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Counter-Improved Explosive Devices Blogging

Solicitation Number: HSHQDC-09-R-00004
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Office: Office of the Chief Procurement Officer
Location: Office of Procurement Operations
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Sources Sought
Added: Oct 28, 2008 1:18 pm
This is a Sources Sought Notice. This notice is a mechanism for obtaining feedback from industry in regard to the general requirement stated below. THIS IS NOT A SYNOPSIS FOR A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP). Rather, it is a market research tool to determine potential sources prior to the issuance of a solicitation. The Government is not obligated to, nor will not pay for any information received from potential sources as a result of this Sources Sought Notice.

The United Stated Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Procurement Operations Headquarters, Science and Technology (S&T) Acquisition Division is seeking interest from potential sources in supporting the DHS S&T Directorate, Human Factors Division’s (HF) Indicators of Intent to Use Improvised Explosives (IEDs) available in Blogs to support the Counter-Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) Program.

DHS plays a major role in fulfilling Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)19, “Combating Terrorist Use of Explosives in the United States,” including national policies, strategies and implementation plans for the prevention and detection of, protection against, and response to terrorist use of explosives in the United States.

Terrorists have repeatedly shown their willingness and ability to use explosives as weapons worldwide. There is ample intelligence to support the conclusion that they will continue to use such devices to inflict harm. The threat of explosive attacks in the United States is of great concern considering terrorists' ability to make, obtain, and use explosives, the ready availability of components used in IED construction, the relative technological ease with which an IED can be fashioned, and the nature of our free society.

It is the policy of the United States to counter the threat of explosive attacks aggressively by coordinating federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal government efforts, and collaborating with the owners and operators of critical infrastructure and key resources to deter, prevent, detect, protect against, and respond to explosive attacks, specifically with regard to applying techniques of psychological and behavioral sciences, such as social network theory, in the analysis of potential threats of explosive attack. As the use of the internet by terrorists has increased, blogging and message boards have played a substantial role in allowing communication among those who would do the United States harm. In order to better counter the use of IEDs, it is necessary to identify speech acts in near to real-time which proceed the decision by terrorists to use an IED.

In support of this requirement, the following tasks may be required: 1) meeting with DHS representatives to further refine requirements under this effort. In particular, DHS representatives will provide additional information regarding the types of information that needs to be collected from blogs and message boards (amount of discussion about IED technology, depth of discussion about IEDs, support for use of IEDs, etc.). 2) developing objective, systematic data collection and retrieval techniques to gather data on a near real-time basis from blogs and message boards. Data will be collected at multiple, pre-determined times to evaluate the transmission of information over time, and should include metrics for determining the impact factor and usage patterns of the blogs and message boards. 3) identifying blogs and message boards utilized or favored by groups that engage in violent or terrorist activity to include in the study. Blogs and message boards must be representative of various characteristics of the larger populations of interest. and 4) collecting quantitative and qualitative data from the bloggers to evaluate such issues relating to knowledge of the preparation and execution of violent activities, including IED attacks.

Contract deliverables may consist of the following: 1) a Documented Research Plan which articulates the sampling method, data collection instruments, etc. acceptable to DHS customers and HF personnel; and 2) Final Report and Evaluation consisting of a detailed written report of the blog evaluation to include all research findings and their practical implications for predicting and countering violent behavior and IED attacks. Also included within this deliverable would be a brief document or checklist containing practical guidance for analysis and assessment of the vast amounts of blogging and message board data.

Personnel would be required to possess the requisite skills and technical background necessary to successfully complete the tasks described herein, including, but not limited to, the knowledge of: 1) communication research and theory; 2) blog and message board sampling and usage methodologies and techniques; 3) IED terminology and uses; 4) terrorist research with regard to choice of attack methods and communication patterns; and 5) social science research methods (e.g. quantitative and qualitative methods, survey design). Also required is experience in: 1) conducting large scale social science research projects focused on evaluating the effect of communications on behavior; and 2) translating research findings into practical guidance for policy makers, communications experts, and analysts. At least one staff member assigned to this project shall possess a Ph.D. in a social science related field.

The potential North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes that may be determined to be applicable to this requirement are: 519130, “Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals” and 541720, “Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities.” So that we may better determine capabilities for this prospective procurement, we request that you submit a copy of your company’s capability statement. Note: Capability Statements should be no more than five (5) pages). Any material submitted should be at the unclassified level. Capability statements should be sent via e-mail to by 5:00 pm Eastern Time on Friday, November 28, 2008, with the title of the project in the subject line. Please be advised that all public information available about this requirement is provided in this notice. DHS personnel are not available to answer further questions.

Office of the Chief Procurement Officer
Washington, District of Columbia 20528
United States
U. S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, District of Columbia 20528
United States
Nancy Hoffman,
Sr. Acquisition Specialist
Phone: 202-254-2281
Fax: 202-254-5391
Joseph Wolfinger,
Contracting Officer
Phone: (202) 254-6627
Fax: (202) 254-5393