Friday, April 6, 2012

Limitations of intelligence analysis

This bomb threat story has been getting a lot of publicity. Students are getting involved, people know what’s going on, and overall, I only give this guy a couple more weeks until he’s caught. He’s on borrowed time at this point.

But a lot of people still feel frustrated, and understandably so. There’s a consensus that more needs to be done. That more information needs to be provided to the public. But the truth, is there likely isn’t much more out there that we don’t already know. In the unlikely event this does indeed escalate, people will be screaming, “Why didn’t the police connect the dots? The signs were obvious! We could have stopped this way earlier!"

In defense of law enforcement, it’s not that simple. I’d like to steal an analogy from a favorite professor of mine. Trying to solve this problem is like trying to put together a puzzle. Except you don’t have the cover of the box, so you don’t know what the puzzle looks like. And to make matters worse, several of the pieces are missing. And to top it off, dozens of pieces from other puzzles are mixed in with yours. Now try putting your puzzle together. Not so easy now, is it?

I tend to agree with the FBI profiler from the Tribune-Review. This is a person that gets excitement from this, a very troubles prankster. Which means we just need to stay the course, remain vigilant, and they will almost certainly be found.

Oh, and as for today's prediction, I think a threat before noon is almost certain. Hoping they take the weekend off though, as they have before.

**UPDATE** So a quiet morning for the first time in awhile. Either they have the guys in custody or there's some sort of odd pattern break. If they do have the right guys in custody, then when did they catch them? Way late last night after the 10PM threat? Seems doubtful.