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CIA — Studies in Intelligence Volume 58, Number 4 (December 2014)

January 23, 2015 Comments off

Studies in Intelligence Volume 58, Number 4 (December 2014)
Source: Central Intelligence Agency

In Memoriam: Jack Downey [PDF 94.2KB**]
Ambassador Donald Gregg

Inside the Inferno
*Counterterrorism Professionals Reflect on Their Work [PDF 311.1KB**]
Dr. Ursula M. Wilder

By the Numbers
*The IC’s Struggle to Express Analytic Uncertainty in the 1970s [PDF 306.0KB**]
James Marchio

GIMIK and SKIFF
*A Tale of Two Semi-Submersible Submarines [PDF 469.9KB**]
Jim Anderson, LCDR USNR (ret), and Dirk A.D. Smith

INTELLIGENCE IN PUBLIC LITERATURE AND FILM
A Most Wanted Man: the Movie [PDF 75.2KB**]
Reviewed by James Burridge and John Kavanagh

A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination [PDF 77.7KB**]
Reviewed by Thomas G. Coffey

Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin’s Plot for Global Revolution [PDF 118.6KB**]
Reviewed by J.R. Seeger

Mission R&AW [PDF 76.3KB**]
Reviewed by Ryan Shaffer, Ph.D.

Intelligence Officer’s Bookshelf [PDF 152.6KB**]
Compiled and reviewed by Hayden Peake

*Books Reviewed in Studies in Intelligence in 2014 [PDF 86.5KB**]

Fighting terrorism at EU level, an overview of Commission’s actions, measures and initiatives

January 14, 2015 Comments off

Fighting terrorism at EU level, an overview of Commission’s actions, measures and initiatives
Source: European Commission

In 2010 the European Commission adopted an Internal Security Strategy for the period from 2010 to 2014. In the coming months, a European Agenda on Security will be adopted, as foreseen in the Commission working programme for 2015.
The fight against terrorism is principally a national competence. However, the European Union supports Member States’ efforts in the following ways:

  • Creating a legal environment and framework for cooperation;
  • Developing common capabilities and systems such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) or the Civil Protection Mechanism;
  • Supporting, notably financially, the establishment of concrete and operational cooperation between practitioners and front line actors via, for example, the Radicalisation Awareness Network, ATLAS (network of the rapid intervention forces), Airpol (network of airports’ police) in the fight against terrorism and working together with Member States and stakeholders e.g. in Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear and explosives expert groups or the standing committee on precursors;
  • Ensuring that security and fundamental rights are built by design into all relevant EU level policies such as transport, energy, etc.
  • The Internal Security fund also provides financing to Member States in the field of internal security, including fight against terrorism.

Be Afraid. Be A Little Afraid: The Threat of Terrorism from Western Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq

January 13, 2015 Comments off

Be Afraid. Be A Little Afraid: The Threat of Terrorism from Western Foreign Fighters in Syria and Iraq
Source: Brookings Institution

Many U.S. and European intelligence officials fear that a wave of terrorism will sweep over Europe, driven by the civil war in Syria and continuing instability in Iraq. Many of the concerns stem from the large number of foreign fighters involved.

Despite these fears and the real danger that motivates them, the Syrian and Iraqi foreign fighter threat can easily be exaggerated. Previous cases and information emerging from Syria suggest several mitigating effects that may reduce—but hardly eliminate—the potential terrorist threat from foreign fighters who have gone to Syria. Those mitigating factors include:

• Many die, blowing themselves up in suicide attacks or perishing quickly in firefights with opposing forces.
• Many never return home, but continue fighting in the conflict zone or at the next battle for jihad.
• Many of the foreign fighters quickly become disillusioned, and a number even return to their home country without engaging in further violence.
• Others are arrested or disrupted by intelligence services. Indeed, becoming a foreign fighter—particularly with today’s heavy use of social media—makes a terrorist far more likely to come to the attention of security services.

The danger posed by returning foreign fighters is real, but American and European security services have tools that they can successfully deploy to mitigate the threat. These tools will have to be adapted to the new context in Syria and Iraq, but they will remain useful and effective.

CBO — Federal Reinsurance for Terrorism Risk: An Update

January 8, 2015 Comments off

Federal Reinsurance for Terrorism Risk: An Update
Source: Congressional Budget Office

The federal program that provides insurance against the risk of terrorism expired at the end of 2014. Without such a program, taxpayers will face less financial risk, but some businesses will lose or drop their terrorism coverage and economic activity might slow if a large terrorist attack occurs. Last year, the Congress considered legislation to reauthorize the program but shift more risk to the private sector. Other options include limiting federal coverage to attacks using nonconventional weapons, and charging risk-based prices for federal coverage. CBO has examined the likely effects of different approaches on the private sector and on the federal government.

An LRA for Everyone: How Different Actors Frame the Lord’s Resistance Army

January 5, 2015 Comments off

An LRA for Everyone: How Different Actors Frame the Lord’s Resistance Army
Source: African Affairs

During the last decade, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) became a regional problem in the border area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, involving multiple national and international actors. This article explains why these actors often present diametrically opposed images of the LRA instead of developing a unified vision. More specifically, the article discusses how the Ugandan and Congolese governments and armies, and the US government and advocacy groups, each frame the LRA differently. These various frames are influenced by the actors’ interests and by the specific historical development of political relations between them. Politically influential constituencies played a significant role in this endeavour. In the US, lobby groups such as Invisible Children, Enough, and Resolve had an important impact on the way in which the American government framed the LRA. Conversely, the lack of such a powerful constituency in the LRA-affected countries gave these governments ample space to frame the LRA in a variety of ways. The lack of reliable information about the current capacities of the LRA, combined with the LRA’s lack of a strong and coherent image, further contributed to this situation. In short, the ways in which the LRA is framed enabled these key actors to pursue goals that may remain distant from the reality of the LRA.

CRS — Terrorism Risk Insurance Legislation: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis (December 11, 2014)

December 18, 2014 Comments off

Terrorism Risk Insurance Legislation: Issue Summary and Side-by-Side Analysis (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, insurance covering terrorism losses was normally included in commercial insurance policies without additional cost to the policyholders. Following the attacks, this ceased to be the case as insurers and reinsurers pulled back from offering terrorism coverage. It was feared that a lack of insurance against terrorism loss would have a wider economic impact, particularly because insurance coverage can be a significant factor in lending decisions.

This report briefly outlines the issues involved with terrorism insurance, summarizes the extension legislation, and includes a side-by-side of the current TRIA law and the bills that have been passed by the Senate (S. 2244), reported by the House Committee on Financial Services (H.R. 4871), and passed by the House (S. 2244 with a substitute amendment). For more a more in-depth treatment of the issues surrounding TRIA, please see CRS Report R42716, Terrorism
Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program, by Baird Webel.

CRS — The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy (December 8, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

The “Islamic State” Crisis and U.S. Policy (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Islamic State is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of parts of Iraq and Syria since 2013. It threatens the governments of both countries and potentially several other countries in the region. The emerging international response to the threat is multifaceted and includes coalition military strikes and assistance plans. There is debate over the degree to which the Islamic State organization might represent a direct terrorist threat to the U.S. homeland or to U.S. facilities and personnel in the region.

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