Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

FBI reorganizes counter-terror operations

After having finished Tim Weiner's superb new book, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, it was apparent that our intelligence agencies needed some sort of reformation or reorganization. The WaPo reports today that the FBI is doing just that:

The FBI has begun the most comprehensive realignments of its counterterrorism division in six years so it can better detect the growing global collaborations by terrorists and dismantle larger terrorist enterprises, according to senior bureau officials.

The bureau will merge its two international terrorism units -- one for Osama bin Laden's followers and the other for more established groups such as Hezbollah -- into a new structure that borrows both from Britain's MI5 domestic intelligence agency and the bureau's own successful efforts against organized-crime families, Joseph Billy Jr., the FBI's assistant director for counterterrorism, said in an interview.

The new approach is meant to channel raw intelligence and threat information through "desk officers" with expertise on specific world regions or terrorist groups, allowing those experts to spot trends and set investigative strategies for field agents and joint terrorism task forces that collaborate with local law enforcement, Billy said.

That change emulates some aspects of Britain's MI5, which bureau critics and members of the Sept. 11 commission have frequently cited as a model for fighting domestic terrorism. "We want to place these people together so the intelligence is being shared across each way -- left, right, up and down -- and that, in turn, will help drive the tactical aspect of how we focus our resources," Billy said.

Borrowing from its mob-busting strategies in the 1980s, the bureau will encourage counterterrorism agents to forgo immediate arrests when an imminent threat is not present, allowing the surveillance of terrorism suspects to last longer. The aim is to identify collaborators, facilitators and sympathizers who increasingly span across multiple groups and countries, Billy said.

"We want to be in a position where we have [threats in] not only one area of the country identified but have the entire picture that may be taking place throughout the United States identified and . . . strategically focus our resources in a way that would give us the better chance of dismantling a group, as opposed to only identifying one aspect of a much larger threat," Billy said.

This is an aspect one would think that our intelligence services would execute in their investigations, but it's obviously not happening. I've often considered what would be needed to make a serious intelligence agency. All of them -- CIA, DIA, FBI, NSA, et al -- play too much politics behind the scenes, and their respective organizations are too bureaucratic in nature. They're bloated, hardly called to account for failures, and rarely face the sort of oversight to make them better.

These are the frontline agencies tasked with defending this nation from our enemies, especially with regard to the FBI. There are sixteen different elements to the US intelligence community, and all of them should be working together. The FBI has taken the first steps in streamlining their gathering and surveillance methods. Let's hope this becomes a model the other agencies adopt.

Publius II


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a "moderate" muslim. Muslims cannot assimilate. The private sector is doing a good job keeping tract and exposing the radicals such as CAIR. Make no mistake muslims and marxists are on the move. Rawriter

September 26, 2007 at 11:09 PM  

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