Topic: HLS 6030 Week 9: Al Shabaab In North America Intelligence Assessment Work

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Topic: HLS 6030 Week 9: Al Shabaab In North America Intelligence Assessment Work


Now that you have all the intelligence you will receive on al Shabaab in North America, it is time to start developing your analytical judgments. To do so, this week you will conduct an Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) to evaluate the hypotheses you have developed against the evidence now in your possession. 

The chief purpose of the assignment is to demonstrate applied critical and structured thinking, and to employ a core structured analytic technique - ACH. 

Instructions: Refer back to your concept paper, and select ONE of your analytic categories. For each Intelligence Question in your selected category, create an ACH matrix that lists your hypotheses as column headers, and that lists the RELEVANT evidence from the intelligence packages, as the row headers. Then, for each hypothesis, determine whether each piece of evidence lends support to (+), draws support from (-), or is unrelated to (N/A) the hypothesis. Add up the number of minus signs in each column so that you can make a determination as to whether you can eliminate or de-prioritize any of your hypotheses at this point. Remember, you can weight more relevant pieces of evidence if you feel the relationship between evidence and hypothesis is particularly strong in one direction or the other.

When you have completed your ACH matrices, write 2-3 paragraphs communicating what you now believe to be your key analytic judgments for that category. Use the principles of argument structure and the inverted pyramid structure to provide analytic and evidentiary support to your main judgments. Writing these paragraphs will provide the opportunity to practice constructing your argument and to begin to draft your full intelligence assessment, which will be due in two weeks.

I have posted an ACH tutorial that provides additional guidance for conducting an ACH beyond the course readings.

Your ACH assignment must contain the following elements:

For your selected analytic category, an ACH matrix for the hypotheses for each intelligence question (so, for example, if you select a category from your concept paper for which you generated four intelligence questions, you will prepare for separate ACH matrices).

Two to three well written and structured paragraphs communicating your main judgments for the selected analytic category based on your ACH. The paragraphs must be well written and structured, persuasive and compelling, with proper argument structure, and free from grammatical, spelling, and other errors.

You may eventually want to conduct an ACH for all of your analytic categories from your concept paper for your final intelligence assessment, but you are only required to demonstrate the application of the ACH framework for the intelligence questions for ONE category for this assignment.


Minneapolis Case


Institution of Affiliation


Minneapolis Case


1 Who was involved in the disappearance of radiological material in Minneapolis?

2 What is the influence of Kareem Sabriye`s radical views of religion on the involvement in organizing an attack on an American Bank?

3 Who are the two individuals using Adara`s car?

Hypothesis 1

Ibrahim Sabriye, Farrah Sabriye and Kareem Sabriye were involved in organizing a terrorist attack at a Bank in America.

Hypothesis 2

Ibrahim Sa


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