Strengthening Counterterrorism from the Information of a Successful Terrorist Attack and Failed Missions in the United States
36 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2015
Date Written: April 22, 2015
This article examines a successful terrorist attack and failed missions in the U.S. to inform counterterrorism. Six case studies were selected based on groups of terrorists (three or more) who conducted or planned an attack within the U.S. The variables measured were the organizational learning cycles of the terrorists, and the financial, community and security institutions they used. The learning cycles revealed that success was a function of experience and training so learning deficits made detection possible. The failed cells lacked funding which increased their vulnerability when they sought financing. Supportive community institutions and their effective use made plot detection difficult. Terrorists who ineffectively used and leveraged security institutions were more likely to fail. The U.S. should continue the preemptive use of undercover agents/informants to detect terrorist plots.
Keywords: terrorism, learning cycles, community institutions, financial institutions, security institutions, United States, Counterterrorism
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