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Intelligence and law enforcement coordination: overlapping mission dictates need for improved liaison.

The intelligence and law enforcement communities have traditionally operated in distinct worlds, separated by law, mission, and culture. The two communities conducted liaison, but did so primarily with an eye toward protecting their separate equities. The events of September 11 forced two common goals on these communities: the identification of those responsible and the prevention of future attacks. As a result, a new premium was placed on information-sharing.

Differences Between the Communities

The law enforcement community is generally understood as those federal, state, and local entities responsible for investigating criminal activities. The Intelligence Community includes all federal and Department of Defense (DOD) intelligence components as specified in Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities, dated 4 December 1981. The Intelligence Community is responsible for conducting intelligence activities to meet national security requirements.

During the last 94 years, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's mission has been gathering information to build cases for criminal prosecution rather than prevention; the FBI's success was largely dependent on its ability to protect evidence and the identities of its sources. As a result, the Bureau grew a "culture" of agents who learned to restrict access to their criminal cases in order to protect their assets and investigations. The FBI has a decentralized command structure to facilitate prosecution of federal cases at the local field-office level. While the U.S. Army conducts counterintelligence investigations to preserve the potential for prosecution, its primary purpose is the identification, exploitation, and neutralization of foreign-directed intelligence collection against the Army, determining the scope and extent of damage to national security and the security of Army operations, and identifying systemic security problems.

After the September 11 Attacks

Since 11 September 2001, information-sharing among intelligence and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) has vastly improved. Within 24 hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) at FBI Headquarters was functioning with more than 500 individuals from 42 federal agencies. While FBI senior executives orchestrated the investigation of the Pentagon bombing, the multi-agency SIOC liaison force facilitated investigative coordination and information-sharing among their respective agencies.

Interagency cooperation at all levels is an important component of Homeland Defense (HLD). This cooperation assumes a tangible operational form in the joint terrorism task forces (JTTFs) operating across the nation. These task forces are particularly well suited to respond to terrorism because they combine the national and international investigative resources of the FBI and intelligence community with the street-level expertise of local LEAs.

The cooperation has proven highly successful in preventing several potential terrorist attacks. Perhaps the most notable cases have come from New York City, where the city's JTTF was instrumental in thwarting two high-profile international terrorism plots-- the series of bombings planned by Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman in 1993 and the attempted bombing of the New York City subway in 1 997 As a result of the JTTF's work, the conspirators who planned these terrorist activities are serving time in federal prison. By integrating the assets and abilities of the FBI, local LEAs, and the Intelligence Community, joint task forces can be an effective response to the threats posed to U.S. communities by domestic and international terrorists. For specific guidance on conducting successful interagency coordination, see the accompanying figure offering "Hints for Successful Coordination."


Terrorism represents a continuing threat to the United States and a formidable challenge to counter and prevent. In response, the intelligence and law enforcement communities must continue to develop joint ventures based on effective communication and cooperation.

Editor's note: The author wrote this article before the FBI announced its extensive reorganization plan.

RELATED ARTICLE: Make information exchanges a two-way street. A basic tenet of liaison or coordination with other agencies is quid pro quo (something for something) exchange. An exchange of information, services, material, or other assistance is an essential part of liaison. The nature of this exchange varies widely, depending on the location, culture, and personalities involved.

Keep your supported military command informed. If you are responsible for conducting liaison between other agencies and the military community, make sure you keep your respective major command military intelligence and security officers informed of potential force protection issues.

Avoid circular reporting. When working with one or more outside agencies, come to an agreement on which agency will report the information to the national Intelligence Community.

Know your contacts. Do not wait for a time of crisis to provide your introductions and unit mission brief to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), local FBI, or other law enforcement organizations. You should have already established solid communications channels through routine liaison. If initial introductions are required during a time of crisis, make them and get to the point of your visit. During times of emergency, no one has time for long, drawn-out PowerPoint[R] presentations reflecting military history, lineage, budgets, etc.

Establish and ensure connectivity. Maintain a "Battlebook" that contains your contacts' names, telephone numbers, E-mail addresses, and other relevant data. Establish connectivity with your contacts so that you can communicate quickly in a crisis situation. When possible, establish a backup means of communication.

Network with fellow military investigative agencies, especially the local Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID). The Army's intelligence and law enforcement elements are separate. In all likelihood, incidents of a suspicious nature will be reported either to Army Intelligence or to CID, and at times to both. Coordinate all antiterrorism information with CID.

Adhere to organizational controls on information. Remember to protect information. Do not disseminate information without the express approval of the proprietary agency.

Understand contact agency mission and roles. When conducting coordination, you must understand the capabilities of agencies other than your own. Knowledge of the other agency's capabilities in terms of mission, human resources, equipment, and training is essential before requesting information or services.

Website for Future Leaders is a website ( dedicated to company-level leaders wanting to learn and share ideas on topics such as command philosophies, Army policies, leadership counseling, officer professional development (OPD), and professional reading programs. Staff and faculty officers at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, operate the website during off-duty hours without remuneration.

The website meets its goal to improve institutional knowledge at the company-level by facilitating lateral information flow and serving as a user-driven forum whereby former and current company commanders share ideas, products, and lessons learned with others. Majors Nate Allen and Tony Burgess, the site's founders, commented that their sole purpose is helping leaders grow great units and soldiers. has a section organized by branch that links the experiences and competencies of former and current commanders. For example, it lists for the intelligence community some Military Intelligence contacts including former Ml company commanders who are volunteer mentors. The operators of the site plan to expand it with platoon leader tools for junior leaders.

Among the website's other offerings are a "command tools" section with professional presentations, lessons learned, and stories. It also contains quizzes, after-action reviews, tactical scenarios, monthly updates, links to other military websites, and much more. Popularity of the site has increased since its debut in February 2000.

Juan Baker (U.S. Army, Retired) currently serves as the U.S. Army Intelligence National Liaison Officer to the FBI and has been on detail to the George Bush Strategic In formation and Operations Center following 11 September 2001. His previous duties and assignments include the U.S. Army Foreign Counterintelligence Activity, 902d MI Group; Special Agent, San Francisco Ml Detachment; Chief, Defensive Counterespionage (DCE) Section, Stuttgart Ml Detachment; Operations Officer, U.S. European Command (EUCOM) Cl Team; Special Agent in Charge, West Region Cl Field Office; and National Liaison Officer at U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM). Mr. Baker is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Advanced Foreign Counterintelligence Training Course. Readers can contact him through tinam
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Article Details
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Author:Baker, Juan
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
Previous Article:CI technical capabilities for Homeland Security.
Next Article:Installation approach to force protection (1).

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