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7-1 Final Project
For the final assessment, you will imagine you are a criminal justice professional and apply the tools and techniques you have learned in the course to a specific scenario. Your task is to produce a polished report based on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) that have come to your attention from different sources. The report that you produce will eventually be forwarded to an appropriate agency for additional follow-up, and your goal is to facilitate that follow-up by succinctly communicating what you know about the possible threat and what can be done to mitigate it. Your finished intelligence report should identify the type of adversary, ascertain the appropriate agency for eventual follow-up activities, assess the threat level (using an intelligence threat scale), and suggest countermeasures and information protection actions needed to address the threat.
Imagine that you are a member of a law enforcement agency and you have received several pieces of raw intelligence from different sources (Suspicious Activities Reports or SARs), which, when taken together, point to a potential threat from a specific adversary. The SARs can be found in the Assignment Guidelines and Rubrics section of the course.
Your job is to create a clear and comprehensive report that analyzes the intelligence from the SARs in order to pass it on to the appropriate agency. You should structure your report so that the agency, in turn, can respond to the threat in a way that is effective and appropriate given what you have learned. The finished report should sort the information chronologically, funnel it down to a specific adversary, identify the potential target(s) for the adversary’s activities, assess the level of threat, and make suggestions about what can be done to counter the threat and protect critical information so that the adversary does not change the target. Because most intelligence is fragmented, you will need to read all of the SARs carefully in order to gather the necessary information for the finished intelligence report. Remember to use direct language and employ criminal justice terminology appropriate for the type of threat being assessed and the receiving agency. Accuracy and appropriate grammar are also essential for the report’s credibility.
Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed:
I. Executive Summary In this section, you should accurately highlight the essential elements of the intelligence report for quick reference by the agency receiving the report. You should include the name of referring agent (your name), the name of the agency that you are imagining you work for, the current date, dates of the activities being covered in the intelligence report, and a brief summary (two to three sentences) on the adversary, scope, and nature of the potential threat. Although this is the opening section of the report, you may wish to complete it last in order to accurately capture the analysis of the body of your report.
II. Adversary, Motivation, and Jurisdiction
This section starts with a consolidated summary of the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) provided, and covers who may be planning to carry out criminal activities, their motivations, and under whose jurisdiction the activities fall.
A. Accurately summarize the intelligence collected from the SARs to date, focusing on the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of the threat situation. Information should be annotated with dates and times from relevant SARs, and information from each date should be provided in a separate paragraph, from inception to most recent. Your summary should focus on connecting the dots, with as much detail as needed to present all the relevant intelligence. It should highlight information that would be of particular relevance for the law enforcement agency doing follow-up in understanding the potential threat.
B. Determine who the adversary is for this potential threat. It may be an individual or a group. You should identify the names of suspects (if known) and also the type of adversary. For example, is the adversary an international terrorist group, a domestic terrorist group, an organized crime, a local or international gang, drug traffickers, an extremist or militia group, a hacker, or a white-collar criminal? Support your answer using relevant information from the SARs.
C. Analyze the range of the adversary’s operations. Are their activities focused within one city or state or across multiple states? Support your answer with relevant information from the SARs.
D. Analyze what is known about the adversary’s motivation and how that might affect their choice of target (individual or location). Might it affect whether they choose one target or many, the type of target they select, or the location of the attack? Support your answer with relevant information from the SARs.
E. Based on your analyses in Parts A–C above, determine which agency has jurisdiction in following up on the potential threat. For example, should local or state law enforcement follow up? Should federal law enforcement? Does the adversary’s choice of potential targets fall under a particular jurisdiction? For example, threats to air travel might involve the FAA or TSA, while terrorist threats would go to the FBI. Be sure to justify your answer using relevant information from the SARs.
III. Threat Assessment In this section of the report, you should lay out what is known about the nature and imminence of the potential threat. You may wish to use the Threat Assessment Worksheet, found in the Assignment Guidelines and Rubrics section of the course, to record and analyze relevant information from Suspicious Activities Reports (SARs) in preparing your response. However, you should present the information from the worksheet in narrative form in your finished intelligence report.
A. Distinguish the nature of the threat, including specific potential target(s), the location of likely attack (if the target is an individual), and potential means of attack based on the summary information and analysis above. Draw out the elements that would be most important to the agency receiving the report in determining the threat and focusing their efforts.
B. Assess whether the adversary has the intent, opportunity, and capability to carry out a threatening behavior. Is the threat being actively pursued? Support your answer with information from the SARs.
C. Assess the vulnerabilities of the potential target(s) and law enforcement’s ability to protect the target(s). Support your answer using information from the SARs and reasonable assumptions about potential vulnerabilities. For example, how tight is security for entry into a particular building? Could a target be threatened from a street location? Could law enforcement be impeded from quickly responding to a threat? Note that these questions are illustrative only, and the vulnerabilities that you identify should correspond to your analysis of the specific threat identified.
D. Using the analyses in Parts A–C above, assess the current level of risk using a scale from 0–10, with 0 being “no threat” and 10 being “great threat.” How imminent is the threat? Is it going to happen now, next week, in the next year, never? What level of damage could the adversary inflict if they are successful in carrying out the threat? Justify your answer based on your analysis.
E. Recommend what countermeasures, if any, might be appropriate for addressing vulnerabilities and mitigating the potential threat that you identified above. Depending on your analysis, you may suggest multiple countermeasures, a single countermeasure, or no countermeasures. Be sure to support your answer using your threat assessment analysis and information from the SARs.
IV. Information Security In this section of the report, you should address how to protect critical information from falling into the hands of the adversary (i.e., operations security). You may wish to use the Operations Security Worksheet, found in the Assignment Guidelines and Rubrics section of the course, to record and analyze relevant information from the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in preparing your response. However, you should present the information from the worksheet in narrative form in your finished intelligence report.
A. Assess what critical information surrounding the potential target and law enforcement activities to mitigate the threat needs to be protected. In other words, what information do we not want the adversary to have and why? Justify your answer.
B. Assess the adversary’s methods for collecting intelligence about their target and law enforcement activities. Are they making multiple visits to the target? Are they using informants within the community? Are they doing research on the internet? Monitoring police bands? Taking pictures? What other methods might they be using? Support your answer using information from the SARs and reasonable assumptions.
C. Assess potential weaknesses in information security that might give away critical details about the target or law enforcement activities. Support your answer using information from the SARs and reasonable assumptions.
D. Risk assessment. Using the analyses in Parts A–C above, assess the current level of risk from information security weaknesses as high, medium, or low. In other words, how high is the risk that the adversary will obtain the critical information, and what level of damage could the adversary inflict if the information is acquired? Support your answer using information from the SARs and reasonable assumptions.
E. Recommendations. Suggest what countermeasures, if any, might be appropriate for addressing the information security vulnerabilities you identify above. Justify these suggestions in terms of monetary cost versus effectiveness. How can we prevent or subvert the adversary’s methods for collecting intelligence? How do we keep the adversary from knowing that we are aware of the threat and acting to avert it? Depending on your analysis, you may recommend multiple countermeasures, a single countermeasure, or no countermeasures. Be sure to support your answer using your operations security analysis and information from the SARs.
Final Project Rubric Guidelines for Submission: Your finished intelligence report should be 5–10 pages in length with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font. Remember to write the finished intelligence report in third person and in chronological order. You should also attach a copy of the Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) as an appendix to your proposal. Although this is not a graded component of the assessment, including it in the appendix provides the agency receiving the report with additional detail and supporting documentation.