U.S. Spies Form Virtual Units 'On The Fly' to Track Terror
James Gordon Meek writes on Mouth of The Potomac:
When a cell of 10 Islamic militants stole into the Indian port city of Mumbai in November and began to unleash a fusillade of hell on two hotels, a train depot in rush hour and a Jewish center, US spooks scrambled to make sense of it all. About 20 analysts from across the globe immediately convened - not in the same room, but on two classified Web sites called Intellipedia and A-space.More here.
Think of it as Wikipedia and Facebook for spies.
The first Mumbai entry was posted by a watch officer at the National Counterterrorism Center at the onset of the attacks, officials told The Mouth. Soon, analysts from across America’s 16 spy agencies familiar with extremists in India and Pakistan logged on to A-space - a discussion site accessible to only a few thousand US intelligence analysts with the highest security clearances - to weigh who the attackers might be.
Analysts posted realtime satellite imagery and video depicting the carnage outside the Taj Mahal Hotel, which showed a sluggish response by Indian security forces. They also uploaded the first news photos of one young terrorist in Mumbai’s rail station who was later nabbed alive - noting how professionally he carried his weapons, and how he was dressed as blandly Western as the 9/11 hijackers 7 1/2 years ago.
The ad hoc group of analysts, who did not all know each other - including at least one in a Far East military outpost - quickly agreed that a claim of responsibility by the unheard of “Deccan Mujahadeen” was malarkey. It was really the handiwork of Pakistan’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Lashkar-e-Taiba.