Case Study

Identifying Threats for DTRA through Open-Source Research and Structured Analyses


The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has one of the most challenging missions of any Department of Defense (DoD) agency—combating weapons of mass destruction (WMD). DTRA must anticipate and understand future threats and threat networks to enable our nation and its allies to deter and counter the use of WMD and improvised threat networks. The different networks that support violent extremist organizations and pose other national security risks have become more complex, dispersed, and hidden within foreign government agencies, legitimate commercial activities, and criminal organizations.

The DTRA engaged Guidehouse to provide private sector techniques to gather commercial data and perform corporate due diligence to enhance their understanding of current and emerging threats, threat networks, and associated risks.



Guidehouse conducted open-source research and harnessed propriety databases, whose raw data was then placed into a structured database for analysis. The team analyzed the data by identifying trends, links, patterns, and anomalies related to networks, illicit or licit activities, and financial and other connections among companies, state-owned entities, universities, research centers, and individuals. Guidehouse provided briefings to DTRA on this analysis, synthesizing and integrating results into visualizations to help inform Division Chiefs and Deputy Division Chiefs in planning, exercises, doctrine, strategy, decision-making, analysis of opportunities and risks, and operational execution. Guidehouse’s support provided DTRA with a firm foundation of information to supplement strategic decisions and informed classified analysis with a synthesis of open-source research.



Guidehouse’s support augmented the DTRA’s efforts by providing current and relevant open-source reporting to support its ongoing opportunity analysis studies. By leveraging our Open-Source Solutions’ capabilities, the Guidehouse team provided supplemental support to the DTRA and analyzed vast amounts of open-source media to identify threat areas pertinent to the DTRA’s mission that may require in-depth intel monitoring and analysis. Guidehouse’s research provided initial analysis for future projects that focused on Military-Civil Fusion and dual-use technology, which helped inform further classified analysis by the DTRA.

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