Explain the department of homeland security operates


Assignment Overview


Counterterrorism and Intelligence

As you now are aware, all the modules tie in together to explain how and why the Department of Homeland Security operates:

• The framework for responding to disasters

• The systematic approach for integrated responses

• The DHS overview with military interface

• Intelligence and information-sharing mechanisms

As you are also aware, DHS does not operate singularly; it depends on partnerships at all levels of operation. So it is with counterterrorism. Read the assigned material and respond to the following exercises.

Case Assignment

1. Look up the definition of counterterrorism (please, no Wikipedia or other nonprofessional sources). What is the definition?

2. Look up the definition of intelligence. What is the relationship of intelligence to counterterrorism? Explain with examples.

3. Relate counterterrorism and intelligence with the military

4. From the Background Information section, review your readings/audio/websites and: Explain how a specific counterterrorism team, unit, or partnership operates to counter a terrorist episode. Use a specific example and "walk it through" the process.




• The intent of the SLP is for you to implement the topics and materials learnt in the course to a "real life" scenario relating to a terrorist attack on U.S. soil in a major city sports arena.

• Each module's Session Long Project builds upon the other, so you will add the modular sections within one document like chapters in a book.

• You will prepare your "plan" to address your own selected city's characteristics and capabilities (e.g., if you are from California, you can present a plan for the Staples Center Sports Arena, Dodger Stadium, or the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles; or if you are from the Oakland/San Francisco area, the 49ers' Stadium in San Jose or The Raiders Stadium Complex in Oakland).

• Follow the general scenario and additional information and updates provided in each Module.

• YOU are the Emergency Manager (EM) for your City (of choice) and from this capacity and role you will address the SLP tasks.

Scenario General Description

The Threat - Intelligence agencies have intercepted (from a credible source) a terrorist organization's communication regarding a general coordinated plan to use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to detonate bombs at a major USA city's sports arena during an event at an arena holding about 10,000 spectators:

Three to five suicide bombers strategically pre-position themselves around the arena. They detonate their bombs and self-destruct in order to guarantee mass panic and chaotic evacuation of the arena.

One or two large vehicle bombs (LVB) are placed in a parking facility near the entertainment complex.

Finally, expecting mass casualties, the adversary agents will detonate an additional series of devices in the lobby of the nearest hospital emergency room (ER).

Timeline - The communication states only a general timeline for the attack to be executed within the month of September. No specific date is identified.

Planning Considerations

Key Implications - Casualties (about 100 fatalities and 500 serious injuries) will result at all incident sites and will include civilians, emergency personnel, and the suicide bombers. The LVB detonation outside the venue will result in the largest number of fatalities and injuries due to the population density expected.

NOTE - Life in the city will not be disrupted and all planned public events are not to be cancelled at this time.

SLP - Summary - Assignment (You are the City EM)

INTELLIGENCE UPDATE: Based on new classified intelligence, the timeline for the planned attack is likely to take place closer to the 9/11 date. At this time, it is still classified as a highly probable threat.

The Governor has scheduled a meeting for September 1 to receive a full report from you as to preparations for such an attack.

Your SLP 4 will be in the form of a PowerPoint presentation to the Governor. Your presentation should cover the agencies involved; the status of planning, training, and exercising; and preparations at the local level. What federal and state resources have been requested, including the National Guard (specific missions requested)?

What do you plan on telling the public about the threat?

Highlight the major points of concern and how your plan addresses them.

On your last PowerPoint Slide, address the following: Assuming a suicide bomber successfully infiltrated the hospital and detonated an IED, what local agencies would respond? Which agency would assume Incident Command? What Federal agencies would respond?

You do not need to include your reference list in the PowerPoint presentation.

Required Reading

  • Bjelopera, J. P. (2013). The Federal Bureau of Investigation and terrorism investigations.Congressional Research Service.
  • Implementing 9/11 Commission recommendations: Progress report 2011. DHS.
  • Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (2013). National Counterterrorism Center.
  • Nelson, R. (Presenter), Squires, K. & Davis, J. (Co-Presenters). 2012. Audio: The First Line of Defense: State and Local Homeland Security. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic & International Studies.

Required Websites

  • Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit, ICE.
  • Counterterrorism Committees & Working Groups, DHS.
  • Counterterrorism Laws & Regulations, DHS
  • Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program.Center for Strategic & International Studies
  • National Counterterrorism Center.

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