Home Intelligence IAFIE Conference Concludes with Calls for More Intelligence Education Programs
IAFIE Conference Concludes with Calls for More Intelligence Education Programs

IAFIE Conference Concludes with Calls for More Intelligence Education Programs


By David E. Hubler
Contributor, In Homeland Security

The 13th annual International Association for Intelligence Education conference ended Wednesday afternoon, May 24th, in Charles Town, West Virginia.

During the three-day event, attendees from nine nations heard key note addresses and presentations by spy catchers, spy trackers, intelligence analysts, law enforcement officials and instructors of intelligence education.

Their overriding theme was a call for more courses and programs in intelligence and law enforcement education to combat the spread of cybercrime and terrorism.

Garry Clement, former National Director for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Proceeds of Crime Program, opened the conference with a warning about cybercrimes and a plea for more law enforcement professionals trained especially in financial crimes and money laundering.

“By 2019 the U.S. will have a shortage of two million trained professionals,” he said. Clement also noted that by 2020, the United States will face financial losses of $108 billion from cybercrimes. He suggested that course curricula include a section on the 2015 Charbonneau Commission report that disclosed widespread corruption in the construction industry in Canada’s Quebec province.

Clement called on colleges and universities to create courses that increase students’ skill sets to attack cybercrime. Among the skill sets needed, Clement cited a need for greater understanding of:

  • Fraud including Ponzi schemes
  • The complex world of tax evasion
  • Money laundering
  • Cyber attacks including ransomware
  • An understanding of accounting principles to detect financial crimes

Panelists and presenters overwhelmingly agreed on the need for more and better intelligence training. “We don’t have enough people to train,” said Chuck Russo, Program Director, Criminal Justice, Security and Global Studies at APUS.

As the leading education provider for national security and intelligence professionals, APUS is answering that need for improved intelligence skill sets by introducing two doctoral degree programs scheduled to begin in early 2018. The highly anticipated degrees are Doctor of Global Security (D.G.S) and Doctor of Strategic Intelligence (D.S.I.).

Stephen Coulthart, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas El Paso’s National Security Studies Institute, cited the importance of remaining current and relevant about techniques and tools students need to begin their career in law enforcement. Coulthart called Big Data “the new oil” within the context of national security because it is a rich lode of data that analysts can use to thwart criminal activity.

Students wanting a career in intelligence also need to know how to drill down into open source information resources, like the deep web. Most valuable sites are unknown to students, instructors and even to many law enforcement officials, said Amir Fleischman, Managing Director of Cicom Global, an intelligence advisory company in Tel Aviv, Israel. He then provided numerous examples of relatively unknown open source search engines that have a wealth of information on individuals and institutions. In the ever-expanding world of social media, “we are all digital immigrants,” Fleischman said.

In her keynote address, former CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence and Deputy Director for Analytic Programs Fran Moore spoke of the importance of cybersecurity in defending the nation against internal threats and external hostile actions. Moore, who is now President of FPM Consulting LLC, suggested that cybersecurity should be included in the triad of land, sea and air defenses.

In his keynote speech, former FBI Investigative Special Agent David Major cited five important “threat vectors” that intelligence officials and students need to study and understand – nation states, terrorism, cyber criminals, hacktivists and insider threats.

David Major, FBI, IAFIE
FBI Investigative Special Agent David Major speaking at the IAFIE Conference – hosted by AMU.

Major noted what he called “an explosion” of terrorism during the past two decades – almost 350 terrorism plots have been uncovered in the world since 2001, and only 49 were successful. There were 110 Islamist terrorism plots, only 18 of which were successful. That’s a success rate of only 16 percent.

Even before British police blamed the Manchester, England, deadly bombing this week on a British-born Muslim, Major said the attack likely was inspired by Islamist extremism because those groups simply want to kill as many people as possible. They are not out to capture as much territory as possible or to defeat opposing military forces.