Watch­dog re­port: In­tel shar­ing among agen­cies can im­prove

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — An­drea Noble

U.S. fed­eral agen­cies tasked with pre­vent­ing ter­ror at­tacks have im­proved their abil­ity to share coun­tert­er­ror­ism in­for­ma­tion, but ad­di­tional steps can be taken to in­crease the dis­sem­i­na­tion of in­tel­li­gence re­ports and to make in­for­ma­tion shar­ing more ef­fi­cient, ac­cord­ing to a new watch­dog re­port.

In re­sponse to re­quests from three Se­nate com­mit­tees, in­spec­tors gen­eral from the Jus­tice De­part­ment, the in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity and the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity re­viewed in­for­ma­tion-shar­ing ef­forts among fed­eral en­ti­ties to de­ter­mine if coun­tert­er­ror­ism in­tel­li­gence is be­ing ad­e­quately gath­ered and shared, and to iden­tify gaps or du­pli­ca­tion of those ef­forts.

A re­port is­sued Fri­day high­lights 23 ar­eas where im­prove­ments could be made to make in­for­ma­tion shar­ing more ef­fi­cient — in­clud­ing by pro­vid­ing bet­ter guid­ance on how agents from the DHS Of­fice of In­tel­li­gence and Anal­y­sis could cre­ate and share re­ports from the field with­out hin­der­ing FBI agents’ ef­forts.

Not­ing DHS re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, in­clud­ing over­see­ing se­cu­rity at borders and air­ports, the re­port high­lights that “DHS has unique ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion about trav­el­ers, in­clud­ing known or sus­pected ter­ror­ists, and is well-sit­u­ated to in­ter­cept and iden­tify travel by po­ten­tial ter­ror­ists and for­eign fight­ers.”

But the re­port notes that “none of the [In­tel­li­gence and Anal­y­sis] field of­fi­cials with whom DHS OIG spoke said they reg­u­larly de­velop in­tel­li­gence re­ports from ter­ror­ism and coun­tert­er­ror­ism in­for­ma­tion.”

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