1. Introduction: Develop a research paper to address domestic intelligence collection and analysis of your selected terrorist group from your Red Cell Midterm Assignment. Building on the information that you started in your midterm prepare a new research paper that addresses which intelligence collection disciplines and agencies are essential to effectively collect on and analyze information about the red cell threat you chose in 5-7 full pages of content (not counting title or reference pages). 2. Domestic Intelligence Collection and Analysis: Specify the most effective intelligence collection and analysis methods against the terrorist organization likely to conduct an attack within the United States that you selected by clearing answering all 3 of the following: A) What domestic intelligence collection efforts would be best utilized on the organization you selected? (Intelligence Collection disciplines discussed in week. 5) Please do not focus on overseas intelligence collection programs; this is an HLSS course, and we are focused ONLY on collection within the U.S. homeland. B) Which members of the IC would be the best collectors of intelligence on this particular organization within the country? (the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the intelligence community we discussed in week 2) You may address agencies that collect overseas and within the homeland as the terrorism nexus overlaps both domains. You may also consider some of the field agencies of DHS (since DHS I&A is just an office and does not collect) as some of the operating components do collect like ICE, CBP, USCG, and the Secret Service (who does focus on terrorism financing). Again, this is a Homeland Security course, so focus on the agencies that can support the homeland (like the FBI), NOT primarily overseas intelligence collection of foreign targets. Focus your paper only on domestic intelligence and law enforcement. Remember, the CIA does not collect intelligence on Americans domestically; they are a foreign intelligence agency (as are all military intelligence branches). See the readings from week five and this link to Executive Order 12333 (2008) https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo/eo-12333-2008.pdf. However, the NSA is very different as they can collect both foreign and domestic communications (when authorized by a court [like FISA] or under certain conditions by the Attorney General to support the FBI). See https://www.nsa.gov/about/faqs/sigint-faqs.shtml C) What intelligence analysis strategies would be the most effective and why? (choose only from the analytical strategies discussed in the week 6 lesson and specifically the reading A tradecraft primer: structured analytic techniques for improving intelligence analysis or found at this link https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did＝20945). Remember that critical thinking (brainstorming) and situational logic DO NOT in themselves constitute an analytical approach — be specific and pick at least two specific strategies you think will help analyze what can be collected on a clandestine terrorist group attempting to attack the U.S. homeland. Note: Only focus here in this progress paper on intelligence collection disciplines, the most appropriate IC agencies to play a role, and the most effective analytical techniques to employ in this scenario. As a paper for this HLSS course, these questions are to be answered regarding collecting and analyzing intelligence on the terrorist group plans and activities within the U.S. as they prepare to attack. Do not address how to stop this attack. That will be the topic of your recommendations in your final paper due in week 7. That final paper will address what law enforcement and security officials here in the homeland can do to detect, identify, warn, and potentially stop the hypothetical attack. It would help if you readdressed your hypothetical attack from your midterm using only a paragraph or two (unless you were explicitly told that you did not address the attack in sufficient detail in your midterm). Technical Requirements: Make sure you read the instructions carefully and that you focus your paper on answering the assigned questions. This assignment is a research paper, not an opinion paper, so you need to use scholarly sources to support your thesis (see this library article How do I write a good thesis statement). Use formal academic writing and not use the first person, such as ′I′ or ′my′; see this site on academic writing style (scholarly voice). Make sure you use APA style 7th edition in-text parenthetical citations at the end of every sentence where you are quoting another′s ideas (or any information) that is not your thoughts and words, like this (Bergen, 2015, para. 14). Citations are required for paraphrases as well, but not the page or paragraph number in that case. I highly recommend you use the APUS writing guide, which can be found in the university library or at this link: APUS Research Writing and Style Guide. You are welcome to use supplementary sources to complement the assigned readings based upon your research, but make sure you use only scholarly and credible sources (do not use open websites, and you never want to use Wikipedia for a college-level paper). Also, dictionaries and encyclopedias, and general news sites (like CNN) are NOT appropriate for college-level research papers. An excellent example of what NOT to use is NSA.Gov1.info — not only is it not the NSA webpage, the site loaded with bogus information, and if you scroll down to the bottom, it says, ″This is a parody of nsa.gov and has not been approved, endorsed, or authorized by the National Security Agency or by any other U.S. Government agency.″ Also, do not cite the weekly lessons as those are only basic information to start the topic with. It would help if you used mainly scholarly and reputable academic books and journal articles. Academic Requirements: – Make sure your paper content meets the minimum acceptable length listed above with 5-7 full pages of text, not including the Title or Reference pages. – Written according to the APA 7th edition style and format (parenthetical in-text citation formats only; not endnotes or footnotes); – Use Times New Roman 12 point font; – 1-inch margins on all sides with no paragraph indentation other than the first line by .5 inches – Double-space all text (no extra lines or spaces after a paragraph or section headings and no added font sizes or lines either) – A respectable number of credible resources were used, cited in the paper as in-text citations, and included on the reference page. A good rule of thumb is at least two scholarly sources per page of content (so a minimum of 2 new scholarly sources per page in a research paper is acceptable for this assignment). Use those academic and credible sources provided to you throughout the course and other scholarly material obtained from conducting your research. Freely utilize appropriate and reputable academic sources, summarize in your own words and cite accordingly. – The paper must be free of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors (make sure to proofread before submission) – Attached is a PDF copy of my midterm assignment.
The Al-Shabab Terrorist Group
Protecting America from terrorist attacks is one of the fundamental roles of the country's
security agencies. Homeland Security is responsible for protecting the nation from any external
and internal security threats (McEntire, 2018). This organization counters terrorist groups,
cybercrimes and promotes America's border security, among other roles. The Al-Shabab terrorist
group is among the greatest threats to America's security. Al-Shabab is a rebellious Islamist
organization established in Somalia (Chigudu, 2021). The terrorist group was once in control of
Mogadishu and several regions in Somalia (Chigudu, 2021). However, after the launching A.U.
military campaign in the area, Al-Shabab's influence in Somalia reduced significantly. Despite
the AMISOM suppression of the militia group, Al-Shabab remains a security threat to many
nations in Africa and Western countries (Chigudu, 2021). According to intelligence information,
Al-Shabab is linked to al-Qaeda, a terrorist group accountable for the 9/11 attack that killed and
maimed numerous Americans (Chigudu, 2021). This paper discusses Al-Shabab's organizational
structure, the terrorist group′s ideology, goals and objectives, leadership, funding, and terrorism
capabilities. It will also discuss Al-Shabab's hypothetical terrorist attack on U.S Homeland.
2. Al-Shabab's Organizational Assessment
2. 1. How the Group Took Shape
Somalia's political instability is among the reasons the Al-Shabab terrorist group thrived.
According to research, al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI), also known as the Unity of Islam, was the
forerunner and the incubator of Al-Shabab. AIAI was picked in the early 1990s after the former
Somali Said Barre (Felter et al., 2021). AIAI comprised of schooled Somali extremists funded
and armed by the former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. AIAI split following a
disagreement with its younger members, who sought to create an Islamist state in Somalia (Felter
et al., 2021). The youth militia joined hands with Islamic Court Union (ICU), taking control of
Mogadishu in 2006 (Felter et al., 2021). For fear of a Jihadist attack, Ethiopia, a nation
dominated by Christians, invaded Somalia, and ousted members of the Islamic Court Union from
the country's capital (Felter et al., 2021). With the overpowering of the ICU, Al-Shabab moved
to the southern part of Somalia and morphed into a terrorist organization organizing guerrilla
assaults and bombings in the region. According to counterterrorism experts, the entry of
Ethiopian forces in Somalia caused Al-Shabab to become the insurgency group it is today. In
March 2010, the United Kingdom proscribed Al-Shabab as an international terror group (Gov.
2.2. Al-Shabab's Leadership
Currently, Ahmed Umar, also called Abu Obadiah, leads the militia group (Zakarie &
Hared, 2021). Umar was given the leadership mantle after Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was killed
by the 2014 drone strike by the American forces (Zakarie & Hared, 2021). Intelligence experts
thought that Godane's death would weaken the organization; however, its leadership structure
has seen the terrorist group remain united due to its flexible chain of command. Al-Shabab has
several cells, divisions, and units under specific leaders (Zakarie & Hared, 2021). Furthermore,
the insurgent group has a clear leadership hierarchy that enables a smooth flow in the chain of
command. Its topmost leader is called Amir and is helped by a ten-member body. The Amir and
the council members are responsible for deciding Al-Shabab's significant activities.
Junior Amirs oversee minor divisions and cells. They oversee the group's political,
military, and media issues. The military division is the militia's critical section. It is divided into
two subdivisions: the army of hardship and suffering and the social-economic branch. According
to intelligence reports, Amniyat is the militia's intelligence division (Felter et al., 2021). This
department gathers information about areas to attack and is responsible for the group's high
profile attacks. Hussein Sheikh, Somali's former security advisor, pointed out that if the Amniyat
were destroyed, such a move would mark the end of the group (Felter et al., 2021).
Furthermore, some regional leaders oversee the group's political interests. These leaders
are allowed to pursue their personal goals. Al-Shabab can conduct criminal activities anywhere
in East Africa and beyond the region (Shuriye, 2012). Also, the terror group's robust leadership
structure enables the militia to reduce internal conflicts and ensure continuity of operation even
in case senior leaders die.
2.3 Al-Shabab's Ideology
Religious rigidity and the narrow interpretation of Islamic teachings and doctrines are the
basis of Al-Shabab's ideology. Al-Shabab's goal is to establish an Islamic state, drive foreigners
outside Somalia, and implement Sharia decrees. Most Somalis support these notions. However,
the militia group's methodology for implementing this agenda is the primary challenge and the
cause of uproars. Al-Shabab's association with other international terrorist groups and their joint
training and operations in the Horn of Africa shows that their primary agenda is causing mayhem
and killing innocent people in the name of promoting Islamic teachings (Shuriye, 2012).
Presently, Al-Shabab is known globally as an insurgent group with the intentions of taking over
Somali's leadership, control neighbouring countries, and wage jihad against Western nations and
nations they perceive as enemies of Islam (Shuriye, 2012).
According to research, Al-Shabab's ideology of creating an Islamic state is not limited to
Somalia. The militia group plans to spread this political ideology to neighbouring countries and
move to Central and South Africa. Moreover, the training its followers undergo is focused on
this agenda (Shuriye, 2012). These leaders have been quoted on their media platforms stating
that once they are done freeing Somalia from the chains of Christianity, their next mission would
be to resurrect a global caliphate. Furthermore, Omar Hammami, the militia group's commander
in the U.S, stated that Al-Shabab's goals are global (Shuriye, 2012).
2.4. Al-Shabab's Goals and Objectives
Several analysts point out that Al-Shabab has numerous factions that pursue different
goals. However, Al-Shabab's goals and objectives are closely tied to the group's ideology. This
militia's first agenda is to take over Somalia's leadership (Shuriye, 2012). According to an
intelligence report, Al-Shabab causes political instability in the country, intending to overthrow
the government (Shuriye, 2012). Before the formation of the transitional government, Al-Shabab
used its terrorist networks in the country to cause chaos and kill innocent citizens who failed to
pay taxes to the group (Haque, 2021). The group operates a parallel system of government where
they tax businesses and individuals and run illegal sugar and charcoal businesses to finance their
operations (Shuriye, 2012).
According to Haque (2021), Al-Shabab is opposed to a government supported by
Western nations. The group alleges that Westernization is the root cause of declined adherence to
Islamic teachings of Sharia law. Al-Shabab's strong advocacy for Sharia laws has seen the militia
group ban certain entertainments in regions it controls (Shuriye, 2012). For instance, individuals
living in the areas controlled by Al-Shabab are not allowed to watch movies, chew khat, smoke
or shave beards because these acts are against Sharia law. Al-Shabab's push for an Islamic state
has seen the organization stone and amputate individuals suspected of breaking their laws
(Shuriye, 2012). Moreover, the group's objective to prevent Western interaction with the country
blocks humanitarian organizations that offer foreign aid to Somalis.
2.5. Al-Shabab's Sources of Funds
Studies reveal that Al-Shabab has several sources of funding. According to
counterterrorism experts, this militia group obtains its funds from piracy, kidnappings, taxation
of local businesses, farmers, and aid groups. Al-Shabab has an established taxation unit called
Zakawat that assess enterprises operating in the areas the militia controls and determines the
amount of tax they would pay (Mugabi, 2021). An intelligence expert in Somalia alleged that in
2014, the militia group raised $ 9.5 million from taxing farmers (Action on Armed Violence,
2017). Moreover, aid agency leaders in Somalia claim that they pay about $10,000 to distribute
food to people living in Al-Shabab controlled areas (Action on Armed Violence, 2017).
Also, terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda are suspected of offering funds to Al-Shabab.
Governments have also faced accusations for aiding operations of the militia group. For
example, the Eritrean government faced similar accusations (Action on Armed Violence, 2017).
Al-Shabab's charcoal business is another reliable source of the militia's funds. Despite the U. N’s
ban on the export of Somali charcoal to cut down Al-Shabab's sources of income, the business
continues to thrive, generating millions of dollars for the group. Al-Shabab also smuggles
contraband sugar into Kenya to generate more revenue. The Kenyan military has been accused of
partaking in illegal business (Shuriye, 2012).
Like other terrorist organizations, Al-Shabab is said to be raising some of its funds from
drug dealing. Studies reveal that Al-Shabab re-sales heroine brought from Asia to drug users and
dealers in Nigeria. Other sources of funding for the militia group include the telecom market,
illicit mining, and poaching. The insurgent group has numerous sources of funds that facilitate its
activities. According to a U.N report on international terrorist organizations released in 2019, Al-
Shabab spends close to $21 million on weapons, intelligence, and fighters (Gov.UK, 2020). This
budget shows that Al-Shabab can access lethal weapons and finance its criminal activities.
3. Al-Shabab's Terrorism Capabilities
Al-Shabab's terrorism capabilities reduced significantly when AMISOM soldiers were
deployed in Somalia to destroy the militia group. However, the group's organizational structure
has ensured its sustained existence. When the military was deployed in areas initially occupied
by Al-Shabab, the group treat from the city of Mogadishu and to other regions (Gov.UK, 2020).
With the presence of regional leaders, Al-Shabab continues to contact criminal activities,
although on a reduced scale and frequency. Moreover, the regional leaders have more control of
their divisions and areas. However, the central command and the group's unity have been
weakened, resulting in losing coherence. The Amniyat now plays the pivotal role of maintaining
the group's coherence despite the extensive decentralization. For instance, militiamen who
attempt to dissent are brutally punished or killed. Such mistreatments compel members to remain
respectful to the commanders and commit criminal activities.
According to an American Congressional Research Service in the region, Al-Shabab still
can conduct attacks in Somalia and beyond. A.Q. report by the DoS released in April 2020
revealed that Al-Shabab could not amass large forces but retains its economic impact at the
village level (Gov.UK, 2020). The report further pointed out that the militia will continue
destabilizing Somalia and the East African region through IED and targeted assassinations
(Gov.UK, 2020). Another report showed that the operations of Al-Shabab, such as radicalization
and recruitment of young people to the organization, have significantly reduced due to Covid-19
(Gov.UK, 2020). The restrictions on free movement and the reduced number of persons in public
places, which are the critical targets for the group, have cause terrorist attacks emanating from
these criminals to reduce significantly. Also, the movement of some Al-Shabab fighters back to
Mogadishu implies that the ambushes on the militia group members outside the city are bearing
fruit (Gov.UK, 2020). The U.S airstrikes and AMISOM forces are regarded as significant players
in limiting the terrorist capabilities of the Al-Shabab.
3.1. Weapons Used by Al-Shabab
Al-Shabab uses various lethal weapons to commit terror. In most of their attacks, Al-
Shabab uses grenades, bombs, firearms, and improvised explosive devices to harm people and
destroy property (Afriyie & Arkorful, 2021). For instance, during a disputed election, the group
used firearms with live bullets to shoot and kill innocent civilians in Somalia. In Kenya, Al-
Shabab used firearms during the Westgate attack and the attack at an institution of higher
learning where hundreds lost their lives (Gov.UK, 2020). This group also plants IEDs on paths to
kill people riding on vehicles once they stumble on the devices. The group also used bombs in
one of Somalia's deadliest terrorist attacks, where more than 500 people died, with several others
sustaining injuries (Gov.UK, 2020).
4. Eminent Attack on Homeland Security by Al-Shabab
Al-Shabab can launch an attack on Homeland Security. The attack may come due to the
U.S involvement in restoring peace and stability in Somalia. Moreover, this group targets East
African nations. It aims to convert as many nations as possible into Islamic states and destroy
nations it perceives as a hindrance to its goals. Al-Shabab has an intelligence group comprising
highly educated Muslims (Gov.UK, 2020). Some of these individuals may come to America for
various reasons, including pursuing education. Once in the country, the Amniyat will research
the operations of Homeland Security. They will use their network to share information about the
weaknesses of Homeland Security since every organization, no matter its structure and influence
has some flaws.
The Amniyat may befriend some of the officers at Homeland or the friends of the
security personnel to gather intelligence about the operations of Homeland. Once such
information is known, the group's suicide bombers, through their international networks, would
access any of the Homeland Security facilities that have security failures and launch an attack.
Additionally, the Al-Shabab militia is ready to die for their course, unlike Homeland security
personnel who are on duty to protect the nation but may be unwilling to lose their lives battling
rascals like the Al-Shabab (Gov.UK, 2020). This difference may work as an advantage for the
Al-Shabab to forceful gain access into the organization's facilities and execute their terrorist
activity. Moreover, America's security systems are more focused on protecting other nations.
This aspect may lead to a security lapse at home, granting the Al-Shabab a chance to cause
Homeland Security performs an essential role in protecting the country against attacks,
especially from terrorist groups. However, the changing tactics used by these groups to kill,
injure, and destroy people's lives and property are becoming more sophisticated. Moreover,
terrorist organizations such as the Al-Shabab have established robust organizational structures
that allow them to gather intelligence and make deadly attacks. Furthermore, terrorist groups
have extensive sources of funding that include illegal business and drug dealings that allows the
terrorist organizations to purchase weapons and finance their operations. Therefore, security
departments around the globe should be vigilant to ensure these groups are prevented from
causing harm to innocent people and destabilizing nations.
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wa Jama'ah (ASWJ) Jihadist Insurgency in Mozambique. IUP Journal of International
Relations, 15(1), 23-40.
Action on Armed Violence. (2017). Sources of funding (including self-funding) for the major
groupings that perpetrate IED incidents – al Shabaab. https://aoav.org.uk/2017/sources-
Chigudu, D. (2021). Al-Shabab and fundamental terrorism in Somalia: Threats to the continent
and beyond. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147-
4478), 10(3), 412-418.
Felter, C., Masters, J., & Sergie, M. A. (2021). Al-Shabab. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/al-
Gov.UK. (2020). Country Policy and Information Note Somalia: Al Shabaab.
Haque, A. K. M. (2021). Terrorism and jihad in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah in global
peace and security perspective (Doctoral dissertation, University of Dhaka).
McEntire, D. A. (2018). Introduction to homeland security: understanding terrorism prevention
and emergency management. John Wiley & Sons.
Mugabi, B. (2021). Al-Shabaab terror activities: a threat to regional & international
security. Asia and Africa Today, (4), 66-71.
Shuriye, A. O. (2012). Al-Shabaab's Leadership Hierarchy and its Ideology. Academic Research
International, 2(1), 1-12.
Zakarie, A. B. D. I., & Hared, T. A. A. (2021). Understanding Somali Conflict: Causes,
Consequences and Strategies for Peace-Building.
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