An intelligence model for terrorist incident prevention for Australian police : a systemic investigation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Computer and Security Science


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Professor Bill Hutchinson

Second Advisor

Doctor Andrew Woodward

Third Advisor

Professor Craig Valli


This study examines the role that intelligence will continue to play in the ongoing efforts to mitigate the effects of contemporary terrorism. The role of domestic policing agencies is expanding to meet the challenge of transnational organised crime and also the threat to community safety and cohesion that terrorism entails. The September 11 attacks on the twin towers in New York city showcased the darkest elements of humanity whilst the courage personified by the police, firefighters and paramedics who entered the buildings to save others illuminated al that is best, in an event that was broadcast globally into the homes of millions around the world through television via television and the Internet. Whilst shielded to some degree by distance, Australians were hit even harder by the bombings in Bali on the 12th October 2002, during which 88 Australians died and many more were injured. For many Bali was seen as a place to relax, an idyllic paradise whose peace was forever shattered with the detonation of the terrorist bombs. The traditional intelligence community needed to draw upon the existing capabilities of policing agencies to build partnerships with key community groups in an endeavour to prevent such an atrocity from happening in Australia. No longer was an advanced technical intelligence capability and the access to material obtained enough to guarantee security, material needed to be shared with the police in order to prevent an incident, thus creating the potential for national security classified material to be disclosed in subsequent court proceedings. Culture and practices underwent a paradigm shift and the police now have a role in the national intelligence community in Australia, something that continues to present significant challenges requiring new legislation to keep pace with technology and the dynamically evolving threat. Drawing upon Checkland’s (1999, p.178) Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) this research synthesised text based analytical software called Leximancer, to create a conceptual model with minimal inherent biases. It is believed that this is the first time that such an approach to SSM has been undertaken allowing the research to contribute towards the methodological field as well as the chosen study. Access to interview practitioners was granted and the results provided unique insight into the contemporary and future challenges of police counterterrorist intelligence.

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