Scenario 1: a trustworthy local businessman reports suspicious activity by an apparently Middle Eastern neighbor.A citizen contacts a detective in a small east coast city. The detective knows the caller Caller may refer to one of the following:
1. Stopping and starting at intervals. See Synonyms at periodic.
2. Alternately containing and empty of water: an intermittent lake. staying at the neighbor's home, sometimes when his neighbor is not there.
Problem: This scenario was viewed as quite typical of the many that have come through local police and FBI offices since 9/11. The problem is how to develop an effective triage system that helps officers or agents handle the large volume of incoming information while assuring that important details are not overlooked.
Strategies: Make use of data gathering/vetting systems already in use in other situations, such as in the medical and legal professions. These are designed to (1) process all incoming information and then sound an alert when a targeted item appears, and (2) show changes in patterns of data flow that would not be seen by the casual, part-time observer (an individual on duty at any particular time would see only that part of the incoming data, whereas the artificial system sees it all). The pattern of change in incoming data might be informative, in addition to targeted items.
For example, one such system already in use searches through large volumes of text for specific words or phrases. When it finds a targeted item, an alarm is sounded. An important aspect of this system is that it will find text that means the same without using the same words. For example, if a target search specifies "racketeering," one will get documents that mention racketeering, but also documents that mention "unlawful conspiracies." (1) Also, the data are kept in files that can be re-searched for words or meanings that are of interest at some later date, to look for similar instances, as well as to allow for the generation of graphs and other descriptors to evaluate changes in the pattern of incoming information.
Further information is provided in Appendix 1 (Information Evaluation Systems).
Problem: What predictor variables do we have for the identification of potential terrorists?
Strategies: We might consider using the information that is known about the men who attacked New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of and Washington on 9/11. For example, it appears that the men who attacked on 9/11 had not maintained their family relationships, perhaps in order to ensure good cover. Thus, the presence or absence of family relationships might be used as predictors of membership in terrorist networks. Such information also might be useful in the interrogation interrogation
In criminal law, process of formally and systematically questioning a suspect in order to elicit incriminating responses. The process is largely outside the governance of law, though in the U.S. and identification of suspects.
Problem: What should be the standard operating procedure for dealing with local universities that might have students who are either under suspicion or know others who are?
Short-term standard operating procedures should include:
* Find a way of ensuring minimal adverse impact. A student or a professor--or any university employee--could be put at risk if he or she is approached by a law enforcement officer in a manner that is obvious to their coworkers. There also is risk involved in simply asking a professor about a student (or vice versa VICE VERSA. On the contrary; on opposite sides. ). One way to minimize such impact is to ask about an entire class or an entire department, so that individuals are not singled out (even if the law enforcement agent only wants to know about one or two individuals).
* The officer or agent should assess whether their procedure passes a "60 Minutes" test. That is, would their approach be an embarrassment either to them or their department if it were exposed to the general public?
* Decide in advance if the person being sought is a suspect or a citizen who might be able to help, and modify the approach and advance accordingly.
* Be prepared to offer assurances that if a person is willing to come forward with information, they will not be penalized pe·nal·ize
tr.v. pe·nal·ized, pe·nal·iz·ing, pe·nal·iz·es
1. To subject to a penalty, especially for infringement of a law or official regulation. See Synonyms at punish.
2. for doing so with prosecution for minor violations (including minor visa violations).
* Assure the individual that if they request legal representation, this will not be viewed as an admission of guilt admission of guilt n. a statement by someone accused of a crime that he/she committed the offense. If the admission is made outside court to a police officer it may be introduced as evidence if the defendant was given the proper warnings as to his/her rights , nor will they subsequently be viewed as uncooperative.
* Offer an assurance that the law enforcement agent is bound by law and is not the kind of police that immigrant populations are likely to have encountered in their countries of origin.
Recognize that an academic culture is, by nature, more likely to value its openness and willingness to talk than other communities. Attempts to be secretive se·cre·tive
Having or marked by an inclination to secrecy; not open, forthright, or frank. See Synonyms at silent.
se likely will be viewed as evidence of ignorance of the university culture (and might expose an undercover agent), and would be viewed as contrary to the open nature of the university culture. Therefore, the long-term strategy of planting individuals in the university to serve as information conduits was rejected because the cost of discovery of such individuals would, in the long run, greatly outweigh out·weigh
tr.v. out·weighed, out·weigh·ing, out·weighs
1. To weigh more than.
2. To be more significant than; exceed in value or importance: The benefits outweigh the risks. their usefulness in the short-term.
A better strategy would be one that recognizes that the university culture welcomes diversity and talking. Local law enforcement might participate in various lectures, discussion groups, classes, and social events that are open to the public and also are attended by members of the university. This would increase the perception of law enforcement as part of the community, rather than outside it. Law enforcement agents that like to talk, as well as listen, would be best suited for such an assignment.
Implications for practice, training, and research
Social scientists need to evaluate the implications of the current concerted focus on Muslim- and Arab-Americans as potential threats, where these are the primary characteristics that trigger responses of faster and greater scrutiny. We are making assumptions about which terrorists are on the basis of essentially indiscriminate characteristics (most Muslim- and Arab-Americans are not terrorists).
There are two dangers of using the trait trait (trat)
1. any genetically determined characteristic; also, the condition prevailing in the heterozygous state of a recessive disorder, as the sickle cell trait.
2. a distinctive behavior pattern. rather than behavioral indicators. One is that people will be unduly and inappropriately targeted. The other is that we will miss terrorists who are operating in other religious and ethnic communities. This focus also brings up issues of discriminatory dis·crim·i·na·to·ry
1. Marked by or showing prejudice; biased.
2. Making distinctions.
dis·crim practices and whether such a focus is occurring because of an underlying racism. Would the current strategies (community surveillance, etc.) be possible were the 19 terrorists of 9/11 Caucasian rather than Middle Eastern (e.g., what if they were part of the IRA)?
(1) Example provided by Herbert L. Roitblat at www.dolphinsearch.com.