February 19, 2012 in Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Terrorist attack tactics used against mass transit and passenger railroad systems abroad provide insights that can assist law enforcement officers in securing these critical infrastructure assets. The chart below highlights common tactics noted in attempted or successful use of explosive or incendiary devices against mass transit or passenger railroad systems in attacks conducted between March 2004 and November 2009. The information about these attacks provides insights into device type, selection, and construction and can help law enforcement identify patterns and develop protective measures. Analysis shows terrorists have timed attacks during periods of peak ridership; used multiple, coordinated, drop-and-leave devices in identical or similar baggage; and placed devices inside rail cars to cause casualties among passengers.
February 17, 2012 in Afghanistan, United Nations
A decade after it began, the armed conflict in Afghanistan again incurred a greater human cost in 2011 than in previous years. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented 3,021 civilian deaths in 2011, an increase of eight percent over 2010 (2,790 civilian deaths) and a 25 percent increase from 2009 (2,412 civilian deaths). In 2012, UNAMA re-asserts the imperative for all parties to the conflict – Anti-Government Elements, and Afghan national and international military forces – to increase their commitment and efforts to protect civilians, and to comply fully with their legal obligations to minimize loss of life and injury among civilians.
February 17, 2012 in Department of Homeland Security
Social media are web-based and mobile technologies that turn communication into an interactive dialogue in a variety of online fora. It may be appropriate for the government, including DHS, to use social media for a variety of reasons. The President has challenged his Administration to use technology and tools to create a more efficient, effective, and transparent government1. DHS recognizes that the use of social media by government actors must occur with appropriate privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections; whether DHS is disclosing its informationand press releases via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, reviewing news feeds for situational awareness, or researching identified, discrete targets for legitimate investigatory purposes. Accordingly, DHS has created Department-wide standards designed to protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties in each category of its use.
February 16, 2012 in U.S. Army
With the continuing growth in the world’s urban areas and increasing population concentrations in urban areas, the probability that the US Army will conduct full spectrum operations in urban environments is ever more likely. As urbanization has changed the demographic landscape, potential enemies recognize the inherent danger and complexity of this environment to the attacker, and may view it as their best chance to negate the technological and firepower advantages of modernized opponents. Given the global population trends and the likely strategies and tactics of future threats, Army forces will likely conduct operations in, around, and over urban areas—not as a matter of fate, but as a deliberate choice linked to national security objectives and strategy. Stability operations––where keeping the social structure, economic structure, and political support institutions intact and functioning or having to almost simultaneously provide the services associated with those structures and institutions is the primary mission––may dominate urban operations. This requires specific and timely intelligence support, placing a tremendous demand on the Intelligence warfighting functions for operations, short-term planning, and long-term planning.
February 16, 2012 in U.S. Army
America has entered an era of persistent conflict where states, nations, transnational actors, and nonstate actors are increasingly willing to use violence to achieve their political and ideological ends. These entities will continue to challenge and redefine the global distribution of power, the concept of sovereignty, and the nature of warfare. Globalization, technology, population growth, urbanization, and demand for natural resources are creating an environment where the location of the next crisis requiring American intervention is not always predictable. Generally with little notice, Army units will be employed in complex and multidimensional environments; usually fought in urban terrain among noncombatant populations. Additionally, they will be called on to conduct full spectrum operations as part of an interdependent joint force conducting simultaneous offensive, defensive, and stability operations.
February 15, 2012 in U.S. Army
Currently, the intelligence warfighting function includes a formidable set of capabilities across all echelons from “mud-to-space.” This flexible force of personnel, organizations, and equipment collectively provides commanders with the timely, relevant, accurate, predictive, and tailored intelligence they need. We provide the intelligence that continuously supports the commander in visualizing the operational environment, assessing the situation, and directing military actions through ISR synchronization and the other intelligence tasks. The intelligence warfighting function is comprised of nine powerful intelligence disciplines. Eight of those disciplines essentially feed the discipline of all-source intelligence which in turn is focused on the commanders’ requirements. Technological advances have enabled single-discipline analysts to leverage other analysts and information and to conduct multi-discipline analysis to an extent not possible in the past. However, all-source intelligence is still the nexus that integrates information and intelligence from all units and the other intelligence disciplines.
February 15, 2012 in Afghanistan, U.S. Army
Most US personnel that are serving in Afghanistan have already served a tour in Iraq and are accustomed to doing things “the Iraq way”. Many people are trying to apply the lessons learned in Iraq to Afghanistan, which in many cases is inappropriate. AF2 wants to provide a product to US units to compare and contrast Iraqi tribal structure and Pashtun tribal structure to prevent future missteps by US forces.
February 15, 2012 in Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation
The purpose of this assessment is to alert law enforcement and homeland security officials about recent suspicious activity involving school buses and the licenses to drive them.
February 14, 2012 in Department of Energy
A sensitive country is one to which particular attention is given during the review and approval process for Foreign Visits & Assignments. Countries may be designated as sensitive for reasons of national security, nuclear nonproliferation, regional instability, threat to national economic security, or terrorism support. A foreign national is considered to be from a sensitive country if he/she is a citizen of a sensitive country or is employed by the government of an institution of a sensitive country.
February 14, 2012 in Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Terrorists overseas have suggested conducting vehicle ramming attacks—using modified or unmodified vehicles—against crowds, buildings, and other vehicles. Such attacks could be used to target locations where large numbers of people congregate, including sporting events, entertainment venues, or shopping centers. Vehicle ramming offers terrorists with limited access to explosives or weapons an opportunity to conduct a Homeland attack with minimal prior training or experience.
February 14, 2012 in Department of Homeland Security
On 5 February 2010, the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA)—an official British Government agency—announced the confirmation of one case in England of a heroin user testing positive for anthrax. HPA also said 19 cases of anthrax had been confirmed so far in Scotland and that the heroin, or a contaminated cutting agent mixed with the heroin, was the likely source of infection.
February 13, 2012 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States
Coalitions, which are created for limited purposes and for a set time, do not afford military planners the same political resolve and commonality of aim as alliances. Thus, planners must closely study the political goals of each participant as a precursor to detailed planning. Political considerations weigh more heavily with coalitions than with alliance operations. Coalition military operations are not new. The American, British, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand (ABCA) nations have participated together in several coalition operations during the twentieth century. Since human nature has not changed, conflicts over territory, religion, politics, and economics, such as those that prompted previous military operations, will continue to be widespread. The precise role of armies in these operations will vary according to each political and military situation.
February 12, 2012 in Afghanistan, U.S. Army
Senior ranking US military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the US Congress and American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognizable. This deception has damaged America’s credibility among both our allies and enemies, severely limiting our ability to reach a political solution to the war in Afghanistan. It has likely cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars Congress might not otherwise have appropriated had it known the truth, and our senior leaders’ behavior has almost certainly extended the duration of this war. The single greatest penalty our Nation has suffered, however, has been that we have lost the blood, limbs and lives of tens of thousands of American Service Members with little to no gain to our country as a consequence of this deception.
February 12, 2012 in National Guard
This Policy provides Information Assurance (IA) policies and mandates procedures for implementing the Army National Guard (ARNG) IA Program. The ARNG IA program will implement the Department of Defense (DoD) IA program, DoD Instruction (DoDI) 8500.2, “Information Assurance Implementation,” IAW Army Regulation (AR) 25-2, “Information Assurance” chapter 1 g-8 to support the DoD Information Management Strategic Plan, (IMSP). This Policy supports the Federal Information Security Management Act, (FISMA) 2002 and any other federal guidelines as needed; and shall be consistent with today’s technological advancements, in a generic fashion to avoid dependency on specific technology.
February 10, 2012 in U.S. Army
This hand book synthesizes current doctrine and emerging TTPs into a handbook for units assigned a Security Force Assistance (SFA) mission. Security Force Assistance is not a unit; it is a mission assigned to a unit. Army leaders will assign this mission to Modular brigades more frequently according to the realities of the operational environment. The Modular Brigade, with its broad and flexible command and control structure, is designed to conduct Full Spectrum Operations, which includes Security Force Assistance, but it requires augmentation and specific task organization to effectively accomplish Security Force Assistance tasks.
February 10, 2012 in Department of Homeland Security, Maryland
While efforts are increasingly aimed at understanding and identifying “hot spots” of ordinary crime, little is known about the geographic concentration of terrorist attacks. What areas are most prone to terrorism? Does the geographic concentration of attacks change over time? Do specific ideologies motivate and concentrate terrorist attacks? Moreover, what factors increase the risk that an attack will occur in a particular area? Using recently released data from the Global Terrorism Database, we address these gaps in our knowledge by examining county-level trends in terrorist attacks in the United States from 1970 through 2008.
February 10, 2012 in Afghanistan, North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A/CSTC-A) Organizational Chart from January 17, 2012.
February 9, 2012 in U.S. Joint Forces Command
Building on several previously completed studies of civilian casualties (CIVCAS) in Afghanistan, the US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) Joint Center for Operational Analysis (JCOA) partnered with Ms. Sarah Sewall of Harvard University to conduct an independent and comprehensive assessment of civilian casualties, the Joint Civilian Casualty Study, published in August 2010. The Commander, International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF), responded to this assessment by stating that more work was needed to ensure that the DOTMLPF changes required to reduce and mitigate CIVCAS were institutionalized. Accordingly, COMISAF requested that JCOA, with the support of the Services, conduct a study to “examine the institutionalization of CIVCAS lessons learned into US forces’ preparation for deployment, with a focus on the unique context of Afghanistan.” That study, Adaptive Learning for Afghanistan (ALA), examined ways in which lessons and adaptations in theater were captured, shared, and incorporated into force preparation. In this respect, ALA was not “another CIVCAS study,” but rather, it used CIVCAS as a test case for characterizing the overall process of adaptive learning.
February 9, 2012 in California, Intelligence Fusion Centers
An example of a weekly bulletin released by the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center to local businesses through its “Private Sector Terrorism Response Group” (PSTRG) on January 6, 2012. The PSTRG was created in “December 2001 to create a private sector partnership [that can] effectively address private sector safety, incident management, employee education and public health consequences of potential attacks on the critical infrastructure within Orange County. Two large groups involved with PSTRG are the Orange County Business Council, of which 80% of the major businesses in Orange County are members, and Technet, a consortium of 28 high tech firms.” The bulletin includes excerpts of news articles related to terrorism, a list of upcoming events, including dirt bike events and rodeos, as well as a helpful list of upcoming television shows on the History Channel and other networks that relate in some manner to terrorism.
February 8, 2012 in New Jersey
On January 25, 2012, police officers in Utah arrested two teenagers after discovering that they planned to bomb their high school. The plot was foiled because another student received suspicious text messages from one of the boys and notified school administrators. During the subsequent investigation, police were able to corroborate the initial tip. The two suspects had blueprints of the school and planned to steal a plane at a nearby airport after their attack. They told police they were learning to fly on a flight-simulator program on their home computers.
February 8, 2012 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States
SFCB has come to play an increasingly important role in each of our armies over the last decade and will undoubtedly feature in operations spanning the spectrum of conflict in the future. Its affect on organization, training, equipping and doctrine has been felt to a greater or lesser extent by each of us and will help define recent conflicts and their effects. However, SFCB cannot be done in isolation. What must be borne in the military planner‘s mind from the outset is that SFCB is a part of the wider SSR campaign and as a consequence must be part of a comprehensive approach. Furthermore, if coalition partners are present, an extra layer of complexity is present and must be planned for. Failure to take these two aspects into account runs the risk of failure at worst or a fragmented HNSF as a result, at best. This handbook aims to assist the military planner in their approach to SFCB. It is aimed at both commanders and staff officers, primarily on brigade and divisional staffs, although it also has utility for those charged with training, mentoring and advising HNSF forces at the tactical level.
February 7, 2012 in Afghanistan, U.S. Marine Corps
The Marine Corps has a long and storied history of partnering, mentoring, and advising foreign militaries. Marines served as the officer corps of the Gendarmerie d’Haiti and integrated at platoon-level with South Vietnamese Popular Forces. These are only two of many possible examples, but they suffice to illustrate the diversity of relevant Marine Corps experience. This enduring legacy influences Marine counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan as well as theater security cooperation exercises throughout the world.
February 7, 2012 in Afghanistan, North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The level of partnership with ANSF units largely depends on the individual coalition commander’s discretion whether it is a partnered unit or an advisor team. Although this discretion is important to empower leaders on the ground, the current parameters in partnering guidance are very broad which leads to varying levels of effectiveness and consistency. Standardized guidelines would provide specific tasks (e.g. develop and conduct all planning and operations from a Joint TOC) to units designated as ANSF partners. Additionally, true embedded partnership improves ANSF development, mission accomplishment and force protection. The recommendations in this paper offer uniformed standards throughout diverse allied forces, assistance during RIP/TOA, improvement in the development of the Afghan forces, and a path to effective transition.
February 5, 2012 in U.S. Air Force
Every year as technology grows and advances thus do the threats that surround it. Predicting what new cyber threats to look for may not always be an easy task. By keeping up with the past trends and ever changing current environment, may help to give us a good handle on how to prepare for what may be to come.
February 5, 2012 in New York, Switzerland
The indictment of the Swiss bank Wegelin & Co. and several affiliated persons for conspiring to aid wealthy U.S. clients evade taxes, February 2012.