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Behaviour analysis and Countering Terrorism.

Byline: Prof. Dr. Fawad Qaiser

Unimaginable kind of terror threat faces Pakistan today, in which all sort of soft targets, from schools to streets are attacked. It is inherently difficult to force out the threat but what is really required is that the government brings together all elements of a credible plan to refine the central intelligence. How can intelligence analysis be improved Collecting more and better information for analysts to work on, changing the management of the analytical process, increasing the number of analysts, providing language and area studies to improve analysts' substantive expertise, fine-tuning the relationship between intelligence analysts and intelligence consumers, and modifying the types of analytical products. Any of these measures may play an important role, but analysis is, above all, a mental process. Traditionally, analysts at all levels devote huge attention to improve how they think.

To penetrate the heart and soul of the problem for improving analysis, it is necessary to better understand, analyze, and interpret the mental processes of criminal minds.

Behavioural Analysis Unit (BAU) is the future. BAU can be tasked with deconstructing and analyzing the psychology of violent individuals through the use of case studies, criminal evaluations and forensic science. Using a two-pronged approach that utilizes experiential evidence provided by law enforcement personnel along with clinical studies by forensic psychologists, a behavioural analyst will be able to understand the behaviour of individuals who threaten national security or public safety. BAU personnel would collaborate closely with federal, local and international Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to produce accurate re-creations of violent crimes and provide a psychological framework for such crimes and predict the likely actions of violent perpetrators. BAU can help countless investigations identify and apprehend criminals and terrorists before they could produce any more violence.

National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) has to consider using forensic behavioural analysis to their core of intelligence make up. In war against terror, we are not dealing with a ghost enemy, it has a shrewd morbid mental setup one that needs to be countered by an effective National Action Plan, not just mere words on paper or spoken at press conferences. This kind of work cannot be left alone to only one department and in such difficult times of public and national security perhaps, it would be wise setting up the BAU in tandem with other agencies for the analysis of crime and terrorism.

As the rate of violent crimes increases or the occurrence of terrorist acts increases, crime scene investigators and forensic laboratory scientists throughout the country should be able to shift their focus to collecting and processing evidence related to terrorism, suicide bombing, and child murders. This would allow both civil and military intelligence and other LEAs to give more attention and resources for resolving the multitude of crimes and terrorism. The mission of the BAU will be to provide quality forensic analyses in the interest of criminal justice performed in a timely manner, communicated in a clear and unbiased fashion, and to complement that with non-biased, effective, and competent expert testimony for the trier of fact.

Organized crimes are premeditated and carefully planned, so little evidence is found at the scene. Organized criminals, according to the classification scheme, are anti-social but can distinguish right from wrong, are not insane and show no remorse. Disorganized crimes, in contrast, are not planned, and criminals leave such evidence as fingerprints and blood. Disorganized criminals may be young, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or mentally ill. BAU would help to develop profiling process including refining the organized/disorganized dichotomy into a continuum and developing other classification schemes. The basic premise is that behaviour reflects personality. The BAU would use behavioural sciences to assist in criminal investigations. The mission will be to provide behavioural based investigative and/or operational support by applying case experience, research and training to complex and time-sensitive crimes, typically involving acts or threats of violence.

The image of a criminal profiler sorting through crime scene evidence and definitely identifying a guilty suspect is popular in novels, television shows, and movies. However, this popular image is more fiction than fact, and the process and limits of real profiling work are often misunderstood. Criminal profiling is the process of using behavioural evidence left at a crime scene to make inferences about the offender including inferences about personality characteristics and psychopathology. In its most basic form, profiling is simply the post-diction of behaviour; an action has taken place that allows investigators to make inferences about the person responsible. Despite popular images of criminal profiling, the main goal of profiling in real investigation is to narrow down the scope of a suspect pool rather than to identify a single guilty criminal.

Criminal profiling is the process of using crime scene evidence to make inferences about potential suspects including personality characteristics and psychopathology. Although some criminal profiling work is done by mental health professionals (e.g., psychologists and psychiatrists), but most of it is done by trained law enforcement agents.

There is an incredible value added when applications of professional psychology enter into the mix of the psychology-law enforcement relationship. Forensic psychiatrists, criminologists and psychologists have developed crime action profiling models based on large studies of terrorists, child murderers, rapists and suicide bombers that act as guides to profiling such crimes. These models are similar to the structured interviews clinical psychologists use to make clinical diagnoses and these profiling methods can be taught and run in collaboration with police and intelligence agencies. Part of crime action profiling also involves examining the process and practice of profiling. In all over the world forensic psychiatrists are working with law enforcement officials to integrate psychological science into criminal profiling. Future of national security lies in applying advanced forensic behavioural analysis.

Just as some clinicians are better than others, there is also a skill element involved in applying modern methods of criminal investigation. Is criminal profiling an art or a science Realistically, it is probably a bit of both.

Analysis can be improved! None of the intelligence manuals will guarantee that accurate conclusions will be drawn from the incomplete and ambiguous information that intelligence analysts typically work with. Merely relying on surveillance technology and human intel source can be easily compromised and occasional intelligence failures must be expected. Collectively, however, these models can certainly improve the odds in the analysts' favour.
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Date:Oct 31, 2015
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