Page 11 of 25 FirstFirst ... 91011121321 ... LastLast
Results 201 to 220 of 487

Thread: Terrorism in the USA:threat & response

  1. #201
    Council Member bourbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    903

    Default

    Inside the spy unit that NYPD says doesn't exist, by Adam Goldman. Associated Press, 31 August 2011.
    NEW YORK (AP) — From an office on the Brooklyn waterfront in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, New York Police Department officials and a veteran CIA officer built an intelligence-gathering program with an ambitious goal: to map the region's ethnic communities and dispatch teams of undercover officers to keep tabs on where Muslims shopped, ate and prayed.

    The program was known as the Demographics Unit and, though the NYPD denies its existence, the squad maintained a long list of "ancestries of interest" and received daily reports on life in Muslim neighborhoods, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
    “[S]omething in his tone now reminded her of his explanations of asymmetric warfare, a topic in which he had a keen and abiding interest. She remembered him telling her how terrorism was almost exclusively about branding, but only slightly less so about the psychology of lotteries…” - Zero History, William Gibson

  2. #202
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,208

    Default We call it 'Rich Picture'

    This 'mapping' is a well known UK CT tool, often arousing controversy amongst those normally targeted an I've selected one of the first Google hits:
    ‘Rich Picture’ is a mechanism to gather National Security intelligence to identify investigative opportunities for both local and regional levels. ‘Rich picture’ has been termed ‘neighbourhood policing intelligence for counter terrorism’....These will inform local decision-making and guide suitable interventions involving local strategic partners and communities.
    Link:http://www.mpa.gov.uk/committees/mpa/2008/080724/08/

    IIRC there are older posts on the subject, which has roots in what the UK did in Northern Ireland; others refer to it as 'ground cover'
    davidbfpo

  3. #203
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4,021

    Default Augustin Sting Operation Affirmed by 11th Circuit

    The Eleventh Circuit, United States v. Augustin, has affirmed the convictions of Burson Augustin, Stanley Grant Phanor, Patrick Abraham, Rotschild Augustine, and Narseal Batiste (collectively, “Appellants”).

    They were all convicted of:

    (1) conspiracy to provide material support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization (Al Qaeda) by agreeing to provide personnel (including themselves) to work under Al Qaeda’s direction and control, knowing that Al Qaeda has engaged or engages in terrorist activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B;

    and (2) conspiracy to provide material support by agreeing to provide personnel (including themselves), knowing and intending that they were to be used in preparation for and in carrying out a violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 844(f)(1) and (i), and to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, and ownership of such material support, all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339A.

    Abraham and Batiste were also convicted of conspiracy to maliciously damage and destroy by means of an explosive a building leased to an agency of the United States (the FBI) and a building used in interstate and foreign commerce (the Sears Tower), all in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(n). Additionally, Batiste was convicted of conspiracy to levy war against the Government of the United States and to oppose by force the authority thereof in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2384.
    This opinion dealt with multiple issues, which Bobby Chesney has summarized at Lawfare, Convictions Affirmed in “Miami Seven” Case:

    * Charges under the material support statutes (2339A and 2339B) are not subject to the Treason Clause because the elements of those offenses differ from a charge of treason.

    * The evidence was sufficient to support the conclusion that the defendants conspired to act under al Qaeda’s direction and control, rather than to act independently.

    * The opinion is somewhat unclear regarding the defendants’ argument that taking photographs of federal buildings from public viewpoints cannot constitute material support. On one hand, the opinion clearly rejects the argument that such activity implicates the language in Holder v. HLP in which the Supreme Court discussed whether speech imparted specialized knowledge. On the other hand, the panel went on to focus on the defendants’ participation in an al Qaeda oath ceremony as well as their acts of photography, rather than just saying that the photography was itself an act of material support.

    * It does not matter if a person takes an oath to support al Qaeda based on financial motivations rather than ideological affinity.

    * It is not clear whether the definition of “personnel” contained in 18 USC 2339B(h) apply as well to a material support charge based on “personnel” under 18 USC 2339A, though that turned out not to matter in this case since the evidence sufficed to meet the direction-and-control standard.

    * On the overall strength of the evidence and the fact that there were two prior hung juries: “We recognize that the evidence supporting Augustin’s, Phanor’s, and Augustine’s convictions on both Count 1 and Count 2 is far from overwhelming. Indeed, two juries failed to convict on these counts. But those juries also failed to acquit. Ultimately, with the benefit of three months of testimony and over five days of deliberation, the third jury arrived at a verdict, distinguishing between the various defendants and various counts. We cannot say that the jury was unreasonable in concluding that the government carried its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Augustin, Phanor, and Augustine violated § 2339A and § 2339B as charged.”

    * Applying a plain error standard, the panel rejected the argument that the FBI’s role in the scheme amounted to outrageous government conduct in violation of the Due Process Clause.

    * It was permissible for one of the investigating agents to testify about how various statements by a defendant had impacted the course of the investigation; this did not constitute improper testimony about the defendant’s state of mind, though the court called this a “very fine line.” The testimony also was relevant in that it was probative of why the investigation unfolded as it did, an issue that had become material because of the entrapment issue.
    The importance of this case is that, from start to finish, the plot was fabricated by the FBI and its informant from the local Muslim community - and was, in that sense, not "real". As I've said a number of times, the defense of entrapment (in one form or another) is often asserted, bur rarely successfully.

    Regards

    Mike

  4. #204
    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    224

    Default Lone Wolf attack thwarted in NYC

    An unspecified individual and threat was arrested earlier today in NYC after they were reportedly planning a lone wolf attack on armed service members returning home from deployment.

    This is a just breaking story,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/1...n_1104195.html

  5. #205
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    861

    Default

    Looks like the most incompetent and closely surveilled "lone moron" yet.
    The Jihadi cause in the US seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.
    To an outsider like me, it does look like the threat from a real organization with state patronage may be the only serious threat. Everything else is just police work and dumb luck (or lack of it). Organizations that used to have state patronage may still have some serious capabilities, but without a sanctuary, a serious well planned attack seems hard to imagine.
    And before anyone jumps on me, let me note that I think 9-11 plotters did indeed have a sanctuary and did have training and support from more than one state (including, for some of their helpers, from the US in the 1980s). No self-started group of wannabe jihadis could have done it then and none can do it now.
    Of course, there may be a whole secret world of plotters out there about whom I am clueless. But from reading the news, doesnt this look like a fair summary?

  6. #206
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    I agree there are a lot of incompetent want to bes out there, especially the self actualized the ones who are limited to training via the internet. However, I disagree that without State support we don't have to worry about a serious terrorist attack. Of course depending on your view of serious. I would consider Tim McVeigh's (sp?) attack on the Federal Building in Oklahoma a serious attack without a State sponsor. There are plenty of opportunities for ex-military members/police from numerous nations to train indepedent actors (with no state sponsors) to be fairly competent with small arms and to develop home made explosives. The Mumbai attack was state sponsored, but it definitely doesn't have to be. I think of two incidents off hand where one or two attackers without State sponsors caused a lot of mayhem. The bank robbers in L.A. a few years back who wore head to toe body armor and held off a number of police officers for an extended period of time. If it was their intent to kill civilians and a lot of them, they easily could have. The kid at the college/university in W. VA who managed to kill several students before the police responded. Some consider MAJ Hansan's attack in TX a serious attack. A couple of other attacks come to mind overseas. First the chemical in Japan by Aum Shinrikyo, and the right wing Italians who denotated a large bomb in a train station in Bologna that killed over 80 people.

    If you're asking if a non-state sponsored group can conduct a 9/11 level attack, I think the answer is a definite yes, but those attacks will outliers not the norm, because most people who gravitate to terrorism are relatively incompetent to begin with, but there are exceptions and for those exceptions there are opportunities for mass mayhem.

  7. #207
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    861

    Default

    you are right about the possibility of mayhem with lone rangers (the Norway Shooter would also qualify). I was wrong. What I would now say (having been corrected) is that whether they kill a lot of people or not, they are then police problems, not military problems. No war needs to be launched to stop such attacks and no war can do anything about them. State-sponsored terrorism is an entirely different problem and is a more logical target for state-to-state confrontation, pressure and even war (though the cost-benefit in favor of war may be relatively rare, dont you think?).
    Something like that. As you can see, I am making this up as I go along. I aim to learn.

  8. #208
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    What I would now say (having been corrected) is that whether they kill a lot of people or not, they are then police problems, not military problems. No war needs to be launched to stop such attacks and no war can do anything about them.
    I can understand the logic behind this statement, but I am not entirely convinced this is true. I definitely agree there is no requirement for large military forces to occupy foreign lands to fight terrorism, but I think there is still a major (I would argue a critical) role for intelligence and special operations forces to continue waging a war against these groups in the shadows. That is sustainable long term (from the cost perspective) and I think ultimately more effective. The example given for this thread was a homegrown threat that clearly was a police problem, but his mentor Anwar Awlaki was an intelligence/SOF problem, as are many others who plan and inspire operations against the U.S. from afar. The police can only act defensively, which doesn't give us much depth when it comes to defense. I think an offensive element for this conflict is critical.

  9. #209
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,665

    Default

    In Jose Pimental Terror Case, FBI Worries Over Informer

    The suspect had little money to speak of, was unable to pay his cellphone bill and scrounged for money to buy the drill bits that court papers said he required to make his pipe bombs. Initially, he had trouble drilling the small holes that needed to be made in the metal tubes.

    The suspect, Jose Pimentel, according to several people briefed on the case, would seek help from a neighbor in Upper Manhattan as well as a confidential informer. That informer provided companionship and a staging area so Mr. Pimentel, a Muslim convert, could build three pipe bombs while the Intelligence Division of the New York Police Department built its case ...

    Mr. Pimentel, 27, who lived with his uncle in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood after his mother threw him out recently, appears to be unstable, according to several of the people briefed on the case, three of whom said he had tried to circumcise himself ...

    In the task force, investigators were concerned that the case raised some entrapment questions, two people said. They added that some investigators wondered whether Mr. Pimentel had the even small amount of money or technical know-how necessary to produce a pipe bomb on his own, had he not received help from the informer ...

    There is a practical advantage to bringing the case in New York State court: state prosecutors said they were allowed to charge Mr. Pimentel with a conspiracy, even if he were acting with just the informant; federal law does not permit charging such a conspiracy.

  10. #210
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    861

    Default

    OK, so we may be converging to the same points.
    1. A state that clearly sponsors terrorist groups would face at least the possibility of war, if other means don't work. But other means can probably work against most states except a couple of big powers (if you include blockade and such-like in other means) as long as "the international community" knows what it wants and why?
    2. A group that operates without direct state support still lives in some state (like Awlaki in Yemen). Either that state takes care of him (which may take us to 1 if they don't) or if they don't have the capacity, then someone or something (these days, thing more likely than one) goes and blows him up? Is that what you are saying?
    3. In both cases, occupation is not the first or even the tenth choice.

    So what to do about occupations already in progress?
    and what if other considerations set aside 1 and 2?
    Does the US still occupy countries to get oil or bases or copper mines (or better terms for United Fruit)? This is not a rhetorical question. I am genuinely curious. Coming from a left-liberal universe, we were always exposed to the idea that those are primary goals in most interventions. Some (like the United Fruit business) obviously happened, but maybe events in small banana republics in the home hemisphere were never typical of worldwide US actions (i.e., the Left used them for propaganda even where it was not remotely true). In any case, is that the case any longer? does the US ever intervene militarily for these reasons? and if so, how can it ever pass a cost-benefit analysis? and if not, then what was the thought process behind, say, the occupation of Iraq? Just one of those things that happen (as in "#### happens"). Perhaps because it IS profitable for a number of individuals and companies even if it is a huge loss for everyone else?
    I personally lean more towards the last two sentences, but am genuinely open to being convinced otherwise.

  11. #211
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default Out in left field -- maybe

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    The example given for this thread was a homegrown threat that clearly was a police problem, but his mentor Anwar Awlaki was an intelligence/SOF problem, as are many others who plan and inspire operations against the U.S. from afar. The police can only act defensively, which doesn't give us much depth when it comes to defense. I think an offensive element for this conflict is critical.
    And at home under the guise of support to law enforcement ? Our military would have no problem protecting our borders and supporting our police.

    I realize I'm a bit out in left field, but, what good is it to have our intel and military if they are not covering home plate ?

    Short of martial law that is
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  12. #212
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    Stan,

    If the military is required to protect the homeland by operating in the homeland it can do so (if they're directed to by the appropriate authorities), but the current threat sure as heck doesn't require that and it is unlikely that this particular group will ever require augmenting the police with the military again in the near term with the possible of exception of deploying troops to airports in reaction (not to prevent) a successful attack. I think the local police and feds can handle most of the issues. For the ones they can't they can always ask for help.

  13. #213
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,208

    Default The Idiot Jihadist Next Door?

    Reading US coverage of suspected terrorism within the USA I have been puzzled at the series of plots uncovered - as my earlier posts indicate - and of late the difference between NYPD and the FBI over the threat posed in plots NYPD investigated.

    This FP article is rather stark:
    Pimentel had managed to scrape down "over 700" match heads -- which usually utilize phosphorus as the active agent -- to manufacture his explosive material. Leaving aside the stupidity of scratching match heads when gunpowder works just as easily, fans of the Discovery Channel's Mythbusters might recall that the show's hosts failed to produce an explosion when they ignited one million match heads. The idea that the scrapings from 700 match heads dispersed across three pipe bombs would kill "a lot of people" is suspect at best.
    This paragraph refers to statistics and cites melons:
    That statistic warrants repeating: Despite dozens of plots, homegrown jihadists have only managed to kill 15 people in the United States since 9/11 -- and 13 of those deaths were the result of one unstable soldier's shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. Just to put this in perspective, more Americans have been killed here at home by contaminated cantaloupe in the past few months than have been killed by violent Islamic extremists in the past decade!
    Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article..._door?page=0,0

    For a host of reasons, many political, others bureaucratic and some sinister it is hard to get a sensible, public statement on the real threat posed by the "enemy within".
    davidbfpo

  14. #214
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hiding from the Dreaded Burrito Gang
    Posts
    3,096

    Default

    The Nigerian Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram poses an “emerging threat” to the United States and is set to join other al Qaeda affiliates in plotting attacks against the U.S. homeland, a congressional panel said Wednesday.

    U.S. intelligence agencies must not underestimate Boko Haram’s ability and desire to strike directly at the United States, a mistake they made with al Qaeda affiliates in both Pakistan and Yemen in recent years, a House Homeland Security subcommittee said in a bipartisan staff report published at a hearing Wednesday.

    “The U.S. intelligence community must not underestimate Boko Haram’s intent and capability to strike U.S. interests and most importantly, the U.S. homeland,” said Rep. Patrick Meehan, Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the Homeland Security subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...-threat-to-us/


    On Tuesday, Defence Minister Bello Haliru Mohammed said Nigeria was strengthening defence ties with neighbouring Niger to stem the flow of weapons from Libya, Nigeria's privately owned Tribune newspaper reports.

    "We are very much aware of the movement of arms and explosives that were stolen from Libya," he is quoted as saying.

    Mr Mohammed said the European Union (EU) had also offered to assist.

    "They have fears also of disruption in our sub-region, if these weapons are allowed to proliferate without challenge. And Mali, Central African Republic, Mauritania [and] Niger are all coming together to set a joint operation to fight movement of these weapons," he is quoted as saying.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15981656

    See also
    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=7914
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  15. #215
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,208

    Default "American Jihadist Terrorism: Combating a Complex Threat"

    Hat tip to LWOT that the Congressional Research Service (CRS) have published this report, which on a quick skim is encyclopaedic in coverage and sources. Maybe useful as a reference guide:http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/R41416.pdf
    davidbfpo

  16. #216
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    114

    Default Al-Shabab: a threat to the USA today?

    Post created for a new thread; please refer to Post 5 for cross-references.

    So much for African terrorism not being of concern to the US. In a story just out today by longtime federal prosecutor W. Anders Folk in testimony before th the Investigative Project on Terrorism:
    According to an investigative report issued in July by the House Homeland Security Committee's majority staff, Shabaab-related federal indictments "account for the largest number and significant upward trend in homegrown terrorism cases" filed by the Justice Department, with at least 38 cases unsealed since 2009
    Link:http://www.investigativeproject.org/...shabaab-threat
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-07-2011 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Citation in quotes, add link to source and PM to author. New thread created and moved here.

  17. #217
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    789

    Default

    Doesn't Al Shabab in the US have more to do with a large concentration of Somali immigrants in places like Minnesota?

    That is a risk that has to be dealt with, but it is nothing like the Muslim enclaves in Bradford, Birmingham and London. (I once lived in Leeds, not too far from Bradford).

    America is great at integrating immigrants unlike most of Europe.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-07-2011 at 09:51 PM. Reason: New thread created and moved here.

  18. #218
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Estonia
    Posts
    3,817

    Default Investigative Report

    Al Shabaab: Recruitment and Radicalization within the Muslim American
    Community and the Threat to the Homeland

    COMMITTEE FINDING: More than 40 Americans from Muslim-American
    communities across the U.S. have joined Shabaab since 2007, including two-dozen
    recruits from Minneapolis, Somalia experts told the Committee’s Majority staff. Three
    who returned home have been charged in U.S. courts, one awaits extradition from The
    Netherlands, and 15 are believed dead, leaving as many as 21 American Shabaab
    fighters still at large or unaccounted for. At least 20 Canadians of Somali descent,
    many from Toronto, also have disappeared and are believed to have joined Shabaab,
    according to Canadian security officials.
    Much more at the link
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-07-2011 at 09:52 PM. Reason: New thread created and moved here.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  19. #219
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    789

    Default

    Is Al Shabab:

    1. Purely an Islamic terrorist organisation.
    2. A nationalist movement triggered by the US sponsored invasion of Somalia.
    3. Equal parts (1) and (2).

    I'm asking because I suspect it is not only Islam motivating a significant number of ethnic Somalis to fight against foreign forces in Somalia or to attack the US.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-07-2011 at 09:52 PM. Reason: New thread created and moved here.

  20. #220
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,208

    Default Al-Shabab: a threat to the USA today?

    Post created for a new thread and so will appear out of sequence.

    Three members have drawn attention whether the Jihadist group in Somalia, Al-Shabaab / Al-Shabab poses a threat to the USA and this discussion may take-off.

    There are several threads on the subject, notably Terrorism in the USA:threat & response (merged thread):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=8828

    Somalia: not piracy catch all thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=8468

    Horn of Africa historical (pre-2011): catch all thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=789
    davidbfpo

Similar Threads

  1. Sunni and Shi'a Terrorism: Differences That Matter
    By Jedburgh in forum Adversary / Threat
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 02-21-2009, 08:44 PM
  2. Terrorism: What's Coming
    By Jedburgh in forum Adversary / Threat
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 12-11-2007, 08:56 PM
  3. Country Reports on Terrorism 2006
    By SWJED in forum Adversary / Threat
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-02-2007, 09:33 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •