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Back to Archives | Back to November 2003 Contents 

The FBI's Intelligence Capability

Intelligence has always been a core competency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), organic to its investigative mission; however, it has not been an enterprise-wide activity. The importance of intelligence in today's threat environment cannot be overstated. The FBI has an obligation to establish processes that produce and distribute intelligence to its law enforcement partners in a timely manner so they are better able to protect their communities and our nation.

The collection, analysis, and timely dissemination of the right information to the right people as part of an enterprise-wide business process is so critically important that Director Robert S. Mueller III elevated intelligence to program status on par with its investigative programs, established an Office of Intelligence, and created the position of executive assistant director of intelligence (EAD-I) that reports directly to him. On April 4, 2003, Maureen A. Baginski, a 24-year intelligence professional from the National Security Agency was selected as the FBI's first EAD-I. Under her leadership, the FBI has just completed a 10-week program to develop Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for each of the nine core intelligence functions such as intelligence requirements and collection management, enhancement of the analytical cadre, and dissemination of raw and finished intelligence.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police has long provided leadership and expertise in the intelligence and information-sharing arena that the FBI can immediately benefit from. EAD-I Baginski asked the Global Intelligence Working Group to serve in an advisory capacity to the FBI in the design and implementation of the FBI's Intelligence Program, and the Global Intelligence Working Group has agreed to help.

Chiefs of police can expect to see changes in FBI operations as intelligence becomes an enterprise-wide activity. These changes will include the production of an FBI National Report for Chiefs of Police, direct access to nationwide threat information and Web-based access to FBI intelligence products and intelligence collection requirements. The FBI will focus its efforts on the content rather than the delivery mechanism. In fact, the FBI will leverage the existing systems already in operation such as to ensure its intelligence is disseminated to the widest extent possible in a timely manner.

Perhaps the most notable change is the FBI's recognition that the globalization of terrorism and crime requires the FBI to view local and state law enforcement agencies not only as close partners, but also as important consumers of FBI intelligence whose needs must be met. ♦



From The Police Chief, vol. 70, no. 11, November 2003. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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