure.

    A former police chief recently described it best. "Traditional Police methods do not work anymore, we have to find different methods/tactics in fighting crime."

  18. #18
    Registered User ntstlkr's Avatar
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    Aye SGM,

    I had a discussion awhile back w/one of our agents, about the time when we had just undergone the "big marriage" into DHS. I had basically taken the viewpoint that, for a large part (and from a more military midset) the DoJ can be subsumed under DHS as in the end, crime has (always been tbh) emerged as another factor that effects National Security concerns. Not everyone agrees with that assertion but there it is. Crime facilitates terrorist activities. From providing methodologies/TTPs to funding streams for operations, crime is intimately related to terrorism in ways beyond falling under a lump legal classification of "illegal activities".

    Case in point is meth production and trafficking. My group was involved in a number of cases where individuals and groups were importing the precursor chemicals, manufacturing, then distributing meth. The procedes from these operations were then plugged back into the cycle to purchase additional quantities of precursors to continue the operation. A significant portion of the money was also remitted to charity organizations known to be associated with terrorist groups and/or the terrorist groups themselves. Time and competition from traditional criminal organizations has caused their share of the meth market to go down but it hasn't stopped them from continuing to find other traditionally criminal enterprises to enter in order to continue raising money. The secondary benefit, from the terrorist leadership standpoint, is that the "enemy" is having to deal with the problems of narcotics. it adds up to another way to wage war, in effect, another front in the fight.

    Evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, the intimate relationship traditional criminal activity has with terrorism, and therefore National Security, is still something some folks (both in and out of LE) have a time getting their heads around.

    Does it mean we should federalize all LE and just plop the DoJ under the DHS? No. But we really have no over-arching plan, no joint concept of operations that ties ALL the disparate agencies and operations together.

    I had proposed that something along the lines of the combatant commands, with unified and specified commands throughout conus. The reason behind this is twofold. First, none of our organizational structures coincide with each other. For example, the DEA has it's SACs and Field Offices as do we (ICE), but our organizations are not structured to support each other. Much less the FBI or anyone else. We each just tend to our own backyards and address our own particular priorities of the moment (read administration) but beyond that nada. Secondly, as we have seen with 9/11, but has really been apparent to anyone who's been paying attention for the last few decades, when we have noone who is in charge, noone who is in a position to make decisions that cut across organizational boundries and assign priorities that affect conditions right there at the ground, all the notions of inter-agency cooperation goes out the window.

    We need someone to be in charge of the California AOR, for instance, who can keep tabs on what all the little indians are doing and direct them to accomplish certain objectives. Of course, not many, if at all, of the agencies are going to like that kind of setup because it relegates them to second tier status like the service heads.

    I didn't mean to go so far afield with the rant but the point is that the fusion centers are just a small part of what needs to be put into operation. And without the overriding structure and organization to go along with it, their effectiveness will be about as good as our success in the "War on Drugs", pretty minimal. They are great ideas and should have been up along time ago. But as it stands, they still won't add up to much beyond just what they are, individual parts of a system that should be acting as just that: a system.
    "Heart grow stronger, Will more firm, Mind more calm, as Our strength lessons.."
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  19. #19
    Council Member sgmgrumpy's Avatar
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    Default Kurdish Gangs Emerge in Nashville

    I find it odd that this type intermixing from muslim youths would only be unique to Nashville area. Detroit I would say has to be #1 based on population.


    NASHVILLE, TN

    But now the Kurdish immigrant community has been shaken to see its young people joining a street gang that blends old-world customs and new-world thuggery. Police blame the gang for a string of rapes, assaults and home invasions.

    The gang calls itself Kurdish Pride and is made up of 20 to 30 teenagers and young adults.

    They also put Kurdish flags on their cars, and use yellow - from the Kurdish Democratic Party banner - as their gang color. On their Web sites, they talk about Kurdish music and culture.

    Unlike other gang members, most Kurdish Pride followers grew up in stable, working-class, two-parent homes, and many of their parents own successful businesses or work at universities, Nashville Detective Mark Anderson said.

    The Kurds, most of whom are Sunni Muslim, come mainly from Turkey, Iraq and Iran but have their own language and culture. Kurdish immigrants have sought refuge in Nashville since the 1970s, creating the largest community of Kurds in an American city, with about 10,000 members, Karadaghi said. More Kurds fleeing persecution came to Nashville in the late '90s, and many attend the city's public schools.

    Gang members say they formed Kurdish Pride in response to threats and harassment after the Sept. 11 attacks, Anderson said. But Anderson, who works their neighborhood, said he has never heard of any violence against the Kurds.

  20. #20
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default LE Tech In COIN Operations

    Fantastic article from newest issue JFQ on how the Chicago CLEAR system was used in Iraq. Link to article
    http://www.ndu.edu/inss/Press/jfq_pa...ions/i46/7.pdf

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