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Intelligence, Civil Law, and Terrorism Investigations Essay

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Updated: Aug 17th, 2020

Intelligence Policy

A contemporary aspect of the national security departments and agencies is the progressively close association between intelligence and the policy formulation process. Since matters of national security hold great relevance regarding harmonious coexistence not only domestically but also internationally, appropriate strategies through sound policymaking are essential (Lowenthal 32). As a key aspect of a country’s development, national security requires serious consideration through effective policymaking processes and implementation through intelligence departments in a continued and collaborative manner (Peterson 29).

Background to policy and intelligence

In the past few decades, intelligence professionals have reduced their commitment to take part in the policy formulation process particularly in evaluating the foreign surrounding and the possible counteractions to US policy strategies by evading intelligence policy advocacy. In this case, the emergence of the “red-line” between policy and intelligence inhibited intelligence officers from actively taking part in matters of intelligence policy. The red line aimed at bolstering credibility among the intelligence officers since accusations associated with slanting their analysis concerning a given favored policy concern (Lowenthal 37). In this case, I consider that the trend fostered objectivity in policy formulation since the issue of intelligence affects the greatest majority in a given society. Therefore, handling the intelligence policies without bias but instead, with utmost credibility would yield greater benefits to the majority in a particular society.

However, in some instances, the intelligence community traversed the red line between intelligence and policy by depicting incompatibilities in favored and biased policies. The incompatibilities manifested during the 1970s and 1980s as the Pentagon and the Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA) disagreed on proposals regarding arms control. In that instance, the CIA underscored the essence of verifying Soviet compliance with the agreements concerning arms control pacts that focused on intrusive inspection stipulations. On the other hand, the Pentagon advocated against the intrusive inspection stipulations that would control the security issues between the Soviet and US (Lowenthal 46). In this respect, I perceive the motive of upholding the intrusive inspection regulations as supported by the CIA as infringing on the security matters of the Soviet considering it was a sovereign unit.

Currently, the various stakeholders in security matters have incessantly advocated close cooperation between policymakers and the intelligence community (IC). The ambition holds great essence since it would mitigate the unpredictability of the security events as depicted in the Cold War. Further, when intelligence practitioners know what policymakers intend to do, the process of policymaking would realize desirable outcomes (Lowenthal 89). In this light, intelligence professionals should actively participate in important meetings to discuss crucial security policy issues at various levels. Furthermore, the Intelligence Community currently absorbs a substantial number of young professionals in the field thus underscoring the essence of making them aware of the policy procedures.

The Intelligence Community’s (IC) Role in Policy Making

The IC plays a vital role in the development and formulation of policies. More particularly, the IC acts as a service community that helps the policymakers to deliberate on issues of national security. Since the accessibility of information about intelligence issues is a sensitive aspect of national security, the IC ensures that the management of such information is a polished subset that answers specific and important matters (Peterson 46). In this regard, intelligence experts and more specifically, analysts, convert information into intelligence through the linkage of data into national security thus adding value to the policy-making process.

Importantly, the IC facilitates the process of filling loopholes concerning the absence of crucial intelligence information required in decision-making. In this light, the IC enhances the tactical and strategic approaches to the realization of national objectives. Thus, the tactical aspect of intelligence information relates to “straightforward information” regarding short-term security issues. On the other hand, I perceive the strategic element as equally significant since it enhances the consideration of long-term issues like economic and political trends in the future.

Furthermore, the IC fosters the identification of enemy activities and informing the policymakers on the best strategy for mitigating their attacks. In the contemporary world, non-state actors pose a huge threat to the IC than in previous years. The tracking of enemies has become challenging since terrorists, other enemies rarely wear uniforms for identity, and more often, they do not belong to a particular nationality. Thus, it requires exceptional intelligence from the IC experts to unearth the plans of the loosely networked enemies for informing policymakers, agencies of law enforcement, and military commanders (Peterson 64). In this regard, I agree that the IC plays a major role in the prevention, pre-emption, and disruption of attacks organized by enemies.

For generating timely and prompt reports, the IC facilitates the analysis and synthesis of information from an array of resources by considering the most recent and up-to-date information. The compiled reports are usually presented to the policymakers to provide adequate information required to gauge the current policy and alternate actions. Therefore, the role of the IC in enhancing a steady flow of information to the policymakers cannot be underscored further since it crucially lays the foundation for the strategies about security issues. Therefore, the notion or misconception that the IC aims at predicting future events should be disregarded since the agency only provides relevant information through estimates and the probable outcomes based on the available information. Thus, the IC should be perceived as a body that assists the policymakers to comprehend complex situations. In turn, the simplified information regarding the development of security issues streamlines the policy-making process.

For the IC to act as an integral asset in the policy-making endeavors, it should unceasingly provide specialized expertise that lacks in the policy-making fraternity. In this light, the IC could make good use of the abundant information available to enhance credibility and contextualize intelligence and policy issues (Peterson 126). Thus, the assessment of the diverse elements of an enemy’s society concerning their history, values, and culture augments the contextualization of political behavior. Further, the context could transcend to the economic elements of an enemy’s society through the analysis of emerging issues like the proliferation of weapons, crime, and terrorism. In so doing, I believe that the IC would portray its comparative edge in intelligence analysis.

The Policymaker’s Role in Intelligence

Intelligence agencies in the US were developed to support a wide range of customers that include the President, military commanders, National Security Council, and other relevant officials in key authoritative divisions and agencies of law enforcement. The armed forces and other law enforcement agencies usually apply the intelligence they obtain to execute their activities, and thus such parties would be regarded as “implementers” of the policy. On the other hand, the “policymaker” is regarded as the party in a position of influencing policy decisions. In this case, the IC could be regarded as the producer of intelligence while the consumer is considered as the policymaker (Lowenthal 124).

The policymakers’ role starts with asking the IC for intelligence on a specific security concern. The policymaker actively participates throughout the intelligence process in a continuous way that provides feedback to the intelligence professionals thus, assist in shaping up the intelligence needs. In this sense, the policymaker plays a significant role in guiding the process of information collection methodologies that would contextualize the intelligence. Therefore, I believe that the policymakers influence the intelligence experts to attain outcomes that are meaningful to them thus bolstering the efficacy of the intelligence policy.

Nevertheless, problems may arise due to the consumer’s involvement in the intelligence processes. This aspect is associated with the focus and impetus derived from the policymaker’s declaration of interest. Similarly, inadequate guidance from the policymaker, herein considered as the consumer, would also result in deficiencies that undermine the intelligence development outcomes. Thus, I would argue that the participation of the policymaker in the intelligence process could result in both positive and negative outcomes on the level of impetus and focus applied by the consumer in tailoring the features of the intelligence policy (Peterson 246). Therefore, the role of the policymaker as a major stakeholder in the intelligence process should uphold the essence of objectivity that aims at enhancing the development of solutions for national security issues.

Challenges Facing Intelligence Policy

The efficiency of intelligence policy in fostering security could be undermined due to some critical factors that require consideration. Politicization is one of the challenges in the interaction between intelligence officers and policymakers (Peterson 126). Intelligence politicization is associated with the influence emanating from bureaucratic, partisan, and personal politics on the analysis of intelligence for policy development and implementation. Therefore, politicians should solely uphold national security interests by creating an environment that ensures effective intelligence processes.

The IC has also been criticized for not addressing the non-terrorism issues, which depicts its bias. In this sense, departments like the CIA mainly concentrate on the acquisition of intelligence about terrorism. Thus, other national security threats have been overlooked thus undermining the development of policies that deal with national security issues besides terrorism (Lowenthal 129).

Civil Law Actions against Terrorism

Following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, considerable mobilization of resources in the political, military, and economic spheres to combat similar threats have resulted in significant impacts. Particularly, the US government has implemented several civil actions and legislations with the aim of mitigating acts of terrorism. For instance, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) provides the guideline for handling terrorism litigations. In this sense, analyzing the different civil law actions that counter-terrorism in the US is crucial for the identification of the strengths and weaknesses of such legal provisions. Since the US has legal provisions for both FISA and non-FISA defendants, it would be appropriate to analyze the situations applicable in the different cases.

Civil actions for terrorism defendants

The subject matter jurisdiction for criminal issues regarding non-FISA defendants could take different approaches depending on the nature of the crime. Due to the general jurisdiction nature of state courts, the federal courts’ jurisdiction over terrorism cases means that the type of law invocation and the identity of the plaintiff would determine the due process. In this light, I think that the issue of jurisdiction inhibits the civil actions against the act of terrorism. Further, personal jurisdiction is a noteworthy obstacle to numerous sorts of common litigation that counters terrorists. The individual locale relies on two elements. There must be the administration of process as per some confirmed statutory power. Second, the individual ward affirmed under the long-arm statute must be consistent with the Due Process provisions.

Each state has a statute that determines the circumstances in which an individual locale can be declared over a litigant. Some of the laid down statutes consolidate federal due procedure benchmarks and give locale to the full degree allowed by the US Constitution. Others run down point-by-point circumstances in which it fits to attest individual purview over out-of-state litigants. The due process provision provides that courts could assert personal jurisdiction to the alleged terrorists in four different ways. Firstly, the personal jurisdiction of a suspect would be upheld in the process that jurisdiction lies within the US. Secondly, the personal jurisdiction could be applied in a situation whereby the defendant’s “least contact” with the forum is considered for personal jurisdiction. Thirdly, a situation “continuous and systematic” determinant of personal jurisdiction could be applied to terrorists who commit the crime in foreign territories. Fourthly, institutions of justice can assert that the property of the alleged terrorist defendant could not be considered as the rationale for judicial processes unless it was linked to the heinous acts.

In light of the personal jurisdiction issues, the US Constitutional provisions seem to undermine the effective implementation of the civil actions on terrorism. The law provides that the terrorism suspect committing the crime either in the US or abroad would be charged in a manner that suggests s/he committed the crimes in the US. Therefore, the stipulations infringe on the personal jurisdiction of the defendants of terrorist activities.

The General Laws

Various federal statutes give a rationale for action to injuries that are inflicted directly or indirectly due to terrorist intentions. In this case, the general laws demonstrate the refinement between non-FSIA state players and pure non-state stakeholders can matter contingent upon the substantive law included. For instance, the TVPA’s reasons for an activity for torment and extrajudicial killings necessitate state action. In these settings, non-FSIA state players would be at risk, while actual non-state agencies would not. Another difference concerns the potentially offended party class characterizing the plaintiffs. A statute may permit just US nationals to proceed with opening a lawsuit, may permit just outside nationals to sue, or may permit both nationals of the US and remote nationals to sue. The following legal provisions describe how the plaintiff handles terrorism cases in the US.

The Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA)

In 1992, Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), which outlays the civil actions for US nationals harmed by an “act of international terrorism.” The usual misconception of the ATA is that it considers just demonstrations of terrorism happening outside the regional locale of the United States. On the other hand, the ATA’s meaning of “act of international terrorism” incorporates acts that rise above national territorial boundaries on the methods by which they are proficient, the persons they seem expected to threaten or constrain, or the district in which their culprits work or look for refuge.

In like manner, the September 11 assaults would meet the ATA’s definition for two reasons. To begin with, the arranging, planning, and financing of the assaults transcended the national territory. Second, al Qaeda is an outside association endeavoring to threaten or coercively influence the US government and the citizens. Therefore, the clear definition contained in the ATA provisions justified the US retaliatory attacks that sought the application of justice to the perpetrators. However, an unresolved question is whether the application could be appropriate for legal and natural individuals who support terrorist groups with resources like funds and machinery.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)

The RICO statutory provisions guide the cause of civil actions applicable to counter acts of terrorism with much regard to the economic implications (Gaines and Miller 77). Specifically, the civil actions provided by the Act cover individuals who suffer property or business losses due to terrorist activities. Thus, the stipulations of the RICO Act focus on organized crimes against humanity that follow a series of racketeering activities. The basis for the plaintiff to deliberate on a suit against the defendant is usually subject to three items. First, the defendant must have committed at least one predictable act that depicts an array of racketeering terrorism activities. Second, the direct or indirect association of the defendant with a particular enterprise that was harmed by the terrorist attack also grants them the right to pursue justice. Third, the influence of the enterprise in interstate or international trade would grant the defendant the green light to seek compensation or the prevalence of justice.

In my view, the determination of a series of racketeering events is relatively complex. Thus, demonstrating a series of continued criminal endeavors would require interpretation of whether the continuity refers to closed or open-ended events. In this sense, the continued activities could either be determined in the past endeavors that have the possibility of causing future acts of terrorism or the current endeavors that organize an attack that would induce enterprise losses. Additionally, the economic aspect of a country is a crucial determinant of its prosperity. Since terrorists usually aim at paralyzing the economic structures of a particular country, the provisions of the RICO Act safeguard the economic interests of the defendant.

The Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA)

The TPVA is another statutory provision that handles non-FISA actors of a particular state. The civil deliberations on the acts of terrorism as covered by the TVPA focus on suits associated with torture or torment acts and extrajudicial killings. The provisions specifically limit the actions of an individual(s) under the apparent or actual authority and the nature of law about any foreign nation. In this light, the law adequately covers the issue of torture and illegal termination of life undertaken by foreign parties in the US. Thus, the US provides its protection for its citizens against extremism induced by foreign enemies.

18 US Code § 1350

The US.C provides guidelines for a foreign national to proceed with filing a suit against a defendant associated with terrorism-related acts (Gaines and Miller 107). The act is considered to have violated the customary international law (CIL). The US.C allows the plaintiffs to seek justice by suing both non-FISA actors of the state and actual non-state actors on the practical claim (§ 1350). In my perspective, I would suggest for more clarity since section 1350 of the US.C seems more like a jurisdictional statute than a civil action against terrorism. Further, the cause of action underscored by section 1350 of the US.C lacks clarity on the judicial party responsible for the determination of the committed tort.

The strengths of civil actions against terrorism

A basic decision in transforming the present framework is choosing whether to urge Congress to receive an exhaustive statute to represent civil actions that combat terrorists or urge Congress to strategize in the gap-filling and reformative initiatives with appreciation to the different laws as of now set up (Primoratz 24). The primary methodology could conceivably give abound and disentangled system for a common suit that could adjust and deliberate on contending arrangement contemplations.

The present framework has grown up into a substantially and indiscriminately approach to the issue of terrorism by fairly condemning it. It ostensibly has an excess of related, however, different parts, which undermines offended parties including the judges’ capacity to explore the framework (Cole and Dempsey 67). Further, the present laws have created a genuinely clear and unsurprising landscape of case law in numerous regards. Crevices and lacks in the present law may be repairable without taking part in a wholesale patching up or combination of surviving legal rules.

Overview of Terrorism investigations

This section examines the investigation and prosecution in search of an understanding of the terrorist investigation. The point or the basic role of undertaking an investigation is to look for reality in a way that is reasonable for the accused, furthermore, permissible in court. An essential step that must be executed by the investigator is to accumulate the proof. In the search for evidence, the investigator needs to answer the following imperative inquiries. In the first place, the investigator should identify who conferred the offense.

Therefore, the examiner must know the character of the blamed, the co-denounced, and the partner in crime. The second question is why they undertook the offense. In this manner, the examiner must know the thought processes of the guilty party. The third question centers on comprehending when the offender submitted the offense. In the quest for the answer, the investigator must discover the whereabouts of the suspect sometime before, amid, and after the offense was submitted or the explanation of every suspect (Cole and Dempsey 100).

The fourth question is to understand where the offense was carried out by setting up the scene of the wrongdoing, and the last question is to know how the accused committed the offense. The response to all the five inquiries could be obtained from the announcement of the witnesses and the proof that could be as oral confirmation, narrative proof, or genuine proof.

Carrying out an Investigation to Acquire Reliable Admissible Evidence

Search Warrants

The inquiry must be carried out with a warrant issued by the court. The law expressed that any law enforcement officer of the rank of sergeant or above or officer responsible for the police headquarters may apply for it from the court (Primoratz 44). However, due to terrorism, an application for a court order can be made using a telephone, fax, or some other electronic gadget and the court may issue the warrant as an issue of urgency. Nonetheless, the candidate must finish the conventions of the application within 48 hours after the warrant has been issued. Furthermore, the warrant ought to be substantial for one month, and it can be executed whenever. It is vital to note that in an earnest case, a court order is not required. Other than each pursuit being joined by court order, there exists a special case in situations where the wrongdoing is blatant; for example, where the criminal is captured in the act. In this circumstance, the police need not have a court order to seek around the wrongdoing scene.

The arrest of the Suspect

The authorities can capture terrorism defendants either with a warrant issued by the court or capture without a warrant contingent upon the reality of the offense and the high plausibility of the suspect getting away if the office needs to apply for a warrant first (Gaines and Miller 150). Two forms of capture incorporate a warrant capture by the law enforcement authorities and a citizen’s capture whereby, a resident can capture any suspected criminal without the requirement for a warrant from the court.

There is an expanded significance of gathering data on terrorism. Through the data, a demonstration of preventing a terrorist assault can be taken, a suspected terrorist can be captured or expelled, and the terrorist resources can be solidified or seized (Gaines and Miller 167). The acquisition of data requires various strategies that can be utilized, for example, wiretapping, utilization of gear, bugs, tailing, and guarding the suspect. Tough gathering data is an unquestionable requirement in combating terrorism, the procedure of gathering occasionally impacts or breaks the human privileges of the suspects. The authorities must strike a harmony between the level of terrorist danger and the impact on human rights before data collecting.

To permit the authorities to get data through wiretapping, there must be a lawful procurement, which permits them to do as such, and the powers must outfit great grounds to legitimize their activities. Additionally, it is vital to consider the protected privileges of the subject before choosing to take this sort of way to deal with getting data with the end goal of their examination.


The first part concerning investigation and prosecution is witness protection. In each indictment, the blame has the protected right to interview every one of the witnesses who give proof against them (Gaines and Miller 201). With a specific end goal to judge the validity of the witness, the court is qualified for judging the demeanor of the witness. Because of this, occasionally it is difficult to persuade the witness to give proof because they fear for their security. Along these lines, it is important to consider the lawful structure that purposes to secure witnesses keeping in mind the purpose to urge them to give essential proof. The prosecutor has the benefit of concealing any data, which may lead the beneficiary to recognize the witness.

I recommend that the court should be organized in a way that permits the blamed to hear the witness’ voice just and not to see their face. What’s more, with the objective of interrogation, the procedure can be conducted via telephone. For instance, in a few nations, there is an extraordinary court technique permitting witnesses to give proof by video conferencing and the personality of the witness can be concealed from the blamed and the general population (Gaines and Miller 177).

There is no clear method to ensure the character and security of the witness through approaches like furnishing them with an alternative way of life as a few nations do. However, the powers should give an affirmation to the witness that they will be secured before contesting to act as a witness. Amid the trial, the witness for the terrorist act would be placed in a secured residence (Cole and Dempsey 107).

The use and security of insight data in criminal procedures are the next part of the terrorism investigation and prosecution. I am from the perspective that data assembled through the utilization of human insight or a witness is not fit to be utilized as a part of criminal procedures. This assertion is based on the view that much of the time their personalities must be kept a mystery for security reasons. The witness understanding ought to be primarily utilized for prevention and examination purposes and not for criminal procedures (Perlmutter 213). On the utilization of other insight means, for example, wiretapping, the intelligence can be utilized for criminal procedures as far as it was acquired through acceptable methods.

Civil Law Action against Terrorism on Investigation Processes

Civil law is described by the clear articulation of rights and obligations, with the goal that cures are straightforward and open to the citizens (Primoratz 25). Civil law likewise includes the propelled exposure of standards, silence in the code to be filled based on value, general standards, and the soul of the law. The civil liability of a litigant for terrorist exercises emerges in light of the current situation where an offended party is harmed due to the demonstration of universal terrorism, where a respondent damages the statutes notwithstanding material bolster or assets to a terrorist or a terrorist association and where a litigant helps and abets a demonstration of terrorism.

As indicated by 18 US.C § 2333(a), an individual, whose individual, property, or business is harmed by a worldwide terrorism undertaking, can record charges before the fitting US district court for the harms (Primoratz 74). In this way, to force common risk, an offended party must be harmed due to the demonstration of global terrorism. Aside from the harms, they can likewise recuperate the expense of the suit, including lawyer’s charges.

A civil against terrorist acts must be documented in the area government courts, not past four years from the date of cause of terror activity (Primoratz 174). The time of four years can be adjusted in the circumstances where a respondent is missing from the US throughout the previous four years or when the whereabouts of a respondent is disguised for as far back as four years.

A litigant cannot escape civil liability if the offended party cites proof to the way that the respondent knew, fancied to help, and helped in an illegal action. Nonetheless, a donor who offers cash to a gathering that patron’s terrorism without information about suspected contribution in terrorist exercises cannot be held responsible for universal terrorism (Perlmutter 164). Thus, a respondent will be held subject just for those wounds that may have sensibly been foreseen as a characteristic result of the litigant’s activities.

No civil activity can be kept up against the US, or an organization or officer of the US acting in authority limit or legitimate power (Primoratz 201). Likewise, no civil activity can be kept up against an outside state, or an office or officer of such foreign state acting in their official limit or lawful power and damage or misfortune due to the demonstration of war.

Works Cited

Cole, David, and James Dempsey. Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing civil liberties in the name of national security, New York: The New Press, 2006. Print.

Gaines, Larry, and Roger Miller. Criminal Justice in Action: The Core, Belmont: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008. Print.

Lowenthal, Mark. Intelligence: From secrets to policy, New York: CQ Press, 2014. Print.

Perlmutter, Dawn. Investigating religious terrorism and ritualistic crimes, Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2003. Print.

Peterson, Marilyn. Intelligence-led policing: The new intelligence architecture, Washington D.C: the US Department of Justice, 2005. Print.

Primoratz, Igor. Terrorism: A Philosophical Investigation, Cambridge: Polity, 2013. Print.

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