Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Measure and Counter-Measure

Excerpts from the Al Qaeda Training Manual show that they are well acquainted with Western culture:
Security Precautions Related to Apartments:
1. Choosing the apartment carefully as far as the location, the size for the work necessary (meetings,storage, arms, fugitives, work preparation).
2. It is preferable to rent apartments on the ground floor to facilitate escape and digging of trenches.
3. Preparing secret locations in the apartment for securing documents, records, arms, and other important items.
4. Preparing ways of vacating the apartment in case of a surprise attack (stands,wooden ladders). Under no circumstances should any one know about the apartment except those who use it.

9. A single brother should not rent more than one apartment in the same area, from the same agent, or using the same rental office.

11. Avoiding police stations and government buildings. Apartments should not be rented near those places.

13. It is preferable to rent apartments in newly developed areas where people do not know one another. Usually, in older quarters people know one another and strangers are easily identified, especially since these quarters have many informers.

15. Agreement among those living in the apartment on special ways of knocking on the door and special signs prior to entry into the building’s main gate to indicate to those who wish to enter that the place is safe and not being monitored. Such signs include hanging out a towel, opening a curtain, placing a cushion in a special way, etc.

18. Apartments used for undercover work should not be visible from higher apartments in order not to expose the nature of the work.
19. In a newer apartment, avoid talking loud because prefabricated ceilings and walls [used in the apartments] do not have the same thickness as those in old ones.

22. The cover of those who frequent the location should match the cover of that location. For example, a common laborer should not enter a fancy hotel because that would be suspicious and draw attention.
Michael Lieberman presentation on Slideshare
Counter-intelligence agencies are using data analytics to fight back [bold added]:
Technologists are modifying existing mapping software to produce “geographic profiling” programs that show which areas should be searched or put under surveillance first in the hunt for hideouts, bomb workshops and weapons caches. [snip]

Data from years of home-made-bomb (IED, or “improvised explosive device”) attacks and discoveries in Iraq, analysed by Roy Lindelauf of the Dutch Defence Academy, suggest that those planting bombs in urban areas almost always carry the device at least a couple of hundred metres from where it was stored, though rarely much more than a kilometre. Also—suicide missions aside—few IEDs are built, stored or detonated in the territories of rival groups. Data from as few as five IED blasts can thus more or less pinpoint the location of a workshop or cache.
The terrorists have the numbers, motivation, and street smarts, while the West has superior technology, wealth, and book smarts. The West has the advantage, but victory is far from assured.

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