Monday, August 29, 2011

August combined terror attack in south Israel - processing the intelligence

What we know from OSINT ( Open Source Intelligence ):
  1. There were Intel. reports prior to the attack that indicated where and when it will take place.
  2. Some early reports related to specific locations were used by the terrorists to prepare the attacks.
  3. The complexity of the terrorism climate in the Sinai desert was continiously evaluated and monitored.
  4. The terrorism infrastructure in the Sinai desert is challenging for the intelligence organizations.
  5. The terrorists prepared the attacks for a long time, some of the preparations took place inside Israel around the locations in which the attacks took place.
Lets see what we got here.
  • The Intel. was accurate enough and the Israeli security forces were deployed to the area before the attacks. The reports pointed high propability for attacks along about 100 km route by the border between Egypt and Israel.
  • Some scenarios and reactions situations took place prior to the attacks.
  • The political relations with Egypt played a major role while different operative reactions regarding intercepting the attacks were discussed.
  • One of the options was amilitary special operation in Sinai desert targeting the terrorists.
  • Based on prior terror attacks and M.Os related to the P.R.C.and other extreme Islamic terror groups  the possibility of kidnapping soldiers or civilians was consider as the main goals of these attacks.
  • The weather conditions, ( foggy weather ), on the day of the attacks were the same to those who were under the kidnapp of the soldier Gilad Shalit.
The peace treaty between Israel and egypt has a major role in the way the decisions makers in Israel were reacting and preparing to this threat.
The will to strength the current regeime in Egypt before and after the attacks may be an important lesson in counter terrorism.
By not responding correctly to terror threats as a result of different conciderations,  the decisions maker are creating dangerous precedents. It is done on a global level and in many countries.One of the reasons to this trend is that the decision makers lack the relevant knowledge and the understanding regarding the socio-cultural and the personal behavior background of terror groups or individuals.The same happens with half done counter terror operations - such as operation Cast Lead in Gaza. The main goals were to stop the fire from Gaza strip into Israel and the other was to destroy smugling tunnels and by that stop the transfer of weapons and persons into Gaza strip. The operation itself conducted within a very narrow window of international politics oppertunities. The short term objectives regarding the two main goals above were achived but as for the long term objectives the operation failed to achive them and the situation became even worse. Hamas became stronger, Iran and Hizbulla got their share as major players, radical Islamic terror groups have established themselves in the area and their and al Qaida influence is being enhanced.We can say that Gaza strip amd the Sinai peninsula are transforming into an innovative and challenging theater for counter terrorism.The fact that the Sinai peninsula is a part of Egypt has a lot to do with the socio political situation within Egypt and the influence that the Muslim Brotherhood has on the main players in this new theater.
We see the presence of power players as Iran, Hizbulla, the global Jihad, Salafi Jihad and other active players in this theater very potent in terms of terror activity but we also think that both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood are not fully aware of the threats that these players are representing for them as new regimes in this area.

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