Terrorist Group Threat Assessment Summary Format
Paper details: The first section should be titled Environment.
Environment should provide facts about the geographical area where the
group operates. You may want to discuss the culture of the area, its
ethnic population or mix, its economy or resources and any other
factors which have influenced the development or continuation of the
terrorist group in this area.
The next section should be titled History and Motivation. History
and Motivation should highlight facts such as who founded the group
and why. What factors influenced someone to start this group? For
example, were the founders of the group motivated by what they saw as
economic, political, or religious discrimination or oppression? What
goals did the group seek? What events are significant in the formation
and history of this group and why were they significant? Have the
goals of the group changed and if yes, why? Have the leaders of the
group changed as goals changed and if yes, describe those changes.
The next section should be titled Support and Funding. Support and
Funding should highlight if support for the group is local in nature
or of a national or international nature. Fundamentally, this section
should answer the questions of how this group gets its operational
capital. Who supports it? Who funds it? How does it raise money or
support for its cause or goals? Does this group get its money and
resources from legitimate sources like charitable organizations and/or
donors? What are those sources and how do they get money to the
terrorist organization? Does the group support itself by illegal
methods like extortion, robbery, kidnapping, drug trafficking or other
methods? Equally important, this section should answer who in the
local area or country or in the international community supports this
The next section should be titled Tactics and Strategies. Tactics
and Strategies should provide a discussion of the types of terrorism
this group participates in. Does it use bombing as its primary tactic
of attack? Does it use kidnapping or extortion or demonstrations or
other tactics? How does this group carry out its terrorist attacks and
does it have a preferred method or methods? What are the overall
strategies of this group? Beyond the individual terrorist attacks,
does it have some ultimate goal of religious or political outcomes
that it seeks? How does the group select its targets and victims? Does
the group try to use or manipulate the media? What types of weapons
does the group normally use or seem to prefer and what are its normal
methods of attack? Discuss the membership of the group its
strength, recruitment, training and leaders. As you discuss these
facts, provide examples of the group in action to support your
arguments and conclusions. This is also a place to highlight
techniques or characteristics which make a terrorist group unique. For
example, the members of the Tamil Tigers
carried cyanide capsules with them and were instructed to kill
themselves rather than submit to capture and questioning.
The next section should be titled Benchmark Incidents. Benchmark
Incidents should provide examples of what you view as the most
significant terrorist attacks or other actions this group has taken.
Some terrorist groups have been operating for decades and have a long
list of terrorist activities they claim to have committed. In this
section, you should provide details on the most famous, most notable
terrorist attacks and incidents the group is known to have committed.
For example, al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attacks on
the U.S.S. Cole, for embassy bombings in Africa, and for the attacks
on the World Trade Center in 1993 and on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon on 9/11. Provide important facts about the dates of
significant attacks and about the type of weapons used, the damage
done and any other facts which seem significant to you. Significant or
benchmark incidents may also include those attacks which first brought
the group to national or international attention as a terrorist group.
The next section should be titled Terrorism Counteractions.
Terrorism Counteractions include what government or other
counterterrorist agencies are doing to diminish or attack the
terrorist group. Are local or international steps being taken to
interdict support and resources for the group? Is the group on the
U.S. State Department???s Foreign Terrorist Organization watch list?
If yes, what does that allow the U.S. Government to do? Are national
or international efforts being made to interfere with funding or
weapons trafficking? Are local or international governments
negotiating peace settlements with the group? If yes, what is the
status of the negotiations? Has the U.S. offered military or other
logistical support to local governments to help fight the terrorist
group? If yes, what type of support has been offered and has it been
The next section should be titled Outlook. Outlook should answer
questions about whether or not the group is growing, is stable or is
in decline. Have the terrorism counteractions been successful? What is
this group currently doing and how much of a threat are they now? How
much of a threat are they likely to become? Is this a group which
seeks access to weapons of mass destruction? Do they have the
resources, knowledge, motivation, and capability to use weapons of
mass destruction against the U.S. and/or it allies? What do we know
about the future plans of this group and/or what do we fear they may
do next? Is this group a threat to U.S. citizens abroad or in America
or American territory? How strong is the group, how strong is its
appeal to potential recruits? How likely is it that counterterrorism
efforts will succeed against this group?
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