A New Day in New York, Part
nation's largest anti-terrorism task forceworking
out of our New York office in the heart of
Manhattanhas a lot of new faces these
not just the newest members from an alphabet
soup of agenciesCBP, DHS, DIA, DOS,
ICE, NSA, and the like.
also intelligence analysts, lots of them,
from the FBI and some 20 other government
agenciesincluding many from New
York's field intelligence group.
nearly 100 analysts are part of our more proactive
approach to preventing attacks," says
Joe Demarest, special agent in charge of our
New York counterterrorism operations. "Their
job is to help us get our arms around the
threat by adding context to the information
we collect, by filling in gaps in what we
know about a particular terrorist group or
suspect, and by helping us pinpoint and shore
of the analystsabout eight out of tenare
embedded in our investigative squads.
These operational specialists work side-by-side
with investigators in the office and on the
street, sitting in on interviews, joining
trips overseas, all the while shedding valuable
light in real time on what agents and detectives
learn. Operational specialists might ask,
"Should we pursue this angle or possibility?"
analysts are what we call "all-source,"
responsible for the bird's eye view, for spotting
and fleshing out big picture trends, for finding
patterns among seemingly isolated events and
cases. They prepare both general and targeted
assessments and pass along their thoughts
to investigators. They'll probably be the
first to ask, "Are we targeting the right
people?" Some are also part of a new
multi-agency working group that studies the
strengths and vulnerabilities of the New York
there are the reports officers, who
sift through raw intelligence as it comes
streaming in from the task force and from
other avenues, scrub it of any sensitive information,
and share it not only within the task force
but also throughout the larger national and
even international intelligence community.
Since they're closest to data flowing in,
they often have insights to share with the
operational squads and can make recommendations
on who is in the best position to fill an
intelligence gapwhether it's an FBI
agent, a task force member, or a source.
analysts are really a rising tide that lifts
all boats," says Demarest. "They
make our cases stronger. They give us a clearer
picture of the threat. And they create a river
of intelligence that feeds not just the task
force, but each of its parent agencies, our
counterterrorism experts at FBI Headquarters,
and other task forces nationwide."
analytical team, for example, helps flesh
out details on terrorist groups that might
be targeting New York: their leaders,
operatives, and supporters; their capabilities
and readiness; their logistics and infrastructure;
their operational plans and targets; their
criminal activities. The more we know, the
this business, it's what you don't know and
can't anticipate that can hurt you the most,"
says Demarest. "That's why this intelligence
piece is so crucial for us. We can't afford
to miss anything."
we'll see how the task force's intelligence-driven
approach played out in the recent disruption
of a plot to attack the J.F.K. airport.
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