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Homeland Security

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The Department of Homeland Security employs numerous law enforcement officers under several different agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Secret Service. While at the federal level, protection against terrorism is a paramount concern, a large share on homeland security will fall to another part of the criminal justice system, state and local law enforcement agencies.  Police agencies are usually organized into geographic districts, with uniformed officers assigned to patrol a specific area, such as part of the business district or outlying residential neighborhoods. Officers may work alone, but, in large agencies, they often patrol with a partner. While on patrol, officers attempt to become thoroughly familiar with their patrol area and remain alert for anything unusual. Suspicious circumstances and hazards to public safety are investigated or noted, and officers are dispatched to individual calls for assistance within their district. During their shift, they may identify, pursue, and arrest suspected criminals; resolve problems within the community; and enforce traffic laws.

In addition to these duties, police officers are also the first responders to disasters – whether natural or human caused like a terrorist incident.  As we research and write the text book on the Global War on Terrorism we are adding to this website.  The purpose is to pass useful information to the first responders – state and local police officers.


During our research we have located a number of excellent “Open Source Intelligence” (OSINT) documents are terrorism.  In addition to this OSINT, we have located a wide variety of important and useful information for police officers.  Stop by often, check in to see what has been updated.   

Online Articles on Homeland Security

Terrorism: Crime or Asymmetrical Warfare 

The definition of a crime dictates our response.  For instance, while responding to a robbery-in-progress call you and your partner should be formulating your tactical plans.  Indeed, as you receive more information, perhaps from dispatch, other units or air support, you change your plans based on the information.  In addition to affecting your tactical plans, the definition of a crime may also change your investigative approach.  When investigating a homicide or sexual assault crime, investigators typically begin with the victim.  On the other hand, with a property crime, we tend to focus initially on the crime scene.  Even our methods of prevention change by the definition of crime.  How many times have you heard victims tell you their house was robbed?  They dont mean that two men booted the door brandishing handguns.  They usually mean that someone jimmied the rear sliding glass door and snuck in while they were away.  Of course, we know a robbery didnt occur - a burglary occurred.  By properly defining the crime, we can offer the victim some prevention methods.



Police Technology for Counter-terrorism

The previous article determined that terrorists around the globe target police officers. Indeed, preliminary figures from 2005 may indicate a continuing and perhaps growing trend in the violence against law enforcement. According to the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT), Terrorism Knowledge Base (TKB), as of August 14, 2005, world-wide, there have been 554 terrorist attacks targeting police officers. These attacks resulted in 2,546 injuries and 1,327 fatalities.


Preliminary information should be viewed with caution because the data includes all persons wounded or killed as a result of the incident. It is very likely that when just police officer casualties are considered the number significantly decrease. Also, most of the increase in attacks is taking place in Iraqi. While the violence in Iraqi is instructive it may be causing an anomaly in the overall trend in incidents against police officers. The most definitive deduction from the latest data simply reinforces the idea that terrorists target law enforcement officials and that this trend may be increasing



Department of Homeland Security


The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a Cabinet department of the Federal Government of the United States with the responsibility of protecting the territory of the United States from terrorist attack and responding to natural disasters. The department was created from 22 existing federal agencies in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.


Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect America within its borders. Its goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism.



Discussion of the FY 2006 Risk Methodology and the Urban Areas Security Initiative


The FY 2006 Department of Homeland Security risk methodology represents a major step forward in the analysis of the risk of terrorism faced by our Nations communities.  Tremendous gains have been made in both the quality and specificity of information and analysis incorporated within the model, yielding the most accurate estimation possible of the relative risk of prospective grant candidates.  The methodology is designed to inform a policy decision regarding the allocation and investment of Federal grant funding, and should not be confused with an estimate of absolute risk faced by candidate areas.



Educating Future Army Officers in an Age of Global Terrorism

James J.F. Forest, Ph.D.

  The success that the United States has had in the war on terror, and that it will have in the future, is due in part to the operational capabilities and intellectual capacity of our professional military. This article examines how West Point teaches future military officers about terrorism and counterterrorism. The views expressed are those of the author and not of the Department of the Army, the U.S. Military Academy, or any other agency of the U.S. Government.

The Academic Program at West Point

The synergy that results from the linkage of the best operators in the world and the best intellectuals in the world is truly awesome and is sorely need in the fight against terrorism. West Point is a place in which this synergy is envisioned—a strategic collaboration between the academic professional and the military officer. Nearly two-thirds of the faculty are junior officers, mostly at the rank of captain and major, and today, many of them have recent combat experience from Afghanistan and Iraq. About 23% of the faculty are civilians, and the remaining 12% are senior military officers at the rank of colonel or general. This partnership between the practitioner and the academic is meant to ensure the quality of the curriculum as well as its relevance to developing competence in the profession of arms.



Lessons Learned Overseas

While the United States has not experienced a major terrorist attack since September 11, 2001, there have been continual terrorist attacks around the globe. According to the National Counter Terrorism Centers (NCTC) Worldwide Incident Tracking System (WITS), during 2004 there were only five terrorist incidents in the US (accounting for one injury). Conversely, during the same time period there were 3,192 terrorist incidents worldwide, resulting in 6,060 deaths and 16,091 wounded victims.


During 2004, 1,080 police officers were killed by terrorists and another 1,370 police officers were wounded by terrorists outside the US. Table one represents the number of officers killed and wounded versus the total number of people killed and wounded. The data seems to suggest that police officers who are victims of a terrorist act are much more likely to be killed (as opposed to wounded) than civilians who are victims of a terrorist act.



Needs Assessment

In June 2003, the International Association of Chiefs of Police announced the results of their Homeland Security Preparedness Survey.  The survey, sponsored by ITT Industries, was sent to more than 17,000 state and local law enforcement agencies.  The results of the survey were not surprising; nine out of ten law enforcement agencies did not feel they were adequately prepared to prevent or respond to a terrorist event.  Moreover, police officers across the nation identified among the keys issues were interagency communication, specialized equipment and the lack of sufficient training.


It is not just police officers who feel unprepared.  In a 2004, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released a report that said 44% of the cities surveyed had responded to a multi-agency incident within the last twelve months wherein a lack of interagency communication made operations difficult and, 88% reported they lacked interoperability with federal Homeland Security agencies.



International Policing and Terror

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SEVEN, Iraq As the lone terrorist approached the Samarra Police checkpoint, an officer ordered the man to halt. But he ignored the command, drew a pistol and pointed it at the officers.


Immediately, several of the policemen pointed their weapons at him as they surrounded the man. Had they been soldiers, the officers would have been within their rights to shoot the man as dictated by the rules of engagements.



Combating a Modern Hydra: Al Qaeda and the Global War on Terrorism

Combating a Modern Hydra: Al Qaeda and the Global War on Terrorism
is number eight in the Combat Studies Institute’s Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Occasional Paper series. This work resulted from discussions at Fort Leavenworth about the nature of the enemy facing the United States and its allies since 11 September 2001. Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network had been present at some level in the national and international consciousness since the late 1990s. The events of 11 September 2001 and subsequent global operations taken against Al Qaeda have brought this group to the forefront of the GWOT.



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