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The Transaction Analysis Cycle is a non-linear analytical approach for discerning the terrorist activities within dynamic and diffuse data sets which has a lot of uncertainty. The individual transactions such as the acquiring of finances, expertise, material, capability, recruiting members, mission rehearsal and conducting an attack have are identified as terrorist or criminal acts, or consistent with the operations of a specific group. These transactions can be observed and matched with patterns of activity that can be expressed as trends and potentials which can ultimately be assessed in terms of a specific actor’s capabilities and intentions. At any given point, the analytical team can posit a hypothesis on the pattern of activity and then establish a collection plan to seek specific transactions that confirm or disapprove its hypothesis. Therefore, the transaction analysis cycle provides a suitable framework for the assessment of the patterns, hypotheses and social network links between actors within a certain context. This makes co-production of intelligence and situational understanding very viable. These approaches provide an alternative to traditional military intelligence and can provide a foundation of praxis for the new theory of intelligence for global security. Intelligence analysis is a foundational element of intelligence. There are some steps needed to improve analysis itself, as well as the requirements for creating the organizational environment where analytical excellence can flourish. They include the research, exposure to alternative mind-sets, training and guiding.

Utilization of OSINT (Open source intelligence)

OSINT involves the acquiring of information from the publicly available sources and analyzing it to come up with actionable intelligence. This will ensure the real time access to the information that is necessary for the innovation and creativity in the analytical process. It leads to the reshaping of the intelligence community and the involved decision makers. It also serves the analytical approaches, the tradecraft and development of models that supports the intelligence for the current and the evolving geo-social environments. The analytical tradecraft is an important driver of the intelligence reforms (McDowell D. 2009 pg 76).

Utilization of HUMINT (Human Intelligence)

This is the gathering of information through the human contact. It is, along with the signals intelligence and imagery intelligence, one of the three means of intelligence gathering. It is especially important in discerning terrorist threats, since technical means are a poor indicator of terrorist capabilities and an especially poor indicator of terrorist intentions. Understanding why, when and how a group may choose to attack requires (Human Intelligence Collector Operations. 2010).

Data Collection Procedure

Analysts in both control and experimental groups used the secondary sources such as books and journals to provide the information needed to crosscheck the validity of the results gathered from the experiment.  

Factors limiting the research

The factors that limit this kind of research include the time spent in analyzing the approaches and the design of the experiment.

The findings

This exploratory research provides empirical evidence suggesting that exploitation of the approaches above will improve the intelligence analysis.  Factors such as rank, experience, education, did not appear to affect the results.

Virtually all agree that accurate and actionable intelligence is essential. To achieve that charge is sometimes extremely complicated. Basically, intelligence provides understanding. Kent Sherman, the Yale-educated theoretician of the early US intelligence community, would have termed this knowledge as a knowledge that is based on the effective relationship between the intelligence and its users. As Kent noted, there is a need to establish an understanding of the intelligence. He viewed intelligence as an analytical discipline that resulted in all source analysis. As a consequence, the collection and all source assessment led to a finished product that supports the decision-makers. In his view, the intelligence production was more than the raw collection, but included collection, analysis, integration and interpretation of all the available information to support planning and operations. His views serve a good guidance negotiating the current and future threats. We must also bear in mind that the classical human intelligence is a vital piece of this puzzle, one that can never be purged in favor of technical means, however attractive and risk neutral they may initially appear.

Code: Sample20

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