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101: Elicitation Techniques and the Recruitment Process

101: Elicitation Techniques and the Recruitment Process from the Intelligence and Counterintelligence Perspective (Counterelicitation) 

LENGTH: 1 day

Elicitation and recruitment are core capabilities and skills of intelligence, counterintelligence, security, and law enforcement professionals throughout the world of intelligence collection. They are interrelated defensive and offensive tactics that must be understood to successfully mount human collection operations or to protect against them.

This course explores elicitation tactics to provide students a framework from which they will more readily recognize elicitation when it occurs.

Counterelicitation tips round out the discussions on this "softer, more subtle,” but very effective intelligence collection tool so many have fallen prey to in the course of their social and professional activities.

The other key skill examined in this course is the recruitment process. Students learn to recognize that recruitment is relationship building.

When done correctly, targets of the recruitment operation remain unaware of the true intentions of the person developing the relationship with them. It is designed to feel and look like other types of relationships they've been involved in all their lives with family, friends, and professional contacts.

The process of spotting, assessing, developing, and recruiting an asset is explained in a step-by-step approach, richly illustrated with real world case examples.

Contact us for more information or to schedule:

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Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) course already developed
• Buy easily and quickly with flat COTS rates
• Ready to be taught to your organization right now
• Provided at your location or our training facility
• Classroom size maximum 30 students, auditorium size maximum 500
• On GSA Schedule: Already negotiated best price for government

Read what attendees say about this course:


Overall Comments about the course

· "It was really an eye opener. I never realized that things seeming so natural could be used as a collection tool by the adversary. I plan to be more mindful of who I'm talking to and pay attention to questions begin asked."

· "Great course with a lot of information to learn. Outstanding presenters as well--related the information to the real world and made it easier to understand and remember."

· "This will assist in recognizing elicitation techniques while traveling overseas."

· "I am now more aware of subtle elicitation questions."

· "Good explanation on the mechanics of elicitation followed by great examples."

· "I will be more cautious in liaison situations and more aware. I will recommend this course and instructor to others!"

· "Course gave me tools to detect elicitation."

· "This course certainly raised my awareness."

· "Very informative and put together superbly. Would recommend course to fellow peers."

· "Instructor brought up things that I never thought about before this class."

· "Highly recommend this course be taken by most employees, especially military and those traveling. People need to understand that their actions have consequences."

· "Increased my awareness of intelligence activities."

· "Has great value for anyone employed in any part of the Intel Community."

· Great information, very knowledgeable presenter. (15 years of government service)

· In-depth knowledge of subject area was evident among both presenters/instructors. (15 years)

· Information is invaluable; it will help me with my present job. (8 years)

· Subject matter covered was well thought-out and planned. Great instruction and class participation. (20)

· Coming from no CI background, this class was a great 101 course. It helped lay out the foundation of tactics, techniques and procedures used during elicitation/social engineering. (10)

· Presented well. Subject was current and I liked the past and present espionage cases, but also those that had significant impact as a result of those individuals working against the US. (35)

· Good balance. Instructor was very knowledgeable of subject matter. (22)

· Great instruction. It was a good refresher for professional development. (5)

· Great info for such a short time. (10)

· Very interesting and useful whether you are a CI professional or not. (12)

· "Very timely, content relative in many aspects!!” (31 yrs)

· "This was an excellent course.” (5 yrs)

· "Very interesting. Eye opening how many contact surfaces counterintelligence operations can use to exploit a person.” (3 yrs)

· "Very informative, interesting.” (23 yrs)

· "Good overall overview of elicitation and how the progress works.” (4 yrs)

· "Excellent. Very appropriate and comprehensive.”

· "Instructive. Applies now as well as back then.” (8 yrs)


What did you learn in this course that will help you in your career and profession?

· "To build a psychological profile of people. They have three faces: Professional, Social, and Private.”

· "About the many similarities between typical relationship building and the recruitment performed by intelligence organizations and terrorist groups; that those relationships can be exploited just as any other relationship.”

· "Tactics and the process for recruitment and how to guard against them and recognize.”

· "I learned how recruitment is done, how relationships are formed and how seemingly innocent interactions can be more than they appear.”

· "Reinforced my efforts to stay aware of my surroundings both professionally and outside of work. These topics are good for both normal life and work life.”

· "To be more vigilant with my surroundings.”

· "What to be aware of, especially when TDY, in terms of when individuals may be soliciting information from me.”

· "The approach that people used to gather information you and your family. Be very careful to whom you come in contact with.”

· "How easy you can be a target to elicitation and not realize it. Different technologies that are used.”

· "To be more diligent in listening to people to concentrate on what the text of the conversation is. Be more careful of what you readily reveal about yourself and or your job.”

· "Sometimes you don't know that you are a target. It made me aware of certain situations. When you are in doubt report to security. It also told some ways to recruit.”

· "I learned how to be aware of, and recognize, possible attempts.” (6 yrs)

· "Better awareness in conversations with strangers.” (6 years)

· "A lot of info about things to watch out for more in my personal life to protect against elicitation.” (3 years)

· "The exploration of the motives explained by CI adversaries.” (3 years)

· "Perspective on elicitation process.” (7 years)

· "Other ways of handling questions about my work from friends and family, as well as others.” (3 years)

· "To be more aware of the fact that I could be a target.” (29 years)

· "Be aware. Be prepared.” (22 years)

· "Techniques elicitors use to gain information/develop a relationship to exploit.” (16 years)

· "There may be greater, more vast risk in occurrence.” (12 years)

· "Learned to be more self-aware of environment.”

· "To recognize techniques that force (guilt) me into revealing more information than would like.” (3 years)

· "How to avoid elicitation.”

· "Be careful when answering questions…even if they appear harmless.”

· "How to handle myself in situations I don't control.”

· "The multifaceted aspects of elicitation.”

· "This course reinforced the need to inform all divisions of the IC, if possible every member, that there are cunning, crafty, and patient enemies out there.”

· "How to be more cautious of potential recruiters.”

· "I tend to be the typical U.S. citizen—too open and trusting. I didn't realize how much can happen behind the scenes prior to recruitment or information being obtained from other sources.”

· "I have a TDY assignment planned for October. This will give me knowledge to see things I may have dismissed.”

· "Ability to recognize elicitation techniques when dealing with foreign nationals.”

· "The realization that seemingly simple, everyday transactions can/may be CI recruitment—without any Red Flags or any obvious clues.”

· "Warning signs to look out for when evaluating security.”

· "To be careful in relationships”

· "To be more attentive to possible hidden agendas of new/ old friendships.”

· "Techniques that are used to gain information. I can use this in an offensive and defensive manner.”

· "How to be more aware of recruitment process.”

· "A general understanding of elicitation.”

· "The intentions of recruiters.”

· "Stay vigilant, but not paranoid.”

· "Techniques, dangers, and thinks to look out for.”

· "Refresher—update/reminder.”

· "Be aware of surroundings and recruiters.”

· "Better understand the potential CI threat at home and abroad.”

· "How subtle elicitation techniques can be.”

· "Be aware of elicitation and recruiting directed toward me.”

· "The recognition that the path initially starts very casually and non-threatening, but advances once the exploiters determines strengths and weaknesses.” (12 years)


What will you do differently as a result of this knowledge?

· "I will learn to listen before I respond. Sometimes we give too much information.”

· "Be more mindful of personal information that can be elicited in support of an assessment and recruitment process. Also will be more mindful of information that can be effortlessly elicited from others through benign conversation.”

· "Be more careful about the kind of information that I reveal to strangers.”

· "I have never been elicited or recruited from the intelligence or counterintelligence perspective, but I will know what to look go if it ever does happen.”

· "Try to be mindful when connecting conversations with people.”

· "Keep my ear and eyes always open.”

· "Be more careful about what I say when I meet someone new.”

· "I guess I would be more cautious about a lot of questions.”

· "I will be more careful with conversation with new acquaintances.” (6 yrs)

· "Be more careful in my interaction with others.” (3 years)

· "Pay more attention to my conversations and people I meet.” (3 years)

· "More aware when conversing.” (29 years)

· "Increase OPSEC awareness.”

· "Understand espionage motivations better.” (2 years)

· "Make sure I'm never the one talking more!” (16 years)

· "Be more cognizant and be more judgmental/cautious in most encounters.” (12 years)

· "Be alert for people asking questions.” (6 years)

· "Pay closer attention to the dynamics of conversation.” (3 years)

· "Answer questions regarding my job more discretely.”

· "Try to keep a lower profile.”

· "Raised level of awareness.”

· "Look at strangers with more caution than before.”

· "Be observant, report anything suspicious.”

· "Maintain better awareness”

· "Be more careful in dispensing information.”

· "Be even more careful and try to minimize information available—i.e internet associations, etc. Stress to family members to be more careful about what they say.”

· "Become more aware of potential intelligence activity against myself.”

· "Listen to others' questions more carefully and guard my responses better.”

· "More vigilant and observant.”

· "I will try to be more mindful of the friendly people that I talk to while deployed.”

· "Everything was very interesting. I believe I can use the course materials if ever in a recruitment situation.”

· "Use on future trips.”

· "Be more wary of being elicited.”

· "Have a higher awareness and caution level.”

· "No matter how trivial things are, report it to security.”

· "Will not offer as much information when holding conversation with someone.”

· "Pay more attention and talk less while on TDY.”

· "Be more aware of casual conversation.”

· "Pay more attention to the questions being asked of me.”



· Very informative. I would recommend this class to any intelligence professional. (10)

· The course has given me a better, practical understanding of counterintelligence. (10)

· It has made me more aware of what the enemy is trying to do and how they may do it. (11)

· I feel much more knowledgeable with this subject and how we can use it in our current jobs. (15)

· As an introduction course, my horizon has been broadened. (8)

· The course opened my eyes to different approaches to gather information, gain trust and penetrate our target audience. (10)

· Opened my eyes to different ways/techniques to elicit information on our assessments. (6)

· "Good useful information.” (3 yrs)

· "Good to know.” (8 yrs)

· "A good refresher for maintaining vigilance.” (7 yrs)

· "A lot! Will be very aware of personal interactions.” (3 yrs)

· "Severe impact. Will think about this next time standing in line and someone starts a conversation.” (23 yrs)

· "I will be more aware of my surroundings.” (14 yrs)

· "Improve OPSEC with family and be more aware of situational surroundings.” (4 yrs)

· "It makes me think about my environment. This provides some of what is needed to stay aware of threat from other intelligence services.” (8 yrs)


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