Use All Available Tools to Fight Terrorism
By Douglas Farah
International law enforcement and intelligence bodies are only as effective and useful as the people in them and the political will of various countries. Open source information is only as useful as the willingness to look for it and use it.
But the truth is that some of these international groups produce very useful data that the U.S. and European communities could use effectively. If we are to maximize the chances of finding the needles in the haystacks of data that could be useful, some of these walls have to come down.
I am not arguing for a complete globalization of intelligence sharing, but we do need to recognize that, despite the deep unpopularity of the Bush administration in most of the world, we have many allies who are in as serious danger of attacks by radical Islamists as we are. Maximizing the access to information across these lines will give us information we would never obtain alone, and offer useful help to our allies.
For example, Interpol in Europe has a significant data base of 7 million stolen passports that is unused by British and U.S. services. What more useful database could there be as we hear new warnings that al Qaeda has cells here or is sending them to attack us this summer? My full blog is here.