Integration of Operations & Intelligence

Today’s FBI is a threat-focused, intelligence-driven organization. Each FBI employee understands that to defeat the key threats facing our nation, we must constantly strive to be more efficient and more effective. Just as our adversaries continue to evolve, so must the FBI. We live in a time of acute and persistent terrorist and criminal threats to our national security, our economy, and our communities. These diverse threats underscore the complexity and breadth of the FBI’s mission. 

Integrating intelligence and operations is part of the broader intelligence transformation the FBI has undertaken in the last decade. We are making progress, but have more work to do. We have taken steps to improve this integration. First, we established an Intelligence Branch in 2014 headed by an executive assistant director (EAD). The EAD looks across the entire enterprise and drives integration. Second, we have special agents and intelligence analysts at the FBI Academy engaged in practical training exercises and completing core exercises together. As a result, they are better prepared to work well together in the field. Third, we’ve made it a priority to focus on intelligence integration training for all levels of the workforce to ensure they have the tools needed to implement, manage, and maintain successful integration of intelligence and operations. Our goal every day is to get better at using, collecting, and sharing intelligence to better understand and defeat our adversaries.

The FBI cannot be content to just work the matters directly in front of us. We must also look beyond the horizon to understand the threats we face at home and abroad and how those threats may be connected. Toward that end, we gather intelligence, consistent with our authorities, to help us understand and prioritize identified threats, and to reveal the gaps in what we know about these threats. We then seek to fill those gaps and learn as much as we can about the threats we are addressing and others on the threat landscape. We do this for national security and criminal threats, on both a national and local field office level. We then compare the national and local perspectives to organize threats into priorities for each of the FBI’s 56 field offices. By categorizing threats in this way, we strive to place the greatest focus on the gravest threats we face. This gives us a better assessment of what the dangers are, what’s being done about them, and where we should prioritize our resources.