Perfecting Intelligence Gathering - The Lessons of Sri Lanka Terror

(Ynet News) Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland - Three years ago I visited Sri Lanka along with a number of former Israeli security personnel, who gave a short seminar to an audience of local security officers on the prevention of terror attacks. Although the officers listened politely, it appears they had not internalized the message, since they probably felt they already had everything under control. There are lessons which can be learned from the horrific Easter Sunday attacks and all of them have to do with intelligence gathering. The biggest difficulty in the war on terror stems from not knowing who's the real enemy. Fortunately, today's technology allows the security forces to listen to any phone conversation. Advanced search engines can easily identify repeated searches related to terror activity. Yet, governments around the world still prioritize investment in warplanes and tanks rather than in advancing intelligence capabilities. It's important to establish communication between the various intelligence agencies, and that's what the Sri Lankan government should've done. There was concrete intelligence information, which didn't reach those who were supposed to act on it. These lessons are well-known, but, unfortunately, only a large-scale traumatic event causes governments to finally adopt the right policy. The writer is a former head of Israel's National Security Council.

2019-04-25 00:00:00

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