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Old 10-25-2014   #21
AmericanPride
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David,

Thanks for sharing. In the era of big data though, I wonder how much of the challenges of searching for the 'lone wolf' can be minimized insofar as identifying and detecting a specific pattern of behavior that indicates a potential threat. Corporations have more or less mastered this as far as directed marketing campaigns (one amusing example being a father discovering his daughter's pregnancy through a retail corporation's mailed advertisements). If we know the causes of radicalization, we can in theory develop measures to identify and interdict individuals as they progress through the radicalization process.

The other problem is that law enforcement agencies are not intelligence agencies. Law enforcement is built around criminal conduct, mostly after the fact, and our civil rights and legal protections reflect this frame of thinking. Intelligence however is (mostly) in the business of predictive analysis, and this requires a very different kind of engagement within the operational area. The Threat Matrix by Garrett Graff has a chapter about the FBI's transformation from a criminal-procedural paradigm to a domain intelligence paradigm. Historically, the FBI trained its agents to investigate attacks after the fact, and the FBI by all accounts is very good at that. But intelligence requires casting a wide net, developing a sustained and engaged presence in the operational area, and a measure of risk-taking.

I think this goes back to process - despite the extensive academic research on this subject, the U.S. government does not have a systematic process to address this problem as a preventative effort. Instead, we wait for the next 'lone wolf' to attack and we sit around blaming each other for failure.
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Old 10-26-2014   #22
Bill Moore
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AP

The FBI and large city police departments have intelligence sections. Furthermore the FBI has disrupted a number of lone wolf's over the past few years. I'm sure big data played a role, but I suspect good ole HUMINT played a larger role. Police in larger cities seem to be increasingly proactive. I doubt they have the resources to do so in smaller towns.

How proactive can we be though without becoming a police state? Terrorists don't pose a threat to our physical survival as a state, but they can significantly change the character of our country based on how we react. That is a threat to our Constitution, which we took an oath to defend. The challenge is finding the middle ground between protecting our people and defending our Constitution.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-27-2014 at 01:41 PM. Reason: FYI changed to FBI
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Old 10-27-2014   #23
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Default Identification of loners

American Pride cited in part:
Quote:
In the era of big data though, I wonder how much of the challenges of searching for the 'lone wolf' can be minimized insofar as identifying and detecting a specific pattern of behavior that indicates a potential threat.
Identification of a lone wolf / wolves I expect has been discussed here before, especially as there appears to be a strong overlap with the more regular shootings at US schools and colleges - which kill many more people than most lone wolfs / loners. Except Breivik in Norway and a certain US Army officer.

There are at least three relevant threads, lone wolves in the USA: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=17199 a more general thread on non-US lone wolves:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=16226 and the US CT thread:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=8828

I am sceptical that 'big data' can help. Are their behaviour patterns recorded as data and so available for searching? In some communities mental illness carries such "baggage" that it is dealt without external, non-family help and drug abuse - which features in the Ottawa murder - can be treated in confidence by agencies that do not report.

Cross-posting a useful reference source, in a book review:http://myemail.constantcontact.com/W...id=NTVA0fJIrmM

Yes some wolves maybe identified by intelligence work, especially if on a case by case basis public and private agencies are prepared to report their concerns.

Nor should we overlook the role of parents, families and friends who are finally driven to report concerns over an individual.

Big snag is will such information arrive at the right place to assess and action. I fear in many places it will be a first responder or a call-taker who will screen out such a warning signal.
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Old 10-27-2014   #24
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Thanks to Twitter two useful academic references to US-UK research, one is online and the other only an abstract. The theme is Mental Illness and Lone-Actor Terrorism, although far more is covered.

Article:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...029.12312/full

Abstract:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25133916

What is of note is that a third of:
Quote:
Lone-actor terrorists regularly engaged in a detectable and observable range of activities with a wider pressure group, social movement, or terrorist organization.
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Old 10-27-2014   #25
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Wouldnt it make more sense to revoke their passports AFTER they got to Syria, land of the barrel bomb and other delights...
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Old 10-27-2014   #26
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Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
Wouldnt it make more sense to revoke their passports AFTER they got to Syria, land of the barrel bomb and other delights...
That certainly has been discussed as an option, in the UK and Canada. It does have a number of negative and positive aspects.

One downside is that those who change their minds and seek to return cannot readily return. I understand that making someone stateless has some legal issues.
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Old 11-09-2014   #27
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Default Defending Canada: an undercover Jihadi

Advance notice of a new book's publication (in the UK) on the Toronto plot, jointly written by Anne Speckhard, a psychologist and Mubin Shaikh.The actual title: 'Undercover Jihadi: Inside the Toronto 18 - Al Qaeda Inspired, Homegrown, Terrorism in the West'.

Quote:
Mubin Shaikh is one of the very few people in the world to have actually been undercover in a homegrown terror cell. His is a story of growing up Muslim in an age where militant jihad is glorified, of being caught between two identities and finally emerging victorious.
A number of glowing reviews and several podcast segments by Shaikh:http://www.annespeckhard.com/undercover-jihadi.html

It appears to have been published last month in North America:http://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Jih.../dp/B00NMR9T46
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Old 05-23-2015   #28
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A new comprehensive database on terrorism occurring in Canada, or involving Canadian perpetrators, victims or targets, has added another tool to the belts of policymakers focused on anti-terrorism efforts. The open-source Canadian Incident Database is available for free at extremism.ca. It captures unclassified incidents from 1960 to present, including hoaxes and threats. Data was drawn from more than a dozen existing datasets...
Link:http://www.embassynews.ca/news/2015/...qrcvw5.twitter

We should all have such information, even better if linked to criminal proceedings and the result.
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Old 10-29-2015   #29
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Default Toronto on brink of a mob war, Italy warns

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Mobsters around Toronto are on the brink of armed warfare in a brewing feud between some of the world’s most powerful and wealthiest gangster clans, according to wiretaps secretly recorded in Italy.

Friction between Mafia families in Canada has already triggered one brazen murder, an unsolved shooting last year outside a café in Woodbridge, north of Toronto, authorities in Italy warn after listening to private conversations between an accused mafioso who returned to Italy from Toronto.

The allegations on the inner workings of Ontario-based mob families are revealed in documents prepared by prosecutors in Italy in a sweeping anti-Mafia case targeting the “elite” of the underworld.
http://www.canada.com/news/toronto+b...566/story.html
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Old 08-11-2016   #30
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Default Just in time

An interesting example of an ISIS sympathizer, a white convert, who is active online and required to enter into a 'Peace Bond', alongside bail conditions - deemed low risk. Then the FBI acquire information on an unknown suspect planning an attack, alert the RCMP and they decide this man is the suspect. In a confrontation he is shot dead.

Read on:http://www.cbc.ca/news/terror-threat...rcmp-1.3715969

A shorter news story:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37053521
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