Naval Postgraduate School, Department of National Security Affairs
This thesis examines intelligence strategies that law enforcement officials may use to combat transnational Islamic terrorism in the United States. Many of the concepts discussed in this thesis come from U.S. Intelligence Community approaches. Others are familiar to both intelligence and law enforcement professionals. The thesis focuses on Islamic terrorism, most notably promoted and conducted by al-Qa eda, though a number of the techniques can apply to other terrorist threats. The religious foundations of Islamic terrorism and the milieu in which it flourishes provides both a strategic and tactical backdrop for what has been cast as a global jihad a violent, worldwide religious campaign with political objectives. The unique ethnic and religious characteristics also present specific challenges for law enforcement intelligence operations, most notably in collecting human intelligence. Processing collected threat intelligence and developing defensive plans require a broad, multi-layered strategy to be successful in meeting the challenges posed by a geographically pervasive terrorist threat. As this thesis argues, local jurisdictions must work in tandem with national-level organs to create an effective system that will identify and prevent potential terrorist operations in the United States.