At this point in the investigation, intelligence gathered does not show for sure whether or not the suspect is working alone. With such critical information missing, it will be impossible to tell whether similar attacks are being planned by other individuals with similar motives on other targets around the locality. It is thus of vital importance that intelligence efforts are explicitly directed towards gathering information on who the suspect may be working with. It is also imperative that intelligence on whether he is acting under the instruction of any domestic or international terrorist cell is sought.
Only then can the scope of action and timeframe that will be required to execute the operation be defined. In our present scenario, intelligence reports gathered by undercover operatives reveal that the suspect is acting alone though there is no concrete information on what message he intends to convey by executing the act of terror. Thus, the first point of action is to arrest the suspect on the grounds of having sufficient evidence to link him to terrorist activities.
The arrest will be the first step to decreasing the risks that the suspect exposed the neighborhood to. Parallel to the arrest will be the searching of the suspect’s premises to confiscate the suspected weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) in his possession. This is inclusive of all explosive related materials such as the 55-gallon drums of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel oil (ANFO) that the undercover operatives hinted to being in his residence. A team should also be tasked with the duty of evacuating civilians from the buildings that are within the radius potentially at risk in the case of the detonation of a live explosive.
Once all the potential risks have been defused, the premises of the suspect should be cordoned off to give room for the collection of all possible evidence that will help in prosecuting the suspect as well as leading the investigation further. It is of utmost importance that the personal information about the suspect obtained from his workplace (ABC plant) and from neighbors be used to find out whether he is part of a bigger cell that may be planning similar attacks. Strategic and tactical methods could also be employed to obtain this information from the suspect directly.
The primary objective of the operation is not to merely arrest the suspect but to work towards eliminating the threat of terrorism that he and his cohorts pose. Thus, this implies that all the tools that will be involved in this line of effort will be targeted at pursuing the threat of terrorism to its source. Some of these tools include finances, counter-assault weaponry, covert and overt intelligence, deterrence, anti-WMD technology as well as a legal framework that would enable the teams involved to work within the confines of the law. Finances will help in sponsoring the whole process which is generally expensive and costly but has high returns if the execution is successful. Counter-assault weaponry will be vital in the ground operations that includes suppressing any armed engagement that the counter-assault team may have with the suspect during the arrest. The anti-WMD technology will be vital in defusing any live explosives that the suspect might have planted within his premises. Covert and overt intelligence will help in the obtaining of more information that will help to in preventing any other planned attacks in the locality. Finally, obtaining legal and legislative support that will help to isolate the terrorists from their financial, logistical or material support will go a long way in contributing to the speedy execution and success of the operation.
Tools (Preemptive tools)
|Defense||Kevlar body armor||50|
|Radioactive gear and bomb diffusing kit||2|
|Heavy duty grinder||1|
|Heavy duty crowbar||1|
|High tech cutting equipment||1|
As of March 19, 2019
|ASSET||US Dollars||US Dollars|
|EQUITY AND LIABILITIES
Legal and Procedural Issues
The undercover field operatives who carried out intelligence gathering activities on information dealing with the undertakings of the terrorists are treated as confidential under the law. The undercover operatives themselves are treated as confidential informants (Bennett, 2011). In order for the information to be successfully transferred from agency to agency within the governmental framework, there is a myriad of legal and procedural issues that need to be taken into account in order for the operation to be successful. Operations such as the obtaining of CCTV footage from the premises that the suspect bought explosives from requires that the investigating agencies obtain warrants that permit electronic surveillance. In our context, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requires that the investigating agencies must come up with a convincing case that shows probable cause to be handed the surveillance warrant on the suspect (Kaponyi, 2007). Even after the investigating agencies have obtained their desired intelligence, FISA still prohibits them from sharing such knowledge with other governmental agencies without gaining the approval of the court.
FISA mandates that the intelligence sought under these circumstances must be scrutinized by a team of judges appointed directly by the office of the chief justice who weigh the information and determine the course of action that will be taken to combat the ensuing threat. This team of judges is also mandated with granting permission to other government agencies to access the intelligence in possession of the investigating agencies. The court then defines the legal scope of operation for the given government agencies in a bid to prevent the clashing of the operations involved. In our context, our agency has to obtain permission from the court to carry on with our planned counter-terrorism schedule. It should be noted that the court reserves the right to grant this permission (Kaplan, 2017). If by any means the operation does not have legal backing, then the court reserves the right to deny its execution.
However, if the ensuing threat is detrimental to national security, and there exists no legal framework to support the operation, the agency that is mandated with the execution of the operation is allowed to search for legislative support that will help in executing the operation hence preventing a prevailing threat from becoming a national disaster in the end. This is especially true in our context since terrorism is a relatively new concept with a dynamism that may seem to outpace the existing legal frameworks that are set up to curb its ensuing effects. Many are times when Congress has passed bills and laws during controversial circumstances that end up defusing terrorist threats which would not have been dealt with if the necessary legal framework was not in existence.
Bennett, R. M. (2011). Elite Forces. Random House.
Kaponyi, E. (2007). Upholding human rights in the fight against terrorism. Society and Economy, 29(1), 1-41.
Kaplan, A. (2017). The counter-terrorism puzzle: A guide for decision makers. Routledge.