Title: Counterterrorism Analytic Working Group Meets in Madrid

Release Date: 2018-03-01

Document Date: 2007-08-01

Description: This 2007 post from the NSA’s internal SIDToday newsletter describes the 11th annual meeting of the Sigint Seniors Counterterrorism (SISECT) Analytic Working Group (AWG), which focused on terrorists’ use of the internet: see the Intercept article The Powerful Global Spy Alliance You Never Knew Existed, 1 March 2018.

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(TS//SI//REL) Counterterrorism Analytic Working Group Meets in Madrid

FROM:

Foreign Affairs Officer for CT (DP13/S2I)

Run Date: 01/08/2007

(TS//SI//REL) Attendees to SISECT Annual Working Group are briefed on terrorists' use of the Internet.

(TS//SI//REL) The 11th SIGINT Seniors Counterterrorism (SISECT) Analytic Working Group (AWG)

(UIIFOUO) SISECT attendees in front of the Center for National Defense Studies

(TS//SI//REL) The briefings covered a vast range of counterterrorism targets, including threats from
extremists that are currently active in Europe; North African Extremism; terrorist-related activities in
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Lebanon; and much more! The topic-based briefings focused on the future of
metadata sharing and a collaborative database initiative. The French delegation presented a very
interesting briefing about the techniques they use to analyze al-Qa'ida. In addition, the UK delegation gave
an excellent presentation on GCHQ's contribution to the successful disruption of the "OVERT" cell that
was planning to attack aircraft departing the UK.

(TS//SI//REL) One of the most significant achievements was the half-day that was dedicated to briefings
focused on terrorist use of the Internet. This was the result of an action from the June SIGINT Senior
session in Rome and was led by the US, UK, and French delegations. The Internet discussion led to four
SISECT actions that are focused on incorporating SIGINT exploitation of the Internet within SISECT and
the development of new ideas to exchange Internet exploitation analytic knowledge. This is a huge step
forward from previous conferences when some delegations were reluctant to acknowledge there was such
a thing as the Internet!

(TS//SI//REL) Another highlight of the conference was the US presentation and group discussion about
the potential for sharing language files using the SIGDASYS system. SIGDASYS is the shared
communications system that provides the SISECT nations a medium for the regular exchange of signals
intelligence information. The briefing, titled the "SISECT Language Processing Architecture Proposal,"
aggressively pushes the partners to leverage each other's language capabilities via SIGDASYS.

(TS//SI//REL) To date, SISECT partners rarely use existing SIGDASYS capability to share CT voice
cuts/textual materials for translation. As a result of this discussion, all nations agreed to provide a list of
their critical language capabilities and gaps. This will enable others to utilize the critical language skills of
the other partners. This initiative resulted in three official actions that are currently being worked by the
CT Issue Manager Team.

(U) Our Spanish hosts were exceptional in every aspect-outstanding lunches (at 2:00 PM each day!), a
nice tour of Madrid on the bus ride departing work, and an exceptional hosted dinner (with opera singers
providing the entertainment). The only negative was the weather -- it rained every day. And this was after
our hosts had promised sunny weather -- a promise they made in writing!

(U//FOUO) This article is reprinted from the Foreign Affairs Digest, December edition.

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