Home News Testimony Creating a National Intelligence Director
  • John S. Pistole
  • Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
  • Washington DC
  • August 23, 2004

Good afternoon Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Scott and members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for inviting me to speak to you today regarding the 9/11 Commission's Recommendations, specifically those recommendations that focus on the creation of a National Intelligence Director, creating a specialized and integrated national security workforce at the FBI, and targeting the networks that provide material support to terrorism. The FBI has worked closely with the 9/11Commission and its staff and we commend it 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 its critiques seriously, adapted our ongoing reform efforts, and have already taken substantial steps to address its remaining concerns. We are gratified and encouraged that the Commission has embraced our vision for change and recognized the progress that the men and women of the FBI have made to implement that vision. We agree with the Commission that much work remains to be done, and will consider its findings and recommendations as we refine our continuing transformation efforts.

Transformation of the FBI

Under the leadership of Director Mueller, the FBI has moved aggressively forward to implement a comprehensive plan that has fundamentally transformed the FBI with one goal in mind: establishing the prevention of terrorism as the Bureau's number one priority. No longer are we content to concentrate on investigating terrorist crimes after they occur; the FBI now is dedicated to disrupting terrorists before they are able to strike. Director Mueller has overhauled our counterterrorism operations, expanded our intelligence capabilities, modernized our business practices and technology, and improved coordination with our partners.

At the FBI we are taking full advantage of our dual role as both a law enforcement and an intelligence agency. As we continue to transform the FBI to address the priorities articulated by the Director, a number of steps have taken place to enhance operational and analytical capabilities and to ensure continued sharing of information with our partners at the federal, state, local, tribal, and international levels. As a result:

We have more than doubled the number of counterterrorism Agents, intelligence analysts, and linguists

We created and expanded the Terrorism Financing Operations Section which is dedicated to identifying, tracking, and cutting off terrorist funds.

We are active participants in the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) and the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), which provide a new line of defense against terrorism by making information about known or suspected terrorists available to the national security, homeland security, and law enforcement communities.

We have worked hard to break down the walls that have sometimes hampered our coordination with our partners in federal, state and local law enforcement. Today, the FBI and CIA are integrated at virtually every level of our intelligence operations. This cooperation will be further enhanced as our Counterterrorism Division continues to co-locate with the DCI's Counter Terrorist Center and the multi-agency Terrorist Threat Integration Center.

We expanded the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) from 34 to 100 nationwide.

We created and refined new information sharing systems, such as the FBI National Alert System and the interagency Alert System that electronically link us with our domestic partners.

We have sent approximately 275 FBI executives to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University to receive training on executive leadership and strategic change.

We centralized management of our Counterterrorism Program at Headquarters to limit "stove-piping" of information, to ensure consistency of counterterrorism priorities and strategy across the organization, to integrate counterterrorism operations domestically and overseas, to improve coordination with other agencies and governments, and to make senior managers accountable for the overall development and success of our counterterrorism efforts.

Recognizing that a strong, enterprise-wide intelligence program is critical to our success across all investigations, we have worked relentlessly to develop a strong intelligence capability and to integrate intelligence into every investigation and operation across the FBI:

We stood up the Office of Intelligence, under the direction of a new Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence. The Office of Intelligence sets unified standards, policies, and training for analysts, who examine intelligence and ensure it is shared with our law enforcement and intelligence partners. The Office of Intelligence has already provided over 2,600 intelligence reports and other documents for the President and members of the Intelligence Community

We established a formal analyst training program. We are accelerating the hiring and training of analytical personnel, and developing career paths for analysts that are commensurate with their importance to the mission of the FBI.

We developed and are in the process of executing Concepts of Operations governing all aspects of the intelligence process - from the identification of intelligence requirements to the methodology for intelligence assessment to the drafting and formatting of intelligence products.

We established a Requirements and Collection Management Unit to identify intelligence gaps and develop collection strategies to fill those gaps.

We established Reports Officers positions and Field Intelligence Groups in the field offices, whose members review investigative information - not only for use in investigations in that field office - but to disseminate it throughout the FBI and among our law enforcement and Intelligence Community partners.

Preventing Terrorism at Home and Against U.S. Interests Abroad

The FBI's JTTF Program continues to have primary operational responsibility for terrorism investigations that are not related to ongoing prosecutions. Since September 11th, the FBI has increased the number of JTTFs nationwide from 34 to 100. The JTTFs are comprised of FBI Special Agents and personnel from other federal, state, local and tribal government and law enforcement agencies. We also established the National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF) at FBI Headquarters, staffed by representatives from 38 federal, state, and local agencies. The mission of the NJTTF is to enhance communication, coordination, and cooperation by acting as the hub of support for the JTTFs throughout the United States, providing a point of fusion for intelligence acquired in support of counterterrorism operations.

In addition, we continue to grow the Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) established in every FBI field office and are on track to add some 300 Intelligence Analysts to the FIGs in FY 2004. The FIGs conduct analysis, direct the collection of information to fill identified intelligence gaps, and ensure that intelligence is disseminated horizontally and vertically to internal and external customers, including our State, local and tribal law enforcement partners.

We have also improved our relationships with foreign governments by building on the overseas expansion of our Legat Program; by offering investigative and forensic support and training, and by working together on task forces and joint operations. Finally, the FBI has expanded outreach to minority communities, and improved coordination with private businesses involved in critical infrastructure and finance.

Intelligence Program

At the FBI, we recognize that a prerequisite for any operational coordination is the full and free exchange of information. Without procedures and mechanisms that both appropriately protect the privacy of information and 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.

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.

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.

Integration of Analysis with Operations: Intelligence analysis is best when collectors and analysts work side-by-side in integrated operations.

Concepts of Operations (CONOPs) guide FBI intelligence processes and detailed implementation plans drive specific actions to implement them. Our CONOPs describe the Intelligence Requirements and Collection Management system and are supported by lower-level collection and collection support processes and procedures defined in our Intelligence Requirements and Collection Management Handbook. These concepts and processes complement FBI operations and are enhanced by the Commission's recommendations.

What follows are some of our key accomplishments:

We have issued our first ever FBI collection tasking for international threats, including international terrorism. We based those requirements on the National Intelligence Priorities Framework and, in cooperation with the Intelligence Community, issued an unclassified version for our partners in state and local law enforcement.

We have inventoried our collection capability. We created an on-line inventory of all our collection sources. This tells us what we could know about all threats.We are now comparing the intelligence requirements to our capabilities and identifying gaps in our ability to produce information described in our requirements. Dedicated targeting analysts at headquarters and the field then analyze how we could fill those gaps by developing new sources. Source development tasks are given to each Field Intelligence Group (FIG) to execute.

As a result of this process, we then produce information - both raw intelligence reports and finished assessments - in response to requirements. Each intelligence report requests customer feedback. Based on what we learn, we adjust collection and production.

Counter Proliferation

In the area of counter-proliferation, our Counterintelligence Division is currently in the process of creating a counter-proliferation unit in each of its region and issue-oriented operational Headquarters sections. While we currently work diligently on proliferation matters, this will further the emphasis our fifty six field divisions place on counter-proliferation investigations through a more robust Bureau-wide orientation. These new units will also form the basis for the future creation of a new Counter-proliferation Section at FBI Headquarters. This enhanced organizational architecture will enable the FBI to meet the growing challenges of world-wide WMD proliferation and to continue to protect our national security

The New Workforce

The FBI is actively working to build a workforce with expertise in intelligence. While much remains to be done, we have already taken steps to ensure this transformation.

On March 22, 2004, Director Mueller 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. We are working to implement this new career track.

Director Mueller has also approved a proposal to establish a formal Intelligence Officer Certification that can be earned through a combination of intelligence assignments and training. Once established, this certification will be a prerequisite for promotion to the level of Section Chief at FBIHQ, or Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) at the field level, thus ensuring that all members of the FBI's highest management levels will be staffed by fully trained and experienced intelligence officers.

We have implemented a strategic plan to recruit, hire, and retain Intelligence Analysts. The Bureau has selected veteran analysts to attend events at colleges and universities, as well as designated career fairs throughout the country. We executed an aggressive marketing plan, and for the first time in FBI history, we are offering hiring bonuses for FBI analysts.

In our Special Agent hiring program, we have updated the list of "critical skills" we are seeking in candidates to include intelligence experience and expertise, foreign languages, and technology.

The FBI's Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence has been given personal responsibility for developing and ensuring the health of the FBI intelligence personnel resources. It is important to note that the FBI's intelligence cadre is not limited to intelligence analysts, but also includes agents, language analysts, surveillance specialists, and others. It takes all of these specialists to perform quality intelligence production at the FBI. The FBI's plan to create a cradle-to-grave career path for intelligence professionals at the FBI parallels the one that has existed and functioned so well for our agents and has been codified in our Concept of Operations (CONOP) for Human Talent for Intelligence Production.

National Intelligence Director and National Counterterrorism Center

On August 2nd, the President announced his intention to establish a National Intelligence Director (NID), to take on the responsibility of principle intelligence advisor and head of the Intelligence Community, and a National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC). While the details of these two new entities still need to be fleshed out and discussed, the FBI does agree that operations and intelligence need to be intertwined and complementary to each other. We believe that concerns regarding civil liberties must be appropriately addressed in all that is proposed. This will require paying particular attention to legal and historical differences regarding the collection of information in the United States and overseas. We look forward to working with you on the functions of both the NID and the NCTC.

As the Commission points out, we have much work still to do, but we have made great progress and continue to move forward in accordance with a clear plan. With the support and understanding of lawmakers and the American people, I am confident that we will successfully complete our transformation and ultimately prevail against terrorists and all adversaries who would do harm to our Nation.

The FBI looks forward to an ongoing public discussion of ways to support the Intelligence Community's counterterrorism mission and capabilities and to further enhance information sharing and collaboration within the Intelligence and Law Enforcement Communities. The Commission's recommendations will enhance the FBI's capabilities by providing a more robust, intelligence-focused organizational structure, work force and infrastructure.

The FBI thanks the 9/11 Commission for its public service and I thank you for inviting me here today to testify before the Committee. It will be my pleasure to answer any questions you may have at the appropriate time.


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