Building on clues: Examining successes and failures in detecting U.S. terrorist plots, 1999-2009
Since 2001, the intelligence community has sought methods to improve the process for uncovering and thwarting domestic terrorist plots before they occur. Vital to these efforts are the more than 17,000 state and local U.S. law enforcement agencies whose role in the counterterrorism process has become increasingly recognized. As part of an on-going study for the Institute for Homeland Security Solutions (IHSS), this report examines open-source material on 86 foiled and executed terrorist plots against U.S. targets from 1999-2009 to determine the types of information and activities that led to (or could have led to) their discovery. Our findings provide law enforcement, homeland security officials, and policy makers with an improved understanding of the types of clues and methods that should be emphasized to more reliably prevent terrorist attacks...