CIA intelligence analyst

Written Threat Assessment:  You are to assume the role of a CIA intelligence analyst who is putting together the agency’s input (on your specific topic) for the DNI’s Annual Threat Assessment which will be presented to Congress.  Specifically, you are providing input on a specific terrorist organization that is of national security interest to senior policy makers.  You have been tasked by your supervisor to write a one page Executive Summary and a 5-7 page threat assessment on a terrorist organization currently of interest to the U.S.. You may chose from one of the following eight, active terrorist organizations:

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP):   a militant Islamic group with links to AQ primarily based in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Boko Haram:  A militant Islamic group operating in Nigeria.  Boko Haram literally translates to “western education in a sin.”

Lashkar e Taiba (LeT):  a Kashmiri based jihadist group responsible for the relatively recent Mumbai attacks.

HAMAS:  A Palestinian organization responsible for most of the current attacks against Israel.  Also, HAMAS is well known for its non-violent activities as well.

Hezbollah:  Lebanese-based group with ties to Iran that has been responsible for attacks against Israel, kidnappings of US citizens and the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beruit.  Also, Hezbollah is well known for its non-violent activities as well.

FARC:  Colombian based narco-terrorist organization.

Chechen Rebels:  Fighting for independence from Russia.  The Chechens were responsible for the Beslan School Attack and the Moscow Theatre Hostage Crisis and the Boston Marathon bombers were inspired by the Chechen’s cause.

PKK:  A Marxist Kurdish Nationalist organization that has been fighting Turkish Government for decades.

In your threat assessment, you must address the following issues:

  • Origins, objectives and doctrines of the organizations.  Describe the creation, its reason for being and its political goals.
  • Leadership:  Who are the leaders and how is the group structured?
  • Support for the Organization—both governmental and non-governmental, including financing and recruiting methods.
  • Strategy, Targets and Methods of Operations:  How does the organization intend to achieve its goals?  Does it use mass targeting of civilians or selective assassinations?  Are they involved in any non-violent activities (i.e., HAMAS won elections in Gaza, builds schools and youth centers, etc…)
  • Counterterrorism Efforts Against the Organization:  Which country is primarily conducting counterterrorism ops against the organization and how are they doing it?
  • U.S. Policy and Recommendations:  What are we currently doing to about this organization and what do YOU recommend we do.

Needless to say, this is A LOT of information to cover in just 5-7 pages.  This is what makes writing executive summaries and threat assessments for senior policy makers interesting, yet challenging.  Senior leaders do not have the time nor the interest, to read 20-30 page documents.  Instead, they want to see executive summaries and condensed information.

Now because this is an academic exercise, you will need to properly document your sources.  I would like you to use APA’s Parenthetical Citation Method and have a Bibliography at the end.  This means that for any information that isn’t your own original ideas/work, you’ll need to cite the source and page number in parentheses at the end of the relevant sentences.  You will also need to have a bibliography at the end with at least six different sources (and at least 3 different types of sources—books, journals, websites, interviews, news and radio shows, etc…DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA).   Additionally, at least one of the sources must come from either the terrorist organization itself or the country in which it is based.  The vast majority of terrorist organizations have their own websites.


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