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HSM 433 Counter Terrorism And Intelligence Analysis

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HSM 433 Counter Terrorism And Intelligence Analysis

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Course Code: HSM433
University: The University Of Arizona

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Country: United States


Role of U.S. Agencies in Counterterrorism

Write an essay in which you select one U.S. agency from the list below and explain the agency’s role in counterterrorism operations. The U.S. agencies to choose from include:

National Security Agency (NSA)
Department of the Treasury,
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Energy,
Department of State, or
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

In the essay,

Summarize the function of the agency as it relates to counterterrorism operations inside the United States and identify the tools available to the agency to conduct counterterrorism operations.
Evaluate how your selected agency interacts with at least one other agency to perform counterterrorism operations.
Identify the types of intelligence collected by the agency, and analyze if there are any restrictions on use of the intelligence gathering techniques in counterterrorism operations.

Introduction to the Agency
The National Security Agency is a national level intelligence agency functioning under the United States Department of Defense. The department functions on the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. The National Security Agency is mainly responsible for global monitoring, collection and processing of different types of data that are either acquired by normal means or by top secret means. Apart from this the organization is also responsible for collection of intelligence for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. It is capable of a special signaling system known as Signaling intelligence through which it aims to make the most of the communication (fincen.gov 2018). Headquartered in Maryland, U.S.A, the following agency has an estimated budget of more than $10 billion. The NSA does not involve itself in foreign human espionage and generally carry out different types of work through the transformation of intelligence through intelligence signaling systems. It was formed in the year 1952 just after the end of the Second World War and had actively participated in gathering information during the Cold War era, Vietnam War and the Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria conflicts. The mission of the department is to include different radio eavesdropping, intercepting phone calls and radio calls to ensure the safety of the organization in any different cases of security threat to the nation (dni.gov 2018).
Summary of the Function of the Agency
The NSA was created as a part of the belief that the importance of a distinct character of communications intelligence warranted an organization that was to be totally different from that of the armed forces and the other kind of intelligence agencies of U.S.A (Clapper 2015). Though the department operates in coordination with the department of defense, the NSA mainly belongs to the intelligence committee. The main function of the department is to include the protection and the formulation of different codes, ciphers and other cryptology for the U.S military and the other kinds of Government agencies as well as the interception, analysis and solution of different coded transmissions by electronic or other special means. The agency has separate wings for research and development that conducts research of varying formats. It also conducts posts to intercept different type of signals all around the world. The main activities of the following organization can thus be pointed out in a list. They are as follows;

Staffing and supporting the President of America in different National security and foreign policy
Advocating and advancement of different types of presidential initiatives within the executive branch of the government
Injecting a sense of strategy into the interagency process
Explaining the policies of the President to the public

The organization basically uses the Scowcroft model whose elements are as follows;

Providing a policy of advice to the President in confidence
Keeping a very low public profile
Conduction of a fair and transparent process to suggest policies to the President of the state
Putting the President at the center of the decision making process

Identification of the tools available for the agency to conduct counterterrorism operations
There are a number of different tools that have been in use by the NSA to counter the different terrorism activities that are presently happening in USA and different parts of the world that threatens the security of USA. Some of them are as follows;

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act-The 1978 Foreign Service Intelligence Act was enacted as a response to public outrage over the extent of domestic spying during the presidential term of Kennedy and Nixon. The following act was unique as because it created a distinctive nature between the criminal and that of the intelligence investigations in terms of the different standards of the Government. The criminal investigation needs a probable cause to obtain a surveillance warrant (fincen.gov 2018). On the other hand the FISA act provided power to the intelligence agency to carry surveillance activities without the presence of any warrant or any written permission as such.
Patriot Act-The following act was incorporated by the Bush administration on the year 2001 to provide the necessary tools required to intercept and obstruct the terrorism activities.  Under the Patriot Act and the attorney general’s new guidelines, FISA data obtained from wiretaps, trap and trace devices, pen registers, e-mail, secret grand jury information and other information in criminal cases can now be turned over to intelligence agencies if the material is deemed “foreign intelligence information.”

Apart from the above mentioned tools there are also other kinds of acts and special permissions that help the National Security Agency to conduct different types of operations in an organized and secret manner to protect the country and provide accurate intelligence (Falk and Morgenstern 2009).
Evaluation of coordinating activities with other similar organizations
The National Security Agency is directly under the Department of Defense and therefore its coordination with other intelligence organizations is surely quite common in nature. The agency conducts regular meetings with the other secret intelligence agencies like FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and many others as such to keep updated. The coordination with each other also helps to keep danger from terrorism away. The organization was widely criticized after it failed to intercept the attacks of World Trade Center and thus it now communicates different details on intelligence and tries to innovate with new ideas of communication and decoding (dni.gov 2018). The main activities of the organization thus also depend on the existence of a proper intercommunication among the different intelligence agencies.  
Types of Intelligence collected by the Agency
The different kinds of intelligence collected by the organization are as follows;

Human Intelligence- the Human intelligence is referred to the collection of information from different human sources. The collection may be done openly or by secret means. The agency has a large number of persons functioning in the country as well as outside the country to make sure that they are updated about all the different types of the intelligence.
Signals Intelligence- It refers to signal intelligence which are collected from signals received through planes, ships, UAV’s, satellites and many other different types of other sources of collecting signals accordingly. SIGINT is a particular type of signal communication used by NSA.
Imagery intelligence- Imagery intelligence is sometimes referred as collection of intelligence through photo. The photos are generally collected from airplanes and UAV’s that are undetectable and untraceable by radars.
Measurement and Signal Intelligence- MASINT is the short form of the measurement of signature intelligence. It is not known to most of the persons and is a coded collection form of intelligence. MASINT generally includes the different types of advanced processing and the use of the information that is gathered from the different types of the overhead and airborne systems of the organization. This includes the likes of the IMINT and SIGINT collection systems (dni.gov 2018). Apart from this the organization also uses the Telemetry intelligence systems which are better known as TELINT. It is used to point out the data that is relayed by different kind of weaponries during the tests. ELINT or electronic intelligence on the other hand can indicate electronic emissions that are picked up from different modern weapons and tracking devices. Both of the mentioned systems can be types of signature intelligence systems and helps to contribute to measurement of signature intelligence.

Clapper, J. (2015, 24 July). “Herding Cats” Aspen Security Forum – Interview by Andrea Mitchell (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1dWq0sxRlY 
Falk, O., and Morgenstern, H. (Eds.). 2009. Suicide terror: understanding and confronting the threat. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.Chapter 7: Medical Management of Suicide Terrorism
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network United States Department of the Treasury. (n.d). USA Patriot Act (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from https://www.fincen.gov/statutes_regs/patriot/index.html https://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2013/7/60-terrorist-plots-since-911-continued-lessons-in-domestic-counterterrorism?ac=1 
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. (https://www.dni.gov/index.php/intelligence-community/members-of-the-ic)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Intelligence Collection Disciplines (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.(INTs) Retrieved from: https://www2.fbi.gov/intelligence/di_ints.htm
Zuckerman, J., Bucci, S., and Carafano, J. 2013. 60 Terrorist Plots Since 9/11: Continued Lessons in Domestic Counterterrorism (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Report SR-137. The Heritage Foundation, Washington DC. Retrieved from:

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