chapter  5
12 Pages

Meeting the Terrorist Threat: The Localization of Counterterrorism Intelligence


The tragic events of September 11, 2001, affirmed the grim reality that terrorists now have the intentions and capabilities to engage in acts of mass destruction. The Al Qaeda network and other terrorist groups motivated by religious extremism have made nonnegotiable demands on the United States. In addition, such cults as Aum Shinrikyo served earlier notice that there were those who would utilize weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when it attacked the Tokyo subway system with sarin gas on March 20, 1995. Unlike terrorist groups in the past concerned with avoiding acts that would totally alienate public opinion in a targeted country and concomitantly would justify public support for draconian measures against them, today’s terrorists include those groups who do not have any constraints in their resort to indiscriminate mass terrorism. Furthermore, the perpetrators of the acts, as in the case of the suicide bombers, may personally not be concerned about temporal affairs since by their actions they believe they will achieve their goals as they enter paradise. Moreover, as in the case of Aum Shinrikyo, there are now groups of what can be called technoanarchists who increasingly have

Introduction 91 The Key Role of Intelligence and the Problem of Different Interpretations and Functions 93 The Changing Threat Environment: The Need for Cooperation and the Localization of Intelligence 96 Conclusion 100 References 100

the potential capability to attempt and achieve their ultimate objective: the destruction of the exiting social, political, and economic order.