Counter Terrorism

The Developmental History of the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS)


This article describes how to develop, adapt, and manage an independent think tank approaching new cross-sectoral forms of national security threats within a government stove-piped system. The Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish Defence University was in a European context a unique hybrid entity that combined academic research with policy relevant recommendations and trusted second opinions to Cabinet departments and agencies. This article explores how to bend stovepipes within a Swedish context in the areas of Counter Terrorism, Intel-ligence Studies, Cyber Security, and Influence Operations.

Set Your Drones to Stun: Using Cyber-Secure Quadcopters to Disrupt Active Shooters


This paper will examine pairing the autonomous precision-flight capabilities of Micro- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with the growing capability of Artificial Intelligence (specifically AI based on neuromorphic computing systems) to field cyber-secure, active-shooter response systems to counter the active-shooter threat to civilian ‘soft targets’, such as schools or train stations. This paper proposes a pilot to demonstrate the feasibility of disrupting terrorist attacks with a micro-UAV, armed with less than lethal weapons, for instance, a stun gun, where such a ‘stun-drone’ is part of an emergency-response system that is trustworthy and correctly engages only active shooters.

Command, Influence and Information in 3D Tactics


This paper has three objectives. Firstly, critically examine the triatic relationship between ‘Command’, ‘Influence’ and ‘Information’ in three dimensional (3D) tactics. Secondly, explain how this relationship enables the 3D tactics of rhizome manoeuvre.

Employment of 3D-Printed Guns in the 5D Battlespace


The emergence of 3D-printed guns over 2013-15 is part of a more fundamental shift in the dynamics of war caused by two different forms of convergence. One is technology convergence, and the second is the bundling-up of various tactical and operational concepts, developed over the last two decades. These have converged into a broad-based concept called five-dimensional operations or battlespace.

Belief Systems, Information Warfare, and Counter Terrorism


This paper defines Counter Terrorism within a risk management and information warfare framework, using risk analyses based upon an understanding of Belief Systems.  An understanding of how people make crucial (life threatening) ethical decisions is important to reducing the likelihood and the impact of terrorist acts.  This understanding can come from analyzing and modeling the complex systems that make up the Belief Systems of terrorists and of the targets of terrorists. Counter Terrorism analysts can use these Belief Systems Models to identify key influences or relationships in Belief Networks and apply information warfare strategies to exploit or prevent events arising from crucial ethical decisions made by terrorist organizations, creating immunity in targeted societies.

A Tale of Two Cities: Approaches to Counter-Terrorism and Critical Infrastructure Protection in Washington, DC and Canberra


All nations undertake a variety of activities to protect their citizens from the threat posed by terrorism. In the last decade, the requirements of effective counter- terrorism (CT) policy have become more demanding as the result of the changing nature of global terrorism, and the challenges posed by the requirement to protect vulnerable critical national infrastructures (CNI). (Since the events of 11 September 2001, of these policies has taken on an unprecedented importance.) But the approaches taken by different nations regarding national CT and critical infrastructure protection (CIP) policies have varied considerably. In this paper, the authors will examine the approaches to CT and CIP policies adopted by two nations – the United States and Australia – both before and after 11 September 2001. The paper concludes by proposing explanations for the different approaches in CT and CIP policies adopted by the United States and Australia.

Using Data Mining Techniques for Detecting Terror-Related Activities on the Web


An innovative knowledge-based methodology for terrorist detection by using Web traffic content as the audit information is presented. The proposed methodology learns the typical behavior (‘profile’) of terrorists by applying a data mining algorithm to the textual content of terror-related Web sites. The resulting profile is used by the system to perform real-time detection of users suspected of being engaged in terrorist activities. The Receiver-Operator Characteristic (ROC) analysis shows that this methodology can outperform a command- based intrusion detection system.

3D Tactics and Information Deception


Information deception is a core component of three dimensional tactics (3D tactics). 3D tactics is a relatively new concept which seeks to develop spherical security, or ‘look-around’ tactical thinking in three dimensions. However, the connection between information deception and 3D tactics is not well understood. In both the 2005 London Underground attacks, and the 2007 Haymarket attempted attack factors such as information deception played a key operational frame of reference in the development of the attack methodology.

2D Versus 3D Tactical Supremacy in Urban Operations


This paper revises Boyd’s OODA loop incorporating 3D tactics. 3D tactics is defined as tactics in the third dimension which is the space above and below ground level in land and urban operations. This paper investigates the key difference between 3D tactics and more conventional tactics, based on people thinking linearly, which in effect is a form of two-dimensional tactical analysis (2D Tactics). This problem is also fundamentally linked to developing a counter terrorism analysis applicable to mass gathering space in civil urban places, which is not adequately addressed in contemporary tactical theory; which however is addressed by Boyd’s OODA loop incorporating 3D tactics.

15 Meters/11 Seconds


Some past terrorist attacks have illustrated that in the final moments before the attack happened, some people recognised the attacker and reacted, while others simply ignored them. Modelling these events requires an analysis recognising how ‘some people with high situational awareness will be influenced by other people’, and that some people (the terrorist attacker) are sufficiently adept at creating deception, outwitting perception, or vice versa. These two features underpin the key moments prior to a terrorist attack. Modelling this in the context of a terrorist attack requires a new form of granular analysis. This is called the ’15 meters/11 seconds’ model, and is the title of the research project modelled in this paper. It is a terrorist attack scenario examined as a time/action study of the immediate minutes and seconds leading up to a terrorist attack (as well as including the following events). Out of this analysis, ground rules are established for modelling an approach to the problem, in order to better develop possible evacuation strategies in public places, such as rail stations.

3D Vulnerability Analysis Solution to the Problem of Military Energy Security and Interposing Tactics


Military energy security is defined in the same terms as its civil counterpart, energy security. Conventionally focused on policy, technology, and programmatic initiatives, it is aimed at increasing the security and sustainability of energy resources (for defence or otherwise). This remains valid if military energy security is defined in purely economic terms. In terms of alternative strategies or terrorist ‘tactics, techniques, and procedures’, a new set of operational problems arise. This article examines an attack scenario based on ‘interposing tactics’. This involves attacking and defending energy supply. The ‘3D vulnerability analysis’ tool/model is proposed as a solution.

Wild Predator Erratic Attacks versus Dynamic Defence


Attacks by lone gunmen in public places have been experienced in schools and universities around the world. These attacks are viewed as isolated acts by individuals with little or no connection to any political or ideological agenda. Additionally, these attackers are commonly seen as having little connection to each other. However, viewed from the perspective of tactics it is argued that certain commonalities arise. Taking examples from past infamous school shootings in the U.S., a particular attack method of operations and a possible range of tactical solutions to these deadly attack methods can be identified. A methodology is proposed which views these actions by the lone gunmen as a tactical concept called erratic attacks. The attackers themselves in this methodology are viewed as wild predators. The wild predator attacker can only be defeated with one of two defences. These are a denial of space, such as boxing, and/or a dynamic defence. These approaches are designed to overcome the significant information advantages which an erratic attacker can have, namely deception advantages. This article proposes to discuss this methodology in terms of terrorist ‘tactics, techniques, and procedures’ (TTPs).

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.















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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.


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