Major US target
Al-Nusra Front main target are groups allied to the United States. However, it also targets American Citizens. The most well-known attack is that of D30, U.S trained rebel. The group attacked and kidnapped members of the Division 30 after returning from a training session in Syria. Al-Nusra Front believes that the group allied to American troops. All through 2014, the group was engaged in several high-profile hostage cases. In August 2014, the group released Peter Theo Curtis, an American journalist taken a hostage in 2012. In September 2014, the group kidnapped approximately 45 U.N. peacekeepers operating within the Syrian-Israeli border. The grouped alleged that the peacekeepers aided Assad’s forces. AS the United States involvement in Syria conflict increases, the group has also increased opposition to U.S.-linked rebel groups and U.S. policy. The retaliation to US involvement in Syria is often conducted through targets on groups allied to the US as well as US citizens (Arango et al., 2012).
Why the FTO you selected would find this target valuable
Al-Nusra’s find groups are allied with the United States as valuable targets. The FTO aims to replace the Assad regime with an Islamic government to replace. However, they find groups allied to the United States as significant barriers to meet their goals as the involvement of U.S in the Syrian conflict is often carried out through affiliate groups. The United States has in the past sent troops to restore peace in Syria. On the other hand, Al-Nusra Front group’s goals can only be accomplished if there is a power vacuum in Syria that would stem from the Syrian civil war. US affiliated groups prevent the establishment of a stronghold by the FTO. Hence, groups allied with the United States are the most valuable targets for Al-Nusra Front group (Cafarella, 2014).
How the FTO may go about attacking the US target
Al Nusra Front may use formal military raids, assassinations, hostage missions, and suicide bombings. These methods have been previously employed by the FTO to attack groups allied to the United States. Al Nusra Front may also use executions of kidnapped victims, sniper and small-arms attack, improvised explosive devices against the targets. Previously, the group has employed these tactics and claimed responsibility for attacks (Abdul, 2013).
Countermeasure the US target should use
While the United States countermeasures have focused on ISIS, there is a need to focus more effort on Al Nusra Front due to its growing influence in Syria. The US should continue using missile strikes against the group in Syria. Continued counter attacks are likely to have a significant blow to the terrorist group. US airstrikes have previously killed Al Nusra Front fighters. The second countermeasure that the United States may employ is implementing sanctions on countries that fund the terrorist group. Today various countries allow training of extremists on their land. Such countries do not fully disassociate themselves with ties to terrorism. In many cases, they continue to use terror and provide tacit support to FTOs in an effort to accomplish broader objectives (Ganor, 2011).
Thirdly, the Department of Homeland Security and other foreign partners around the world can implement measures to improve the security enterprise to better defend against dynamic threats. This can be done through sharing of information on the FTO to identify high-risk individuals. For example, to facilitate legitimate travel, Airlines are required to provide Advance Passenger Information. This system has helped the United States identify individuals that pose a threat to the United States. Similarly, the implementation of such a system across various agencies would discourage travel by FTO members (O'Connell, 2001).
In the event an attack is successful, there are various measures that should be taken to address the incident. An incident of terrorism may involve bombings, shootings, hijackings and others that present unique challenges to the victims and the community. The incident requires coordination across Department of Homeland Securities and other agencies and organizations.
Department of homeland security
•Emergency response protocol
Grant Funding to respond to and recover acts of terrorism and develop a comprehensive victim assistance plan to enhance recovery efforts
• Criminal Justice System: Victim Support Protocol.
Help victims and family members to acquire back their personal effects and access victim impact statements.
•Community Resiliency Protocol
Provide ongoing support and assistance to victims, first responders, family members and community members after the event.
•Volunteer Management Protocol
Address training, supervision and assistance of volunteers during the recovery process.
•Donation Management Protocol
Manage the complex process of donation and disbursement during the recovery process.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a component of the Department of Homelands securities that has a critical role in the event of a disaster. It approves assistance to victims and families following an event. It also assists first responders in the event of a disaster. Its functions range from public safety, communication, transportation, security and logistics management. Other components of DHS that may be involved in the recovery include U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The two may assist in investigations (Willis, 2007).
Abdul-Ahad, G. (2013). Syria’s al-Nusra Front--Ruthless, Organized, and Taking Control. The Guardian.
Arango, T., Barnard, A., & Saad, H. (2012). Syrian Rebels Play Key Role in War. New York Times, 1-5.
Cafarella, J. (2014). Jabhat al-Nusra. Institute for the Study of War.
Ganor, B. (2011). The counter-terrorism puzzle: A guide for decision makers. Transaction Publishers.
O'Connell, M. E. (2001). Lawful self-defense to terrorism. U. Pitt. L. Rev., 63, 889.
Willis, H. H. (2007). Guiding resource allocations based on terrorism risk. Risk Analysis, 27(3), 597-606.