Home News Testimony FBI as an Information Network Against Terrorism M
  • Maureen A. Baginski
  • Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence,
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Before the Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Washington DC
  • August 19, 2004

Good afternoon, Chairman Hatch and Members of the Committee. It is my pleasure to come before you today to discuss the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission, specifically those involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As Director Mueller has said, the FBI has worked closely with the Commission and their staff throughout their tenure and we commend them for an extraordinary effort. Throughout this process, we have approached the Commission' s inquiry as an opportunity to gain further input from outside experts. We took their critiques seriously, adapted our ongoing reform efforts, and have already taken substantial steps to address their remaining concerns. We are gratified and encouraged that the Commission has embraced our vision for change and has recognized the progress that the men and women of the FBI have made to implement that vision. Our work to date has been on strengthening FBI capabilities so that we can be a strong node on the information network of those who defend the nation. Vital information about those who would do us harm is not produced by the federal government alone. We are proud to also be part of an 800,000 strong state, local, and tribal law enforcement community who are the first to encounter and defend against threats.

As you are aware, the terrorist threat of today represents complex challenges. Today's terrorists operate seamlessly across borders and continents, aided by sophisticated communications technologies; they finance their operations with elaborate funding schemes; and they patiently and methodically plan and prepare their attacks. To meet and defeat this threat, the FBI must have several critical capabilities:

  • First, we must be intelligence-driven. To defeat the terrorists, we must develop intelligence about their plans and use that intelligence to disrupt those plans.
  • We must be global. We must continue our efforts to develop our overseas law enforcement efforts, our partnerships with foreign law enforcement, and our knowledge and expertise about foreign cultures and our terrorist adversaries overseas.
  • We must have networked information technology systems. We need the capacity to manage and share our information effectively.
  • Finally, we must remain accountable under the Constitution and the rule of law. We must respect civil rights and civil liberties as we protect the American people.

To achieve success in this war on terror, we have transformed the FBI's Counterterrorism (CT) program and integrated our investigative and intelligence operations; we have improved information sharing with other federal agencies and state and local law enforcement entities; and enhanced our operational capabilities within FBIHQ and all local Field Offices. Under the direction of Director Mueller, the FBI has moved aggressively forward in this regard by implementing a comprehensive plan that has fundamentally transformed the FBI. The FBI today has a clear hierarchy of national priorities with the prevention of terrorist attacks at the top. These priorities have been institutionalized throughout the FBI.

On August 2 nd, the President announced his intention to establish a National Intelligence Director (NID) and a National Counter Terrorism Center NCTC). We look forward to working with you on these vital reforms.

Our core guiding principle at the FBI is that intelligence and law enforcement operations must be integrated. A prerequisite for any operational coordination is the full and free exchange of information. Without procedures and mechanisms that allow information sharing on a regular and timely basis, we and our partners cannot expect to align our operational efforts to best accomplish our shared mission. Accordingly, we have taken steps to establish unified FBI-wide policies for sharing information and intelligence both within the FBI and outside it. This has occurred under the umbrella of the FBI's Intelligence Program, and is my personal responsibility as the FBI executive for information sharing. We have made great progress and we have much work ahead of us.

Intelligence Program

The mission of the FBI's Intelligence Program is to optimally position the FBI to meet current and emerging national security and criminal threats by (1) aiming core investigative work proactively against threats to US interests, (2) building and sustaining enterprise-wide intelligence policies and human and technical capabilities, and (3) providing useful, appropriate, and timely information and analysis to the national security, homeland security, and law enforcement communities. Building on already strong FBI intelligence capabilities, Director Mueller created in January 2003 the position of Executive Assistant Director (EAD) of Intelligence and an Office of Intelligence. I was honored to join the FBI in May 2003 as the first EAD Intelligence.

Core Principles

We built the FBI Intelligence Program on the following core principles:

  • Independent Requirements and Collection Management: While intelligence collection, operations, analysis, and reporting are integrated at headquarters divisions and in the field, the Office of Intelligence manages the requirements and collection management process. This ensures that we focus intelligence collection and production on priority intelligence requirements and on filling key gaps in our knowledge.
  • Centralized Management and Distributed Execution: The power of the FBI intelligence capability is in its 56 field offices, 400 resident
    agencies and 56 legal attaché offices around the world. The Office of Intelligence must provide those entities with sufficient guidance to drive intelligence production effectively and efficiently, but not micro-manage field intelligence operations.
  • Focused Strategic Analysis: The Office of Intelligence sets strategic analysis priorities and ensures they are carried out both at headquarters and in the field. This is accomplished through a daily production meeting that I chair.
  • Integration of Analysis with Operations: Intelligence analysis is best when collectors and analysts work side-by-side in integrated operations.

Concept of Operations

Concepts of Operations (CONOPs) guide FBI intelligence processes and detailed implementation plans drive specific actions to implement them. Our CONOPs cover the following core functions: Intelligence Requirements and Collection Management; Intelligence Assessment Process; Human Talent for Intelligence Production; Field Office Intelligence Operation; Intelligence Production and Use; Information Sharing; Community Support; Threat Forecasting and Operational Requirements; and Budget Formulation for Intelligence.

Accomplishments

What follows are some of our key accomplishments:

  • We have issued the first-ever FBI requirements and collection tasking documents. These documents are fully aligned with the DCI's National Intelligence Priorities Framework and we have published unclassified versions for our partners in state, local, and tribal law enforcement.
  • We are full members of the National Intelligence Collection Board and the National Intelligence Analysis and Production Board, and soon will be participating in the drafting of National Intelligence Estimates and the National Foreign Intelligence Board.
  • We have created a collection capabilities database that tells us what sources we can bring to bear on intelligence issues across the FBI.
  • We have created FBI homepages on INTELINK, SIPRNET, and Law Enforcement Online (LEO) for dissemination and evaluation of our intelligence product.
  • We have established a daily Intelligence Production Board to ensure that timely decisions are made regarding the production and dissemination of all analytical products. The Board reviews the significant threats, developments, and issues emerging in each investigative priority area, and identifies topics for intelligence products.
  • We have completed the first-ever FBI intelligence dissemination manual.
  • We have proposed and are building an Intelligence Officer certification program for Agents, Analysts, Surveillance Specialists and Language Analysts. Once established this certification will be a pre-requisite for advancement to Section Chief or Assistant Special Agent in Charge, thus ensuring that all FBI senior managers will be fully trained and experienced intelligence officers.
  • We have completed and begun to implement the CONOPs for Intelligence Analysts. We have set unified standards, policies, and training for intelligence analysts. In a new recruiting program veteran analysts are attending events at colleges and universities throughout the country and we are offering hiring bonuses to analysts for the first time in FBI history.
  • We are in the process of changing the criteria on which Agents are evaluated to place more emphasis on intelligence-related function.
  • We are on course to triple our intelligence production this year.
  • We have placed reports officers in our Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) to ensure vital information is flowing to those who need it.
  • We have developed detailed metrics to judge the results of our intelligence initiatives and are prepared to regularly report performance and progress to Congress and other stakeholders, partners, and customers.
  • We have established Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) to integrate analysts, Agents, linguists, and surveillance personnel in the field to bring a dedicated team focus to intelligence operations. As of June 2004, there are 1,450 FIG personnel, including 382 Special Agents and 160 employees from other Government agencies. Each FIG is under the direct supervision of an Assistant Special Agent in Charge.
  • From October 2003 to April 2004, the FBI participated in more than 10 recruitment events and plans to add at least five additional events through September 2004. A marketing plan also was implemented to attract potential candidates. In February 2004, an advertisement specific to the Intelligence Analyst position at the FBI was placed in The Washington PostThe Washington Times, and the New York Times, and has since been run several more times. Our National Press Office issued a press release that kicked off an aggressive hiring campaign.
  • The College of Analytic Studies (CAS), established in October 2001, is based at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Since FY 2002, 264 analysts have graduated from the College's six-week Basic Intelligence Analyst Course. 655 field and headquarters analysts have attended specialty courses on a variety of analytical topics. 1,389 field and headquarters employees have attended specialized counterterrorism courses offered in conjunction with CIA University, and 1,010 New Agent Trainees have received a two-hour instructional block on intelligence.
  • The Basic Intelligence Course currently offered by the CAS is being revised and updated to incorporate key elements of our intelligence program. Upon completion of this effort, the course will be retitled: Analytical Cadre Education Strategy I (ACES I) as outlined in the Human Talent CONOPS. An intermediate course entitled ACES II is anticipated in the future that would target more experienced analysts. Practical exercises and advanced writing skills will be emphasized, as well as advanced analytical techniques.
  • The ACES I course will incorporate seven core elements of intelligence relevant for new agents and new analysts. Additionally ACES I will focus on assimilation, analytic tradecraft and practice, thinking and writing skills, resources, and field skills. C Complementing ACES I and ACES II, the Office of Intelligence, in coordination with the FBI Training and Development Division, will identify, facilitate, and exploit training partnerships with other government agencies, academia, and the private sector to fully develop the career choices of FBI analysts. Whether an analyst chooses the specialized, interdisciplinary, or managerial career path, s/he will have the opportunity to attend courses offered through the Joint Military Intelligence Training Center, other government training centers, and private companies. C The Office of Intelligence is also establishing education cooperative programs where college students will be able to work at the FBI while earning a four-year degree. Students may alternate semesters of work with full-time study or may work in the summers in exchange for tuition assistance. In addition to financial assistance, students would benefit by obtaining significant work experience, and the FBI would benefit through an agreement requiring the student to continue working for the FBI for a specific period of time after graduation. This program will be implemented in FY 2005.
  • An Analyst Advisory Group has also been created specifically to address analytical concerns. I established and chair the advisory group B composed of Headquarters and field analysts. The group affords analysts the opportunity to provide a working-level view of analytic issues and to participate in policy and procedure formation. They are involved in developing promotional criteria, providing input for training initiatives, and establishing the mentoring program for new FBI analysts.
  • The Career Mentoring Working Group of the Analyst Advisory Group is creating a career mentoring program to provide guidance and advice to new analysts. Once implemented, all new Intelligence Analysts will have a mentor to assist them. The career mentor will have scheduled contact with the new analyst on a monthly basis throughout the analyst's first year of employment. C As of this year, the Director's Awards will feature a new category: the Director's Award for Excellence in Intelligence Analysis. Nominees for this award must display a unique ability to apply skills in intelligence analysis in furtherance of the FBI's mission, resulting in significant improvements or innovations in methods of analysis that contribute to many investigations or activities, and/or overcoming serious obstacles through exceptional perseverance or dedication leading to an extraordinary contribution to a significant case, program, threat, or issue.
  • Turning to intelligence training for our agents, we are now working to incorporate elements of our basic intelligence training course into the New Agents Class curriculum. We expect that work to be completed by September. A key element of this concept is that agents in New Agents Training and analysts in the College of Analytic Studies will conduct joint training exercises in intelligence tradecraft. The first offerings to contain these joint exercises are expected in December of this year. In addition to this, we are in the process of changing the criteria on which agents are evaluated to place more emphasis on intelligence-related functions and information sharing.
  • On March 22, 2004, Director Mueller also adopted a proposal to establish a career path in which new Special Agents are initially assigned to a small field office and exposed to a wide range of field experiences. After approximately three years, agents will be transferred to a large field office where they will specialize in one of four program areas: Intelligence, Counterterrorism/ Counterintelligence, Cyber, or Criminal, and will receive advanced training tailored to their area of specialization. In our Special Agent hiring, we have changed the list of "critical skills" we are seeking in candidates to include intelligence experience and expertise, foreign languages, and technology.
  • Our language specialists are critical to our intelligence cadre as well. The FBI's approximately 1,200 language specialists are stationed across 52 field offices and headquarters, and are now connected via secure networks that allow language specialists in one FBI office to work on projects for any other office. Since the beginning of FY 2001, the FBI has recruited and processed more than 30,000 linguist applicants. These efforts have resulted in the addition of nearly 700 new linguists with a Top Secret security clearance. In addition, the FBI formed a Language Services Translation Center to act as a command and control center to coordinate translator assignments and maximize its capacity to render immediate translation assistance.

     

Information Sharing

The FBI shares intelligence with other members of the Intelligence Community, to include the intelligence components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), through direct classified and unclassified dissemination and through websites on classified Intelligence Community networks. The FBI also shares intelligence with representatives of other elements of the Intelligence Community who participate in Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) in the United States or with whom the FBI collaborates in activities abroad. FBI intelligence products shared with the Intelligence Community include both raw and finished intelligence reports. FBI intelligence products shared with the Intelligence Community include Intelligence Information Reports (IIRs), Intelligence Assessments, and Intelligence Bulletins. To support information sharing, there is now a Special Agent or Intelligence Analyst in the JTTFs dedicated to producing A "raw" intelligence reports for the entire national security community, including state, municipal, and tribal law enforcement partners and other JTTF members. These reports officers are trained to produce intelligence reports that both protect sources and methods and maximize the amount of information that can be shared. It is the responsibility of the FIGs to manage, execute, and maintain the FBI's intelligence functions within the FBI field office. FIG personnel have access to TS and SCI information so they will be able to receive, analyze, review and recommend sharing this information with entities within the FBI as well as our customers and partners within the Intelligence and law enforcement communities.

We have also worked closely with DHS to ensure that we have the integration and comprehensive information sharing between our agencies that are vital to the success of our missions. The FBI and DHS share database access at TTIC, in the National JTTF at FBI Headquarters, in the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force (FTTTF) and the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), and in local JTTFs in our field offices around the country. We worked closely together to get the new Terrorist Screening Center up and running. We hold weekly briefings in which our Counterterrorism analysts brief their DHS counterparts on current terrorism developments. The FBI and DHS now coordinate joint warning products to address our customers' concerns about multiple and duplicative warnings. We designated an experienced executive from the Transportation Security Administration to run the TSC, a DHS executive to serve as Deputy Director of the TSC, and a senior DHS executive was detailed to the FBI to ensure coordination and transparency between the agencies.

The FBI has a responsibility to the nation, Intelligence Community, and federal, state, and local law enforcement to disseminate information, and to do so is an inherent part of our mission. Sharing FBI information will be the rule, unless sharing is legally or procedurally unacceptable.

Next Steps

With our counterterrorism and intelligence initiatives, we have made great progress, but we have much work to do. Our plan is solid and we believe we are heading in the right direction. We have enjoyed much support from your committee and we are very appreciative of the time your staff has spent in learning about our initiatives and giving us advice. What we need more than anything else is your continued support and understanding that a change of this magnitude will require time to implement. With your help, we will have that. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to testify before you today and I will be happy to entertain any questions you may have.


 
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