Analysis

Human Intel Key to Cracking Global Islamist Terror Threat
Kenyan soldiers move in formation, clearing the top floor balcony and interior of Westgate Mall on Tuesday in Nairobi. The surprise attack by Somali Islamists, who killed at least 61 shoppers, points up the importance of infiltrating terror groups in advance of soft-target plots. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
September 26, 2013
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
The value of human intelligence in the fight against global terrorism cannot be overstated and the history of the art and science of using informants provides many examples of its successful use. But it will take a profound recasting of past practices to achieve the same result when it comes to the unfocused, ad hoc nature of the jihadist threat.Development of intelligence to enable identification, disruption of attack plans and arrest and neutralization of cells is critical. HUMINT is already invaluable in countering improvised explosive devices, their manufacture and emplacement, and the supply chain that enables them to be planted by the thousands every year in all parts of the world where insurgency and terrorism are a threat.
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