Based on my experience (Larry Martines) in dealing with violent extremists there are two basic steps one must take when dealing with terrorists groups or movements:
1. The most obvious is find them and stop them from further actions by whatever means necessary. That is a given.
2. However, the other that is equally important is disruption! This means a forced change of modus operandi. Having to quickly change things both mundane – movement, logistics, communications, passports; plus advanced/aggressive methods – financing, weapons acquisition, targeting, transportation, etc., – creates disruption, even chaos. Mistakes are made by the terrorists, perhaps things even come to a temporary stall.
This gives the CT hunters and Intel people some time to find and fix their objectives.
By NOT releasing the photos of bin Laden and burying him at sea without a media circus taking place creates “disruption” in the larger AQ movement. An excellent strategic move by the DOD and the CIA. Good psyops!
Amongst the AQ worldwide movement, there will always be those that think we are holding Bin Laden in some black site – the one at Diego Garcia comes to mind. Close by the carrier and convenient - and that OBL is spending a lot of quality time with skilled interrogators. Since OBL is not known to be personally the physical hero type – he has generally considered himself the next Mahdi, although in some safe site away from the front lines – it would not be too much of a stretch or expectation by AQ members who fall into the “conspiracy” group, that OBL might be selling them out under pressure.
Add that to the fact that we have gone public with the fact that we have captured a “treasure trove” of useful Intel on the raid, and you have achieved “Disruption” – at least temporarily.
This does not mean that there will not be “lone wolf” revenge attacks on US citizens and sites, but maybe not a major event. This takes organization and planning, something that is on the back burner for the moment…..This gives our side the breathing space it needs to start rolling up AQ networks, starting in Yemen.
By: Larry Martines – Noted CT expert