The FBI commends the Joint
Intelligence Committee Inquiry for its inquiry into
the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and for
its recommendations to improve the counterterrorism
efforts of the United States government.
Under the leadership
of Attorney General Ashcroft and Director Mueller, the
FBI has made substantial progress since September 11th
to prevent terrorist attacks and protect the American
The Committee's recommendations
set forth areas where the FBI can improve upon its domestic
intelligence abilities. Prior to September 11, 2001,
the FBI agreed with the Committee that many of its counterterrorism
and intelligence functions required improvement, but
the FBI has made substantial progress in these areas
since September 11th.
In order to better share
information among intelligence agencies as quickly as
possible, the FBI's Counterterrorism Division is establishing
a system to collect and disseminate intelligence information
related to terrorism. This system will be staffed by
intelligence specialists who assess intelligence from
various sources and then forward this information on
to U.S government intelligence agencies.
The FBI's long-established
partnership with federal, state and local law enforcement
has strengthened information sharing critical to the
counterterrorism mission. The FBI has established Joint
Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) in each of the 56 field
offices and in an additional 10 domestic offices. The
establishment of the National Joint Terrorism Task Force
at FBI Headquarters complements the work of the field
offices by improving collaboration and timely information
sharing with other agencies. Director Mueller has also
created the Office of Law Enforcement Coordination within
the FBI to enhance the coordination and communication
between the FBI and state and local law enforcement.
Technology is key in
quickly and appropriately disseminating information
among intelligence and law enforcement. The Trilogy
Program is designed to provide all FBI offices with
better organization, access and analysis of information.
Recognizing the urgent need for improved information
technologies, Director Mueller accelerated the implementation
of the Trilogy Program to provide those capabilities
most urgently needed to support the FBI's priority cases.
For nearly 100 years,
the FBI has earned the reputation as the world's premiere
law enforcement agency based on the Bureau's ability
to collect and act on information. While improvements
are necessary and ongoing as the FBI adapts to this
unprecedented threat, the FBI remains uniquely positioned
with experts who can simultaneously handle criminal,
terrorism and counterintelligence matters - all of which
are inextricably woven. At the same time, the FBI has
the experience to handle these matters within the framework
of the Constitution while respecting the civil liberties
cherished by U.S. citizens.
The FBI continues to address the challenges it faces,
but has made marked improvement since September 11th
and remains strong in its resolve to fight terrorism
and protect the American people.