TMCnet Feature
October 04, 2022

Preventing Terrorism With OSINT



With the proliferation of usernames and online nicknames, it can be fairly easy for a bad actor to hide their identity online. As such, it’s absolutely vital that anti-terrorism officials can get through these facades to find out who is behind them, especially if they’re planning or funding some type of terrorist act. An open source intelligence OSINT username search is often the first step in identifying the people behind the usernames.



Investigations Go Digital

Law enforcement officials have long used publicly available information to track potential terrorists. They have used phone numbers, email addresses, and other data to track communications with known terrorist networks. But, with the advent of the Internet, criminals of all kinds have used the anonymity of usernames to better hide their activities. Investigators had to step up their game to keep pace with the increasingly sophisticated nature of online crime and crime planning.

The more information a law enforcement official has about a suspect, the better their approach toward thwarting a terrorist attack will be. The intelligence gathering process starts with the basics of phone numbers, emails, and usernames so that officials are able to effectively use deeper intelligence strategies.

For example, before they can infiltrate an online terrorist network, they need to know who is in the network and be able to verify their identities. OSINT tools like a reverse phone number lookup or a username search can make this initial step much easier than trying to gather this information without these tools.

Complementary to Other Intelligence

OSINT doesn’t replace good old-fashioned human intelligence. Instead, it acts as a complementary strategy that provides additional information about potential terrorists. As previously mentioned. OSINT is often the first step law enforcement officials take to identify people online who may be involved in terrorist activity. An API with a reliable OSINT company can automate much of this work so that the official can focus on other tasks that are necessary to prevent terrorism.

OSINT After the Act

Open source intelligence is not only important before a terrorist attack occurs, but it’s also instrumental in tracking down bad actors after an act of terrorism has occurred. Tools like verifying visual identities from camera footage and evaluating social connections can help law enforcement agencies identify and locate people who were previously unknown to law enforcement. Almost everyone has a digital footprint these days, terrorists included, so when they perform a terrorism act, even if they’re a part of a large group, OSINT tools can help bring them to justice.

Additionally, these tools can assist law enforcement officials with identifying other people who might have been involved with the act by analyzing social connections with those who have already been caught. This part of an investigation can go a long way in preventing additional act of terrorism by taking down a network before it has a chance to carry out other plans.

Conclusion

All law enforcement officials at all levels are using OSINT tools to aid in investigations. Without these tools, investigators would be in the dark and unable to respond as quickly as they need to if they want to prevent terrorism or catch those involved in terrorist acts.



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