Transnational Issues

These are threats that do not respect national borders and which often arise from non-state actors, such as terrorists and criminal organizations. They threaten US interests, values and citizens in the United States and abroad. The IC provides information to national and military customers on transnational threats such as international economic development, international organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism.


International Economic Developments

Intelligence can help identify threats to private US economic enterprises from foreign intelligence services as well as unfair business practices. Intelligence must also identify emerging threats that could affect the international economy and the stability of some nation states.

  • Economic Development Studies. NIMA imagery analysis provided information on economic developments not available from other sources on topics of concern to US policymakers. Imagery provided objective corroboration of information furnished by other governments or entities.
  • Natural Disasters. Imagery provided extremely responsive inputs to US crisis planners when natural disasters occurred. Timely collection and exploitation allowed NIMA geospatial analysts to produce geographic overlays that aided officials in assessing the extent and concentration of damage.
  • Hurricane Mitch Response. NIMA supported disaster relief efforts to rebuild the devastated Central American nations in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. This included coordinating the initial distribution of maps for Joint Task Force Bravo in Honduras and Joint Task Force Aguila in El Salvador for use in rehabilitating damaged bridges and roads. NIMA sent its Enhanced Deployable Imagery Library to El Salvador in December 1998, to assist Joint Task Force Aguila with on-scene imagery analysis.
  • Environmental Conditions. NIMA has developed imagery intelligence applications in support of US environmental policy objectives. Imagery provided a valuable historical record of land use that supported assessments of environmental conditions for eventual remediation of military facilities that are being turned over to foreign governments. NIMA worked with military medical planners to assess the impact of environmental conditions on US military contingency plans at selected sites where significant toxic materials were openly discharged. NIMA monitored large-scale political and civil impacts of water projects and assessed the impact of land-use patterns on civil, environmental, and political conditions.

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International Organized Crime

Corruption and extortion activities by organized crime groups can undermine the integrity of government and imperil fragile democracies. And the failure of governments to effectively control international crime rings within their borders – or their willingness to harbor international criminals – endangers global stability.

Presidential Decision Directive 42(PDD-42)dated 22 October 1995, recognizes that international criminal enterprises move vast sums of illicitly derived money through the world’s financial systems, buy and sell narcotics and arms, and smuggle aliens, nuclear materials, and weapons of mass destruction.The IC targets all aspects of international criminal organizations from theleadership structure to the organization’s activities.

The following are several intelligence achievements in our efforts to combat international organized crime.

  • Environmental Crime. CIA evaluated the size and nature of global environmental crime.
  • Impact of Criminal Activity on US Firms Overseas. CIA launched an effort that will allow us for the first time to measure the financial impact of organized criminal activity on US firms operating overseas. CIA analysts have begun to consult regularly with academic and industry experts on criminal trends and the economic and social impact of organized criminal activity.
  • Money-Laundering. CIA expanded its anti-money-laundering efforts to include crucial financial analytic support to US law enforcement agencies investigating money launderers in the Caribbean, Colombia, and Europe.
  • Organized Crime. CIA analysts continued to work with US law enforcement and liaison partners abroad against major international organized crime groups around the world.

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The aim of the US drug control strategy is to cut illegal drug use and availability in the United States by 50 percent by 2007 – and reduce the health and social consequences of drug use and trafficking by 25 percent over the same period, through expanded prevention efforts, improved treatment programs, strengthened law enforcement and tougher interdiction. This strategy recognizes that, at home and abroad, prevention, treatment and economic alternatives must be integrated with intelligence collection, law enforcement and interdiction efforts.

Key issues for the IC include: cocaine and heroin trafficking organizations; leaders of narcotics trafficking organizations; infrastructure; smuggling routes and techniques; illicit drug  shipments; host-nation counter-drug performance; drug cultivation, production, and processing; and international counterdrug cooperation. The following are IC achievements in the war against drugs:

  • Drug Seizures. US Coast Guard intelligence assets helped to prevent more than 29,000 kilograms of cocaine and nearly 5,000 pounds of marijuana from reaching American shores.
  • Strategic Analysis. The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) prepared the following strategic analyses on the illicit drug trade:The National Drug Threat Assessment — An In- Progress Prototype; Global Heroin Assessment; Southeast Border Threat Assessment; Southwest Border Assessment; National Drug Intelligence Digest; Methamphetamine;and 44 other analyses.
  • Black Market Peso Exchange. NDIC participated in the Black Market Peso Exchange Initiative with FinCen, FBI, DEA, US Customs, and CIA’s Counternarcotics Center (CNC).
  • Assessments Initiated in 1999. NDIC initiated strategic assessments on Nigerian Trafficking Organizations and Eastern European Organized Crime.
  • Narcotics Estimates. CIA analysts provided US cultivation and production estimates for all major illicit coca- and opium-producing countries.
  • Drug Flows. CIA analysts completed the most comprehensive analysis to date of drug flows in Latin America to determine how much cocaine from this region could be reaching the US.
  • In-Country Surveys. CIA analysts completed initial surveys of cocaine and heroin consumption in several key regions of the;world to help determine the volume of illicit drugs that could be available to US consumers.
  • Interagency Efforts. CIA enhanced law enforcement-Intelligence Community counterdrug programs through the initiation and coordination of interagency efforts against major drug trafficking organizations throughout the world.

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The United States has made concerted efforts to deter and punish terrorists and remains determined to apprehend and bring justice to those who terrorize American citizens. The President signed PDD-62 in May 1998 creating a systematic approach to fighting the growing terrorist threat. Countering terrorism requires day-to-day coordination within the US Government and close cooperation with other governments and international organizations.

The following describes how the intelligence community directly supports these efforts:

  • Reserve Component Support for Counterterrorism Analysis. DIA began the integration of full-time Reserve Component support to assist in all aspects of terrorism analysis and production. This support consists of approximately 25 work years of analysts working on long term analysis, database production, and crisis and warning intelligence. DIA has incorporated five full-time reservists into the operations of the National Military Joint Intelligence Center’s Terrorism Desk.In addition, seven reserve units outside the Washington, DC, area support DIA analysis and data base production on terrorism. Overall, the reserves accomplished over 50 percent of the database update effort.
  • Counterterrorism Intelligence Analysis. DOE’s Special Technologies Program's Counterterrorism Analysis Cell (CTAC) developed an all source assessment on nuclear-related terrorism and its associated threat to U.S.interests. Initially briefed at the interagency Technical Support Working Group, it proved so successful that a number of DOE organizations and other government entities requested presentations. Since the initial briefing, the assessment has been presented to the DOE Offices of Defense Programs and Security Affairs; the Joint Special Operations Command; the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; and the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
  • OpenSource Reporting. CIA reporting on terrorist groups and activities as well as the efforts to follow and thwart the terrorist agenda by foreign governments has been a valuable addition for counterterrorist customers.
  • US Embassy Bombings. In response to the August 7, 1998, twin bombings of the US Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, the FBI launched the largest overseas criminal investigation in our country’s history. More than 1,000 FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force personnel rotated through East Africa. The New York Division, with critical support from the Washington Field Office, other FBI offices, and other government agencies, spearheaded this effort. To date, 17 individuals, to include Usama Bin Laden (UBL), have been charged with the bombings of the US Embassies and/or conspiring to kill US nationals. Nine individuals are in cus- tody and eight are currently fugitives. Four of the nine were captured outside of the United States, and as a result of international cooperation, were rendered back to face the pending charges. Efforts to apprehend the remaining fugitives are being pursued vigorously. The indictment charges that the named individuals conspired to conduct acts of terrorism against US interests as members of the terrorist organization, Al Qaeda, UBL’s organization. These acts of terrorism include the bombing of the US embassies; the killing of US military personnel on October 3, 1993, in Somalia; the recruitment of US citizens to commit acts of ter- rorism;the shipment of weapons and explosives to Saudi Arabia; and efforts to obtain Weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD). The trial date has been tentatively set for September of 2000.
  • Reward. For UBL alone, the US Government posted the largest reward ever, 5 million US dollars. A similar reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest or conviction of other subjects suspected of being involved in the East African bombing conspiracy. UBL is the target of the largest and most extensive effort undertaken by the US Government against any one individual, as was demonstrated by the US retaliatory missile strike against UBL and the Al Qaeda organization in Afghanistan. On June 7, 1999, Director Freeh announced that UBL was added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list.
  • Cooperation in the Anti-Kidnapping War. US citizens have been the subjects of kidnappings for almost 20 years in Colombia. The US Government response to kidnappings is generally limited to the FBI and the Miami Division working with the Colombian Government in a reactive fashion. In May, 1999, the US Ambassador to Colombia advised that the Colombian Anti-Kidnapping Czar and the President of Colombia were “interested in reaching a formal agreement with the US Government regarding cooperation in the anti-kidnapping war similar to current cooperation in the drug war.”
  • Six New Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTFs) Established in 1999. FBI Field Offices granted JTTFs were San Antonio, El Paso, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Indianapolis, and San Diego. The mission of JTTFs is to serve as a mechanism to ensure that the counterterrorism investigative efforts of appli- cable Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies within the territory covered by the appli- cable field office are effectively coordinated.

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Efforts to control the proliferation of WMD and conventional weapons remains a high priority for the US Government. Through international treaties and other methods, the US aims to strengthen controls over weapons grade fissile material and prevent the theft or diversion of WMD and related material and technology.
  • Improvements in Monitoring Nuclear Detonations. Global monitoring of nuclear detonations in the atmosphere has been improved because of advances in modeling and simulation of the Globa Positioning System/Nuclear Detonation Detection System Constellation. A new simulation tool, called CAPFAST, includes graphics-based outputs that enable quick analysis and reporting.
  • WMD. NIMA imagery and imagery analysis were critical to understanding and responding to world- wide efforts to develop, produce, and proliferate both critical WMD technologies, operational WMD systems, and conventional defense weap- ons. Analysts monitored worldwide research and development, test and evaluation, production, and proliferation of nuclear, ballistic missile, chemical, biological, and advanced conventional weapons and weapons related technologies.
  • Analytic Support. CIA continued to support policymakers on a broad range of critical proliferation issues by providing intelligence support both briefings and written products to Administration and Congressional officials.
  • Interagency WMD Center. CIA supported the Department of State and Defense in their effort to create a new WMD Center within NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, which opened in January.
  • Support to NATO. The National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) was tasked to support the NATO stockpile planning program. NGIC analysts provided data on equipment performance to support the modeling used to quantify the amounts of materiel and ammunition needed to execute specific missions.

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Posted: May 02, 2007 09:54 AM
Last Updated: Jan 03, 2012 12:52 PM