Sunday, June 3, 2012


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The U.S. needs a domestic, counterintelligence agency. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, we haven’t transformed our internal and international structures to effectively battle radical Islam. The UN, single and independent states NGO‘s, international laws, etc. are all geared to the Cold War and life after WWII. These entities are not equipped to battle al Qaeda, Hamas, or any one of dozens of extreme and radical Islamic cell bent on replacing democratic institutions with a sharia law-driven government. We continue to use “Cold Tools” and out-dated thinking to handle the new problems in fighting al Qaeda. They are not the traditional enemies we defeated. It would be nice if President Obama could pick up his Blackberry and summon Osama bin Laden, Abu Nidal, Ayman Al Zawahiri, Carlos the Jackal, or Hafiz Mohammad Saeed to a UN Security Council meeting or to Camp David for a one-on-one with President Obama where they are given some ultimatums and conditions to conduct global business with. 

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You can do this with a President, Premier, or any head of State that presides over a populace. But, radical Islamic terrorist groups have no State. We can’t impose sanctions over an organization with no formal currency, economy, territory, traditional army, or financial system, borders. We can’t attack al Qaeda’s territory because they don’t own any…they’re merely tenants in foreign lands. The way we organized for our safety in years past are no longer applicable. Our economic, diplomatic and military leverage is passe. With terrorism, there’s no state to leverage against them or to negotiate and work with them via the “carrot” of foreign aid. We used nuclear weapons as deterrents in the Cold War, called “MAD”- Mutually Assured Destruction. Even the MAD concept is passé. Now, a small suicidal terrorist cell could detonate a suitcase nuclear bomb or radioactive “dirty” bomb in downtown Manhattan.

We’re using a mandarin system which is unproductive in penetrating self-autonomous, leaderless terrorist cells that stretch around the world and communicate via Internet, fax machine, and cellular phone to plan future attacks and to quickly swarm together to strike inside America. Only an effective counterintelligence capability can uncover terrorist cells that believe martyrdom and certainty of paradise can be reached…by detonating “dirty” radioactive bombs, biological or chemical weapons…whatever…inside America.

Our “Cold Tools” and out-dated thinking of 50 years ago no longer apply. Our war machine, diplomatic actions, our international law and NGO’s operating worldwide are designed for a different world in the post WWII era. None of them are effective anymore. So, we resort to protecting our assets, in beefing-up security measures around the world to protect our belongings. We talk about “hard” and “soft” targets and how to shield them. Instead, we should be go on an aggressive offense and develop the most effective and deadly counterespionage machine ever invented…one focused on radical Islamic terrorists. We need to end reacting…and begin acting. We need to determine in advance what our enemy’s plans are and counter them with deadly force before they materialize. 
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America’s “seamless” border is splintered by distinguished drug and human-trafficking pipelines. Her heartland greets countless flights arriving each day from Europe, Asia and the middle east. Terrorist cell members fly around the world, and into America, carrying incomparable false passports and visas. The fact that radical Islamic Muslims bent on killing westerners and toppling democratic governments can travel around the globe so easily, incognito, is further reason to develop a redoubtable counterespionage service that can identify quickly and globally, anyone traveling around the world using another name, in disguise, undercover, or carrying false documents. No longer should anyone be allowed to slip through the cracks.

The way to prevent radical Islam from developing sleeper cells in America and to deter massive attacks is through intelligence… by creating a formidable counterintelligence force. True, we must continue on the defensive in some areas, such as hardening targets that terrorists would enjoy blowing themselves up to destroy, like the White House or Capital building. But, what about the “soft targets” like hotels, stadiums and the hundreds of places Americans gather? It was good counterintelligence that exposed the terrorist cells in Lackawana, NY. Likewise, first-rate counterintelligence unearthed the organizations in Virginia that were a hop, skip and a jump from CIA HQ and were financing terrorist cells. For the sake of brevity, I won’t mention a dozen other instances where CI probably saved American lives. I only wonder what may these arrested cells have done to harm America’s heartland down the road? The U.S. has a serious problem with al Qaeda sleeper cells and other terrorist organizations, as well as their fund-raising capabilities.

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Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIOIC). A portion (10%) of this site's ad revenues is donated to the AFIO. The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. We're always looking for different perspectives regarding the Intelligence Community- got a thought, article or comment you'd like to submit? Contact us on the Secure Contact Form

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