The Real Jack Bauer: Counterterrorism through informant-based intelligence


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What can the military COIN field learn from counter organized crime professionals? Answer: more than it dares to think.

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The Real Jack Bauer: Counterterrorism through informant-based intelligence

  1. 1. FEATURETHE REAL JACK BAUER Counterterrorism through informant-based intelligence E D I T O R R I C H A R D D E S I L V APolice forces have spent decades combating organised crime with well-practised techniques, butcan the same tactics be the key to defeating insurgencies on the front line? Former police officer,federal marshal, and JIEDDO FOX team member Louis J. DeAnda tells Defence IQ how we need totake a holistic strategy to IED network attack... The Last War domestic U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint was Seizures were often merciless. We took away analyzed for its potential significance to boats, cars, houses, aircraft, condominiums ongoing investigations. We documented and small businesses, as well as cash, jewelry, I’ve spent a professional lifetime engaged in trucking companies, chemical companies, and bank accounts. Our IRS task force some form of network attack. Fifteen years of shipping companies, import/export specialists conducted net worth analyses of that career were spent along the southern businesses and brokers. Reams of notes listed our principal targets and compared their U.S. border, or in Mexico itself, in constant associated criminal drivers, their cover loads, existing assets with their claimed incomes. We couldn’t have done this without investigative pursuit of various specialized and cities of origin and destination. Our When we found disparities we issued federal informants. Lots and lots of informants. We cells of the Gulf Cartel or its progenitor, the analysts correlated harvest seasons with Grand Jury subpoenas to their nominees of never missed an opportunity to vet someone Juan Garcia-Abrego Criminal Organization of marijuana seizures, and methamphetamine convenience, forcing them to come to us and who had access, placement, or some value- the late 1980s. Investigative groups within seizures with foreign bulk purchases of explain the large cash purchases. Fearing a added knowledge, and it didn’t matter at what the legacy U.S. Customs Service that I either restricted precursor chemicals from the Far federal perjury and income tax evasion charge, level because no matter how significant your worked in or later supervised pursued and East. When we didn’t have enough probable many often simply declined to make a top target was, he always had someone he prosecuted trafficking cells that specialized in cause to search for narcotics, we simply statement and forfeited the assets. If so, we either reported to or criminally competed with. land border smuggling, air smuggling, marine executed search warrants for other evidence put their actions in the book and continued our Among my list were homeless people, medical smuggling, concealed compartment that we did have sufficient probable cause to investigations. When we didn’t have enough doctors, disbarred attorneys, college construction, counter-surveillance, search for. to target higher level principals, we targeted professors, pilots, engine mechanics, farmers, transshipment, distribution, precursor the “low-hanging fruit” that we could obtain warehousemen, and truck drivers. What they chemical diversion, and every form of money criminal indictments against. did for a living didn’t matter to me as much as laundering. what they knew or could position themselves We investigated kidnappings, robberies, “If the cartel took We knew the cartel attorneys that represented cartel cell members and we knew their tactics to know. burglaries, extortions, and homicides both in the U.S. and in Mexico, always attempting to cream in their coffee in the courtroom. We knew where the cell members’ kids went to school and who picked We hit the cartel cells from every angle and we had really good public marketing campaigns link them to one cell or another through M.O., forensics, signature, financing, event or preferred brunettes them up each day and at what time. There was a ton of physical and technical called Zero Tolerance and Project D.A.R.E. that were on billboards, telephone booths, and chronology or – most preferably – a confession. We staked out their front to redheads, we knew.” surveillance. When the cell members cheated on their wives, we documented it. We shopping carts. Our slogans were plastered across truck stops, hardware stores, and even businesses and the money exchange houses examined their criminal histories, their school lunchboxes. If you went to church on a they used on both sides of the border. Our educational level, their work histories and their Sunday morning, you’d find our counter- intelligence analysts collected and linked Louis DeAnda travel histories. If they took cream in their trafficking messages on pamphlets tucked into telephone numbers, addresses, people, coffee, or preferred brunettes to redheads, we the missals. We were on the radio, the vehicles, and businesses by the hundreds each knew. television, and at the movie theaters. month. Every major drug seizure at a1 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 2
  2. 2. FEATUREEverywhere you turned there was a public Hollywood may have you believe we always new indictment to an inmate less than a the dry air of the desert.service message to call our 1-800-BE-ALERT got our man, but in the real world drug year away from release was sometimeshotline to report suspicious activity that smugglers occasionally slipped the net. Still, enough to get the crustiest convict to talk. “My kingdom for a terrorist!”might be related to drug trafficking. we caught enough of them to complete the Believe me when I say we honored all of our complex prosecutions and dismantle entire agreements. Here in Iraq, the surge is in full effect andWhen we weren’t busy investigating, we cells. We applied technology there too. IEDs are detonating almost daily on Routewere busy interdicting. We had land border When the first copies of Analyst Notebook™ We did all of this cohesively and logically Irish just over the perimeter wall fromtactical interdiction operations at known came out, we had them. We leveraged GIS, through a task force concept driven by the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Falcon.smuggling points along the international social network analysis, and human terrain U.S. Department of Justice called theborder between the ports of entry. U.S. analysis before they were popular. Organized Crime Drug Enforcement TaskCustoms AWACs aircraft buzzed the skies Force, better known by its acronym OCDETFalmost every night. Marine interdiction When we prosecuted cartel cell members (pronounced oh-see-deff). Major cases “These guys were Iraqiunits cruised out in the Gulf of Mexico and we used every statute we could prove. We were constantly compared regionallyon major inland lakes with land borders. At prosecuted the principals under the RICO through the El Paso Intelligence Center versions of the verythe ports of entry, we used every single Act (Title 18 USC, Section 1962, et seq.) and (EPIC) a drug intelligence fusion center.piece of technology at our disposal from the the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statutes They were compared nationally and criminals we had dealtolfactory senses of drug hounds to the more (Title 21 USC, Section 848) that brought internationally at quarterly conferencesexpensive flexible fiber optic scopes, penalties from 20 years to life imprisonment where special agents and analysts gathered with our entirebehavioral profiling, and massive X-ray or even the federal death penalty under to compare cases formally and informally.scanning machines that could burn through certain conditions. Mid-level participants Trends within cartels were publicized and professional careers.”an 18-wheeler in twenty seconds to detect got served with every substantive count we effective countermeasures broadcast to theany concealed cargo or smuggling could bring and then we used conspiracy group as a whole. The Assistant Unitedcompartments. charges to legally combine criminal States Attorneys who tried the cases in court agreements and overt acts into individual highlighted successful prosecutions and Louis DeAnda crimes and individual crimes into cohesive even members of the criminal defense bar criminal campaigns. We charged were routinely invited to provide their Assigned to the HUMINT cell of JIEDDO’s Fox enhancements such as using or enticing perspectives on prosecutorial strategies and Team 1, I’ve begun noticing a strange juveniles to participate in crimes (Title 21 how they defended their clients against pattern developing with each field interview USC, Section 861) and weapons possession them. We took the newest lessons learned of a terrorist, insurgent, or key criminal enhancements that doubled existing prison and forwarded them to our national training personality I conduct. I say “strange” simply sentences. When we didn’t have enough to academies for incorporation into the course because what I’m encountering is not what I charge substantive violations of low-level curricula for new special agent trainees. The had expected in terms of the collective cell members and criminal acquaintances, strategy was consummate, top-to-bottom. psychology and personality of my suspects. we charged them with Aiding & Abetting, Accessory after the Fact, and Misprision of The New War These guys were not the ideological True Felony. Believers that we had been prepared to encounter - far from it. These guys were It didn’t end at the courthouse, either. After Baghdad, early 2008. Iraqi versions of the very same criminal they were convicted and had spent some personalities that my team partner and I had time in prison, we leveraged plea My Law Enforcement Professional (LEP) dealt with for our entire professional agreements and extended prison sentences partner, a retired career sergeant with the careers. They were Sopranos in kaftans. to get them to talk. We kept track of New York City Police Department’s elite convicts who were getting close to release Intelligence Division, emerges into the sun They were not religious zealots by any and incorporated old crimes into new after several hours in an extended field means, but were instead criminal approaches because the mere thought of a interview with an alleged IED cell emplacer. mercenaries…and not very smart ones, He mimics pulling out nonexistent hair from either. They had average educations for his bald head and his shouts dissipate into3 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 4
  3. 3. FEATUREIraqis, were highly opportunistic from an So the major take-away from our fieldwork a hierarchy of management and labor, aneconomic standpoint, identified socially was that the overwhelming majority of the internal communications process, a profitfrom the micro to the macro level (family, organized criminals we dealt with in motive, and rules for membership andneighborhood, job/mosque, and tribe), and Baghdad were no different from our old conduct. It has administrative, logistical,were typically networked 5-6 levels via on- mob targets. There were no swarms of holy operational, and support functions. OC isthe-job or mosque acquaintances, just as warriors martyring themselves at a criminally opportunistic and although it mayU.S. criminals were. Criminally, they were moment’s notice to protect Islam from the emphasize a particular venue of crime, suchorganized through classically cellular Western infidel. Despite their superficial, as drug trafficking, it routinely engages in astructures with most of the lowest level mechanical repair shop doubled as a facility politically correct veneer of religiosity, the wide range of criminal activities that areoperators not actually members of the to construct concealed compartments in overwhelming majority of generally consistent with the primary crimeinsurgent or terror organizations, but vehicles and trailers used to smuggle and insurgent/terrorists we dealt with were venue. Each of those activities provideinstead simply affiliated through a single transport explosives, intelligence nothing more than opportunistic and venues for network attack by military/lawinsurgent who paid them on a fee-for- documents, or even people past military organized criminal mercs. enforcement.service basis to conduct surveillance, scout checkpoints.targets, guard weapons caches, and The good news to report is that we have an We apply ETI when a criminal organizationvideotape attacks upon U.S. and coalition One of our largest insurgent munitions approach that has already been proven for engages in a spectrum of criminal activitiesforces. Occasionally, the more trusted were seizures came from a 2,000 gallon-sized, that criminal presentation… related to a central scheme. It permits us topaid to emplace IEDs (usually under some false water tank pulled by a pair of donkeysdirect supervision from a bona fide card- driven right down the middle of a major citycarrying insurgent) but there was still money road by a grizzled, white-bearded old Shiite PODCAST: POINT OF CAPTUREexchanging hands for the work and from an man posing as a farmer. Gramps had withinvestigative perspective that was critical. him brand new Iranian ordnance thatYou can exploit money. included several hundred mortar rounds, Click here to listen to the interview with Louis DeAnda 107mm rockets, sparkling new PKM machineLike any self-respecting gangster, the guns still in their waxed packing paper linedinsurgent didn’t bomb in his own with cosmoline, night vision equipment, Enterprise Theory of Investigation leverage all OC substantive and ancillaryneighborhood, but instead very deliberately many thousands of rounds of linked criminal activities for their prosecutorialtraveled and remained within a comfort ammunition, and a smuggling method that potential. Quite literally anything OC doeszone of familiarity to conduct insurgency should have given U.S. forces a major lead T he U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in furtherance of any criminal initiativeoperations, then returned home. The Shi’a for border smuggling and tactical (FBI) defines a criminal enterprise as “a becomes part of the overarching criminalaffiliates had no problem bombing in Sunni interdiction, just as a similar method would group of individuals with an identified conspiracy and may be incorporated intodistricts and vice-versa, however. The have in the War on Drugs. Rather than hierarchy engaged in significant criminal the network of sophistication they displayed was fingerprint the evidence, which we wanted activity.”1 It defines organized crime asreflected in their tradecraft (or lack thereof). to do and may have yielded some real “any group having some manner of Consider this. If I gave you the combinedThe mosques and community centers were surprises, the army EOD specialists hauled it formalized structure and whose primary criminal venues of drug trafficking, violentroutinely key nodes for criminal all away for destruction…and the war objective is to obtain money through illegal extortion, money laundering, kidnapping,communication and in some cases continued. The smuggling method, the activities.”2 These definitions are important arson, weapons trafficking, homicide, andfunctioned as de facto insurgent C3I centers. munitions themselves, and their condition, to us in the GWOT because they provide the hostage taking and then asked to name the the old man, and the cart components were framework around which we may develop criminal organization to which I wasIn precisely the same operational pattern as all important pieces that should have been collaborative strategies for network attack. referring, how many of you would havecartel cells of Latin America, these cells were analyzed in detail and the results cohesively immediately guessed the Taliban offunctionally organized and highly coordinated and disseminated as they For those who may not be familiar with it, Pakistan? A more likely guess may haveopportunistic. An electronics store owned would have been by the El Paso Intelligence Enterprise Theory of Investigation (ETI) is an been the Italian or Russian Mafia, orby an insurgent affiliate was perfect cover Center in the War on Drugs. But as the investigative approach that perceives perhaps the FARC of Colombia or even thefor the manufacture of IED detonators and commanders made clear – we weren’t in organized crime (OC) as a business, albeit a cartels of Mexico. Any of those selectionscell phone components. A welding and Texas anymore. criminal business. Like any business, OC has would have been correct, but then so would5 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 6
  4. 4. FEATUREhave Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Jaish al-Mahdi, the politically limited battlefield. It may be RECENT SUCCESSES IN THE FIELDLashkar-e-Taiba, the Lord’s Resistance Army, practically impossible to win the From terrorist cells to large-scale organized gangs,or any of the Somali pirate networks. approbation of every demographic segment, holistic approaches to taking down High Value but we should have a powerful and cohesive Targets (HVTs) has seen results worldwide in recentThe fusion between organized crime and effort to do so that equals our offensiveideologically driven terror or insurgency is military and police efforts and we should months...almost complete, which leads me to my next never slacken or give up. MEXICO, FEBRUARY 2012point of discussion. ORGANIZATION: Tijuana Cartel I respectfully assert that for purposes of NEUTRALIZED: Benjamin ArellanoTerrorist, Insurgent, or Organized network attack it does not matter if our Felix, LeaderCriminal Mercenary? enemy is defined as a terrorist, an (sentenced) insurgency, or an organized criminal METHOD: Informant enterprise. If a terrorist organization isThe Western militaries and the U.S. military robbing banks and armored cars, growing intelligence; anti- corruption drivein particular like it when its enemies fit a opium or cocaine, and kidnapping innocentspecific model that it has already prepared victims to fund their ideological cause, thento fight. Sadly, that trend is rapidly they are criminals also. Ditto an insurgency.vanishing and unless we engage in a COLOMBIA, MARCH 2012classically interstate industrial war with Maintaining the Offensive – F3EAD, ORGANIZATION: FARC (RevolutionaryChina, the Russian Federation, or North Nancy Reagan, and YouTube Armed Forces ofKorea, we’re going to find ourselves Colombia)immersed in the new war paradigm that NEUTRALIZED: 8 senior leadersBritish General Sir Rupert Smith brilliantly I say this without apology. The U.S. and (killed)coined in 2005 as “war amongst the Coalition Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan did METHOD: Informantpeople.”3 The people are simultaneously 1) an absolutely horrible job of public relations intelligence;the targets for terror; 2) the power object of during OIF and OEF. Conversely, the targeting of mid-the insurgency and the government; 3) the criminal insurgencies did and continue to do rank memberscover and concealment for criminal a magnificent job of propagandizing our PHILIPPINES, FEBRUARY 2012enterprises, and of course, 4) the victims of every action. They do this because our ORGANIZATION: Abu Sayyaf & Jemaahthe criminal organizations that feed upon current TTPs very dutifully feed their Islamiyahthem. machine and we need to change this. We NEUTRALIZED: 3 key HVTs need to change this dramatically. In order (reported killed)Most important to visualize is the fact that to achieve and maintain the offensive, we METHOD: Airbornethe “people” are not some uniform group, cannot be constantly reacting to false surveillance;but are as diverse in their social perspective allegations by the insurgency and precision air strikeas they are culturally. Their ethnicities, attempting to morally or ethically justify ourraces, educational levels, tribal affiliations, last operation and explain our actions. Wesocial histories and socioeconomic location should achieve and remain on the offensive USA, JANUARY 2011may easily lend uniqueness to how they act both militarily and socio-politically and for ORGANIZATION: Italian-Americanand react to the terrorist, insurgent, or this new paradigm we should take selective Mafiaorganized crime presence among them, as pages from the various chapters of The Book NEUTRALIZED: 127 members andwell as government sponsored efforts of What We Know Works Best. connectionsagainst those elements. Winning this side of (indicted)the war is as essential as killing or The special operations forces of the METHOD: Heavy informantprosecuting the enemy! This makes a U.S. military use a strategic operating cycle intelligencemonolithic military approach a set-up forfailure from the beginning, particularly on7 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 8
  5. 5. FEATUREknown as Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, Analyze, It achieves a strategic initiative that tends to “YouTube works and adaptation of the highly effective U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Organized& Disseminate (F3EAD). Now, police havebeen doing this since Sir Robert Peel keep moving forward as long as the process is diligently observed. I’ve used the strategy we need to grab the Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) as part of a cohesive approach tomodernized the concept of the London‘bobby’. You “find” the enemy through data as a criminal investigator and HUMINT specialist, it works, and we need to expand concept and leverage CIED Network Attack. This new task force approach should not be operationallymining, informants, and various technicalmeans, and rank and scale his significance its application. the bloody hell out of confused with the Joint Special Operations Task Forces (JSOTF), but it should plug inwithin the criminal network. You then “fix”his location through physical and/or Americans who remember the 1980s will remember the War on Drugs slogan “Just it.” with the JSOTF for high-level targeting. The new hybrid task force construct should nottechnical surveillance and establish his Say No” which aimed to dissuade children be one-size-fits-all, but instead bepattern of life. When he is where you want against entry into the cycle of drug abuse strategically tailored to fit the specific CIEDhim to be you then “finish” him traditionally and was fronted by the public face of the Louis DeAnda campaign within which it is applied so thatthrough direct action such as a search former First Lady, Nancy Reagan. The one version may, for example, enjoy utilitywarrant, arrest warrant, or seizure warrant; campaign was simple, effective, and was against the cartels in Mexico while regionaland untraditionally through kinetic largely credited with reduced marijuana use phenomenon in itself, far transcending its versions may be applied against variousoperations. You “exploit” the location of his by U.S. high school seniors from thirty-three two-dimensional application as a venue for extremist presentations in the Middle Eastarrest through aggressive and tightly percent in 1980 to twelve percent in 19914 personal exposition. The Western militaries and southwest Asia. The hybrid shouldcoordinated search and seizure. You then – a major success. It worked and we need to must realize this and seize the opportunity combine proven military operational TTPsvery rapidly “analyze” your evidentiary adopt this concept and adapt it for with alacrity. An entire spectrum of social with strategic investigative principles. I’llfindings, starting at the crime scene itself application to the GWOT. network messaging is possible through this compare and contrast some similarities andand emphasizing any evidence that will take global venue and only the apparently differences between the proposed hybridyou to the next target before the enemy can As this article is being written, there are pathological phobia of the military towards and the proven OCDETF concept.react. You then “disseminate” the more people logged onto Facebook than manipulating this venue is preventing usinformation to concerned end-users through there were people on planet Earth 200 years from using it to actually shape cultural Similaritiesrapid, summary reports. ago5 . YouTube has become a global social opinion and perhaps prevent wars and criminal insurgencies from escalating. The proposed network attack hybrid should Critical thinking military and strategic be oriented towards a primary prosecution security executives everywhere must regard of IED network members and affiliates the recent Kony 2012 phenomenon for its within a legal jurisdiction determined in staggering potential to shape the battlefield advance through collaborative strategy to they will maneuver upon. be the most effective. Capture/Kill should remain a secondary prosecutorial option If we don’t shape the social battlefield, the criminal insurgents will. They are doing so at this very minute. YouTube works and we need to grab the concept, adapt it to fit the regional or cultural application we find ourselves operating within, and leverage the bloody hell out of it. Summary and Recommendations – A New Operational Concept I am proposing the development and implementation of a military hybrid9 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 10
  6. 6. FEATUREwith clearly defined guidelines that are Goals About the Authorcampaign-specific and adaptable. The goal of the hybrid task force is the Louis DeAnda of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a 27-year veteran of metropolitan and federalThe proposed hybrid should contain the neutralization of the criminal insurgency law enforcement, organized crime investigation, and counter-terrorism operations bothsame proven constituent components as its through both conventional and within the domestic United States and internationally through the Pentagon’s Jointclassic OCDETF progenitor, but be adapted unconventional approaches that are Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). He holds a bachelor degree into its new orientation and purpose. consistent with strategic geopolitical goals. Criminal Justice and graduate study in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. InRepresentative specialists from every venue Cohesive efforts coordinated within the task addition to his field investigation experience, he is a former instructor-trainer at the Unitedof network attack should be incorporated force structure prevent counterproductive States Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He was a former United States Federal Airinto the hybrid network attack task force. strategies and encourage consistency in Marshal / Instructor-Trainer from 2002 through 2007 and was also a founding member andInvestigative specialists from violent crime, TTPs that work. Those strategies include investigations subject matter expert for JIEDDO Fox Team 1, a previously classified counter-organized crime, drug enforcement, large-scale, embedded campaigns of public IED operations unit deployed to Baghdad, Iraq from 2007 to mid-2009. He has conductedsmuggling, financial crime, electronic crime, service improvement, social inoculation, over one hundred point of capture interviews with terrorists, insurgents, and key criminallocal law enforcement, corrections, the anti-crime, and isolating insurgents from the personalities from approximately one dozen recognized and emerging criminal organizationsforensic sciences, linguists, criminology, public they need in order to survive and involved in insurgency and terrorism in Latin America and the Middle East. He now operatessociology, social anthropology, Interpol, and thrive. a strategic security consultancy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and may be contacted directly onthe International Criminal Court should the LinkedIn professional with regional prosecutors and military This is 21st century warfare in the developingspecialists in law, counter-insurgency, world and we have to fight it as such. Wepsychological operations, civil affairs, and cannot move in force into an alien culture(don’t laugh) specialists in business, and expect the people to rally to our cause if Interested in learning more? Book your place now at one of Defence IQ’seconomic, and international and we do not offer them something better to premiere conferences:commercial development. go with the removal of the criminal element that concerns us. I’ve spent my professionalDifferences life in this field and I know this can be done. But until we reconfigure ourselves toThe classic U.S. OCDETF is oriented towards accomplish this cohesively, the insurgentprosecution within a Western (U.S.) will continue to toil unhindered.Common Law judicial model that bothlegally sustains it and empowers it. The May 30 – June 1, London, UK June 26 – June 29, London, UKproposed hybrid task force conceptrecognizes that the developing world may Building on the legacy of the last six As the most influential meeting of itslack the judicial infrastructure and legal SOURCES years, this key European event will kind in the world, the 11th annualframework necessary to provide outcomes 1. Mcfeely, R. (2001, May). Enterprise theory of investigation, provide comprehensive coverage for the Information Operations Global gathersconsistent with task force operations and para 8. The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. C-IED community. an international audience to discusslarger strategic geopolitical goals. For 2. FBI. (2012, April). Glossary of terms. Retrieved from PsyOps, StratComs and influence issues.example, many countries do not even Analyse the latest techniques andrecognize conspiracy as a crime. The new 3. Smith, R. (2007). The utility of force: The art of war in the methodologies for destroying the device With a spread well beyond Europe intotask force therefore needs to carry its modern world, p. 280. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. and the network, and hear a truly global affair, it has become theinfrastructure and legal framework with it 4. Bergman, L., & Levis, K (Writers). (2000, October 9). Drug wars [Television series episode]. In L. Bergman (Executive Producer), presentations from senior C-IED officers “must attend” IO event of the year,and this is where the lawyers can actually Frontline. Boston: WGBH. from global militaries, including US providing complete coverage ofhelp us. 5. Russel, J. (2012, March 5). Kony 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2012 Army, UK MoD and German Armed operations from the tactical to the from Forces. strategic level. www.InformationOperationsEvent.com11 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 Defence IQ APRIL 2012 12