Pic and brief blurb from the intro of the document is included below, and an active link.
I haven’t read it yet but will try to have a read and post some more a little later tonight.
This English translation is a summarized version from the original Course conducted by Mujahideen in Urdu language. This course is designed primarily for brothers who will be working in high risk areas. The course focuses on both Security and Intelligence. Since our main goal is to provide brothers with an idea of Security we decided omit a lot of details which were focused purely on Intelligence.
The main basis of the original Course, was taken from a Pakistani intelligence manual. Hence some of the topics are focused to such an environment as Pakistan. But still this remained as the basis of almost all the Security and Intelligence courses which are given in Khurasaan, whether in Urdu Pashto or Arabic.
That being said, Security policies are something which changes radically, depending on Countries, Cities and current state of affairs. It even varies from person to person. Hence it is impossible to provide a wide scale Security course.
As said, our intention of Publishing an English version of this Course, is to provide “basic Principles of Security” for working brothers in America, Europe and elsewhere, by which they can initiate their own local rules and standards.
I spent most of yesterday eating a bucket load of ice cream and reading the transcripts and evidence from the 7/7 inquests and although much of this focussed on the resourcing of CT investigations in the period 2001 through 2006 in the UK, a few things really did stand out for me. That turned into a 3000 word sugar fueled rant, which I decided to spare you all from and instead sleep on it and return today for a more coherent post, before the thesis arrives back tomorrow, with the final list of changes to be made. But anyway, back to the inquest and the things it made me think about.
One thing that struck me was the ongoing problem of making sure officers assigned to particular tasks do not get dragged off every time the balloon goes up and another job becomes high priority. This is particularly important not only for keeping continuity across a range of investigations, which need to keep moving on too, but also for ensuring those staffed with what the security service calls Legacy reviews are not dragged off into other work. (see 42-43 for this mention)
Legacy reviews appear to be along the lines of looking for what I’ve coined as “edge of network” links, where a dedicated team sits and goes through previous investigations looking at the information and intelligence gleaned and at persons of interest who have not been deemed essential targets. Properly conducted, it should move beyond even looking at lower targets and be combined with a methodology focussed on green fields targeting. That way you get what one of my bosses used to call the helicopter view as well as the bottom up review and hopefully prevent things falling through the gaps and not turning up after something goes boom or is perilously close to it. (You can find two earlier posts about edge of network connections I wrote earlier here and here if you are interested.)
The problem with this type of work is that agencies have to essentially measure their output against criteria, and so with criteria not geared for this type of work, it can be difficult to show progress and on occasion, benefit viz resource output. The curse of *benchmarking* performance (I detest that word) A good result might be finding you have your bases covered and not generating targets. Another result might be generating targets, investigating, but then no further activity needs to be, or can at that time be, conducted. An LEA agency using this type of methodology may not produce investigations leading to prosecutions. It may not always find new targets for investigation– that meet the threshold. This may not be such an issue for intel services where the threshold is much lower and very different, but it can be a problem for LEA. By that I mean an LEA cannot and should not go on a great big fishing expedition. But taking a wide view and using particular methodologies are key to properly understanding and examining your data holdings and ensuring people don’t fall through the gaps. It’s a fine line to tread.
But this isn’t really the big problem. The big problem is that this type of work, whether in intelligence services or LEA, takes a long time, and people doing it can be seen to be doing something that is non essential. Sometimes it is, sometimes, as was the case with my experience in this area, it turns up something that foresees and contributes significantly to a future investigation and prosecution.
The problem there too is that teams who do produce work that contributes to or generates an investigation then get pulled off into the ‘new’ operation, and then the task of what the service calls Legacy review falls by the wayside. Teams doing this type of work aren’t always well staffed versus other areas to begin with and when the balloon goes up, off they go.
There’s always the risk that a team doing this type of work can become isolated and insular in its focus too, but it really is an important aspect of proactive CT investigations, and one that consistently seems to suffer by being the first area tasked for operations support. That’s inevtiable to some degree because the corporate knowledge is there, but it is equally important for funding to be set aside and management support given to teams doing this type of work to be left alone to do it. It doesn’t tend to work when there is not good management and government support as well as resourcing to make these areas more robust, and also to support this activity with an additional capacity for green fields targeting.
As an aside, seeing this has given me the proverbial kick up the backside to make it a priority to flesh out my still underdeveloped theory (yes I use this word loosely) on “edge of network connections.” Once the thesis is finally bound and off to examiners, fingers crossed, by the end of March, I’m planning on re-visiting this, along with a great big lessons learned post on all the things I have managed to get wrong since I started blogging. I’m a big fan of critical self-reflection so chief on the list, making errors in attributing persons to groups where they are not members or vice versa, missing parts of the evolution of JAT in Indonesia, and getting it wrong in relation to Bekkay Harach.
So, these are the blogging plans, but with the thesis still needing a few last tweaks, the bigger item blog posts such as the above will be on hold until that damn thing is bound and sent off to torture some poor unsuspecting professor who has to read it. Cheers.
I’ve been meaning to highlight the excellent monthly brief put out by ICT for a while now.
Not only is it excellent, but it’s also free! And the quality of their work exceeds many of the fee based services out there, some of who have a tendency to try to pass their stuff off as exclusive and often don’t include the original source listing.
This wonderful little publication does list source information, and it’s not restricted!
Huge kudos to ICT for doing this. It’s a wonderful service for the academic community and CT community more generally.
So I’d like to thank them for their hard work and I hope they are able to keep it up.
I thought this might be of interest to some people out there. Its a list of alleged AQ linked persons deported from Iran. It’s old, but interesting. I haven’t read it yet but am meaning to–hence am posting here more as a reminder to myself to take a look and see who from this list has returned to the fight and for anyone else out there who might be interested.
For those of you interested, the Australian government has just released a long overdue counter terrorism white paper. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I will be making time to read it and posting some comments over the next few days. In the meantime, via the below link you can download the document.
JB over at JarretBrachman.net stumbled on this around the same time I did and has also provided summaries of the episodes as they are released. Hence I haven’t really offered much comment on it since he is all over this.
Like him though I have been amazed that this hasn’t been picked up or digested more widely.
I have however, been busy re-reading it, mostly to ensure it gels with what I have in my dissertation. And all I can say is wow–this could be his best critique to date. And please can someone find me the entire work. Beg, grovel, plead.
Anyway, one thing I did want to point out is the *striking* similarities between parts of Dr Fadl’s new book and Abu Walid al Masri’s work. There have been similarities between the two in Dr Fadl’s previous work as well. And in this and in previous pieces there are also some small similarities with Abu Musab al Suri’s work. Given the shared history of these three gents this is not surprising. But it was interesting enough that I thought I’d mention it.
This may be of interest to some out there. It’s an image file of the fatwa from religious figures in Yemen on the subject of foreign interference in the country, which attracted so much publicity recently. It also has a list of signatories, which is what caught my eye. I lost the webpage I got it from, but it was somewhere on the muslm.net forum.
I don’t know *how* I missed this earlier in the week, but Asharq Alawsat is serialising a new book by Dr Fadl — the former Emir of the EIJ. It looks to be every bit as controversial as the last one. He rips into al Qaeda. There’s a lot more to it, but am entirely too hyped up on toxic levels of caffeine for a summary but do check it out at the below links (all in Arabic except for the first one which gives a summary of the first article in the series).
Speaking of those critical of al Qaeda, Abu Walid’s recent policy piece released via his blog is now on the Taliban website
This is very interesting, and tends to suggest that the Taliban may be considering adopting his policy suggestions. I wrote very briefly about Abu Walid’s piece yesterday.
Ok the links to the Dr Fadl piece.
I haven’t got around to reading the report yet, but will add it to the reading list.
I missed this along with a load of other good stuff over the past weeks.
From the Exec Summary:
To better understand how Afghans have experienced and understand the conflict, eight nongovernmental
organizations operating in Afghanistan conducted research in 14 provinces
across the country. This research focused on individual experiences of the past thirty years of
conflict, perceptions of the current conflict and recommendations for alleviating the violence and
addressing its root causes.
This research does not aim to provide a full accounting of the fighting or to represent the views
and experiences of all Afghans. Rather, it seeks to more fully articulate Afghan experiences of the
conflict and its recommendations seek to convey the aspirations that Afghans have for peace and
the future of their country.