Why is SOCOM Lying About Domestic Drone Activities?

A spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has provided statements to publications in New Hampshire and Oregon indicating that information regarding domestic drone activities provided by Public Intelligence is inaccurate, despite confirmations from the offices of two U.S. Senators. Following our publication last week of a map of current and proposed Department of Defense drone activities within the U.S., several journalists with local publications around the country wrote articles regarding drone activities that were listed in their area. David Brooks of the Nashua Telegraph wrote about the listing of New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington as the site of a USSOCOM drone activity involving small unmanned aerial vehicles including the Raven and Wasp. Corey Pein of the Willamette Week wrote about a planned USSOCOM drone activity in Portland that was listed as utilizing the same types of drones.

Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis (JCOA) Decade of War: Enduring Lessons from the Past Decade of Operations

In general, operations during the first half of the decade were often marked by numerous missteps and challenges as the US government and military applied a strategy and force suited for a different threat and environment. Operations in the second half of the decade often featured successful adaptation to overcome these challenges. From its study of these operations, JCOA identified overarching, enduring lessons for the joint force that present opportunities for the US to learn and improve, best practices that the US can sustain, and emerging risk factors that the US should address. These lessons were derived from JCOA’s 46 studies during this past decade and vetted through the Joint Staff J7-sponsored Decade of War working group in May 2012; input from working group members was consolidated into this report. This initial effort is envisioned to be the first volume in a sustained, multi-phased effort to identify critical, high-level lessons for the joint force.

(U//FOUO) Central Florida Intelligence Exchange Online Jihadist Calls for Arson Attacks

Past statements from al‐Qa’ida Central, as well as their franchise groups, highlight the importance of targeting the U.S. economy as part of their strategy of confronting the West. Most recently, militant propagandists, such as Adam Gadahn, American mouthpiece for Al‐Qa’ida in Pakistan, have made statements advising Muslims in the West to “…undermine the West’s already struggling economies with…targeted attacks on symbols of capitalism which will shake consumer confidence and stifle spending”. Additionally, in November 2010, al‐Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula introduced the “strategy of a thousand cuts”, where they encouraged their mujahideen brothers to “attack the enemy with smaller, but more frequent operations…the aim is to bleed the enemy to death”.

(U//FOUO) U.S. Army Rules of Engagement Vignettes Handbook

Vignettes put the rules of engagement (ROE) into context. Rules can be memorized, but without context, those rules have little meaning or value. There is not a repository of vignettes readily accessible to Soldiers. This handbook addresses that shortcoming for units heading to Afghanistan. Soldiers can use this handbook individually, but its value is greatly increased through group discussion and interaction with leaders and judge advocates.

U.C. Berkeley Police Review Board Report on Occupy Berkeley Protest Response

On the morning of November 9, 2011, thousands of students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered for a noontime rally in Sproul Plaza. Protestors voiced their opposition to a variety of issues including recent tuition increases and state cuts to public education, and their support for the Occupy movement, which began in New York City a few months prior. In the early afternoon, hundreds of protestors convened a “General Assembly,” in which they voted to set up tents near Sproul Hall. The first tents to be erected in the grassy area near Sproul Hall were quickly removed by campus police without incident. Two later incidents in this same area, however, one in the mid-afternoon and one at night, involved the use of force by police against large numbers of protesters. Around 3 p.m., another set of tents was erected. In an effort to remove the tents, the police used batons and other means of force to move protestors that were locking arms and blocking access to the tents. After tense interaction with protesters, the police removed this second set of tents and withdrew to their command post in the basement of Sproul Hall. During this period, six individuals were arrested and more were injured and in some instances handled roughly.

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.