One of the most interesting facts about the terrorist attacks in Paris is that a pair of brothers was involved. For the intelligence analyst, understanding family connections in a terror group is critical. Counterterror analysts go to great lengths to understand the organization of terrorist and extremist groups in an effort to profile and predict their operations. AMU's Erik Kleinsmith, a former Army Intelligence Officer, discusses how the appearance of brothers and other family members within a terror organization can provide counterterrorism analysts with potential patterns and trends that require further analysis. Here are seven things to consider.
By Richard Pera, Dean of the School of Security and Global Studies at American Military University
Looking back on the 2013 Boston Marathon event is painful for many: Two pressure-cooker bombs were detonated near the finish line, killing three and injuring 264. Americans were shocked yet again as Muslim extremists—in this case the two foreign-born, Americanized Tsarnaev brothers from suburban Boston—committed an unspeakable act of terror against innocent civilians during an event which coincided with “Patriot’s Day,” commemoration of the start of the American Revolutionary War in nearby Lexington and Concord.