If there is one thing that you cannot afford in counterterrorism it is neutrality. To find a terrorist he must be identified and then observed, learning as much as possible from his movements, contacts and actions. Killing him is the last resort, funny enough, and never to be done in haste unless an attack is really imminent. It is better to turn him and make him work for you. Make him a double spy if you wish to be melodramatic or simply a police informer if not. It might not be glamorous but the results will be brilliant.
The above is what the Jesuit handbook on warfare, aka The Art of War, also says. Treat the captured spy with the greatest honour, recruit him to your cause. It is interesting, see Code Name Masemole 26 where the origins of The Art of War are discussed. As it happened, proven history, Jean Joseph Marie Amiot just happened to be a Jesuit priest when he first translated it from Chinese into French in 1772. It is also highly debatable if the main character even existed or was an invention. Only in 1905 was the book translated into English. Everard Ferguson Calthrop called it The Book of War but that was only partially done. The Art of War as known today in English was fully translated and published by Lionel Giles in 1910 but never took off in mainstream Western militaries until Vietnam. Before Vietnam, Prussian General von Clausewitz’s “On War” was important. It still is. Therefore, it then makes sense to befriend your enemy, so to speak. If you have someone inside his group reporting to you not only secrets but also intention, you, as the spymaster/agent runner, can not only predict the future movements of the terrorist group but also control it. Yes, you can lead them into an ambush when you wish, you can destroy their morale by giving them sabotaged weapons and much more. In fact, your choices are unlimited. This is the ultimate desire and one not followed in the West.
Let me explain. The current wave of migrants/immigrants to the West is not by chance… it was caused by the War on Terror that destroyed several nations without thinking what comes next. It also is very personal to most terrorists even if not for the average Westerner. Almost every terrorist that was interviewed said that US-led airstrikes/drone strikes/indiscriminate panic shooting led to family members/friends being murdered by them. And so the fellow picks up a rifle and become a terrorist. Simplified, that is what fuels terrorism today besides the relatively few religious radicals spreading their crap around. Note that there is one hell of a difference between a radical and a fundamentalist. In fact, if you believe that the Bible is the truth you are classified as a fundamentalist by the CIA and Western Agencies, but that does not make you a radical which is a step further in the wrong direction (read my books, perhaps Code Name Wednesday 7 & Code Name Swan 53, if you don’t know the difference and how it fits together). Anyway, the wave of immigrants has contacts and knowledge that you don’t have of their old country and among themselves. Note that no real background checks take place and where inconsistencies are found they are commonly ignored for PC reasons. Some are even terrorists but not all of them are sleeper agents on a mission. Again, you need to understand the difference and consider the easy communications via the internet these days. Once the terrorist is inside your community, your country, where he arrived as a refugee/migrant/immigrant and welcomed for political reasons, he is listening for instructions from his controllers. Therefore, when a call goes out from terrorist leaders/organisations to attack the locals, that is you, it is almost always via the internet. You may even assist with the command by publishing it as news as happens from time to time. This is known as “lone wolf attacks.” Usually, the damage caused, though regrettable, is negligible. Yet. It could have been prevented.
I say in many books, the 2017 Manchester Attack, as an example, is easy to explain. I have been hunting and killing terrorists for decades and I know what I am talking about, we know from case studies (also called “history”) that the terrorist’s family and mates are not in the least ignorant of his changing and hardening attitudes. It happens over a period of years, not overnight. Every one of those Muslim radicals that attacked citizens inside the US went to places like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen where no American lost anything, before they struck. They all started making nasty comments on gays and what is wrong with America (or Western Europe) from a strict Sharia law viewpoint and they all display the same pattern of radicalization, easily picked up by changing their dress code and getting themselves a foreign bride (mostly from Pakistan). The pattern is so clear it can just as well be flashing in red neon lights. Yet, they are not reported - a wall of cover-up exists because of the deplorable liberal tendency of looking down on good citizens reporting what concerned them and what ought to concern them. And even when reported, seldom enough, the Clinton Federal Whitewash Bureau (FBI to you, incompetent as counterintelligence specialists worldwide) fails to act, deplorably so. As long as this status quo is allowed and those that should have known and ought to have known what was happening, are not prosecuted, ridiculed and ostracised by their community for being aiders & abettors, the attacks will always be a “surprise” and “workplace violence by closet gay Muslims.” If you cannot face a problem and Barack Obama could not and would not for whatever reason, you cannot and you will not deal with it. I feel sorry for every decent American citizen exposed to such crap. Yet, it happened and so it is, history. Their lapdog, the UK, is as guilty of this as any other with PC gone insane. France is attacked often because it follows the US lead these days. God knows why, where is Charles de Gaulle when you need him, and hosts more Jews than any other place except Israel and New York. It is that simple and to combat this you need your informers right inside telling you what is happening. That is how you conduct counterintelligence & counterterrorism.
The West relies on signals intelligence, SIGINT. I often write how they harvest millions/billions of emails/messages and then cannot even begin to look through all of them. Even with the best computers and AI programs they cannot form a clear pattern. They simply do not focus much on human intel, that is the old-fashioned way, spying as it ought to be with SIGINT backing it up. They lost those skills decades ago because it is way harder than SIGINT. No, you find the West’s spies wetting themselves in fear and hiding behind armour and or high walls. They just do not go out and do what they are paid to do. They also have a disturbing tendency to play politics, framing a US President, and living in a dream world, a bubble, of “exceptionalism” which makes them idiotic from the outside. Let me be clear and warn - you that admire them, thanking them for their “service” and have a “OMG he was in the CIA/FBI/Whatever” attitude instead of a properly cynical one, is not helping the cause. From a practical view it is very interesting how the different countries try to recruit agents/informers. In my experience, the Russians are by far the best, they tend to be men’s men, jovial, friendly in a sinister way and very good at what they do. They come over as trustworthy and grateful to work with you. The James Bonds and idiots from Five in the UK? Oh, they do you a damn favour old chap and consider themselves to be the master race behind the scenes. In sub-Saharan Africa where you will find most of the most wanted terrorists, they are a zero on a contract and of no importance. The Americans, OMW. They are known far and wide as runners for home wetting themselves in fear when they must recruit someone. Throwing money crazily and thus getting the worst and most unreliable “asset” possible. Working with the CIA means in the long run almost certain death for the asset. Historically the CIA is known to leave their files behind whenever they run away which has dreadful consequences for those helping them. Frankly, you would be insane to work with them and hoping to survive. Their failures are so much that you wonder why they are still in existence. In fact, they are Mickey Mouse people running on Hollywood fame and nothing else in the real world. If removed, no difference will be noted from a security view. You will be just as safe or unsafe and the same is said of the FBI.
So what happens is this: The immigrants arrive and stay on for whatever human rights reason they can abuse to stay on. Very few are outright terrorists, some are sleeper agents, and most are not radicalised but simply looking for a new life/work. They are not as stupid as they look. They are well-briefed by the local charities (I write about that too) in how to play the game. They would know how to pretend to be Christian (thus unable to go back to an Arabic country) or whatever they can claim to their advantage in law, say an anchor baby as soon as humanly possible if in the US. They have a natural dislike and distrust of any local counterterrorism agency which makes them ironically harder to recruit as the fellow still inside the war-torn country hoping to get out by informing on his mates. Of course to do so, you have to go out and meet them, not hide behind your armour. They face language problems in their new country as well as a culture shock of note. It is not easy, do not think that it is easy for them, it is harder than what you think. And so it is human nature to band together when in a new place where everything is strange to you (see now the opportunity for the local spymasters please - when together, they know each other – learn from Manchester). Then, quite soon after arriving, they realise that they are subjected to general hatred, general dislike, general racism and more by the locals that just do not like them or want them. They only need to read the local newspaper or comments made online about them to get the message. Officially, if they have any professional qualifications, that is looked down on too because, “you know, that qualification can never be better or even equal to the European/US one…” Saying that is racism, it is not based on facts but perceptions based upon race. I must ask you, wake up to your attitude which makes an attack on you by those withdrawing into themselves, not blending with you, a near certainty. It is designed to annoy and counterproductive. All this made me think of Matthew 7 v 12 (KJV): “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” If you cannot follow the Biblical Principles then think of John F Kennedy’s inauguration speech: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” You can start by reaching out and leaving your prejudices behind when dealing with immigrants. Anything else is plain stupid from a counterterrorism view. You cannot, trust me, you cannot afford their dislike or even neutrality, you need them as much as they need your assistance. A marvellous opportunity in counterterrorism is being squandered.