Part 2 of an Interview with FBI Assistant Director
How has the
FBI changed its Counterintelligence (CI) approaches in response to the
We've totally revamped
our CI program in the last few years, in many ways mirroring what's been
done in counterterrorism. CI is now a nationally managed program focused
on the highest priority threats, whether it's proliferation or the penetration
of our intelligence services. Intelligence itself--how it's collected,
what's collected, how it's managed and analyzed--is just as crucial to
the success of counterintelligence as it is to the success of counterterrorism.
So we're working closely with the FBI's new Office of Intelligence and
our information technology experts to ensure that our intelligence capabilities
are world-class. At the local level, we've asked our field offices to know
their domains--to find out what corporations, research facilities, military
bases, nuclear labs, and universities are in their areas; to establish
relationships with them; and then to partner with colleagues in the intelligence
community so they can be force multipliers in neutralizing the threats.
We've also given every field office at least one dedicated CI squad to
help them to all that. So it's been a total change in our focus, with a
new national strategy implemented locally, stronger partnerships, more
sophisticated operations, and improved intelligence collection.
and counterterrorism efforts linked in the FBI?
Absolutely. In CI, if
we're dealing with a country that happens to be a state sponsor of terrorism,
then it's vital that we're aware of what it's doing in the U.S.--whether
it's raising money, getting false id's, or running operations that might
help those bent on committing terrorist acts. Sometimes, terrorists and
foreign intelligence agents share methodologies. So we cooperate closely
with the counterterrorism side of the house, share information, and run
certain operations together when they crossover.
How do you work
together outside the FBI?
In this age of asymmetric
threats, it's absolutely critical that the members of the intelligence
community work as one unit, not as stove-piped entities. That's why we've
forged closer working relationships with the CIA, the military, and the
National Security Agency, among others. Today, our agencies exchange personnel.
We hold regular meetings. We communicate constantly--senior manager to
senior manager, analyst to analyst. We share intelligence through our "pipes." We
run joint operations, where everyone has full and immediate access to the
intelligence gathered. A year-and-a-half ago, the FBI had no CI task forces.
Today, the CIA and the military sit on our CI squads throughout the country.
Every one of our field divisions also has a CI working group that includes
members of the intelligence community and even the private sector, and
these groups link up at the regional level as well. So our CI program is
stronger both internally in terms of how it does business and externally
through it partnerships, and that's making all the difference.
1 of the interview | FBI Counterintelligence