High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) is a three-agency entity—FBI, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Department of Defense (DoD)—established in 2009 that brings together intelligence professionals to conduct interrogations that strengthen national security and are consistent with the rule of law.

The director of the HIG is an FBI representative and has two deputies—one from the DoD and the other from the CIA. The HIG is staffed by trained professionals from across the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Though the HIG is administered by the FBI, it is a multi-agency organization whose principal function is intelligence gathering—not law enforcement. The HIG is subject to oversight by the National Security Council, Department of Justice, and Congress.


The HIG deploys expert Mobile Interrogation Teams to collect intelligence that will protect national security. The teams have deployed both within the United States and abroad. Team members have extensive interviewing and interrogation experience, and they are trained based on the latest scientific research.

HIG personnel do not engage in any unlawful interrogation practices. They use authorized, lawful, non-coercive techniques that are designed to elicit voluntary statements. For more information, read the HIG’s Interrogation Best Practices Report, which summarizes best practices for interrogations.


The HIG’s Research Program studies the effectiveness of interrogation approaches and techniques. HIG researchers identify and test existing techniques and develop lawful, new techniques that may be more effective. The HIG identifies research gaps and commissions research to fill those gaps.

To carry out the research, the HIG contracts with world-renowned, Ph.D.-level scientists known for their expertise in interrogations and other related fields. The HIG has funded more than 100 interrogation research projects on topics such as social influence tactics, the impact of interpreters, the cognitive interview, and science-based methods of detecting deception. All HIG research is conducted in compliance with U.S. and international laws concerning the protection of human research subjects.


The HIG works to develop and disseminate best practices to its own interrogators and part-time personnel and to other U.S. Intelligence Community and law enforcement partners and allies within the U.S. and abroad.