Editor’s note: The last names of certain individuals in this story have been removed for security reasons.
DJIBOUTI - More than 15 Djiboutian Armed Forces (FAD) members joined instructors from the Regional Joint Intel Training Facility (RJITF) from Royal Air Force Molesworth, U.K., to learn open source intelligence (OSINT) research techniques at the People’s Palace, Djibouti, March 5-10, 2016.
The course curriculum consisted of research versus collection, types of open sources, risk assessment and maintaining security, developing research strategies, evaluating sources, and use of tools.
“The course is designed to provide an introduction to open source knowledge,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. David, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa intelligence operations officer. “We want to introduce these skills to those who have limited or no experience with this subject matter.”
Many of the students do not collect intelligence as their primary duty, but are building on knowledge learned in the prior intelligence course, according to Cynthia, RJITF instructor.
Many tools used by the U.S. intelligence community were introduced in the course such as search engines, use of geospatial imagery, social media, and other publications.
“Students learned to utilize the many different types of OSINT research tools currently available on the Internet,” said David.
Students were given tools to find information from Internet sources and also provided guidance about taking precautions with the information they found.
“The participants are made aware of operational security vulnerabilities,” said David. “They were coached on developing topic research plans, becoming familiar with tools to aid in assessing the risk of visiting websites, and evaluating the validity of the data.”
By providing this type of training for FAD members, their skills build force capacity.
“We need to build up our partners to help counter issues they are dealing with,” said Cynthia. “By increasing their capacity, we can help them find what best meets their needs.”