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PROTECTING AMERICA
FBI Proposes Creation of a National Security Service

06/29/05

FBI Director Mueller and Attorney General GonzalesOn June 29, FBI Director Mueller and Attorney General Gonzales met with members of the press in the Attorney General's Conference Room to announce their proposal to create a National Security Service within the FBI.

In Director Mueller's words: "The development of the national security service is the next step in the evolution of our ability to protect the American public. It pulls together the Counterintelligence Division, the Counterterrorism Division, and the Directorate of Intelligence, enabling it to act together to develop intelligence and then to act on that intelligence, in consultation with not only Department of Justice but also the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). We look forward to working with the DNI over the next 60 days to put in place additional steps that may be required to give full implementation to the development of this National Security Service."

His commentary on two related issues:

  • "What the FBI brings to U.S. national security is an investigative, intelligence-development capability that not only is effective, it brings to the field a discrete expertise, but also is steeped in the tradition of adherence to the Constitution and understanding the civil liberties under which we operate. We are establishing a career path, starting October 1st, where every one of our new agents coming out of new agents class will spend three years at a small- or mid-sized office learning about the criminal justice system, learning about the parameters under which we gather information and intelligence within the United States, before they then go on and specialize in one of the intelligence specialities that is set up by this National Security Service."
  • "I don't see [the National Security Service] as a loss of independence at all. I see it as an acknowledgment and a furtherance of the development of the FBI to respond to the threats of today. I see it as an acknowledgment that the FBI plays a fundamental role in developing intelligence within the United States, particularly its role and association with state and local law enforcement. We have 700,000 state and local law enforcement officers throughout the United States. There is no one agency that can protect the United States. We all have to work together. And building up this capacity in a national security service will enable us to develop expertise and specialities in the intelligence arena in ways we have not done in the past, but it also enables us to work closely with state and local law enforcement, who ultimately are the ones that will give us the protection we need against another terrorist attack. We cannot do it alone. It is us working together with state and local law enforcement. And, to the extent that we have been successful within the United States in the last 3.5 years, much of the credit goes to state and local law enforcement, who are attuned to these threats, working on the joint terrorism task forces or by themselves. So I see it as a gain. I do not see it as a diminishment of authority. And I see it as the next step in the evolution of the FBI as it becomes better prepared to address the threats of the future."

Links: Please learn more about FBI national security programs: The Directorate of Intelligence | Counterterrorism program | Counterintelligence program