LONDON — Months after he was released from Guantánamo Bay, Abdul Rahman was back in the company of terrorist leaders along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. But he was a double agent, providing Taliban and al Qaeda secrets to Pakistani intelligence, which then shared the tips with Western counterparts.
The ruse cost him his life, according to a former Pakistani military intelligence official, Mahmood Shah. The Taliban began to suspect him, and after multiple interrogations executed him.
The case of Rahman, which Shah recounted to The Associated Press, falls in line with a key aspect of the fight against terror — Western intelligence agencies, with help from Islamic allies, are placing moles and informants inside al Qaeda and the Taliban. The program seems to be bearing fruit, even as many infiltrators like Rahman are discovered and killed.
It was a tip from an al Qaeda militant-turned-informant that led international authorities to find explosives hidden in printer cartridges from Yemen to the United States a week ago, Yemeni security officials say. Officials say the explosives could have caused a blast as deadly as the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people.
Phi Beta Iota: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) done right, in the context of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) done right, is the cheapest, fastest, and most effective means of creating intelligence (decision-support) at all levels from strategic to tactical. After ten years of letting CIA get away with doing both badly, and ten years of the Pentagon’s recovering from treating its HUMINT and CI people like shit, it appears that adults are finally back in charge. We continue to under-budget for operational HUMINT and OSINT, and we continue to grossly over-spend on contractor vapor-ware for technical capabilities that simply do not deliver 96% of what what we need, but that is a separate issue. It is good to see HUMINT (not OSINT) making some progress. However, the continued absence of a strategic analytic model and honest governance means that these capabilities are not being focused on transnational crime or on white collar crime, where the most significant gains in the public interest are to be achieved.
This Handbook entry is inspired by the search <first earth battalion operations manual>. We really appreciate searches of this nature, as they cause us to add entries that *should* be here. Thank you for the search.
ROBERT D. STEELE is a retired Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer and also qualified as an S-1/Adjutant, with service at all levels from platoon to Service Headquarters. After four years active duty (the balance in the Individual Ready Reserve) and a decade in the clandestine service of the Central Intelligence Agency (including three tours overseas focused on terrorist and extremist targets), he resigned from the CIA to accept a Marine Corps invitation to be the senior civilian responsible for creating the Marine Corps Intelligence Center (today a Command) and served as the study directory for the flagship study, Overview of Planning and Programming Factors for Expeditionary Operations in the Third World. He resigned from the Marine Corps civil service in 1993 to lead the modern Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) revolution, and is the author of the DIA, NATO, and SOF OSINT Handbooks, as well as personally responsible for training 7,500 officers from 66 countries. His latest book, INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability, outlines a course of action for creating public intelligence in the public interest across all organizations, beginning with the United Nations. Mr. Steele founded OSS.Net, Inc. and Earth Intelligence Network, the latter a 501c3 public charity, and is the foremost proponent for a Swedish concept enhancing Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, and Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2). Mr. Steele holds graduate degrees in international relations and public administration from Lehigh University and the University of Oklahoma. He has also earned a certificate in intelligence policy from Harvard University and a diploma in defense studies from the Naval War College.
SSI Publications by Mr. Robert D. Steele
EDIT: None of these are “handbooks” in the classical sense of the word, but all are strategic guides that set the standard for holistic approaches to human intelligence, information operations, and analytic intelligence.
The author explores the centrality of Human Intelligence in meeting the needs of the U.S. Army, as well as the Department of Defense, and the whole of government, for relevant information and tailored intelligence essential to creating a national security strategy; for defining whole of government policies that work in harmony; for acquisition of the right capabilities at the right price in time to be useful; and for operations, both local and global.
In the Age of Information, the primary source of National Power is information that has been converted into actionable intelligence or usable knowledge. Information Operations is the critical ingredient in early warning, peacekeeping, stabilization & reconstruction, and homeland defense.
This monograph is the third in the Strategic Studies Institute’s “Studies in Asymmetry” Series. In it, the author examines two paradigm shifts–one in relation to the threat and a second in relation to intelligence methods– while offering a new model for threat analysis and a new model for intelligence operations in support to policy, acquisition, and command engaged in nontraditional asymmetric
Phi Beta Iota: Although we assume there must be some isolated success stories, we have not heard any. The Human Terrain Team (HTT) is nothing more than Civil Affairs done properly, and from all accounts, from the most vicious to direct observation, HTT is a badly managed, badly conceptualized, badly staffed program that is a cancer on the good name of Civil Affairs. The program should be terminated at the same time that the Army Civil Affairs Brigade is made OpCon to a new Stabilization & Reconstruction (S&R) Field Activity with a brigadier general in command and a ban on all lawyers and security officers–both S&R and Civil Affairs should be honest enterprises in which those in touch with the public do not need clearances.