CSIS Canadian National Counterterrorism Intelligence Requirements (NCTIR)

In 2004, the Government of Canada issued its first National Security Policy (NSP), Securing an Open Society, to ensure that Canada would be prepared for and could respond to future threats. Recognizing that threats to national security are beyond the capacity of individuals, communities or provinces to address alone, the NSP envisaged greater integration and more strategic co-ordination of key security functions, particularly those related to intelligence collection, threat assessments and emergency preparedness through the implementation of a strategic framework and an action plan. To make substantive improvements in integration and co-ordination with regard to terrorist threats, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), in co-operation with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), are developing National Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Requirements (NCTIR). The NCTIR is envisaged as an integral component of a broader national strategy involving training, information-sharing and a co-ordinated response to terrorist threats involving the whole of government.

DHS, FBI Warn Law Enforcement of Terrorists Asking Questions

The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation are warning business owners and emergency personnel around the country to be on the look out for terrorists and criminals asking too many questions. In a bulletin from earlier this year, DHS and FBI warned that terrorists and criminals often exhibit the highly suspicious behavior of asking “pertinent, intrusive or probing questions” about security and operations at sensitive facilities. According to the document, terrorists or criminals “may attempt to identify critical infrastructure vulnerabilities by eliciting information pertaining to operational and security procedures from security personnel, facility employees or their associates” and that this type of questioning by individuals “with no apparent need for the information” can provide an “early warning of a potential attack.”

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Suspicious Activity Reporting Bulletin: Terrorists Eliciting Information

Terrorist or criminals may attempt to identify critical infrastructure vulnerabilities by eliciting information pertaining to operational and security procedures from security personnel, facility employees, and their associates. Persistent, intrusive or probing questions about security, operations or other sensitive aspects of a facility by individuals with no apparent need for the information could provide early warning of a potential attack.

(U//FOUO) U.S. Navy Strategic Studies Group: The Unmanned Opportunity

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Strategic Studies Group (SSG) is chartered with generating revolutionary naval warfighting concepts. SSG XXVIII has been tasked to generate innovative concepts for the operational and tactical employment of unmanned systems, in all domains, as an integral part of the Naval Force for 2020 and beyond. From these innovative concepts, SSG XXVIII is also tasked to produce recommendations and actionable steps for implementation of unmanned systems integration into the Navy’s force structure. This Way Ahead Plan provides a framework for SSG XXVIII’s approach to address this task and challenge. It includes a summary of the SSG’s preliminary thoughts on the value of unmanned systems, an initial overarching concept, and associated concept teams and areas of interest.

Ohio Police Describe Strange Hallucinations of Bath Salts Users

Last month the Ohio State Highway Patrol partnered with the Ohio Strategic Analysis and Information Center (SAIC) to survey local police departments about their encounters with suspects under the influence of bath salts. Since its release last month, the survey has been circulated by law enforcement around the country, discussed online in forums by concerned police officers and has even begun to garner press attention for its disturbing reports of the effects of the designer drug, including superhuman strength and highly bizarre hallucinations that often result in violent behavior.

(U//FOUO) New York Fusion Center Bulletin: Use of Cloned Vehicles in Terrorist or Criminal Operations

Criminals and terrorists have long used official vehicles, “cloned” vehicles (those painted/decorated to appear official), or seemingly legitimate vehicles (e.g. livery, maintenance or delivery) to circumvent security measures at targets of interest. There have been numerous terrorist attacks overseas wherein operatives used police vehicles or ambulances (or vehicles painted to resemble same) to conceal improvised explosive devices. Within the US Homeland, the most common use of cloned official vehicles by criminals is for drug smuggling; however, at least one terrorist targeting New York envisioned misusing vehicles that would appear to be legitimate, in order to conduct an attack. Dhiren Barot, an al Qaeda operative involved in the 2004 Financial Centers Plot, allegedly plotted to detonate three limousines packed with explosives and gas cylinders in underground parking lots in Manhattan. While the limousines would not have masqueraded as “official vehicles” per se they would have appeared to be legitimately entering those parking structures.

DoD Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training and Operations

The Department of Defense (DoD) continues to increase its investment in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to meet battlefield commanders’ demand for their unique capabilities. The emphasis on long-endurance, unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets -many with strike capabilities – is a direct reflection of recent operational experience and further Combatant Commander demands. This increase in demand has resulted in a large number of UAS capable of a wide range of missions. This large number of fielded UAS has also driven a strong demand for access within the National Airspace System (NAS). This need for airspace access to test new systems, train operators, and conduct continental United States (CONUS)-based missions has quickly exceeded the current airspace available for military operations. The situation will only be exacerbated as units return from overseas contingencies.

(U//FOUO) DHS-FBI Bulletin: Terrorist Interest in Attacking Theaters and Mass Gatherings

An early April 2012 suicide bombing of a theater in Somalia and a violent extremist communication advocating attacks on US theaters highlight terrorists’ continued interest in attacking such venues. Although we have no specific or credible information indicating that terrorists plan to attack theaters in the United States, terrorists may seek to emulate overseas attacks on theaters here in the United States because they have the potential to inflict mass casualties and cause local economic damage.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Al-Qaeda Master Narratives Report

This report is focused on helping US communicators and analysts better identify opportunities to undermine AQ messaging. With this in mind, the report analyzes how AQ portrays itself and its objectives to the public through statements and multimedia releases – the messaging used to attract recruits, build public sympathy, and undermine adversaries such as the United States. Research for this analysis included AQ messaging dating back to 2000, with particular attention paid to recent messaging from 2009-2011. In addition to primary sources and open source research, interviews with 25 SMEs were used to surface master narratives, test hypotheses, and validate assertions. These SMEs were asked a combination of expansive, open-ended questions designed to surface new hypotheses as well as targeted questions designed to verify assertions. Combining these interviews with open source research, this report highlights how each master narrative reflects perceived history, themes, and objectives that are central to AQ’s public identity. Each of these master narratives appear with varied frequency across AQ messaging and propaganda, and collectively they represent a unified narrative system used by AQ and affiliate communicators.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Master Narratives Report: Muslim Communities of France

This report serves as a resource for addressing this challenge in two ways. First, it surfaces a set of nine master narratives carefully selected based on their potency in the context of France’s Muslim communities, and their relevance to US strategic interests. Second, this report follows a consistent structure for articulating these narratives and explicitly identifies initial implications for US communicators and analysts. The set outlined here is not exhaustive: these nine master narratives represent a first step that communicators and analysts can efficiently apply to the specific messaging need or analytic question at hand. For seasoned experts on French Muslim communities, these narratives will already be familiar — the content contained in this report can be used to help check assumptions, surface tacit knowledge, and aid customer communications. For newcomers to European Islam accounts, these narratives offer deep insights into the stories and perceptions that shape French Muslim identity and worldviews that may otherwise take years to accumulate.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Master Narratives Country Report: Somalia

Understanding master narratives can be the difference between analytic anticipation and unwanted surprise, as well as the difference between communications successes and messaging gaffes. Master narratives are the historically grounded stories that reflect a community’s identity and experiences, or explain its hopes, aspirations, and concerns. These narratives help groups understand who they are and where they come from, and how to make sense of unfolding developments around them. As they do in all countries, effective communicators in Somalia invoke master narratives in order to move audiences in a preferred direction. Somali influencers rely on their native familiarity with these master narratives to use them effectively. This task is considerably more challenging for US communicators and analysts because they must place themselves in the mindset of foreign audiences who believe stories that — from an American vantage point — may appear surprising, conspiratorial, or even outlandish.

ITU CWG-WCIT12 Draft Compilation of Proposals/Options November 2011

Compilations of draft proposals for modifications to International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). The current version of the proposed changes to the ITRs (CWG-WCIT12 Temporary Document 64) was recently leaked in response to a lack of publicly available information on the proposals. These documents help to provide background and context on the development of the current proposal.

How to Conduct Psychological Operations

Psychological operations (PSYOP) have long been used by militaries around the world to coerce populations into acting in a manner favorable to their mission objective. The product of these operations, which is commonly called propaganda when distributed by enemy forces, is a mixture of complex social research, art direction and psychological theory designed to manipulate its unsuspecting recipient into modifying their behavior in a way favorable to those conducting the PSYOP. The message conveyed through a PSYOP can often stray into deeply emotional and personal territory that is intended to trigger a profound psychological response. For example, U.S. and British troops fighting in Italy and France during World War II were subjected to a barrage of leaflets dropped by German aircraft describing the futility of their mission, encouraging them to take the “POW life insurance policy” and instructing them that their girlfriends back home were being taken advantage of by Jewish businessmen. The methodology behind these persuasive psychological tactics is described in detail in U.S. Army FM 3-05.301 Psychological Operations Process Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures, which provides fascinating insight into the methods used by PSYOP soldiers to modify the behavior of targeted populations.

Restricted U.S. Army Psychological Operations Process Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Manual

Field Manual (FM) 3-05.301 describes the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for the implementation of United States (U.S.) Army Psychological Operations (PSYOP) doctrine presented in the higher-level publication, FM 3-05.30, Psychological Operations. FM 3-05.301 provides general guidance for commanders, staffs, and Soldiers who plan and conduct PSYOP across the range of military operations. The TTP in this manual are presented within the framework of the seven-phase PSYOP process, a mainstay for effective PSYOP executed at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center North Korea Unusual Threats Signal Possible Action Against South Korea

North Korea’s recent threat to carry out “special actions” against the South is rare and seems intended to signal the regime’s resolve to move forward with some form of provocation. The threat, however, is unlike past warnings the regime has typically issued prior to military provocations, suggesting that the North might follow through with a move other than a conventional military attack. Significantly, some aspects of the warning appear to signal Pyongyang’s commitment to follow up on the “actions” in the near future.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center North Korea Propaganda Coverage of Party Representatives Conferences

Pyongyang quickly has set the stage for the fourth Party Representatives Conference slated for 11 April. Though state media have not yet announced an agenda for the conference, it is likely that the regime will use the event to memorialize formally Kim Jong Il and appoint Kim Jong Un to a top party post. The tables below provide a baseline of state media coverage of the impending conference and its antecedents.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center North Korea Kim Jong Un Party Leadership Analysis

Personnel moves at the recent Party Conference and spring session of the legislature — beyond Kim Jong Un’s assumption of the top slots — underscore the new leadership’s continued commitment to revitalizing the Party as an institution and its confidence in managing the system. Though state media billed the moves merely as filling vacancies, the leadership quietly elevated or replaced almost one-third of the ruling Political Bureau, many through unannounced retirements or dismissals. The personnel changes occurred in military, internal security, and economic organizations and are not clustered in one area. Though personnel were added to the National Defense Commission (NDC), its relationship to the Political Bureau and Central Military Commission (CMC) remains unclear.

(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Analysis of North Korea Joint Ventures With Foreign Partners 2004-2011

OSC has identified more than 350 joint ventures in North Korea in a search of open source information. For the 88 ventures for which we have investment amount data, the aggregate total of reported foreign investment from 2004 to 2011 amounted to $2.32 billion, with roughly half of that going toward ventures in the mining sector. Firms from China account for 75% of the joint venture partners for which partner country is known, followed by firms from South Korea, Japan, and Europe. Of the joint ventures for which we found location information, most show a Pyongyang address. The remaining are concentrated at seven locales in other parts of the country.

The Case of the Mysterious Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Guantanamo Bay Photos

Last month, nearly a dozen photos purporting to show alleged al-Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed posing serenely inside a detention facility at Guantanamo Bay were posted on a popular Jihadist forum. The photos depict what appears to be Mohammed sitting in a variety of poses in clothing similar to what is worn by detainees at the internment facilities in Guantanamo Bay. Two of the photos also depict other detainees being held at Guantanamo.

Homeland Security Warns of Terrorist Wildfire Attacks

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and fusion centers around the country are warning that terrorists are interested in using fire as a weapon, particularly in the form of large-scale wildfires near densely populated areas. A newly released DHS report states that for more than a decade “international terrorist groups and associated individuals have expressed interest in using fire as a tactic against the Homeland to cause economic loss, fear, resource depletion, and humanitarian hardship.” The report notes that the tactical use of fire as a weapon is “inexpensive and requires limited technical expertise” and “materials needed to use fire as a weapon are common and easily obtainable, making preoperational activities difficult to detect and plot disruption and apprehension challenging for law enforcement.”