On December 4, 2015, IWP career director Derrick Dortch interviewed the vice president for Intelligence at Stratfor, Fred Burton, for his radio show “Fed Access.” The two discussed the rise in domestic and international terrorism around the world and what governments are doing to protect their citizens from future attacks.
Mr. Burton gave his thoughts on the most recent terrorist attack in Paris, as well as the mass shooting at a social services center in San Bernardino California where 14 people were killed while attending a workplace holiday party. Mr. Burton also discussed preemptive measures that private corporations are taking to protect their employees from active shooter situations.
The predominant theme of the discussion was the urban assassin’s use of insider threat strategy to conduct attacks. Insider threat scenarios arise as individuals conceal themselves by blending into a workplace in order to carry out a surprise attack in which they normally would not be suspect.
In the modern world, soft targets, such as hotels or cafes, have become more popular locales for terrorists to conduct attacks. As a result, private companies and nonprofits have taken action to reexamine their policies and plans for active shooter emergencies, such as keeping track of travelling employees.
Mr. Burton stressed that the inability to stop these attacks before they occurred has been the result of a lack of human intelligence. We will need better intelligence on sources in order to connect the dots within a community to reveal who could be a facilitator of such attacks and to find individuals within the community who are close to these potential targets to gather more information.
However, in today’s society there is a lot of animosity and distrust of law enforcement officials which decreases the number of individuals in certain communities who are ready to volunteer to come forward and help. In order to obtain necessary human intelligence, we must find a way to enhance trust of the police at the community level.
Mr. Dortch and Mr. Burton also discussed the personal responsibilities of each individual to remain safe during emergency situations in which law enforcement officials are unable to be there on time to help. Mr. Burton advises that it is each person’s responsibility to have a plan for emergency situations to ensure that you, your family, and loved ones are safe and secure in situations where law enforcement is unable to reach you.