Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Terrorist Precursor Crimes

"Terrorist groups, regardless of ideological ilk, geographical location, or organizational structure, have certain basic needs in common: funding, security, operatives/support, propaganda, and means and/or appearance of force. In order to meet these needs, terrorists engage in a series of activities, some of which are legal, many of which are not." In other words, terrorists in place in the United States are likely to commit crimes to provide or acquire many of their needs.

The crimes they employ are likely to include the various frauds, petty crimes such as theft, identity counterfeiting and theft , counterfeiting of goods (knockoffs), illicit drug trade, and firearms thefts. These crimes are often precursors to the actual terrorist act(s), so they become potential indicators. For that reason, they need more careful analysis beyond their seemingly local nature.

Beyond the federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, various state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies are well-positioned to intervene in precursor crimes. The challenge for them is to look beyond the immediate arrests to see if there is more than meets the eye. It is the responsibility of the federal agencies to educate the state, local, and tribal authorities to better carry out their roles in recognizing and responding to terrorist precursor crimes.

To help Congress better understand the nature and expanse of terrorist precursor crimes, the Congressional Research Service prepared a 30-page report for Congress entitled Terrorist Precursor Crimes: Issues and Options for Congress. The report was released May 24, 2007.


Post a Comment

<< Home