As part of the Boston com­mu­nity, we share the sad­ness of last week’s Boston Marathon bomb­ings. Thanks to excel­lent police work and public coop­er­a­tion, Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsar­naev were iden­ti­fied as the per­pe­tra­tors and are report­edly unaf­fil­i­ated with any larger ter­rorist net­work. But going for­ward, how can law enforce­ment increase its ability to iden­tify would-​​be ter­ror­ists oper­ating below the radar?

Experts point out that many ter­rorist groups like al Qaeda are increas­ingly decen­tral­ized, making them dif­fi­cult to mon­itor and infil­trate. Experts also high­light the lim­ited ability of the fed­eral coun­tert­er­rorism infra­struc­ture to iden­tify inde­pen­dent ter­rorist cells and lone wolf ter­ror­ists; the dif­fi­culty of iden­ti­fying readers of extremist pro­pa­ganda; and, most impor­tantly, the chal­lenges deter­mining which indi­vid­uals will turn to vio­lent action. In this case, the FBI ques­tioned Tamerlan Tsar­naev in 2011, pos­sibly about his interest in extremist Internet pro­pa­ganda or ties to Chechnya, but appar­ently lacked suf­fi­cient infor­ma­tion to detain him fur­ther. With this in mind, how can law enforce­ment gain the intel­li­gence nec­es­sarily to stop poten­tial ter­ror­ists before they act?

Read the article at Huffington Post →