When planning an attack, terrorists frequently engage in surveillance and otherwise suspicious activities. The detection and dissemination of these suspicious activities is vital to preventing and disrupting potential terrorist acts. In 2006, two men were arrested and charged after they were caught videotaping the U.S. Capitol building, the World Bank, a Masonic temple, and a fuel depot in Washington, D.C. and then sending the videotapes overseas to terrorist groups. In 2007, authorities disrupted a terrorist plot in Germany when they apprehended multiple suspects conducting surveillance at U.S. military facilities near the town of Hanau.
In 2007, eGuardian was developed to help meet the challenges of collecting and sharing terrorism-related activities amongst law enforcement agencies across various jurisdictions. The eGuardian system is a sensitive but unclassified (SBU) information-sharing platform hosted by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division as a service on the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (LEEP).
The eGuardian system allows law enforcement agencies to combine new suspicious activity reports (SARs) with existing (legacy) SAR reporting systems to form a single information repository accessible to thousands of law enforcement personnel and analysts directly supporting law enforcement. The information captured in eGuardian is also migrated to the FBI’s internal Guardian system, where it is assigned to the appropriate Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) for any further investigative action.
On January 1, 2009, the FBI initiated a limited release of the eGuardian system. eGuardian was conceived in 2007 in response to the President’s National Strategy for Information Sharing, which created a national initiative to share terrorism-related information across federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions.
Since its inception, eGuardian has experienced significant growth in both the number of users and agencies contributing SARs to the system. eGuardian has also become the backbone of the Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI).
eGuardian User Base
eGuardian is designed to be used by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies and local and state fusion centers. eGuardian is also used by Department of Defense as their sole SAR reporting mechanism, which provides a global base for SAR reporting. Participating agencies are able to provide, view, and analyze SAR and other terrorism-related information using advance searching capabilities and geospatial overlays.
Currently, eGuardian is used by agencies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This includes the 78 state-level fusion centers. The JTTFs also share SARs and provide assessment updates from the FBI’s internal Guardian system.
The eGuardian community will consist of only fusion center and law enforcement agency partners who qualify for access to the LEEP, whether directly or through an identity provider that provides connectivity to the LEEP.
The FBI’s Guardian Management Unit (GMU) will facilitate and administer initial user access to eGuardian following these steps:
1. Fusion center or agency personnel will begin by submitting an application for a LEEP account if they do not already have one or do not have access to LEEP via another identity provider.
2. Upon requesting access, GMU will validate the request with the appropriate agency point of contact.
3. Following validation, the user account is created for agency personnel.
4. Once the application has been processed and LEEP access is granted, the user will log into eGuardian via the eGuardian icon listed under LEEP services.
5. At the time of the user’s first login to eGuardian, their user profile will be reflected in a temporary system organization and the GMU help desk members will then assign the user to the correct agency and role.
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