Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Dead – No NTAS Change

As I write this President Obama is speaking to the American people, explaining that he authorized an a special operations mission into Pakistan to capture/kill Osama Bin Laden that resulted in Bin Laden’s death and that American forces have Bin Laden’s body in their possession.

It has been a long time in happening and the professional’s that conducted the operation are to be congratulated for a job well done. President Obama shares a measure of the success of that operation because he took the responsibility for ordering this action.

All of this is good. What happens next is of some concern. There will undoubtedly be some counter reaction from al Qaeda supporters around the world; some of it might be organized, but most of it will be knee jerk reaction of outrage. There is a significant possibility that one or more of these counter-reactions will take place within the United States.

Under the old color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System, there would have undoubtedly been an increase in the terror risk status. Today, and for the last five days, we have been under a new National Terrorism Advisory System that requires that “NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available.” It is way too soon to have any ‘credible information’ available on an organized threat, and much of the unorganized threat will not be planned well enough for there to be much if any chance for the intelligence community to find any credible information.

It would seem to me that a prudent security manager at any facility in the United States would expect there to be an increased threat of an unorganized terrorist threat against their facility for the next couple of days. After that, the risk will begin to shift to the organized threat that our intel folks may be better equipped to get advanced information that would lead to credible information.

It will be interesting to see how the NTAS responds to this type situation over the coming days.

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