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Enter “The Pack”
You have learned previously in the program that having a solid strategy can make a significant difference in the quality of your work in the homeland security and law enforcement arena. The nature of the work, with its ever-changing situations, priorities, and persons of interest, make it almost impossible to operate effectively without some sort of strategy guide your efforts.
That is why the intelligence cycle exists. Although it doesn’t always fit perfectly in every situation, it does provide a general guideline for organizing an investigative or intelligence-gathering strategy. Remember that the steps of the intelligence cycle, according to Mark Lowenthal, are: (1) planning, direction, and requirements, (2) collection, (3) processing and exploitation, (4) analysis and production, (5) dissemination, (6) consumption*, and (7) feedback*. (*Lowenthal added the last two as additional steps to be considered).
The goal of the Module 3 assignment is to develop a loose strategy to address the scenario situation, incorporating the intelligence cycle. You will be required to pay close attention to the details laid out in the scenario, and to also use critical thinking to make judgments about what steps to take.
The scenario has several hints about what avenues you can take to develop your strategy. While you will generate much of your content from the scenario, you are expected to conduct open source research and flesh out a meaningful strategy based on that research.
The FBI Detroit Field Office advised FBIHQ that it initiated a preliminary civil rights investigation after the Detroit Police Department advised of a series of acts of vandalism on the Islamic Center of Detroit, the Masjid As-Sunnah, and Baitul Islam mosques. The vandalism included the breaking of windows and spray painting of graffiti on the buildings. The graffiti included Nazi swastikas, and the numbers “14” and “88.” Other offensive statements, such as “terrorist go home”, were also spray-painted on the buildings. The Detroit Police Department further advised it has had issues in the past with an anti-immigrant, white supremacist group known as “The Pack”, which was suspected of committing similar crimes in the city.
The Michigan Fusion Center advised that The Pack operates a white supremacist website; the group recently posted its condemnation of the truck attack in Denver and called for the white community to rise against the Islamic immigrants that are “ruining this nation”. The purported leader of The Pack is William “Billy” Payne. Payne has an extensive criminal record and is currently imprisoned in the United States Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois, where he is serving a 20-year sentence for the armed robbery of a Brinks armored truck. Payne is still considered to be the leader of The Pack, and his writings and comments are regularly published on its website. The Pack is calling for a major protest targeting the Islamic communities of Michigan. It is being reported that The Pack is petitioning the City of Ann Arbor for a parade permit for September 11.
In Detroit, local police and federal authorities are investigating a series of acts of vandalism
that target the local Islamic community. The vandals have broken windows and spray painted
racist slogans on a local mosque at the Islamic Center of Detroit. Local police sources advise
that these acts are believed to have been committed by a white supremacist group in
retaliation for the recent fanatical Islamic terrorist attack in Denver that resulted in the death of
In a press release, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division has condemned those
responsible for these criminal acts and reminded the public that they work to uphold the civil
and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of
our society by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex,
disability, religion, familial status, and national origin. The Department of Justice advise
anyone who has any knowledge of those responsible for these criminal acts to contact the
local FBI or the Detroit Police Department.
Module 3: Strategy Assignment
Now that “The Pack” has entered the scene, your leadership is worried about the situation taking an unexpected turn. You have been asked to review all of the relevant cases across the field offices, and the current news, to determine if “The Pack” is a threat to Muslims within the United States. That is, should we take the group’s word at face value and prepare accordingly? Or do we need to do further evaluation of its capabilities and intentions?
Using the intelligence cycle, briefly articulate the strategy that you would take to answer your leadership’s question. You may list each step of the intelligence cycle and explain what you would do for each in the given scenario, or you may submit a thoroughly annotated image of the intelligence cycle. The choice is yours; just be sure that what you submit is clear to the instructor.
Your content in the first step (planning, direction, and requirements) will articulate who is setting the intelligence requirements, what the key intelligence requirements are, who will need to be involved, who/what is your primary focus, short and longer-term objectives, and what your timeline is, among other relevant factors. Next, your content in the second step (collection) will articulate what you believe to be the -INTs that will serve you well, based on what you included in step 1. Next, your content for the third step (processing and exploitation) will explain the type of processing, exploitation, interpretation, etc. that you anticipate having to do, based on your collection.
You will proceed accordingly for each of the steps, using your judgment and critical thinking, as well as some research, to lay out your strategy.
You will receive a grade ranging from 0-100% based upon the quality of your submission. Your score on this assignment will contribute to your overall course grade. Please refer to the course syllabus for more information regarding how your course grade will be calculated. The grading criteria for this assignment are as follows:
Overall strategy is logical, well-articulated, and based on sound analytic judgments. – 40%
Strategy clearly demonstrates understanding of – and ability to apply – the intelligence cycle. – 40%
Writing/presentation/organization of the assignment is clear, accurate, and professionally-delivered – 20%
FEEDBACK FROM FIRST FBI SITREP:
I know you will be resubmitting this SITREP, but I want to give you a baseline grade and what you need to do to improve.
This is a weak first SITREP, but I know you have the ability to write an excellent intelligence product. I am providing the following critiques to help you improve your writing of intelligence products which will help you as the semester progresses and in your career. The main problem with your SITREP is that lack of depth and analysis. I will address these points below.
Remember that the rules of writing still apply to intelligent products. For example, remember a paragraph is a distinct section of writing that deals with a single theme. Also, use bullets when you list items, i.e., evidence seized during a search warrant.
Besides the sample SITREP for this assignment I provided, below is another example of how you should have approached this intelligence paper.
Current Situation (this is the WHO, WHAT, Where and HOW factual section). Below is an example of the paragraphs that you should have included in your SITREP’s Current Situation section:
(U//FOUO) An individual identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a Ryder Rental truck through the Christkindl Market in Skyline Park in downtown Denver around 8 pm. Bouhlel drove the truck through police barricades and into the crowd attending the festival. The attack has reportedly resulted in nine (9) deaths and multiple injuries, the number of which cannot currently be verified. Police on the scene were able to stop the attack by firing multiple shots at the vehicle, successfully hitting and subduing Bouhlel. The most recent update indicated that Bouhlel has been admitted to the Rose Medical Center in critical condition.
(U//FOUO) The FBI Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) identified the suspect Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel by conducting a fingerprint check through the FBI Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS). The results of the fingerprint search showed the following:
• Bouhlel is a Tunisian citizen.
• Current Immigrant Status in unknown pending INS checks.
• DMV check revealed… (home address, etc.)
• Bouuhlel has no outstanding wants or warrants.
• Criminal History- Bouhlel was arrested in Detroit, MI in 2011 for felony assault and has pending charges in New Mexico for credit card fraud from an arrest in 2016.
(U//FOUO) The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that Bouhlel is one of their “soldiers”. This paragraph should also be incorporated into your Analysis Section to discuss whether Bouhlel actions are in fact that of an ISIS terrorist, or one inspired by, etc.
(U//FOUO) The FBI Denver Division conducted a search of Bouhlel’s residence at … (address) which resulted in the seizure of the following:
• List of the materials that were seized “for explosive creation”.
• Ammunition (What type, i.e., 9mm?).
• A handgun holster (Again, what type of weapon holster?).
• An Apple iPhone 7 smartphone.
• a Laptop Computer (type?).
• A Ryder Rental truck receipt.
(U//FOUO) The FBI Computer Analysis Response Team conducted a forensic analysis of the laptop computer seized from Bouhlel’s residence which resulted in the following findings:
• Multiple pages of notes on how to make explosives.
• Internet searches for explosive making materials.
• Video searches on terrorist vehicle attacks and ISIS related video searches.
• Over one hundred email correspondences with known AQ operative Anwar Al-Awlaki, who is responsible for the radicalization of AQ operatives. The emails were under the subject heading of a “wedding.” (Explain the wedding term in your Analysis Section from the CIA TS report).
• Due to the built-in encryption, which requires the creation of a “back door” program to bypass the encryption, the team was unable to access the data from the seized Apple Iphone.
As stated above, your Analysis Section is where you discuss whether or not this is a terrorist attack. To further show the nexus to terrorism and ISIS, bolster your analysis by comparing this attack with similar “truck” attacks in NYC, Nice, and London (and use citations to bolster your analysis/arguments). You needed to expand your analysis to include similar truck attacks and the possible nexus to ISIS. Remember, each section should start with a paragraph, not bullets.
Also, your Recommended Actions is where you task “agencies” to fill gaps in your intelligence and also actions that are necessary to appropriate deal with this scenario. In this section you want the FBI to go 24/7 on physical surveillance and SIGINT on Bouhlel relatives and associates. In addition, you want to task the CIA/NSA to collect everything on this attack and Bouhlel. The Denver FBI Division would operate this investigation through their JTTF that is comprised of representatives from the relevant Federal, State and Local agencies.