Terrorism and Guerrilla Warfare: Forecasts and Remedies

By Richard Clutterbuck | Go to book overview

Chapter seven

Intelligence and the microelectronics revolution

The magnitude of the change

The English word 'intelligence' has at least two distinct meanings: information (about adversaries or likely events), and the faculty of understanding. This chapter is about the first of these, that is, operational intelligence for police, military, or political purposes; about how the microlectronics revolution can create the second, the faculty of understanding; and about how artificial intelligence (AI) can contribute to operational intelligence. Unless otherwise indicated by the context the word 'intelligence' can be taken to mean operational intelligence rather than the faculty of understanding.

The scale of the changes and potential changes brought into view by the microelectronics revolution can best be illustrated by taking examples of intelligence handling in the past ten years and looking at prospects as we move into the 1990s.

In 1977 Dr Harms-Martin Schleyer, President of Mercedes Benz, was kidnapped in Cologne by terrorists of the Red Army Faction (RAF), who were regarded with disgust by the German public. The police were bombarded with information-3,826 mess-ages within a few days from members of the public anxious to help. Two of these concerned a small apartment in a nondescript suburb of Cologne, neither of which in itself seemed to have any particular significance. One of them was from a neighbour who reported that this apartment had been rented three weeks earlier by a young couple who paid a month's rent in advance in cash but had only just now moved in; the neighbour rightly thought it unusual for young people to pay cash for a place which they were not going to use for three weeks. The second message, about the same apartment, was that a furniture van had delivered a single large box to it. The police intelligence records were at that time kept in card index and filing systems and, although Schleyer was

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