On alert: ITRR's network on target with 'actionable intelligence'
PHILADELPHIA--Earlier this summer, The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response's researchers at its Targeted Actionable Monitoring Center intercepted communications from an organization associated with international terrorists, including al Qaeda. The communications indicated that Jihadist terror cells had been dispatched to an undisclosed location to execute a large-scale attack.
Further analysis of the threat in mid-July led the TAM-C to believe that the large attack would possibly occur in the Persian Gulf states or Turkey. Two weeks later, TAM-C confirmed that the terror bombings conducted in Istanbul, where 15 people were killed and 150 injured, were connected to the initial terror warning.
ITRR established the TAM-C to provide "accurate and actionable intelligence" about potential security threats throughout the world. Mike Perelman, co-director of ITRR, said a multilingual team of researchers and analysts work at the center to gather intelligence on terrorist activities and plans, information on international hot-spots, historical "red-flag" dates and real-time security alerts. ITRR defines actionable intelligence as "unique intelligence research and analysis providing forward-looking information; advice on what will be happening, not what has happened."
The alerts are sent as a public service, Perelman said, to those who have opted to receive them. ITRR's clients receive a "far deeper level of briefing," he said. Some clients receive weekly and biweekly situation reports, while others receive direct communications, to PDAs, that are of particular interest to them.
The center's Israeli and American experts also provide counter-terrorism training, seminars and security specialization in dealing with threats both domestic and international. Perelman and Aaron Richman, also co-director, head the organization.
"With [Richman's] knowledge of international terror and my knowledge of national terror, we created a training institute but it quickly became obvious that we were able to produce actionable intelligence for security personnel," Perelman said.
All of the information ITRR's staff creates is sent to its monitoring center in Jerusalem, where it is analyzed and verified with other local sources.
"We never have just one member of the ground truth network in a country," Perelman said. Right now, the institute has more than 15 people in the field. "We are constantly cross checking with ground truth sources and communications that we receive through other means."
ITRR's network is global but not all countries are currently monitored. "If a client feels the need for coverage in a particular area we will obtain the information and coverage," Perelman said.