This is the third segment in the series “The Terrorism Industry” by Sheikh Abu Ubaydah Abdallah al-Adam, who was until his death a prominent leader of Al-Qaeda responsible for its intelligence and security operations. The series was published by the Al-Fajr Media Institution, which is responsible for disseminating the written, audio and visual materials of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
Every piece of information must only be shared with those who need it in order to carry out their mission. There must be compartmentalization within the organization and information must not be shared with those who are not directly affected by it. The more people who are privy to the information, the greater the risk that it will be leaked or discovered during the course of investigations by intelligence organizations. Similarly, the more information that a person knows, the greater the risk that he poses to himself and to the organization in the event that he is taken captive. Intermediaries may be used to transfer information between various members of the organization. Information must be securely stored as well as compartmentalized. Every activist [within the organization] must see to it that as few people as possible are aware of his identity and job role, in order to minimize the circle of people that might incriminate him. It is important to remember that intelligence organizations investigate people and connect pieces information that they receive from each investigation. In this manner, they paint a reliable picture of the mujahideen and use the information to catch new suspects by surprise, by pretending to already know everything in an effort to get them to confess more details.