In part, the DOJ is tasked with ensuring public safety against threats foreign and domestic. The DOJ is also charged with providing federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime. These two pieces of the DOJ mission are carried out through multiple federal law enforcement entities and initiatives. The Department is a significant contributor to the Information Sharing Environment.
“The mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.” The FBI is a member of the Intelligence Community and is an agency of the cabinet-level Department of Justice and has “56 field offices, approximately 380 smaller offices throughout the country, and more than 60 international offices”. The FBI also operates several information sharing systems, and oversees/coordinates several key entities in the ISE: TSC - FIG - JTTF.
Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) are regional and local joint operational units that conduct field investigations of actual or potential terrorism threats. As the lead law enforcement agency responsible for investigating terrorist threats in the United States, the FBI currently runs and manages 103 JTTF locations throughout the country. In addition to FBI personnel, nationwide JTTF participation includes more than 1,500 representatives from over 500 federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, including members from state and local law enforcement agencies as well as officials from other federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense. FBI and interagency personnel are co-located at each JTTF location; investigators and analysts from all participating agencies work hand-in-hand on a daily basis to conduct domestic and international terrorism assessments and investigations within the parameters outlined in the Department of Justice Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide. Through the use of pooled resources and information sharing – and in close coordination with local FIGs and Fusion Centers – JTTFs have had great success in combating terrorist threats both in the homeland and around the world.
The Terrorist Screening Center or TSC maintains the U.S. government’s consolidated Terrorist Watchlist—a single database of identifying information about those known to be or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activity. “By supporting the ability of front-line screening agencies to positively identify known or suspected terrorists trying to obtain visas, enter the country, board aircraft, or engage in other activity, the consolidated Terrorist Watchlist is one of the most effective counterterrorism tools for the U.S. government.” Born out of the events of 9/11 and created in 2003, the TSC is now part of the FBI’s National Security Branch.
See the TSC's website for a description of its efforts to safeguard civil liberties.
Field Intelligence Groups or FIGs are located in each of theFBI's 56 field offices and are staffed with FBI intelligence analysts, language analysts, and special agents. FIGs are the primary mechanism through which FBI field offices develop human intelligence, identify emerging trends, identify, evaluate, and prioritize threats within their areas of responsibility, and support domain awareness and investigative efforts through the use of strategic and tactical analysis, linguists, subject matter experts, special operations groups and specialized surveillance groups. FIGs have established processes for collecting, analyzing, producing and disseminating intelligence information, while contributing to the enterprise-wide understanding of the current threat environment. These processes enhance the FBI's ability to successfully penetrate national and transnational criminal networks, terrorist organizations, foreign intelligence services, and other entities that seek to harm the United States.
High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Investigative Support Centers (ISCs) play unique yet equally critical roles in securing the homeland. HIDTA ISCs are sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and aim to support the disruption and dismantlement of drug-trafficking and money-laundering organizations through the prevention or mitigation of associated criminal activity.
The ONDCP has recognized that the full benefit of the HIDTA Program can only be achieved with robust intelligence and information sharing. As such, the HIDTA Program mandates that each HIDTA has at least one initiative dedicated to intelligence and information sharing. In the majority of instances, the intelligence and information sharing initiative is referred to as the Investigative Support Center (ISC) and serves multiple states within the HIDTA designation.
Global is a Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) comprised of 30 different organizations that together advise the U.S. Attorney General on justice information sharing and integration initiatives. Global is led by a committee, the Global Advisory Committee (GAC) and is divided into a number of working groups involving GAC members and other subject matter experts. Global has released a variety of fusion center-relevant guidance.
The CICC, established in May 2004, and its research arm (the GIWG) is made up of members representing law enforcement and homeland security agencies from all levels of government and is an advocate for state, local, and tribal law enforcement and their efforts to develop and share criminal intelligence for the purpose of promoting public safety and securing the nation. The CICC operates at the policy level—setting priorities, directing research, and preparing advisory recommendations.
The CICC and GIWG have issued a variety of useful guidance for fusion centers, including the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP) (54pp | 1.35mb | PDF), Baseline Capabilities for State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers (70pp | 5.34mb | PDF), Developing a Policy on the Use of Social Media in Intelligence and Investigative Activities (52pp | 1.13mb | PDF), and Recommendations for First Amendment-Protected Events for State and Local law Enforcement Agencies (34pp | 3.45mb | PDF).