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Staying One Step Ahead of Criminals, Spies, and Terrorists


FBI Intelligence graphicOn Monday, November 15, Director Mueller delivered the first of two major addresses this week in Los Angeles. The remarks—at Town Hall Los Angeles—were his first to focus exclusively on the topic of intelligence.

We urge you to read the full text. But we'll tell you straight up that it covered the waterfront on the subject. Such as:

· The origins of intelligence in America. Hint: the "father of intelligence gathering" is another famous "father" in our country.

·· The increasingly tangled web of criminal and terrorist networks (including an investigation into the theft and resale of baby formula that turned up a connection to terrorists) ... and why that's driving us to integrate intelligence across the FBI.

· The challenge of intelligence: Taking a "river of unrelated, often indecipherable data" ... which "may be fragments of phone conversations, scraps of paper, e-mails, random sightings, or rumors" ... and then analyzing it to find out "what is factual, meaningful, relevant, and most importantly, threatening."

· The end-game of our intelligence efforts: "To provide information to decision-makers, both inside and outside the FBI, so they are prepared for any situation." And who are these decision-makers? Everyone from "the President of the United States to the patrolman on the street."

·How we are improving our intelligence capabilities. 1) By reshaping our operations with a standalone, comprehensive intelligence program; 2) By creating a cadre of intelligence professionals through vigorous recruitment and stronger training; and, 3) By building partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally.

· New "fusion centers" for intelligence like the Terrorist Threat Integration Center ("This is the place where we 'connect the dots.' Think of it as our camera aimed at the universe of threats against America, able to give us a snapshot of the threat at any given time.")

·· The special skills that the FBI brings to the intelligence table. They include an ability to separate fact from fiction, honed through years of experience. "Our historical need for evidence and witnesses to withstand the scrutiny of court review means the FBI brings judgment and rigor to source development and analytic work that is exceptional."

What's the bottom line? Improved FBI intelligence is helping to solve cases, better inform decision-makers, and prevent and predict attacks by criminals, spies, and terrorists.

Links: Full speech | Intelligence Program