|Type of paper:||Research paper|
|Categories:||Intelligence services Terrorism|
The relationship between Hamas and the United States has deteriorated over the years with the United States government registering Hamas as a terrorist organization. This is because the United States believes that Hamas has many hard-core terrorists with an unknown number of sympathizers (Martin, 2011). Hamas participates in terrorism which has made the United States join the fight against this group. Hamas insurgents are adept, resourceful, and ruthless in weaving themselves into the fabric of the society which makes them practically undetectable until they strike. To avert this, United States has made use of intelligence collection programs geared towards obtaining information from this group which depends primarily on the procedures, techniques, and tactics of the group. The methods that are appropriate for the collection of information include human intelligence (HUMINT), measurement and signatures intelligence (MASINT), and signals intelligence (SIGINT).
Human intelligence has been used as a source of information for years in the United States. With Hamas threatening the security of the US, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has ensured that vital information is collected from different sources on the terror plans by the Hamas. HUMINT is the gathering of intelligence through tracking, interviewing, psychological manipulation, or physical coercion of persons of interest to gain tactical or strategic information that is vital for the protection of the citizens against terrorism. This method is suited for information collection from Hamas because the officers can acquire documents, photographs, and other materials on suspicious Hamas activity.
The United States enjoys a close affiliation with the Israeli government thus the two governments can share contacts through operations officers whose focus is the acquisition of information from individuals with access to critical foreign intelligence of the Hamas operations. HUMINT includes clandestine, overt, and sensitive activities. Intelligence communities perform information collection through diplomatic personnel, military attaches, debriefs at the refugee camp, operation interrogation from prisoners of war as well as refugees (Carlisle, 2015). Clandestine HUMINT agents can volunteer to go into the Hamas territory and hire Palestinian nationals who will successfully infiltrate the organization and later divulge the information obtained to the intelligence operatives. This type of intelligence is appropriate because it provides data which backs information gathered through other intelligence sources such as signal and electronic intelligence.
Signal intelligence (SIGINT) is another method of data collection used by the Intelligence Community against the Hamas. Some areas of interest are becoming too dangerous and volatile for HUMINT thus SIGINT has been used to provide potential threats and harmful actions by the Hamas for military commanders in the United States. Unmanned aerial vehicles have therefore offered precious information by collecting intelligence from the air. SIGINT is used by the Intelligence Community to gather, exploit, and transmit signals from weapons systems, radar, and communication system. SIGINT is a multidimensional intelligence gathering tool where the Intelligence Community derives information from the Hamas by intercepting their communication or electronic intelligence which collects information from weapons systems and radar. Furthermore, SIGINT makes use of foreign instrumentation signal intelligence which detects weapons being developed and tested by the terror group. Once the information is collected, it undergoes processing and analysis and passed to the Intelligence Community and the CIA who use this as a supplement for data gathered from other sources to achieve a finished intelligence.
Despite the voluminous information collected through SIGINT, the intelligence sources in the United States are keen to capture the plausible areas targeted by the Hamas and can thwart any form of aggression on its soil. This is because SIGINT provides the most valuable information with varied perspectives of critical intelligence for the security agencies in the United States. SIGINT uses remotely piloted aircrafts such as Predator Drones, Global Hawk, and the Reaper which has lethal capabilities in intelligence collection. These vehicles have infrared and electro-optical sensors, communication equipment, and electronic warning systems that provide real-time images and videos of the terror group's activities, weaponry, and plans. These unmanned systems are vital in deriving information in places where human intelligence cannot infiltrate especially in volatile areas. Also, drones have made it possible for monitoring of developments for the CIA's security interests and assess targets for military action.
Lastly, measurement and signaling intelligence (MASINT) is another useful tool for intelligence agencies. It is derived intelligence which when collected, processed, and analyzed results in critical intelligence which identifies, tracks, and detects the signatures or distinctive characteristics of the targeted sources. MASINT sensors come in a variety, but they have a collective ability in the detection and differentiation of specific signatures that would reveal the presence of materials or phenomenon for a terror group. The United States has used MASINT to uncover underground facilities or war machines that the Hamas use in plotting attacks against targets in the United States. Through the detection of the signatures, MASINT enables the intelligence agencies to make a unique contribution regarding material content, chemical composition, and identification of weapons that are used by the Hamas in exerting terror on their targets.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a member of the Intelligence Community that is best suited to collect intelligence information from the Hamas as it is the principal intelligence agency in the United States. This is because the CIA can work together with other members of the Intelligence Community in the provision of strategic information and warning about international terror groups that can sponsor terrorists in the United States. The CIA is suited because it has been in the forefront in fighting terrorism in the country and outside. For instance, Combs & Slann (2009) observes that the CIA has picked up individuals who are believed to be connected with terrorism and placed them in extraordinary rendition where they are compelled to provide information pertaining their activities in the United States.
The CIA is also tasked with the creation of a global partnership that is crucial in gathering information related to terrorism (Ettinger, 2011). Groups such as Hamas are dealt with by the CIA as it can partner with foreign governments to averting terror. The CIA operational officers are trained in the methods of collecting intelligence such as HUMINT, SIGINT, and MASINT thus can take down terrorists secretly. Apart from the provision of warning to avert possible threats, the CIA officers are skilled in the detection of Hamas operatives through the use of clandestine HUMINT within and in countries where the CIA can infiltrate the terror group.
Furthermore, the CIA clandestine operatives are dedicated and incredibly skilled in information collection on the terrorist group and the nations that offer funds or sanctuary for such groups. The CIA is well funded by the federal government because the allocated funds for HUMINT has increased which has enabled the agency to work round the clock in taking Hamas operatives and sympathizers down. Lastly, the CIA has the best intelligence officers stationed in various parts of the world with the ability to thwart the sharing of information between the Hamas and other terror groups. Nations that are friendly to the United States are supported in the collection of data about terror activities as well as the increased capacity of the CIA in combating terrorism all over the world.
One of the most effective strategies for the analysis of intelligence is the Red Team Analysis. This technique seeks to analyze how an adversary would act or think in a given situation. The CIA uses this technique in putting itself in the attacker's mindset and tries to seek answers to questions that the terrorist would try to solve. When analyzing intelligence, the CIA puts on the persona of the adversary thus is useful identifying when the enemy's mindset would differ from their own (Roberts & Brown, 2017). The technique has been used by the CIA to assist in the identification of additional factors that are not considered by the analyst. This is because the CIA can understand the cultural, political, and social tendencies of the enemy. Terror groups like the Hamas has resources thus has invested in technologies that would inflict harm on the United States. The CIA, therefore, works on countermeasures that give an analysis of such information and acts on them to avert strikes.
The other technique that would be appropriate is the analysis of competing hypotheses (ACH). This method is crucial when working on intelligence issues that are difficult and involves selecting several alternative hypotheses as well as the prediction of the possible features and can be used in determining a predictive analysis. It involves several stages that are put together with the objective of establishing the hypothesis that will work best for the Intelligence Community. This method would be suitable for use by the CIA because intelligence officers work to recognize all the logical options that the terror group can use. This technique involves the testing of possible hypotheses that cannot be proved as true, but the intelligence officers can disapprove the opposite.
Once the opposite is disapproved after a reasonable certainty level, the operatives are left with a high possibility that the remaining hypotheses are prospectively true (Evans, 2011). The CIA does not rely on only one piece of evidence to conclude that a particular hypothesis could be true, but relies on several indications that support the hypothesis so that they can have faith on the conclusion. This technique of intelligence analysis is appropriate for use against terror groups because the procedures that intelligence goes through are numerous thus reduces biases and improves the validity and reliability of the gathered intelligence. Also, ACH is essential for the CIA because the information collected from the terror group is refined by deletion of arguments and evidences that add no value to the intelligence and drawing a tentative conclusion.
In conclusion, there are several methods of collecting intelligence used by the Intelligence Community. These include human intelligence (HUMINT), measurement and signatures intelligence (MASINT), and signals intelligence (SIGINT). The United States uses these data collection programs in gathering information from the Hamas terror group. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is one of the members of the Intelligence Community that gathers strategic information and warning about terror groups that are planning an attack on the United States. The security officials and law enforcement use intelligence analysis strategies such as analysis of competing hypotheses (ACH) and Red Team Analysis to disrupt or prevent attacks planned by terror groups in the United States.
Carlisle, R. (Ed.). (2015). Encyclopedia of Intelligence and Counterintelligence. Routledge.
Combs, C. C., & Slann, M. W. (2009). Encyclopedia of Terrorism. Infobase Publishing.
Evans, D. (2011). International Affairs and Intelligence Studies Primer. Lulu. com.
Ettinger, D. (2011). Spies, Wiretaps, and Secret Operations: An Encyclopedia of American Espionage. Refere...
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