- Program Manager
Countering Terrorist Tactics
As a tactic used by domestic and foreign actors, terrorism has precipitated the need for advanced technologies to detect, deter, and respond to non-state-sponsored hostile actions against the United States. Although terrorist attacks may involve conventional weapons, many tactics involve asymmetric forms of warfare, from unconventional weapons (such as shoe bombs and human carriers of explosive materials or infectious agent)s to divergent forms of attack (such as tainted food supplies, cyber attacks, and hijacked airplanes).
Deterrence and response to these various forms of attack pose unique challenges because attribution is often difficult and the adversary may have no well-defined infrastructure or assets against which to launch a preemptive or retaliatory campaign. LANL’s objective is to detect and stop the implementation of these tactics and those who perpetrate them.
Since its inception, LANL has successfully delivered end-of-system solutions for time-sensitive national security problems. Los Alamos can effectively leverage the knowledge, capability, and technological advancement achieved from supporting a diverse programmatic portfolio in order to conduct emerging threat prediction, as well as provide effective deterrence, prediction, countermeasure development, surveillance, and real-time response. As an established trusted agent, LANL will facilitate the dissemination of emerging threat information to support the counterterrorism mission. Specific capabilities are as follows:
- Intelligence Analysis: LANL provides technical support via reach-back to a broad range of science and engineering expertise. Los Alamos has in-depth understanding of the design and construction of weapons of mass effect, particularly with respect to terrorist capabilities and intent, as well as the potential for emerging technology. Supporting LANL’s analytical capability is an integrated experimental, training, and technology development program.
- Long-Range Analyses: LANL has an energetic materials training program that includes technical reach-back and emerging threat analysis; IED (improvised explosive device) detection, defeat, and threat-monitoring programs; and the data-fusion and analyses tools (such as the Integrated Knowledge Engine (IKE) to effectively predict threat probability. Monitoring and predictive forecasting of terrorist activities is facilitated by LANL’s emerging cyberspace expertise and capabilities.
- Tagging, Tracking, and Locating: LANL has extensive capabilities in designing and fabricating conventional, micro-, and nano-scale sensors, power sources, beacons, and antennas.