Terrorism is one of the major challenges of the contemporary globalized world. Developed countries (especially the USA) are often primary targets of terroristic attacks. Apart from international terrorism, the USA faces various issues related to home-grown terrorism. The US officials pay much attention to the terrorism-related issues, and the use of intelligence is often seen as one of the major ways to prevent it or mitigate its threats and outcomes (Woocher 49).
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Terroristic attacks are associated with a heavy toll and significant destruction. Importantly, terrorism often achieves its major aims and intimidates Americans. Prevention of terroristic attacks is essential, and the focus on home-grown terrorism is essential as the increase of extremism in American society can have a detrimental impact on the development of the nation. American society consists of diverse groups that may have different cultural and ethnic roots but can share major democratic principles.
One of the consumers of intelligence can be the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) that focuses on various issues including home-grown terrorism. This consumer will utilize intelligence to detect malicious activities and prevent terroristic attacks. The agency launches various programs that involve the community, which translates into various successful operations concerning the prevention of terroristic attacks. For instance, cautions undertaken in Fort Dix (New Jersey) helped identify a network of terrorists who planned to attack US military personnel (Carter and Carter 147). Apart from detection and prevention, the consumer can also use intelligence to come up with effective strategies and changes in the corresponding policies. This outcome is as important as prevention since it affects the way the issue is approached on a nationwide scale.
The use of intelligence can be divided into six basic steps: planning and direction, data collection, data processing and collation, data analysis, dissemination and reevaluation (Carter and Carter 141). The first stage is planning and direction that defines the methodology and major paradigms of the entire process. This stage involves the analysis of existing methods and the ways to incorporate new tools and strategies. For instance, the strategy involving the use of Suspicious Activity Reports (SAR) is a bright example of the process. First, the program of the reporting was developed. Data were collected (reports from the community and local law enforcement agencies).
The information obtained was then analyzed and disseminated. The successful operation that resulted in the identification of a terroristic network and prevention of the terroristic attack was one of the outcomes of the new program. These successes, as well as failures (if any), are analyzed and reevaluated. An effective policy us often a result of this effort.
Finally, it is possible to note that the issue in question (home-grown terrorism) represents an application of intelligence. Moreover, this issue can be regarded as one of the most vivid illustrations of the use of intelligence. A network of agents who can be anyone provides valuable information concerning a variety of issues. Importantly, the community is involved, which enables law enforcement agencies to obtain a vast pool of data. One of the major difficulties associated with intelligence as regards this issue is the overwhelming amount of data to be analyzed. At the same time, the effort invested is important as it results in the detection of terroristic groups or individuals and often prevents terroristic attacks that could have a detrimental impact on the development of the US society.
Carter, Jeremy G., and David L. Carter. “Law Enforcement Intelligence: Implications for Self-Radicalized Terrorism.” Police Practice and Research 13.2 (2012): 138-154. Print.
Woocher, Lawrence. “A Smart Use of Intelligence: Preventing Genocide and Mass Killing.” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 11.2 (2010): 43-50. Print.