6 Analysts and investigators need to keep open minds, be creative in approaches, and avoid assumptions that are not based on fact and corroboration. Information that has been gathered according to the guidelines above-properly standardized, formatted, and entered into Ð° secure criminal intelligence database-is the starting point for the intelligence interpretation phase. However, no matter what the quality of the data or the magnitude of the database, it is analytical processes that extricate the intelligence.
It is essential to have an approach and to know the data. Random querying based on Ð° mere hunch or memory is like driving with ones eyes closed. Analysts must have Ð° hypothesis or Ð° structured analytical problem as their roadmap, and then they can start breaking down the information into manageable or working parts. Listed below are four general intelligence gathering and interpretation factors.
7 These should be used as Ð° starting point when initiating analysis concerning homeland security, terrorism, and or organized hate groups: 1. Group information-Name(s), ideology (political or social philosophy), history of the group, and dates significant to the group (including dates on which former leaders were killed or imprisoned); publications (some groups also have Ð° bible or manifesto that outlines activities-current, future, or hypothetical); gatherings, meetings, and rallies (often posted in periodicals or on the Internet).
2. Financial information-Sources of funds, proceeds from criminal activities, bank account information (domestic and foreign); the groups legal and financial supporters (generally, anyone who would write an official letter of protest or gather names on Ð° petition for Ð° terrorist is Ð° legal-financial supporter, and sometimes an analysis of support will reveal links or mergers with other terrorist groups). 3.
Personnel data-List of past and current leaders; list of active members and former members; any personnel connections between its members and other groups of similar ideology; group structure, particularly if the organizations pattern is based on columns and cells; and the skills of all group members, e. g. , weapons and electronics expertise, and explosive training. To assess threat, it is vital to know the skills of the groups.
For example, if a group believes there leader is very important then what could happen if something happens to the leader. Often, the analysis of family background is useful to determine how radically Ð° leader or member was raised or to identify military tenure or training. Ð decade ago the Gulf War ended with Ð° tickertape parade in Manhattan for General Schwarzkopf and other American heroes who had returned victorious from the battlefield.
Also around ten years ago the Russian War in Afghanistan ended in Ð° defeat of the Russians. Afghanistan had been Russias Vietnam and, in some readings, Russias defeat had led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and thus, again, the victory of the United States. Some philosophers even thought that history had ended with the end of the competition between capitalism and communism. But perhaps neither history nor these wars themselves ended.
Ten years later Manhattan was the target of an attack, in which Ð° majority of young Saudis, strongly opposed to the presence of the US military in Saudi Arabia near the Islamic holy places, during and after the Gulf War, played Ð° dominant role. This protest had been voiced in many ways by religious leaders who criticized King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, the guardian of the two noble Sanctuaries (Mecca and Medina), but the religious form of the protest and its significance in the Saudi polity had been ignored, since it was hardly recognizable and interpretable for Western media.
In one of the many ironies of recent history, the CIA had brought many of the radical opponents of the close collaboration between the Saudi regime and the Americans to Afghanistan where they had successfully driven the Russians away, but subsequently had helped their fundamentalist Pathan allies, the Taliban, to establish Ð° radical Islamic state. The most important of the Arab supporters of the Taliban was Osama bin Laden, Ð° Saudi millionaire who used Afghanistan as Ð° base for an anti-American terrorist network, called Al-Qaeda.
The Americans therefore decided to attack Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack on New York and Washington, and the war ended with an American victory in Afghanistan. But, again, the seeds of Ð° new war were already visible in the relatively fast toppling of the Taliban regime. President Bush Jr. decided that he should finish what his father had not accomplished in the first Gulf War, namely the ousting of Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq, together with his entire regime. With the Bush family in charge in these wars, one gets the feeling of watching Ð° television miniseries with different episodes. (Peter 2004 9)