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Border Patrol Strategies To Prevent Terrorism

Intelligence-Driven OperationsOne of the main goals of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, specifically that of the Border Patrol is securing America’s borders by preventing the entry of terrorists and their weapons into the U.S. To this end, they have developed strategies to successfully carry out their mission. As enshrined in their 2012-2016 Border Patrol National Strategy, these include:

  • Foreign Law Enforcement Agency Training
  • Change Detection Capability
  • Mobile Response Capability
  • Leverage Technology
  • Targeted Enforcement
  • Whole-of-Government Approach
  • Comprehensive Approach
  • Reduce Crime and Violence
  • Community and Stakeholder Outreach.

The focus of the Border Patrol in terrorist attack prevention was brought about by the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Department of Homeland Security (of which the CBP is an agency) is tasked specifically with this mission and the Border Patrol endeavors to play a very important role in this effort. To ensure that their intelligence-driven operations bear fruit, the Border Patrol must strategically utilize the intelligence it has gathered to target against potential terrorist threats.

Towards this end, collaboration with foreign law enforcement partners is critical. Aside from merely coordinating with them for the mere purpose of exchanging information, assisting them in their operations is also necessary so that these criminals are identified and even interdicted in their countries before they’ve had a chance to go to the United States.

A tactical strategy using different techniques for information and intelligence-gathering purposes in places of the operational environment previously determined to be low risk is known as Change Detection Capability. This kind of strategy enables the Border Patrol to focus on high-risk areas while at the same time easily identifying threats through the information gathered and acting on them right away.

By employing Mobile Response Teams and Special Operations Groups, the Border Patrol seeks to enhance its mobile response capability. This is especially needed in high risk areas where flexibility and agility are crucial in carrying out a mission successfully.

To operate effectively and efficiently and in a risk-based manner, the Border Patrol needs to use technology to its advantage. By leveraging various technologies, the Border Patrol can achieve situational awareness to better detect and respond to threats.

Targeted Enforcement Programs together with the Consequence Delivery System also play a huge role in the prevention and disruption of terrorists and transnational threats. By ensuring that a process is in place to evaluate an individual attempting to enter the country illegally, the CDS applies post-arrest consequences with the end view of breaking the smuggling cycle and the desire of the subject to attempt further entry through unlawful means.

The Border Patrol also works with Federal, State, Local, and Tribal law enforcement agencies so as to carry out their mission successfully. These collaborative efforts ensure that terrorist threats are identified and prevented at the earliest possible opportunity. Since crime in border communities can easily spill over to the other side of the fence, the Border Patrol also engages the help of local law enforcement authorities to curb this trend and keep border regions safer. Finally, community and stakeholder outreach programs are also integral in the CBP’s quest to get their message heard and the citizens educated about its drive to keep the United States safe from terrorists and terrorist weapons.

When these strategies are enforced in full, it is expected that the Border Patrol can truly make the United States secure from terrorists and other threats. 

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