It is true the past of security agencies had a record of rivalries, suspicions, and other problems, which existed between the intelligence and law enforcement community and in some way interfered with the security of the United States of America.
The first problem that exists is the concept level of security clearance to access sensitive intelligence created by the intelligence community. The intelligence community has always had this concept that some information is classified and the law enforcement officers cannot access to it especially if such law enforcement officer is a different state from the location of the intelligence community and this created rivalry and commotion (Sullivan 2001).
Another rivalry has its origins in the different cultures of the law enforcement and intelligence community. Their culture is defined through uncommon goals. The law enforcement main goal is to prosecute offenders while the intelligence community goal is sometimes to eliminate the entire security threat network, which might involve letting the offenders go. This creates tensions between the two sometimes.
Apart from that, through community policing of the law enforcement get an attachment to the community and may at times be reluctant to share some knowledge with the intelligence community out of fear of harming the community they serve. This creates rivalry and tensions among the two.
Moreover, these two communities collect information using different sources, methods, purposes and standards. It is believed intelligence community collects information for political and military policy maker while the law enforcers do so for prosecutions. Therefore, when one feels that the other does not support its course rivalries emerge. For instance, in the financial fraud case, the justice department was annoyed in CIA for poor record keeping, which made prosecution difficult.
The other source of rivalry between law enforcement and intelligence community was the refusal of the law enforcement agencies to reveal the procedures that they used to get intelligence classified information. Some time back the FBI refused to share lists of suspected terrorists on grounds that it was the secret of the state that only its agents could use. On the other hand, the FAA had a way of obtaining the lists and refused to tell FBI the procedures that it used to get such list leading to the rivalry between the two.
Wanlund (2015) proposes that to strike balance the law denies the intelligence community power of the police; the intelligence community needs the police to apprehend criminals and allows state prosecutors to deal with state related cases while the intelligence community deals with the federally related incidences. Several laws including the National Security Act of 1947; Executive Order 12333; and the patriotic act allow various government agencies to share intelligence as a way of combating terror. The Executive Order 13355 allows the Director of Central Intelligence to make a unified intelligence effort in protecting the national security of the United States, which helps to strike a balance and eliminate these rivalries.
The major negative of a centralized system is that it tends to adopt uniform standards and procedures for resolving issues. However, Local problems require local remedies and a standard procedure might not work. Moreover, standard system is procedure delayed ad supervision becomes difficult.
A federal prosecutor has two primary strategies that he/she can use in prosecuting of a person that he/she believes to have committed a terrorism-related act. They can either be the extraterritorial terrorism (international terrorism) or the domestic terrorism. The extraterritorial strategy is possible especially when an individual commits acts of terror outside the territorial jurisdiction of the USA and flees to the USA for asylum. The US codes and laws grant the courts the extraterritorial jurisdiction and the ability to prosecute, try and punish terrorists who commit acts of crimes in other countries. The U.S. Code 2334 allows district court in any district where the plaintiff resides to prosecute the plaintiff unless a foreign court that has jurisdiction over the subject matter and over all the defendants takes action and can be more appropriate.
The other strategy that a federal prosecutor may take is the domestic terrorism prosecution and this may occur if a citizen within USA territorial jurisdiction commits an act of terrorism, aids and abets terrorists; plans or even conspires to commit terrorism against the US civilians, government officers or buildings.
What Factors Will The Prosecutor Consider When Making the Decision?
The law is a two edged sword that when not correctly observed, it can hurt the prosecuting agency especially when prosecuting individuals of the terrorism crime. Prosecution of an individual must be justifiable and evidence compelling in compliance with the law. Failure to which might result in loss of a case ad if unjustifiable sometimes it might bring about a legal suit against the state, which is costly. Therefore, before prosecuting an individual for terrorism, the USA law 18 U.S.C. 2331 demand that terrorism must have the following sign: acts that may threaten or pose danger to human life that the law forbids both federal and state law and intentional act of coercing and intimidating people, or government so as to influence conduct or policy through use of extreme violence, mass destruction of property, kidnapping and kidnapping, retaliate. This may be through direct participation aiding and abating or even financing and planning. Since the prosecutor has decided to prosecute the case and will not defer to a state attorney, he or she must involve the office of the attorney general in investigating the matter and ensure that the plaintiff has not committed any offences against the state government law or ask the state government only to punish the plaintiff for crimes against the state and let the federal government punish the plaintiff for the other criminal offences.
Community policing is the important factor in training police officers that will enhance their new role in preventing terrorism. Primarily, this process is about police officers developing close relationships with the communities that they serve.
Community policing is a positive aspect to national intelligence because through it; the police can use the knowledge of the characteristics of terrorists, using the information that the community has provided identify the suspected terrorists and divert some of their resources to surveillance of the suspected terrorists. This process is very important in the creation of national intelligence on suspected terrorists. In this way, the police will be able to collect sensitive security knowledge that they share with the intelligence community. It can also provide the law enforcement authorities with knowledge that they would not have easily gained if the citizen did not have the initiative to bring suspected terror information to their attention.
Characteristics of Terrorists
It is utterly impossible to classify a person as a terrorist through using an individual characteristics or personality traits. It is stereotypic of the highest nature to group a person as a terrorist based on how they look like. Terrorism is an idea and a philosophy of destruction of life and it is not about the look or nature or religion. Victoroff (2005) acknowledges that it is a complex matter to give individuals characteristics of a terrorist. Terrorism is individuals intrinsic value that is brought out through association with individuals or groups that have already committed acts of terror.
Through the Schultz (1980) model characters of terrorists can be identified through classifying them into groups and after events of terror have been done but not before. The classification according to groups depends on:
The perpetrator in other words how many people have committed the act is it an individual or is it a group that way the terrorist can get classification or character of either individual or group terrorist.
The other classification depends on sponsorship. This is about who funded the terrorist activity. Is the terrorist state or sub-state or the individual funded?
Another classification is in relation to authority. This characterizes a terrorist depending on the terrorist reaction to authority. The major question, in this case, is usually is the terrorist Anti-state/anti-establishment/separatist vs. pro-state/pro-establishment.
Moreover, the locale can be a way of giving a terrorist character. The locale is all about the geographic location that the terrorist extends his/her acts of terror. If the terrorist activities are within a single state, the terrorist is characterized as intrastate terrorist but if it extends to other states, the terrorist assumes the character of international terrorist
Finally, a terrorist can be characterized depending on his/her religious affiliation. If a terrorist commits the crime of terror chanting religious slogan or claiming religious teachings, he/ he is a religious terrorist while if the terrorist does not involve religion, he/she is a secular terrorist.
Legal Information Institute (N/A), U.S. Code 2332b - Acts of Terrorism Transcending National Boundaries retrieved 18th January 2017
Santayana G. (2015) The Dangers of Domestic Spying: A Case Study on FBI Surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, located at
Schultz R. (1980) Conceptualizing political terrorism-a typology. In International terrorism: Current research and future directions, edited by A. D. Buckley and D. D. Olson, 9-15. Wayne NJ:Avery
Sullivan L. (2001). Secrecy, Turf Wars Hinder Intelligence Agencies, Victoroff J., (2005) The Mind of the Terrorist: A Review and Critique of Psychological Approaches, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 49, No. 1 (Feb., 2005), pp. 3-42
Wanlund B. ( 2015) Intelligence reform: Are U.S. spy agencies prepared for 21st-century threats? May 29, 2015 Volume 25, Issue 20
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