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The FBI's Shift from Reactive to Proactive/Preventative After the September 11 attacks, you made a number of statements indicating that the FBI's focus would be shifting from reactive to proactive and preventative. What, in your opinion, are the most important steps the FBI has taken at this point in its efforts to make this shift? What are the greatest obstacles that still remain? Which of the following statements do you agree with: • • • • The FBI has adopted a more aggressive law enforcement approach toward counterterrorism; The FBI has adopted an intelligence approach toward counterterrorism; The FBI is becoming the nation's domestic intelligence agency; The FBI is the nation's premier law enforcement agency.
Can all of these statements be true at the same time? Are you trying to remake the FBI into a domestic intelligence agency or something else? After the September 11 attacks, the Department of Justice made clear that it would be using any law enforcement tool at its disposal to target individuals with suspected terrorist ties. For example, individuals were detained and deported for very minor immigration violations. Is this approach still being pursued? Doesn't this approach take a toll on trying to develop longer term counterterrorism investigations that might yield a substantial body of information (i.e., intelligence) about a terrorist network or operation? You recently stated in congressional testimony that the FBI has adopted a "new concept" for its criminal investigative mission, saying that "we will focus on the threat, not the instrumentality of the crime." Please explain this change. How will you determine you are satisfied that the FBI has implemented all the reforms necessary to maximize capacity to prevent terrorism? Metrics? Milestones? Benchmarks? Deadlines?
FBI Understanding of Terrorist Threat in the United States What evidence can you provide that shows the FBI has made progress since the September 11 attacks in understanding terrorist elements and terrorist threats within the United States?
What are the biggest intelligence gaps remaining, in terms of the FBI's understanding of these issues, as they present themselves within the United States? How successful has the FBI been in developing sources in radical Islamic communities in the United States since the September 11th attacks? How many more sources, informants or cooperating witnesses does the FBI have now than it had in 2001?
Domestic Intelligence Structure/Cooperation with Federal Agencies Separate career track: Some have suggested having a separate career track for agents working counterterrorism and counterintelligence matters, so that there could be a cadre of agents with significant counterterrorism expertise. Do you think this is a reasonable suggestion? Expertise: Does the FBI currently have an adequate cadre of agents with broad and deep counterterrorism experience, who could reasonably be considered "terrorism experts?" Does the turnover among CT supervisory agents at headquarters undercut the ability of the FBI to develop a centralized national CT program? Service within a Service: Should the FBI have a special cadre of agents, analysts, translators and surveillance personnel who work together as a "service within a service" on counterterrorism matters? Terrorist Threat Integration Center: Is the TTIC entity adequate to ensure "seamless" information analysis and sharing between the FBI, CIA, and other intelligence agencies? Co-location: What will be the impact of moving the Counterterrorism Division (CTD) out of FBI headquarters to a new location with the DCI's Counterterrorist Center (CTC) and the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC)? What is the current plan and timetable for this move? Different Roles and Missions: How do you articulate the different roles and missions of the CTD, CTC, TTIC and the Department of Homeland Security's Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate? Who is in charge? Should the DCI have greater authority over intelligence operations including those of the FBI in order to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness across the foreign/domestic divide? Do we need a Director of National Intelligence to play this role? Who is accountable to ensure that there are clearly defined areas of responsibility for TTIC, CIA, FBI and DHS? Should there be a clear lead agency to analyze the terrorist threat? Should there be a clear lead agency to run all counterterrorism operations?
CIA Information Sharing: Is the CIA fully sharing information derived from its overseas operations, and particularly from detainee interrogations, with the FBI on a timely basis? Has the FBI been able to use this information in pursuing terrorist suspects within the United States? Classified programs: Please describe examples of cooperation between the FBI and the intelligence community that is making a difference in the effort against terrorism that you would not be able to discuss in public. Please describe the process for joint CIA-FBI operations within the United States. Hazmi-Midhar: What specific changes have been made at CIA and FBI to ensure that the way the al-Hazmi and al-Midhar events unfolded in 2001 never happens again? Terrorist Screening Center: What is the status of the Terrorist Screening Center? Why did it not play an active role in the actions taken over the Christmas holidays with respect to the entry of air flights from London and Paris? Alien Smuggling: What contribution is the FBI making to interagency efforts to stop alien smuggling? How is the FBI assisting in efforts to stop those who provide false documents and other means to facilitate terrorist mobility? AUSA Coordination: How well are the various U.S. Attorney Offices coordinated with the FBI field offices with respect to counterterrorism? How, if at all, has the level of coordination and information sharing between Justice and FBI headquarters and field offices changed since 9/11? Are there any lessons to be learned for the FBI from the current controversy involving the Detroit U.S. Attorney's Office and its prosecution of a high-level terrorism case? Civil Liberties What is the extent of the FBI's data mining activities? Is the FBI using the Matrix data mining system that many state governments have dropped because of civil liberties concerns? Does the FBI currently have capabilities to analyze large quantities of information on par with DBA capabilities? What did you learn from your meetings with the members of the Markle Foundation task force concerning managing large volumes of information, utilizing private sector data bases and protecting civil liberties?
Field Office Autonomy Prior to September 11, FBI counterterrorism personnel complained that despite FBI headquarters' official policies making counterterrorism a top priority, the field offices had sufficient autonomy to ignore these pronouncements. What steps have you taken to ensure that FBI HQ can now enforce its priorities and that each field office must provide sufficient resources and focus to counterterrorism matters? What are the consequences for an office that does not treat counterterrorism as the number one priority?
Cooperation with State/Local Law Enforcement Authorities Do you think that state/local law enforcement agencies have a valid complaint that the FBI does not provide them with adequate information about ongoing terrorism investigations? Can the Bureau's relationship with the New York Police Department be improved? What are the primary problems that you think remain with regard to the FBI's cooperation and collaboration with state and local law enforcement authorities?
Analysis The FBI has been criticized for its inadequate analytic capability prior to September 11, and you have publicly acknowledged this as a weakness. How far along do you think the FBI is in its quest to have an adequately staffed, well trained, professional analytic cadre? The FBI has suffered from serious turnover in its analytic ranks. What steps has the FBI taken to retain analysts and ensure that they have a satisfactory career track and benefits equivalent to analysts in other agencies? What do you think the role of analysts should be at the FBI, and how should the field and HQ analytic functions differ?
Office of Intelligence/Reports Officers At this point, what impact do you think that the creation of the Office of Intelligence has had on the FBI's field offices and their investigations? What is the most significant intelligence that has been generated by the FBI since the Office of Intelligence was established?
Has the process of establishing the FBI's collection priorities been completed? How will the Field Offices be evaluated for their performance in fulfilling collection requirements? What action can be taken by FBI HQ if the field offices fail to satisfy these requirements? How many reports officers are now on board at FBI field offices? How many reports officer slots are vacant?
Training What counterterrorism training is now required for agents assuming counterterrorism management positions at FBI Headquarters? How have training requirements with respect to counterterrorism changed for new agents, analysts and reports officers? What training is now in place to educate FBI agents and analysts about the laws and regulations governing authorized collection techniques? Information Technology You recently testified before Congress that the FBI will be installing the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information Operational Network (SCION) in "up to 10 field offices" in FY 2005. Why only ten? How much will it cost to have a TS/SCI capability on the desk of each CT agent and analyst and when will this be accomplished? Is this SCION system fully compatible with the Trilogy system being installed at the FBI? Is it fully compatible with Intelligence Community systems? Will you overcome the current problems with the Virtual Case File by the end of this summer? Will this bring the FBI into the 21st century with respect to information technology?
March 26, 2004 MEMORANDUM To: From: Subj: Commissioners Team 6 Key FBI Reforms Since 9/11
Centralized Management. One of Mueller's early and ongoing reforms has been his push to centralize the management of select counterterrorism cases and operations that in his view require national level management. The idea is to move away from the traditional "Office of Origin" model in which the field office that initiated a case maintained control over it. In addition to keeping headquarters "in the loop" on important cases, this approach is intended to insure that all relevant CT intelligence is brought together in one place, analyzed, and appropriately disseminated. Priorities. Mueller revised the FBI's priorities to make "protecting the United States from terrorist attack" the clear and simple number one priority - for the whole organization. Enhancements to the FBI's Analytic Program: o Analysis Branch in CTD. Soon after 9/11, Mueller ordered the creation of an Analysis Branch within the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, in order to emphasize the importance of analysis to the CT intelligence mission. o Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence and the Office of Intelligence. In January 2003, Mueller announced the (re)creation of the Office of Intelligence as well as the creation of a the new position of Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence. Mueller has consistently referred to this as the centerpiece of the FBI's effort to improve intelligence analysis and enhance the FBI's national intelligence program. The BAD is tasked to help the FBI improve its intelligence dissemination as well. o Personnel and Training. The FBI has revised the functions of its analysts and has begun to hire many more. It has also created the College of Analytical Studies to train new analysts. New Substantive Units at Headquarters to Enhance CT Capabilities, the FBI has also created a number of specialized counterterrorism units at headquarters. These include, among others: • • the CT Watch Unit, which serves as a 24-hour Counterterrorism Watch Center and is the focal point for all incoming terrorist threats; the Communications Analysis Unit, which analyzes terrorist electronic and telephone communications;
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the Document Exploitation Unit (or "DocEx "), which identifies intelligence gleaned from documents or computers seized overseas by intelligence agencies; the Fly Away Rapid Deployment Team Unit, which provides a surge capacity to augment local field investigative capabilities with specialized personnel; and the interagency Terrorist Financing Operations Section, which focuses on the financial aspects of terrorism investigations, with the goal of disrupting funding mechanisms.
Expansion and Proliferation of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs). There were 35 JTTFs on 9/11; now there are 84, with a total of approximately 1,500 outside representatives participating on a full-time basis. In addition to the additional CT personnel, the JTTF is intended to enhance information sharing with other federal, state, and local agencies. IT System. Mueller is still struggling to upgrade the FBI's primary database software system.
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