Headline Archives

   

PROTECTING AMERICA FROM TERRORIST ATTACK:
Two FBI Executives Testify on Information-Sharing and Integration

07/14/04

Graphic including photograph of Willie Hulon and Donna BucellaYesterday, two senior FBI executives were up on Capitol Hill to testify before separate subcommittees of the House Government Reform Committee on specific ways we're working with our partners to protect the nation against terrorist attacks.

To be perfectly honest, their statements were a bit mind-numbing in their detail.

But that's precisely the point.

The FBI today is exhaustively pursuing ways to get its terrorist-related intelligence and information in the hands of the full gamut of local, state, federal, and international agencies -- from your neighborhood police department to foreign intelligence services across the ocean.

You will find both testimonies chock full of information-sharing initiatives, most that didn't exist prior to the attacks of 9/11.

Counterterrorism Deputy Assistant Director Willie Hulon explained in depth how FBI intelligence is being shared through a multitude of avenues, including:

  • New and improved electronic networks, both classified and unclassified;
  • Targeted reports and assessments, totaling over 3,000 in the last year alone;
  • Comprehensive daily terrorism briefings for senior leaders and policymakers;
  • A slew of joint task forces, councils, and advisory boards;
  • Brand new multi-agency initiatives like the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, the Foreign Tracking Task Force, and the Terrorist Screening Center; and
  • Exchanges of experienced professionals with key agencies "to ensure coordination and transparency."

Terrorist Screening Center Director Donna Bucella talked specifically about how the TSC pools identifying information on terrorist suspects from ten different government databases and watch lists ... and then provides it 24/7 to screeners, agents, police, and embassy officials worldwide working to stop terrorists from entering the U.S.

In particular, Director Bucella detailed how the TSC works hand-in-glove with the Department of State to revoke and deny visas to potential terrorist operatives by:

  • Enabling State Department officials at the TSC to help consular officials vet visa applications by using the consolidated Terrorist Screening Database; and
  • Alerting the Department of State of visas that might need to be revoked as we gather new intelligence on terrorist suspects. When a visa has been or is being revoked, the TSC coordinates with the appropriate U.S. agency for followup (for example, to locate the individual or to check for pending investigations).

From sharing intelligence information to working together operationally, the FBI remains committed to keeping America safe from the threat of terrorism.

Links: DAD Hulon's full testimony | TSC Director Bucella's full testimony