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Law Enforcement Tactics



Randy Gonzalez
Chapter 1 - Introduction and Overview Page 1

Chapter 2 – Threat Analysis & Intelligence Gathering Factors Page 9

Chapter 3 – Efforts to Combat Terrorism _Page 17

Chapter 4 – Identifying Terrorist Groups _Page 25

Chapter 5 – Terrorist Weapons, Targets and Tactics _Page 33

Chapter 6 - Tactical Capabilities of Terrorist Intentions Page 41

Chapter 7 – WMD – Bio Weapons Page 49

Chapter 8 – WMD – Bio Weapons Continued Page 57

Chapter 9 – WMD – Nuclear Weapons______ Page 65

Chapter 10 – WMD – Incendiary Devices & Chemicals Page 73

Chapter 11: Other Types - Chemical Weapons & Explosives Page 81

Chapter 12: Preventive Countermeasures Page 100

Chapter 13: Tactical Implications - Field Operations Strategy Page 117

Chapter 14: Further Considerations – Threats and Response Measures

Page 135

Copyright--2003 Randolph A. Gonzalez – All Rights Reserved


Chapter1: Introduction and Overview:

Throughout the country and around the globe, both the media and the
government have various notions and definitions as to what defines the term
“terrorism”. Some have said that terrorism is a form of “warfare” used by
those who cannot afford an army or traditional military action of a
nationalistic nature. Or, that it is the “poor man’s” method of fighting an
oppressive government. Others have said that “terrorism” is more
economical for those opposing an existing government, and trying to bring
about some kind of political change. These are fanciful notions fostered by
naïve and sympathetic representatives of the media. Terrorism is criminal
political violence that intends to destabilize a government, in order to
promote a cause. It uses violence through various criminal acts to raise the
level of fear among those who may affect governmental decision-making.

FBI – The unlawful use of force against persons or property to
intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any
segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives.
Domestic Terrorism - involving groups or individuals whose terroristic
activities are directed at elements of our government or population
without foreign direction.
International Terrorism - involves groups or individuals whose terrorist
activities are foreign-based and/or directed by countries or groups
outside the United States or whose activities transcend national

Department of Justice – The use of force or violence, or threatened

use of force, against persons or places for the purpose of intimidating,
or coercing a government, its citizens, or any segment thereof, for
political or social goals.

Department of State – Premeditated, politically motivated violence

perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national or
clandestine agents usually intended to influence an audience.

By whatever definition is chosen, it should be remembered that terrorism is a

premeditated act of criminal violence against other people. Such actions
endeavor to make the citizens more fearful about their environment and their
personal freedom. From grenades to rockets, and poisons to chemicals,
terrorists seek to kill and scare people with their power.

Terrorist strategy is based upon the capacity to strike future

blows, no matter what. The terrorist goal is not negotiation
but capitulation by the government. One often used tactic to
obtain this goal is the taking of hostages. In counter-
terrorism parlance, the government or authority structure is
the primary victim. The secondary victim is the hostage.
Terrorists take hostages to draw attention to their cause and
to confound the authorities. (2)

Proper planning prevents poor


The very nature of “terrorism” is what makes it a potential potent powerful

political weapon. Public conceptions of the mere threat of terrorism raise
fear levels beyond the normal range of reason. Today, terrorists are well
trained and capable of carrying extreme measures against populations groups
through out the world. They are capable of achieving the element of
surprise, using innovative tactics, techniques and technology. Terrorism is a
form of violence that capitalizes on fear, as well as the magnification of such
acts through intense media portrayal. In recent times, significant acts of
terrorism have led public officials to seek various ways to confront such
threats. Yet, public defense, or “homeland security” countermeasures, is
difficult to construct, given the nature and capabilities of terrorist groups.
Snipings, bombings, kidnappings, hijackings, assassinations, hostage taking,
extortion, drugs and weapon smuggling present challenges to law
enforcement on a global scale. Terrorists are well armed, trained and
capable of carrying out destructive acts against a range of targets.

From operational planning, to tactical implementation, terrorists possess the

command, control, communications and intelligence capabilities to attack
with ruthless effectiveness. They can carry out and execute a sustained
climate of fear through an ongoing campaign of violence and destruction.
Their mission is not complicated and they will associate with drug dealers,
organized crime groups, and other sinister organizations to achieve their

Terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated violence

oriented effort to advance a philosophical-social-political
agenda for profit and power. It is related to organized
crime, in that it seeks power, control and profit continuity
outside the normal channels of political interaction.
Terrorism is organized criminal behavior that employs
“guerilla warfare” tactics, either in it state or nation of
residence, or outside such territory with state or nation
sponsorship. They are capable of employing a range of
weaponry, often more sophisticated than those possessed
by local police forces. Acts of terrorism include the use of
biological, chemical, radiological, explosive and other
weapons to achieve their goals and objectives. In addition,
they utilize technology to their advantage, which involves
the Internet, computer systems, banking structures and so

The criminals of terrorist organizations train, educate and focus themselves

on the desire to advance the power and influence over others. They are a
collective threat to human freedom and democracy. They are not, contrary
to popular notion, “freedom fighters”. They are simply criminals with a
political agenda. Their tactics involve the unlawful use, as well as the
threatened use, of violence and destruction against men, women and
children. To the terrorist, everyone is a combatant, as they operate on both
foreign and domestic fronts. They may operate within the United States and
territories, with or without foreign direction. Many definitions have evolved
as to how we should define “terrorism”. And, since the use of weaponry
encompasses a wide range of possibilities, the present day use of terms such
as “weapons of mass destruction” has become more commonplace.

To say, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” distorts the
real and sinister picture of terrorism. In the real world, perfect distinctions
and definitions often blur in the realty of human cruelty and degradation.
The many “experts” in the field of terrorism have contrived many definitions
of terrorism. In many cases, these efforts have led to the difficulty not only
in understanding it, but also in combating it as well. Terrorism is criminal
behavior and should not be associated with some fanciful notion connected
to liberating a country from oppression. It is a brutal form of expression that
includes non-combatants as easy target of prey. In the harsh reality of
human actions, terrorism remains a deliberate act of aggression and hostility
toward others which includes harming the “civilian” population in general.
It is murder and aggravated battery, along with other criminal acts, designed
to intimidate and otherwise frighten various population groups for mainly
political purposes. Acts of terrorism must be separated from other types of
politically motivated activities, such as guerrilla warfare and insurrection.
Guerrilla warfare is generally concerned with attacking military targets and
political officials in order to bring about a governmental change within a
particular country.

In their book, Political Terrorism, Schmidt and Youngman cited

109 definitions of terrorism, which they obtained in a survey of
leading academics in the field. From these definitions, the authors
isolated the following recurring elements, in order of their
statistical appearance in the definitions: violence, force (appeared
in 83.5% of the definitions); political (65%); fear, emphasis on
terror (51%); threats (47%); psychological effects and anticipated
reactions (41.5%); discrepancy between the targets and the victims
(37.5%); intentional, planned systematic, organized action (32%);
methods of combat, strategy, tactics (30.5%).

The arsenal of terrorists has adapted to the innovations in technology. The

current era of “weapons of mass destruction” (aka WMD) include an array
of weaponized instruments of widespread death and injury potential. From
poison gas to radioactivity, the lethal nature of terrorism has dramatically
escalated in an increasingly smaller global community.

From a purely generic and narrow definition, “weapons of mass destruction”

tend encompass any explosive device or other materials that potentially
cause widespread death, injury and damage. But, the inclusion of such
implements also refers to incendiary and poison gas devices, as well as
variety of bio-hazardous agents. Things such as bombs, grenades, missiles,
land mines, and so forth fall within this broad category of destructive
devices. To this mix of weapons, we can also include various configurations
of nuclear weapons, biological and chemical devices that have the potential
for significant levels of damage to people and property. For most people in
the United States, it is difficult to imagine the possibilities and the potential
danger that stems from the use of some type of “weapon of mass
destruction”. The use of destructive devices by terrorists is perplexing and
hard to comprehend for many people.

Terrorism Includes

1. Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

2. Unlawful and violent tactics
3. Selected targets of opportunity
4. Maximum use of the media
5. Political motivation
6. Civilian targets
7. Planning and organization

First responders to acts of terrorism are generally local law enforcement

officers. The seemingly unpredictable nature of terrorism requires constant
vigilance on the part of all law enforcement personnel. The collection and
analysis of frontline intelligence is important to the mission of providing
public safety and security. Surveillance, intelligence gathering, patrol
strategies and associated tactics and techniques must be effectively
employed in order to confront terrorist activities. None of this, of course, is
easy. But, ongoing training, education and proactive efforts are necessary to
the public safety mission.

The terrorist threat around the world represents

a serious challenge to law enforcement officials
– one that many are unprepared to handle. The
use of criminal activity to create fear and thus
further political goals is a strategy that has been
employed for centuries. As early as 400 B.C.,
Sun Tzu observed, that before launching an all
out attack, “the master conqueror frustrated his
enemy’s plans and broke up his alliances. He
created cleavages between sovereign and
minister, superiors and inferiors, commanders
and subordinates. His spies and agents were
active everywhere, gathering information,
sowing dissention and nurturing subversion.
The enemy was isolated and demoralized; his
will to resist broken. Thus, without battle his
army was conquered, his cities taken and his
state overthrown.”

Terrorism are violent efforts to further the political aims of a particular

group. Activities involve unlawful acts that target civilian population areas
in the furtherance of such aims. Terrorist tactics, techniques and technology
should foster a response by law enforcement that is both proactive and
innovative. Since terrorism is criminal activity, countermeasures should
include the use of enhanced training methodologies, advanced education,
covert operations, tactical and strategic planning, aggressive surveillance,
electronic countermeasures, innovative problem solving tactics, multi-
agency initiatives in planning, training and practical application, as well as
other related aspects. Terrorism tends to be adaptive, and the law
enforcement response must be well prepared to deal with their tactics.

Emanating from a distorted worldview, terrorism employs whatever

criminal activity suits its needs. From blackmail, to intimidation and
suicidal bombings, terrorists promote a political agenda of death and
destruction. Violence is used as a mechanism of persuasion in the
sociopathic world of the terrorist. Targets of opportunity are selected
on the basis of propaganda value by use of unprovoked attacks. In
most cases, criminal acts or perpetrated with minimum risk to the
key terrorist players, and maximum exposure and publicity in the
media. The media are often more than willingly to sensationalize to
every extend possible the “scope and nature” of the terrorist incident.
Publicity is an important ingredient to the terrorist. And, terrorist
incidents will be portrayed in graphic detail with great obsession by
various media outlets. Terrorist generally prefer to strike with
surprise that is preceded by careful planning and training. The
primary weapon is the “fear factor”. If people are scarred and
intimidated, then the terrorist act has been a success. Fear is an
essential component of terrorist actions. There is a desire to make
the public feel vulnerable and unsafe. Such anxiety on the part of the
public puts pressure on law enforcement services to act. Terrorism is
an attack on noncombatants in that civilians are targeted. The
political and economic goals of terrorism are accomplished through
the degree of propaganda that is obtained. Terrorist groups tend to be
cohesive, loyal, trained, educated, financed and armed.

Terrorism encompasses a range of

cowardly acts that involve violations of
established law. But, controversial or
bizarre beliefs and opinions do not
necessarily represent a terrorist
orientation or inclination. Belief systems
vary among people and span the
philosophical spectrum in many
directions. In the U.S., the Constitution
protects freedom of speech. Opinions
are one thing actions are another thing.
However, we should keep in mind that
vigilance is virtue.

Attitudes and forms expression do not normally reflect the potential for
terrorist incidents. People can have opinions no matter how strange they are.
They can deviate from “mainstream” belief systems and carry on with a
variety of viewpoints. Yet, extreme belief systems should not be ignored
and should be part of the information gathering process of effective law
enforcement action. When the attitudes and opinions transcend the bridge
between thought and action, then attention should be given to that which
violates the law.

Terrorist Incident – characterizes a situation in which an incident is

dangerous, violent and threatens human life in violation of criminal
statutes. It suggests that law enforcement has an idea as to who did the
act and what the motive was.

Suspected Terrorist Incident – less certain than the “Terrorist Incident”,

and the identity and motive is not determined at the time of the incident.

Terrorism Prevention – represents positive law enforcement interdiction

when terrorist are identified, known to have committed a violation and
arrested before carrying out a Terrorist Incident. This is the result of a
comprehensive criminal investigation.