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PROTECTING AMERICA FROM TERRORIST ATTACK
Sharing Terrorist Information, From the Ground Up

05/19/04

Counterterrorism SealWhen it comes to terrorism issues, different agencies have different beats – so it's a legitimate question: how does all the diverse intelligence collected on these different beats get shared?

Answer: From the ground up.

Today, people in these intelligence agencies are not only working together more closely to coordinate operations and to share information across their databases, increasingly they are physically SITTING TOGETHER ... in the same space ... accessing each other's databases ... so that there are literally and figuratively no walls dividing them.

Just how extensive is this people-sharing? Here's a brief rundown:

  • The FBI today has 34 people detailed to the CIA, including 16 in the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center. The FBI also has agents and intelligence analysts working at the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Security Council, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Department's Northern Command, and the Department of Energy. CIA personnel are also working at FBI Headquarters in key positions, including as the Associate Deputy Assistant Director for Operations in our Counterterrorism Division.
  • Later this year, for the first time in history, the entire national counterterrorism divisions of the FBI and the CIA will co-locate in a single facility.
  • At the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), analysts from the CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Defense, and other agencies work side-by-side in one location to collect and analyze the universe of threats. This fusion enables TTIC to produce the daily terrorist threat matrix used by the heads of the CIA and FBI to brief the President, and to produce a host of other finished analytic reports besides, literally putting everyone on the same page.
  • In 33 FBI field offices, the CIA has officers co-located with Special Agents in our Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The NSA also has analysts detailed to FBI Headquarters and to field offices in New York, Washington, and Baltimore.
  • CIA officers and FBI Agents stationed at 46 Legal Attaches around the world work together in U.S. embassies along with diplomatic and other government personnel.

At the end of the day, it's the diversity of intelligent, motivated people working shoulder-to-shoulder to turn random bits of information into useful intelligence that prevents terrorist attacks – and that's precisely what these initiatives are all about.