— Volume VIII (2012) —

A Maritime Threat Assessment of Sea Based Criminal Organizations and Terrorist Operations


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Terrance G. Lichtenwald

Terrance G. Lichtenwald maintains a private practice in clinical psychology conducting psychological, forensic, and threat assessments. His research interests include application of the Developmental Smuggling Model and Fraud Detection Homicide.  Dr. Lichtenwald earned his bachelor’s in broad field social studies and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s in school psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  He earned a second master degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology-Fresno. He may be contacted at tgl3155@aol.com.

Mara H. Steinhour

Mara H. Steinhour has a master’s in clinical psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and a bachelor’s from Rockford College. Her work experience includes the finance industry, as well as working in loss prevention for federated department stores. Her interests are in translation, forensic issues related to fraud, and psychopathology.

Frank S. Perri

Frank S. Perri is employed as a criminal trial attorney with concentrations in white-collar crimes and homicide. He received his juris doctor from the University of Illinois, a master in business administration from Case Western Reserve University and Bachelor of Arts from Union College. In addition, he is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner. His research interests include fraud detection homicide and the behavioral profiling of white-collar criminals. Mr. Perri can be contacted at frankperri@hotmail.com.

This article reviews the United States Department of Defense, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies’ use of the Maritime Strategic Doctrine and the Drug Trafficking Vessel Interdiction Act to combat drug smuggling vessels and boats during counter-drug smuggling operations. Threat analysis, using strategic warning indicators, is proposed and employed to analyze a range of factors: coalitions between drug trafficking and terrorist organizations, self-propelled semi-submersible vessels, low-profile vessels, robotically controlled and human-piloted submarines, and recruitment of captains and crews with the ability to pilot these vessels and boats. Drug trafficking organizations and terrorist groups’ inter-technology transfer of sea-based smuggling and terror tactics are analyzed. Circumstances under which strategic warning indicators may necessitate policy changes to the Maritime Strategic Doctrine are described.

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Lichtenwald, Terrance G., Mara H. Steinhour, and Frank S. Perri. “A Maritime Threat Assessment of Sea Based Criminal Organizations and Terrorist Operations.” Homeland Security Affairs 8, Article 13 (August 2012)