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Talk:Terrorism and U.S. Intelligence (1970-2004)

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 Definition Activities of the U.S. government to identify potential sources for the tactical use of terrorism, related to but distinct from intelligence on political insurgencies that may or may not use that tactic [d] [e]

Individual name versus name as an example

Forgive me, Gareth, as it's been long enough since I've written the text in question that I honestly can't tell you my exact thinking at the time. As I look at it now, the name of the individual patient/terrorist was, I believe, meant to be representative of some recruitment.

In other words, unless that individual has a particular history, I agree that his name is not notable. To an intelligence analyst, however, the sources of recruitment for any terrorist group is important, whether they be mental patients, an ethnic/religious minority who feels disconnected from the country they reside, veterans of some particular war, etc.

"Terrorism", remember, is a tactic, most commonly but not exclusively from the context of insurgency. There is significant question if anarchists can form an insurgency, given that the most general description of insurgency is an organized effort to replace a government by means considered extralegal by that government. So, on the one hand, the execrable Third Reich still could consider its internal opponents as insurgents.

This article may or may not be scoped correctly, because, from an intelligence perspective, the insurgent planner has to know the capabilities of recruits. It's one thing to send an individual on a simple mission of destruction, and a mental patient (depending on diagnosis) may be useful for such a task. Match the target to a schizophrenic's delusions, and you may have created a guided missile, but someone with disordered thinking is not likely to be able to create continuing infrastructure for terrorism or other aspects of insurgency. Assessment of capability is essentially amoral -- is someone capable of planning a complex operation, regardless of how noble or evil one might consider it.

So, the fact of recruiting from the collective was significant in assessing capabilitie of the group. The individual name was probably irrelevant, other than to help identify the example. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:42, 19 January 2009 (UTC)