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Terrorism Research Center in Fulbright College, University of Arkansas. Pre-Incident Indicators of Terrorism Events. Brent L. Smith University of Arkansas. Kelly R. Damphousse University of Oklahoma. Jackson Cothren University of Arkansas. Paxton Roberts University of Arkansas.

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Terrorism Research Center in Fulbright College, University of Arkansas

Pre-Incident Indicators of Terrorism Events

Brent L. Smith

University of Arkansas

Kelly R. Damphousse

University of Oklahoma

Jackson Cothren

University of Arkansas

Paxton Roberts

University of Arkansas

Portions of this research were funded by the National Institute of Justice (Grant Number 2003-DT-CX-0003) and the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City (Grant Number MIPT 106-113-2000-064) through the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security. The opinions presented here do not represent the official position of the DOJ, the DHS, the MIPT, or the NIJ.


Differences in traditional crime and terrorism l.jpg

Primary/Immediate Victims of Arkansas

Pecuniary/Heat of Passion Motives

Spontaneity

No Preparatory Crimes

Secondary/Instrumental Targets

Political Motives

Considerable Planning

Series of Preparatory Crimes

Differences in Traditional Crime and Terrorism

Traditional Criminality

Terrorism


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Major Findings of the American Terrorism Study of Arkansas

  • Terrorist group members engage in significant criminal conduct en route to committing a terrorist incident.

  • They are learning from us, just as we learn about them.

    • They modify their behavior to avoid FBI terrorism investigations.


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Terrorist Tactics That Emerged in the of ArkansasEarly 1990s

  • Leaderless resistance

  • Use of the internet

  • Website “hit lists” of potential targets

  • “Fatwahs”

  • All of which gave rise to “lone wolves” and “elves”


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Despite These Changes of Arkansas

  • A number of preparatory crimes have to occur to commit most terrorist incidents.

  • They may be committed by fewer group members and fewer meetings may occur:

    • But that may allow local law enforcement to be more easily alerted to the activities of a single individual as opposed to a group which may disperse the preparatory duties.

    • If these behaviors are routinized, patterns of conduct may be identified that might allow early intervention.


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Terrorism in Time and Space of Arkansas

  • These behaviors probably occur in routinized temporal and spatial patterns.

  • What are these patterns?

  • Even the most rudimentary questions about terrorist group planning activities have not been addressed.


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Background of Arkansas

  • The American Terrorism Study began in 1988 in collaboration with the FBI’s Terrorist Research and Analytical Center.

  • The FBI compiled the names and court case numbers of persons indicted since 1980 to begin the project.


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Authorization of Arkansas

Sponsorship: Since the mid-1990s, the project has been “sponsored” by the House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Legal Review: Release of the data has been approved by the FBI Office of General Counsel and Congressional review.


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Methodology of Arkansas

  • Utilizes “official” FBI measures of terrorism.

  • Thereby, accepting:

    • The FBI “academic” definition of terrorism

    • The AG regulatory definition when applied


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FBI Definition of Terrorism of Arkansas

The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.


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FBI Regulatory Definition of Terrorism of Arkansas

  • Dictated and put into practice by:

  • For Domestic Terrorism:

  • The Attorney General Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprises, and Domestic Security/Terrorism Investigations and subsequent editions (1983, 1989, 2002).

  • For International Terrorism:

  • The Attorney General Guidelines for FBI Foreign Collection and Foreign Counterintelligence Investigations.


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Characteristics of the ATS Databases of Arkansas

Currently includes information on:

9,071 federal criminal counts

641 “indictees”

575 persons

71 terrorist groups

Representing approximately 90 percent of the population of indicted terrorists during for the period 1980-August 15, 2002 and approximately 50 percent of indicted terrorists for the period August 16, 2002 – August 15, 2004.



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Data Collection of Arkansas

  • Information on 75 variables: demographic and group characteristics, target information, count and case outcomes, conviction rates, sentencing data.

  • Court case documents: dockets, indictments, motions, judgment orders.

  • Temporal and spatial data: 285 variables relating to addresses of terrorists and targets, locations of preparatory crimes, and sequencing of events.

  • Summary of each case


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Proposed Structure of Arkansas

Pre-incident Data

Spatial and Temporal

Court Case Data

Demographic and Group

Post-Indictment Data

Prosecutorial &

Defense strategies

Case and Count

Outcomes

Web-based Oracle Spatial Database

  • Statistical database

  • Spatial Information (point records)

  • Court documents

  • Related articles & references

  • Case narratives


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The American Terrorism Study of Arkansas

&

The Terrorism Knowledge Base

(www.tkb.org)


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Searching by names of Arkansas



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Can we identify spatial patterns of antecedent criminal conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

What are the temporal dimensions of terrorist group planning? How many activities are typically involved? And do these activities vary by group type?

Pre-Incident Indicators Project Objectives


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Major Temporal and Spatial Dimensions of Terrorism conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

Recruitment

Membership in extremist group

Attendance at rallies or demonstrations

Exposure to Internet sites

Personal recruitment

Accessing extremist literature

Planning and Preliminary Organization

Identification and clarification of roles in group

Exposure to terrorism training manuals

Discussion of potential targets

Drawing schematics

Assignment of tasks

Preparatory Activities

Theft of explosives, detonation cord, or weapons

Counterfeiting/ laundering money to support group activities

Procurement of false IDs

Modifications to semi-automatic weapons to fire automatic

Buying of ANFO or other bomb materials such as timers and electrical components

Establishment of bomb making labs

Terrorist Incident

Bombings

Assassinations

“Ecotage”

Hostage taking

Hoaxes

Threats

Hijackings

Establishment of Residences

Residential Locations

May be correlated with other geo-political or census data

T1 Time T2 T3 T4 Time T5 T6 T7

D1 Distance/Location D3 D4, D5

D2 Distance/Location D4, D5 D6


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Project Methods for NIJ Project: conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?Pre-Incident Indicators of Terrorism Activities


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Project Methods for Current NIJ Project conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

  • Select case studies for collection of data.

  • For each case study, identify one or more terrorist incidents for collection of spatial and temporal data (not necessarily an exhaustive or even unbiased sample).

  • Collect data using open source documents.

  • Input information into (first Access, then) Oracle 10g database.

  • Geo-code incidents to create spatial data using ESRI’s ArcGIS suite.

  • Conduct spatial and temporal analysis by leveraging the power of the geodatabase using Intergraph’s GeoMedia Professional, ESRI’s ArcGIS, and Matlab.

  • Provide trainers with a tool for educating law enforcement personnel on patterns of terrorist activities and provide researchers with the database for further analysis.


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  • Category conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

  • Number of Case Studies

  • International

  • 11

  • Single Issue

  • 17

  • Right Wing

  • 27

  • Left Wing

  • 8

Case Study Selection

  • Collected 63 case studies for the period 1980 to 2002 from the four main terrorism group types using open source data

  • Sources for selecting case studies:

  • 1. American Terrorism Database contained information from 1980- mid

  • 1998 at that time

  • 2. List from FBI sent to ATS added period: mid 1998- August 15, 2002

  • 3. Suggestions by members of research team and consultants


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Single Issue conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

Right Wing

Coronado MSU Arson

Clayton Lee Wagner

Dr. Robert Goldstein EcoRaider ELF Long Island Arsons

Ellerman Utah Bombing

Fairfield Snow Bowl Free Critter Eugene Arson

Griffin Florida Assassination

Hill Florida Assassinations

Kopp Amherst Assassination

Nebraska Golf Vandals

Santa Cruz 2

Sherman Oregon Firebombing- 2

Tucson Vandals

Unabomber

Vance Assassination

Wisconsin mink release

Oklahoma Constitutional Militia

Order- 2

Phineas Priests

Ruby Ridge

Seace Conspiracy

Third Continental Congress

Up the IRS- 3

Washington State Militia

White Patriot Party

Woodring Homrich

Aryan Nations

Aryan Peoples Republic

Bixby SC

Covenant Sword & Arm of the Lord

Felton Chase

Jewish Defense League

KKK- 3

Krar IDC

Minnesota Patriots Council

Ohio Unorganized Militia

Oklahoma City Bombing

International

Left Wing

El Rukns

EPB-Macheteros

FALN- 4

May 19 Communist Order- 3

New African Freedom Fighters

Nyack Armored Car Robbery

United Freedom Front

Yahweh

Abu Nidal Organization

Hezbollah

Japanese Red Army

Lackawanna Six

Millennium Conspiracy

New York City Conspiracy 1994

New York Subway Bombing

Omega 7

Provisional Irish Republican Army- 2

World Trade Center Bombing 1993


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  • Data Table conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

  • Number of Variables

  • Person

  • 85

  • Planning

  • 84

  • Activities

  • 84

  • Incident

  • 61

  • Terrorist Group

  • 36

  • Terrorist Cell

  • 30

  • Above Ground Group

  • 24

  • Total

  • 404

Variables

Demographic- age, sex, education, occupation, income, etc.

Spatial- address, city, state, zip

Temporal- hour, day, week, month, year

Miscellaneous- target type, incident damages & deaths, aliases


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CIRAT Database Development conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?


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CIRAT Database Development conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?


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CIRAT Database Development conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?


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  • Types of Data conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

  • Records Collected

  • Records Geocoded

  • Records Geocoded

  • Residence Locations

  • (residences, safe houses)

  • 415

  • 165

  • 40%

  • Planning Locations

  • (meetings, phone calls)

  • 184

  • 54

  • 29%

  • Preparatory Activities

  • (crimes, travel, surveillance)

  • 179

  • 122

  • 68%

  • Incidents

  • (acts of terrorism)

  • 246

  • 190

  • 77%

  • Total

  • 893

  • 515

  • 58%

Data Collection Results

Records are geocoded using street address and sometimes zip codes.

ESRI StreetMap data used for geocoding (this round).

Accuracy is currently be assessed independently from a sufficiently large sample.


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Temporal Patterns conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

  • How long is it from the time members are recruited into a terrorist cell before they actually begin conceiving and planning for an incident?

  • How long do terrorist groups plan and prepare before committing a terrorist incident?

  • How many, and what types of, crimes do they commit while preparing for a terrorist incident?


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Temporal Patterns conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

Terrorist

Incident

When

Recruited

Cell

Origination

1st Known

Activity

Planning and Preparatory Behaviors

avg. 58 / *12 days

avg. 41 / *25 days

avg. 99 / *54 days

avg. 1205 days (3.3 years)

Unknown due to small sample size

Unknown due to small sample size

n=34 /*n=30 excludes outliers

n = 191


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Breakdown of Incidents by Day of Week conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

n = 236


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Breakdown of Incidents by Time of Day conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

n = 57


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General Spatial Patterns conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

  • Conventional criminals typically commit their crimes within five miles of their place of residence.

    • Sources: Thomas Reppetto, Residential Crime, 1974; Richard Wright and Scott Decker, Burglars on the Job, 1996; Richard Wright and Scott Decker, Armed Robbers in Action, 1997.

  • Do terrorists reflect similar patterns of behavior?


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    General Spatial Patterns conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

    • Major terrorist incidents in the U.S. typically involved perpetrators from places other than the site of the target.

    Timothy McVeigh

    Oklahoma City, OK

    September 11 Attackers

    New York City, NY

    Eric Rudolph

    Birmingham, AL


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    Distances from Terrorist Residences to Incident Locations conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

    n = 433

    Median: 394 Median: 79

    Mode: 0 Std.dev: 497

    Graphed Ranges

    45% are 0-30 miles

    7% are 31-90 miles

    8% are 91-270 miles

    12% are 271-810 miles

    28% are 811-2570 miles


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    50% 0 - 30 miles conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

    27% 0 - 30 miles

    43% 0 - 30 miles

    52% 0 - 30 miles

    2% 31 - 90 miles

    20% 31 - 90 miles

    6% 31 - 90 miles

    16% 31 - 90 miles

    6% 91 - 270 miles

    13% 91 - 270 miles

    24% 91 - 270 miles

    3% 91 - 270 miles

    3% 271 - 810 miles

    32% 271 - 810 miles

    12% 271 - 810 miles

    21% 271 - 810 miles

    39% 811 - 2430 miles

    8% 811 - 2430 miles

    6% 811 - 2430 miles

    18% 811 - 2430 miles

    Distances from Terrorist Residences to Incident Locations

    n = 68

    n = 262

    Single Issue

    International

    Mean: 402 miles

    Mean: 458 miles

    Median: 79 miles

    Median: 48 miles

    Mode: 1 mile

    Mode: 0 miles

    n = 33

    n = 71

    Left Wing

    Right Wing

    Mean: 200 miles

    Mean: 283 miles

    Median: 15 miles

    Median: 102 miles

    Mode: 0 miles

    Mode: 0 miles


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    Residences to Activities conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?


    Slide54 l.jpg

    Distances from Terrorist Residences to Activities Locations conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

    n = 189

    Mean: 295 Median: 61

    Mode: 0 Std.dev: 535

    Graphed Ranges

    41% are 0-30 miles

    20% are 31-90 miles

    8% are 91-270 miles

    19% are 271-810 miles

    12% are 811-2430 miles


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    Activities to Incidents conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?


    Slide56 l.jpg

    Distances from Terrorist Activities to Incident Locations conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

    n = 134

    Mean: 129 Median: 12

    Mode: 0 Std.dev: 239

    Graphed Distances

    61% are 0-30 miles

    10% are 31-90 miles

    12% are 91-270 miles

    13% are 271-810 miles

    4% are 811-2430 miles


    Breakdown of ancillary activity l.jpg

    • Ancillary Activities  conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

    • # of Occurrences

    • Ancillary Activities 

    • # of Occurrences

    • Smuggling

    • 2

    • Robbery

    • 21

    • Standoff

    • 2

    • Procuring Funds

    • 13

    • Kidnapping

    • 1

    • Communiqué

    • 10

    • Phone Call

    • 1

    • Murder

    • 9

    • Withdrawal from Conspiracy

    • 1

    • Establish Residence

    • 8

    • Arson

    • 1

    • Travel

    • 6

    • Assault

    • 1

    • Visit Friends/ Family

    • 5

    • Conspiracy

    • 1

    • Meeting

    • 5

    • Legal U.S. Entry

    • 1

    • Acquiring Transportation

    • 4

    • Illegal U.S. Entry

    • 1

    • Attend Convention

    • 4

    • Rape

    • 1

    • Theft

    • 3

    • Insurance Fraud

    • 1

    • Parking Violation

    • 3

    • Hotel Rental

    • 1

    • Aiding Escape

    • 2

    • Total

    • 112

    • Money Laundering

    • 2

    • Acquiring Employment

    • 2

    Breakdown of Ancillary Activity


    Breakdown of planning and preparatory activities l.jpg

    • Planning Activities conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

    • # of Occurrences

    • Preparatory Activities

    • # of Occurrences

    • Illegal U.S. Entry

    • 3

    • Meetings

    • 84

    • Acquiring Weapons

    • 3

    • Phone Calls

    • 83

    • Recruitment

    • 3

    • Total

    • 167

    • Final Prep at Staging Area

    • 3

    • Preparatory Activities

    • # of Occurrences

    • Threat

    • 2

    • Transport Weapons

    • 2

    • Acquiring Bomb Materials

    • 35

    • Travel by Air

    • 2

    • Acquiring Transportation

    • 25

    • Theft of Identification

    • 2

    • Surveillance

    • 22

    • Weapons Testing

    • 2

    • Travel by Car

    • 12

    • “Fatwah”

    • 2

    • Bomb Manufacturing

    • 10

    • Hotel Rental

    • 1

    • Communiqué

    • 8

    • Purchase Gas

    • 1

    • Mailing of Bomb

    • 8

    • Formation of Plot

    • 1

    • Training

    • 7

    • Weapons Stockpiling

    • 1

    • Rental of Storage Unit

    • 5

    • Theft of Weapons

    • 1

    • Bomb Testing

    • 5

    • Total

    • 166

    Breakdown of Planning and Preparatory Activities


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    Residences to Incidents conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?(data availability problems)


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    • For More Information: conduct that will increase the probability of successful early intervention before actual terrorist incidents occur?

    • Brent L. Smith- Professor and Director

    • Terrorism Research Center in Fulbright College

    • Old Main 211, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701

    • [email protected] 479-575-3401

    • Kelly R. Damphousse- Associate Dean

    • College of Arts & Sciences

    • 633 Elm Ave, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma 73019

    • [email protected] 405-325-2529

    • Paxton Roberts- Research Associate

    • Terrorism Research Center in Fulbright College

    • Old Main 211, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, 72701

    • [email protected] 479-575-4521


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