LESC Links February 24th 2010

What Qualifies as Terrorism?

Ever since Joe Stack flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas last week, discussion has raged, once again, about how to classify his action. It's a discussion that has taken on new bite ever since the attacks of 9/11, when suddenly "terrorism" and "radical Islamic militants" became fused in the minds of many Americans. 

Is a man whose erratic behavior causes his wife and child to flee their home, which he then burns to the ground before flying his plane into a building, killing himself and others in the process...crazy? Or a terrorist? Or...perhaps both? 

Interesting article on the definition of terrorism. Who is or is not a terrorist? ~Fred 

School Shooting Suspect Described As ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

At this point, there's no official confirmation that Foster's pending dismissal was a motive for the shooting. The school system had been investigating Foster after an anonymous e-mail warning of his behavior was sent to school administrators, nearly three months before he opened fire.

Collaborative efforts and initiative driven action to mitigate and prevent these threats. ~Fred

Joseph Stack Suicide Manifesto

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?” The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

AG rules Keene shooting justified

The state Attorney General's Office has released a preliminary report that says the Keene police officer who shot and killed a man during a standoff last week was justified in using lethal force.The report released today by Attorney General Michael A. Delaney also provides these details in how authorities say the shooting unfolded Tuesday night at a residence in Keene:

The DSB Calls for More Red Teaming

Red teaming is the practice of viewing a problem from an adversary or competitor’s perspective. The goal of most red teams is to enhance decision making, either by specifying the adversary’s preferences and strategies or by simply acting as a devil’s advocate. Red teaming may be more or less structured, and a wide range of approaches exists. ~Source:
Red Team Journal

In the recently published Report of the Defense Science Board 2008 Summer Study on Capability Surprise, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board (DSB) notes the following among its recommendations:

Red teaming as the norm instead of the exception. Secretary of Defense direct the use of red teaming throughout DOD by developing and employing best practice guides, intellectual focus in professional military education, and more aggressive use of red teams in exercises. The Secretary should also lead by example and establish a strategic-level red team to challenge and inform national security and top level defense policies and strategies.

We, of course, agree with this recommendation and have offered similar recommendations in the past, including this 2008 call for a red teaming “surge.”

Interesting report which hits on not only Red Teaming to create and nurture readiness but it gets into details as to why we fail to see the threats and are often caught by known surprises, threats we should have known an failed to prepare for or what the report calls surprising, surprises, things we might have known about but are buried in the day to operations and other threats that seem for doable.  The reports focus in on national security related issues but if you think about the concept it holds true in the law enforcement and security fields as well. ~Fred

Put the 'H.S.' Back in DHS, Says Leading Department Critic

“We need to put homeland security back in the Department of Homeland Security,” said former DHS inspector general Clark Kent Ervin. Part of the reason the department is still getting its “sea legs” seven years after its creation is that so much of what it does has nothing to do with homeland security and counterterrorism, Ervin said at a Cato Institute panel discussion.

Focus of effort…What's yours? What's ours? ~Fred