Select a terrorist organization likely to conduct an attack within the United States

Assignment Instructions

Select a terrorist organization likely to conduct an attack within the United States and complete an in-depth profile on the organization you selected for this first part of a three part series of papers. The same group you select will be used for your Midterm, Progress, and Final paper.

For this midterm, complete an in-depth profile on the organization selected for your project.  In 5-7 pages (double-spaced) provide a narrative explaining the organization’s origins, ideology, goals & objectives.  Include a discussion on the leadership, funding, and capabilities such as physical bases or operating/support location(s), personnel strengths, training programs, and communications methods.  Lastly, it would be helpful to provide a description of known and suspected weapons/lethal agents and delivery methods, procedures used in prior attacks, propaganda, surveillance methods, and significant events/dates that may be used in attack planning. Use section headings in your paper.

Note on the three paper assignment series:  The first paper (the midterm) is about the group you select and basically provides a historical perspective about the group. The second paper (the progress assignment) is a red cell where you put yourself in the shoes of the terrorist group by thinking like they would to determine how the U.S. can do intelligence collection on the terrorist group.

For the final assignment, you will combine all that you wrote in the first two papers into one seamless document and you will add at least three recommendations you would provide to a Homeland Security policy maker on how to counter your selected organization. Be sure to improve your writing based on feedback you receive from the midterm and progress assignment.

Make sure you read the instructions carefully and that you focus your paper on answering the assigned questions. This assignment is a research paper, not an opinion paper, so you need to use the class readings to support your thesis.  Make sure you use APA style in-text parenthetical citations at the end of every sentence where you are quoting or paraphrasing another’s ideas (or any information) that is not your own thoughts and words, like this (Bergen, 2015, para 14). I highly recommend you use the APUS writing guide based on the APA style which can be found in the university library or at this link: APUS Style Guide for APA. You are welcome to use supplementary sources to compliment the assigned readings based upon your research, but make sure you use scholarly and credible sources. See the APUS Library Homeland Security Program Guide for good sources, as well as the APUS Research Primer and the APUS Library Research FAQs. For formatting, the best option is to use the attached example paper as a template (for formatting purposes only).


  • Five-seven (5-7) pages of text, not including the Title or Reference pages
  • Written according to the APA style and format
  • Use Times New Roman 12 point font
  • 1 inch margins on all sides
  • Double space all text (no extra lines or spaces after a paragraph or section headings)

A respectable number of credible resources used, cited in the paper as in-text citations, and included on the reference page. A good rule of thumb is at least 2-3 scholarly sources per page of content.

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