EFFECT OF OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE ON NIGERIAN NATIONAL SECURITY

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EFFECT OF OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE ON NIGERIAN NATIONAL SECURITY

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

A cursory review of the literature indicates that intelligence has been conceptualised and presented by scholars and practitioners in diverse contexts. Gustavo (2005) observed that there is no universally acceptable definition of the concept of intelligence as most scholars look at the definition from different scope and perception. Powers (as cited in Randol, 2009) observed that one of the most meaningful purposes of intelligence is to predict where future security challenges may arise. Security intelligence may be defined as, “…the threat of major, politically motivated violence, or equal grievous harm to national security or the economy, inflicted within the nation’s territorial limits by international terrorists, homegrown terrorists, or spies of saboteurs employed or financed by foreign nations” (Posner, 2002, as cited in Randol, 2009: 9).

The United States Joint chief of staff (as cited in Duyan, 2012) conceptualised intelligence as Information and knowledge about an adversary obtained through observation, investigation, analysis, or understanding. According to CIA (as cited in Warner 1985: 16) “intelligence is knowledge and foreknowledge of the world around us, the prelude to decision and action by policymakers.” Hoffman (as cited in Oghi & Unumen, 2014: 2) sees as intelligence as the “collection, evaluation, analysis, integration and interpretation of all available information which concerns areas of operations and potentially significant to planning.” Intelligence, with regards to the military, could be strategic, tactical and counter intelligence.  Intelligence in this context is a response to a specific question or issue, structured to provide a basis for action and presented to an individual or group empowered to act.

It is worth noting that information is not intelligence, and gathering information is not carrying out competitive intelligence (Rudolph, Gilmont, Magee & Smith, 1991). According to Lowenthal (as cited in Warner, 1985: 18) notes that, “Intelligence is the process by which specific types of information important to national security are requested, collected, analyzed, and provided to policymakers; the products of that process; the safeguarding of these processes and this information by counterintelligence activities; and the carrying out of operations as requested by lawful authorities.”

According to Shulsky and Schmitt (2002: 1) “The term ‘intelligence’ is applied to different kinds of information activities and organisation. Intelligence is the information relevant to a government’s formulation and implementation of policy to further its national security interests and to deal with actual and potential adversaries.” This definition seems to have been drawn from the state-centric perspective of national security with emphasis on information relevant only to government even though the advantages and the application are relevant universally and not restricted to government enterprises alone.

The goal of intelligence is one of “eliminating or reducing uncertainty for government decision- makers” (Clapper, 1995 as cited in Johnson 2010: 6). Johnson (2010: 6) states that “The purpose of intelligence in simple terms therefore is to provide information to policy makers that may help illuminate their decision options”

 

Intelligence as Information

Knowledge is the acquaintance, awareness, and understanding familiarity with an object, subject, phenomena and ideas. Knowledge is information and being informed. Intelligence is knowledge beforehand thereby aiding better understanding, prevention and or management of situations, threats and issues. It is used in estimating the cognitive capacity, psychomotor dexterity, and even effective accuracy of an individual or subject.

Intelligence is knowledge acquired and structures, processes and functions involved in acquiring knowledge in resolving tasks, queries and issues (Thomas, 2013). Intelligence is extracted from the analysis of information but the resultant intelligence is in itself information. Intelligence is evaluated and analysed information that could aid policy development, planning and action. Information is knowledge of every description acquired in any manner. It includes anything that is known, regardless of how it may have been discovered. Information begins as unrefined, raw data that is scattered and unprocessed.  Intelligence is information that has been collected, (evaluated and analysed), and focused to meet stated or understood needs of a decision-maker (the customer).

It is the end product of a complex analytic process and is used as the basis for making informed decisions and taking action. Intelligence, consistent with Aliemeka, can be understood as refined statistics aimed at comparing the effect of particular rules, or for the identification, evaluation and mitigation of precise troubles. It may be categorised into current (tactical) and forecast (strategic) intelligence (Aliemeka, 2012:13).

 

Intelligence beyond Information

Lowenthal (2002) is of the view that intelligence is something broader than statistics and its processing for policymakers and commanders, is one way or the other exclusive or clandestine. Shulsky and Schimitt (2002), report that the concept of intelligence has been perceived and presented in different contexts and is taken to have the same meaning as information.  Warner (1985) observed that, Policymakers and commanders need facts to do their jobs, and they are entitled to call that information something they like. Warner (1985:3) argues that, “For producers of intelligence, however, the equation “intelligence = data” is too indistinct to provide actual guidance of their activities.” Warner further stated that intelligence is beyond the spies missions and operations rather it’s the observation of the advisory.

According to Chertoff  (as cited by Randol 2009: 8) “Surveillance, interactions—each of which may be taken in isolation as not a particularly meaningful piece of information, but when fused together, gives us a sense of the patterns and the flow that really is at the core of what intelligence analysis is all about.”  Rudolph, Gilmont, Magee & Smith, (1991: 35) in their classical work on intelligence stated that “Intelligence in this context is a response to a specific question or issue, structured to provide a basis for action and presented to an individual or group empowered to act.” It is important to understand that there is a difference between intelligence and information.

 

Media and Intelligence

Hollywood and popular tradition has often played a vital role in shaping both legitimate and public attitudes toward intelligence (Gustavo, 2005). Fictional representations of worldwide politics have played a critical position in the conceptions of the public. West (2004) argues that the reality of intelligence operations cannot be portrayed entirely accurately in works of fiction (as cited in Gustavo, 2005). Intelligence has constantly been a fascinating difficulty for filmmakers and audiences, despite the fact that as an America intelligence officer has mentioned:

“Spy movies are to real life intelligence work what Donald Duck movies are to understanding the Environment” (Gustavo, 2005: 5).  In such occasions public opinion will regularly speculate with conspiracy theories due to the inherent secrecy surrounding intelligence operations (Gustavo, 2005). It is right here that intelligence research can play a vital position in teaching society and correcting such unusual misunderstandings (Goldberg, 2004 as cited in Gustavo, 2005). The way to increase the public consciousness and positive reaction of the intelligence activities is by allowing the general public benefit directly from intelligence products and information (Gustavo, 2005). According to Bruneau  and Dombroski (2014: 2) , “Reform in the intelligence sector has been difficult because of this pervasive public distrust of institutions, as well as the common problem of politicization of the bureaucracy, and the consequent lack of a corporate culture or tradition of public service.”

 

Intelligence and Secrecy

Warner (1985) and Shulsky (2002) emphasize the importance of secrecy in intelligence operations and activities. Gustavo (2005:4) further observes that, “Intelligence seems little different from information, except for the fact that it is almost always secret”. Warner, (1985:6) states that, “It calls intelligence an activity and a product, says it is conducted in confidential circumstances on behalf of states so that policymakers can understand foreign developments, and that it includes clandestine operations that are performed to cause certain effects in foreign lands.”

Pfaltzgraff & Warren (1981) as quoted by Gustavo (2005:6) argue that, “Though some grade of secrecy is necessary to protect sources, in this profession there is a complex code of integrity in the pursuit of knowledge; at the same time, a very ambiguous and complex relationship exists that limits the disclosure of older intelligence material.” Lowenthal  as cited by Hammond (2015:10) suggest that “intelligence exists because governments seek to hide information from other governments, which in turn, seek to discover hidden information by means that they wish to keep secret.”

 

Intelligence Structure

Ratcliffe views intelligence “as a structure, a process and a product.” He explains that intelligence units are typically units with specialized skills and people within police departments.

According to Ratcliffe, “Intelligence is also a process, incorporating a continuous cycle of tasking, data collection, collation, analysis, dissemination and feedback, prior to the next, or a refined task, this continuous process is responsible for the generation of an intelligence product, which is designed to shape the thinking of decision-makers” (Ratcliffe, 2003: 3 & 4).

This perception, therefore, distinguishes various components/elements of intelligence (structure, process and product). Intelligence as a structure refers to the organisations and agencies that are authorised by law to gather process and convert information into intelligence for use in national security management.  Intelligence is information and know-how on an adversary or opponent received via observation, research, evaluation, and expertise. According to US Joint Chiefs of Staff (2010: 114) “Intelligence is also the result of collecting, gathering, processing, integrating, analyzing, evaluating, interpreting, and disseminating information concerning foreign countries or areas.”

The whole efforts at spying, gathering of and analysing information are geared to have fore knowledge of threats to aid the prevention or effective management in any eventuality. The intelligence structures and processes are administered and actuated by human resource capacities and function. Intelligence in this context is a function. It is the function of determination of requirements, planning, direction and tasking, collection, processing and analysing of information, dissemination of intelligence to consumers and administration of feedback.

Intelligence as a function spells out the routine duties, activities and productive services performed by personnel of the intelligence community and establishment. It is instructive to observe that intelligence in the context of cognitive evaluation entails a capacity to recall knowledge and appropriate response to cognitive, psychomotor and affective stimuli and learning tasks.

Intelligence as information is about fore knowledge appropriate for action in resolution of real or perceived threats. In addition to their specific functions, responsibilities, tasks,  intelligence agencies generally have the following functions, provide analysis of impending crises, give early warning of impending crises, serve national and international crisis management by helping to discern the intentions of current or potential opponents, Inform national defence planning and military operations, protect secrets, both of their own sources and activities, and those of other state agencies; and may act covertly to influence the outcome of events in favour of national interests.

Security is the assurance of safety and the absence of fear of imminent or impending danger. It could be apt to estimate intelligence as security or at best that security is all about intelligence, as intelligence is the thrust of security. Security intelligence refers to the information whose substance is relevant to the appropriate organs of the state in the formulation and execution of national security policies.

Community policing implies and requires the police to identify the intelligence requirements and security challenges within the community with the members of the community; identifying the information requirements together with members of the community and to involve members of the community in sourcing for information necessary for solving the security challenges in the community. Community policing is an organization-wide philosophy and management approach that promotes partnerships, proactive problem solving, and community engagement to address the causes of crime, fear of crime, and other community issues (Carter, 1997).

 

Intelligence as a Product

Intelligence as a product is value added knowledge usable for plans and action. Intelligence as a structure and function is about administration of information to facilitate foreknowledge of threats with a view to preventing or effective management. Pillar (2017: 108) observed that “The biggest challenge is the inherent difficulty of discovering plots that involve small numbers of people who do their planning and preparation in secret and are highly conscious of operational security”. Metscher and Gilbride (2005: 3) argued that “Intelligence is a product created through the process of collecting, collating, and analysing data, for dissemination as usable information that typically assesses events, locations or adversaries, to allow the appropriate deployment of resources to reach the desired outcome.” The president is the most senior client of intelligence in any country, who gets and makes use of intelligence directly and this usually is fashioned by using political thoughts.

 

Intelligence as an Academic Discipline

Gustavo (2005: 2) notes that “Intelligence is all but absent, in the work of most international relations theorists and it does not figure in any key International relations theory debates between realist, liberal, institutionalism, constructivist and postmodernist approaches.” Even though that intelligence has been practiced in its extraordinary forms throughout history it appears paradoxical that it has only effectively been ‘an educational field for half a century’ (Gustavo, 2005). There has been restricted interest and research among scholars in the field of international relations to focus on intelligence as an academic discipline (Gustavo, 2005).

Michael and Hochstein (1994) as note by Gustavo (2005:2) observed that “while intelligence studies had developed into an identifiable intellectual community, there was a noticeable failure to integrate intelligence studies, even in a primitive way, into the mainstream of research in international relations.” Intelligence studies as an academic field can be a multidisciplinary that can cover a wild range of subject (Gustavo, 2005).

In an effort to described the significance of intelligence Gustavo (2005: 3) argued that “it can be convincingly argued that Intelligence Studies requires greater potency in the domain of academia as well as a significant appeal to a wider field of study. It is interesting to note that, while there exists an implicit assumption that the study of intelligence falls within the realist field, contemporary neo-realist writers have largely ignored intelligence in their reflections.”

Gustavo (2005: 14) concluded that “except for the CIA and a few others, intelligence organisations all over the world refuse to declassify their files.” He continues, “It is interesting to note that, while there exists an implicit assumption that the study of intelligence falls within the realist field, contemporary neo-realist writers have largely ignored intelligence in their reflections.”

The classical philosophers had enthused ‘man, know thyself’. Sun Tzu and Griffith (1964) uphold that knowing oneself and knowing the other is a recipe for the skillful engagement in preventing or averting danger. Sun Tzu further upholds that subduing the adversary’s military without battle is the most skillful not one hundred victories in one hundred battles. In tandem with the Sun Tzu, this capacity in self-knowledge and fore-knowledge of the other in aid of skillful engagement is the phenomena acclaimed as intelligence in contemporary strategic and security praxis. Intelligence is about knowledge that would facilitate skillful engagements. The level of intelligence operation however depends on the character of the environment and the complexity of the intelligence requirement.

 

Tactical Intelligence

According to Flavius-Cristian and Andreea (2013: 6), “Tactical Intelligence is translated as Tactical Information and it is used within the operational units that include, among other things, information from human sources (human intelligence), information obtained from open source (open source intelligence), the Imagistic Information (imagery intelligence) and direct observation (direct observation)” (Githens & Hugnbank, 2010, as cited in Flavius-Cristian & Andreea, 2013: 6).

Soldiers fighting insurgents and terrorism need private sources in order to identify threat and respond effectively (Flavius-Cristian & Andreea 2013). Githens & Hugnbank (2010: 32) “These particular sources require trained and dedicated street cops who can think on their feet and identify the simplest of cultural patterns and behavioral modifications of those who regularly work, play and live within their assigned patrol areas.”  Githens & Hugnbank (2010: 33) further explains that “Tactical intelligence is crucial in counterinsurgency and asymmetric warfare. Initiative and surprise can be achieved only if the tactical intelligence mission is effective and all possible vetted sources must be utilized to their optimal potential, including those frequently ignored.”

 

 

 

Strategic Intelligence

Flavius-Cristian & Andreea (2013: 6) explains that “The official definition used by the Pentagon is equally simple: “the information is required for stating/planning strategies, policies and military operations nationally and in the theater of operations.”

This would have implied that strategic intelligence operates only in the realm of national defence without regards to internal security requirements, as it may, in that context, be focusing only on external threats. However, it is apt to observe that strategic intelligence has its significance only in the context of delivering tactical objectives. This is why McDowell (2008: 5) advances that: “Strategic intelligence analysis can be considered a specific form of research that addresses any issue at the level of breadth and detail necessary to describe threats, risks, and opportunities in a way that helps determine programs and policies.” He further states that,

“Strategic intelligence and analysis practice focuses on being able to creatively think one’s way through issues at a macro level, yet constantly retain pragmatic links to the inevitable tactical and operational impact and outcomes” (McDowell, 2008: 7). Kuosa (2014) expatiating on the operational requirements of strategic intelligence better accurately referred to as national security intelligence as opined by advances that:

“Strategic intelligence deals with national or corporate long-term strategic issues. It operates simultaneously with three functionalities: intelligence, strategic foresight, and visionary management. Its customers are senior policy-makers in versatile organisations capable of strategically impacting the game in which they are involved. Kuosa (2014:122)”

The praxis of strategic intelligence and its capabilities is not limited on public policymaking. It also involves interest in the understanding of how the principles of strategic intelligence could be utilised within the intelligence community and its practices; “how to bridge the gap between the prevailing theory of intelligence processes and its actual practice” and “how intelligence could better bring right-time data for policy makers.”

Githens & Hugnbank (2010: 32) stated that the “functional ability to “predict” when and where future operational terrorist acts might occur and which tactical targets might prove more advantageous for a terrorist organization whether it is psychological, economical, or political in nature through the use of gathered and processed data from varying sources that places homeland defense in better offensive and defensive postures to successfully preempt and thwart their next attack.”

 

Intelligence Process or Cycle

The consumer’s guide to intelligence (as cited in CIA, 1999) defines Intelligence process as converted information made available to users. The process begins with identifying the issues in which policy makers are interested and defining the answers they need to make educated decisions regarding those issues.

Intelligence processed can be said to consist of the following steps: ‘tasking, data collection, collation, analysis, dissemination and feedback, prior to the next or a refine task’ (Ratcliffe, 2003:4). This process is also referred to as the intelligence cycle. Recent studies have identified that this cycle commences from the identification and determination of intelligence and information requirements before planning, direction and tasking, collection of data, processing, analysis, dissemination and re-evaluation.

The conceptualisation of intelligence as a cyclical process implies that intelligence is operating in a unit-threats environment.  But the security threat environment is complex and multifaceted operating sequentially, simultaneously and randomly within the dynamics of society. Security threats are therefore systemic and could be better understood as a process. It is important to note, however, that like the case in all cyclical theories, the presentation of the intelligence process as a cyclical system renders the determination of its commencement stage difficult and or arbitrary because the cycle is depicted in a circle which is continuous.

Figure 1

The Intelligence Cycle

 

 

Source (Fahey, 2012).

 

 

National or Domestic Intelligence

Bruneau and Dombroski, (2014: 3) stated that “While in most instances the intelligence service rhetorically linked internal opposition to putative foreign enemies, the overwhelming focus of the intelligence service in most countries was on domestic opposition” The Central

Intelligence Agency (1991, cited in Johnson 2010:6) states that ‘national security intelligence is the knowledge and foreknowledge of the world around us- the prelude to presidential decisions and actions.’  Johnson explicates that:

This definition points to intelligence as a matter of ‘situational awareness’, that, understands events and conditions throughout the world faced by policymakers, diplomats, and military commanders. In this vein, when people speak of intelligence they are referring to information- tangible data about personalities and events around the globe. This information is communicated by intelligence officers to policymakers in the form of oral briefings, memoranda, and more formal reports, either short or long, all focused on bringing a leader up-to-date on current events on investing the policymaker with a more in-depth comprehension of a topic based on exhaustive research. The amount of information that could be valuable in making a political, economic, diplomatic, or military decision is potentially vast, and its collection is limited only by a nation’s available resources to fund espionage rings, surveillance satellites, reconnaissance aircraft and listening devices, plus its skill in ferreting out pertinent data (‘signals’) from the vast sea of irrelevant information (‘noise’).

Aligning with the dominant nuances of the concept Johnson (2010:6) observes that national security intelligence, other than as information product, can refer also to a process in the context of the intelligence cycle; as a set of missions carried out by a nation’s secret agencies; and may refer to a cluster of people and organisations that carry out the missions of collectionand-analysis, counterintelligence, and covert action. The scholar elucidates that national security intelligence may be different from strategic intelligence, though the concepts are used interchangeably as it encompasses tactical as well as strategic intelligence. This explanation is apt and instructive in exploring the scope and core of strategic intelligence in internal security management.

This would have implied that strategic intelligence operates only in the realm of national defence without regards to internal security requirements, as it may, in that context, be focusing only on external threats. However, it is apt to observe that strategic intelligence has its significance only in the context of delivering tactical objectives. This is why McDowell (2008:5) advances that:

Strategic intelligence analysis can be considered a specific form of research that addresses any issue at the level of breadth and detail necessary to describe threats, risks, and opportunities in a way that helps determine programs and policies. Strategic intelligence and analysis practice focuses on being able to creatively think one’s way through issues at a macro level, yet constantly retain pragmatic links to the inevitable tactical and operational impact and outcomes.

 

Kuosa (2014) expatiating on the operational requirements of strategic intelligence better accurately referred to as national security intelligence, He further advances that:

“Strategic intelligence deals with national or corporate long-term strategic issues. It operates simultaneously with three functionalities: intelligence, strategic foresight, and visionary management. Its customers are senior policy-makers in versatile organisations capable of strategically impacting the game in which they are involved” Kuosa (2014:15).

 

The praxis of strategic intelligence and its capabilities is not limited to public policymaking. It also involves interest in the understanding of how the principles of strategic intelligence could be utilised within the intelligence community and its practices; “how to bridge the gap between the prevailing theory of intelligence processes and its actual practice” and “how intelligence could better bring right-time data for policy makers”.

Essentially national security intelligence is the collection, analysis and utilization of analysed information in guiding national tactical and strategic actions and policies and plans. The process of generating national security intelligence involves the systematic determination of intelligence and information requirements, development of requisite information collection plans, tasking of collectors that are directing the information collection activities (planning and direction); exploitation of sources and delivery of information to intelligence centers (collection); processing involving collation, evaluation and presentation of the information for analysis. The dissemination that is timely delivery by appropriate means in the applicable format to the consumer or client, action that is utilization of the intelligence product, and feedback involving re-evaluation of the whole process to facilitate attempts at filling observed gaps and emergent related developments.

The process continues seemingly cyclically such that it is described as the national security intelligence cycle. The national security intelligence process entails the effective deployment of intelligence managers, intelligence information collectors and field operators; intelligence analysts; intelligence consumers, clients and the public.

 

Foresight in National Security Intelligence

National security intelligence in the context of strategic intelligence involves foresight and future domains activities. Kuosa (2014: 32) reports that “the term ‘foresight’ refers to a systematic process where one attempts to say something comprehensive and grounded about the futures probabilities, change drivers, change factors, interrelations, and options for actions.

National security intelligence depends on ‘resources’; ‘data needs’; ‘creative thinking’; ‘bonding between Practitioners and Management’; and ‘reliability of judgments and forecasts’    impactful to the organisation.” He contends that:

The guiding principle of all foresight ‘is that the future cannot be predicted, as it is not here yet. In particular, the forming and outcomes of social phenomena are too complex to be comprehensively understood much in advance. At best, alternative scenarios and some probabilities beyond linear predictions can be attributed to emerging social phenomena. Yet, the future can be created through the actions of today – and therefore partly known too. And much of the future exists already in today’s values, objectives, drivers, and trends and those can be studied systematically. (Kuosa, 2014, 32)

 

Kuosa (2014: 32) stated that,

The process of foresight is meant to be systematic and holistic and it is supposed to integrate hindsight, insight, and forecasting in a meaningful way. The backbone of foresight is (hind) sight which is about more or less systematically understanding the past processes and constraints of change. The body of foresight is (in) sight which is an attempt to comprehensively understand the true nature of the present and its structures, actors, and drivers. The eyesight of foresight is (fore) casting which refers to understanding the probable path-dependencies of existing trends, phenomena, and visionary thinking.

 

Insight, in this context is defined by Clive Simmonds, (as cited in Kuosa, 2014: 32) as “the ability to perceive the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding (in this context, what and how something is happening, who is making it happen and why) it is the ability to look beyond, behind, and through the actions of others to the new principles that they are consciously or unconsciously disclosing.” Once an initial understanding has been established,

then further searching is rendered much easier.

Richard Slaughter, (as cited in Kuosa, 2014: 33) presents foresight “as a process that attempts to broaden the boundaries of perception by assessing the implications of present actions, decisions, etc. (consequent assessment), by detecting and avoiding problems before they occur (early warning and guidance), by considering the present implications of possible future events (pro-active strategy formulation), and by envisioning aspects of desired futures (preparing scenarios).”

Further, the European Union Regional Foresight (FOREN) report (2001 cited in Kuosa,

2014: 33) defines foresight as follows.

Foresight is a systematic, participatory, future-intelligence-gathering and medium-to-longterm vision-building process aimed at present-day decisions and mobilizing joint actions. Foresight arises from a convergence of trends underlying recent developments in the fields of ‘policy analysis’, ‘strategic planning’ and ‘future studies’. It brings together key agents of change and various sources of knowledge in order to develop strategic visions and anticipatory intelligence.

CHAPTER TWO

TERRORISM

Terrorism has been a major concern for the United Nations and national governments since the 1960s. The 9/11 attacks changed the structure, character, actors and concepts of terrorism. Terrorism has been an important cause of insecurity in the world. “[Terrorism] also represents the most serious threat to human life and liberty, democracy and other fundamental values that the democratic communities promote” (National Security Strategy of Romania, 2007:13).

Terrorist attacks are designed to achieve three goals: to create a sense of insecurity among the public, to show the inability to contain terrorism, and to promote the ideology of the terrorists (Hazard Mitigation Plan, 2011). However, there have been several debates over the years on what the concept of terrorism means. The fact that there is no universally accepted definition of the concept has made it difficult for intelligence to be carried out on terrorist

activities.

In an effort to answer the question of what terrorism means this study explores the similarities and differences in definitions of scholars. The importance of defining the concept is because it affects how law enforcement agencies prosecute and combat terror. Further analysis in this chapter explains various types, structure and membership of terrorist organisations, how they operate and carry out their activities. The problem of intelligence on terrorism is discussed in details in this chapter.

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