Monday, April 15, 2013

Threat Levels

One of the things that I keep hearing on the NECN loop is that there was no prior warning or threat that preceded today's attack.

That makes sense.

While our unit was in Afghanistan, we were asked several times a day about the "threat level" associated with the roads and buildings in Kabul.  We did exhaustive studies trying to correlate the actual high-profile, headline-grabbing attacks with threat streams in the days prior.

Guess what kind of correlation we found?

None at all.

The reason that makes sense is that if attackers are competent, part of their strategy is to practice good Operational Security (OPSEC).

Whoever is responsible for today's attack was not only competent enough to plan a coordinated bombing in the middle of a crowded area, but to keep the plans quiet enough that they were not brought forward to authorities beforehand (...and that's how a lot of thwarted attacks get thwarted...the people doing the planning can't help themselves from sharing plans w/the uninitiated).

My hope is that the crime will be solved with the help of video surveillance, forensics, and old-fashioned police work (i.e. hotel receipts, flight manifests, and through information that may come to light now from people who inadvertently gain special knowledge about what happened and feel compelled to come forward.

That's the stuff I'm really interested in, and that's the stuff that'll keep me glued to the media as it all unfolds.

As to the "How could we not have known?" questions, however, I am much less interested.  

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