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and intelligence which would be critical to preventing the next terrorist act.
So while the TTIC is being formed for the fusion of the intelligence product, both CTC will maintain its operational responsibility as well as the FBI maintaining its responsibility for the conduct of intelligence and criminal investigations with respect to counterterrorism.
Chairman COLLINS. Let me follow up on the use of sharing information with State and local law enforcement. You have described a system under which the joint terrorism task force, I guess, would act as an intermediary to distribute information; is that correct?
Mr. D'AMURO. What the plan is, is that through the national JTTF at FBI headquarters, that would be the distribution mechanism for the fused analytical product out to all the JTTFs, the 66 JTTFs that are now in existence across the country. In addition to that, we are going to be reaching out to all State and local entities even if they are not permanent members of the JTTFs. So, yes, it will be the mechanism for distribution of that product.
Chairman COLLINS. But what is going to happen in the other direction? The complaints that I hear from police chiefs of our major cities in Maine is that when they are in a state of high alert, as we are now, and they have reason to be concerned—and this happened recently in Portland, Maine where a foreign national was taking photographs of our oil tank farms on the Portland waterfront, and when the police chief tried to get information from the FBI about whether this individual was on the watch list, he had a very difficult time in getting an answer from the FBI.
What are we doing in the other direction? I understand when you have a product or information that needs to be shared it will go through the joint terrorism task force. But what does a police chief in Portland, Maine who is concerned about the vulnerabilities of our ports and sees something suspicious, or certainly raising concern, how do we improve the flow of information in the other direction?
Mr. D’AMURO. That is the main purpose of the creation of the Office of Intelligence for the Bureau. What the Office of Intelligence will do and what the Bureau has not done in the past is establish intelligence requirements. It will ensure that the field offices are out collecting the intelligence necessary for the protection of this country. Providing information and intelligence with respect to vulnerabilities of various seaports and other infrastructure protection matters will be the mission of Homeland Security. We will provide that information through the executive assistant director, setting those requirements, make sure those requirements are met, and making sure that intelligence is collected in the field.
I am unaware of the situation that you mention but that police chief should have been able to get information from the joint terrorism task force, which in that case would have been out of Boston and I believe a resident agency in Portland. That is the way it is supposed to work. That is the vision of how we plan to collect that intelligence and making sure that it gets to the different agencies that it needs to go to. That establishment of the requirements will not be the only mechanism for the Office of Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence. We are also changing the metrics by how we judge our field offices and how we judge and promote executives into the Bureau. They will have requirements for the collection of that intelligence that will be used in their performance appraisals. Chairman COLLINS. Senator Akaka.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR AKAKA Senator AKAKA. Thank you. Thank you very much, Madam Chairman. I am pleased that you are holding this hearing today. We have had a hearing before this that raised some issues and I think we came out of that one being concerned about maybe having too many or creating too many intelligence centers. Senator Rudman at that time expressed concern about confusion in our intelligence analysis and collection. So this hearing will certainly help us, I am sure, to learn more about what we need to do.
As I hear your concerns too, the difference between the former structure and the one that we have now is that we have added TTIC to it. Hopefully TTIC will resolve some of these problems. So I am glad that we are having this and may I ask that my statement be placed in the record?
Chairman COLLINS. Without objection.
PREPARED STATEMENT OF SENATOR AKAKA Madam Chairman, the issues raised in the first hearing on the President's proposal to create
Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) were important ones. am pleased that you are holding this hearing with the administration.
At our last hearing, Senator Rudman, one of the witnesses, made the point that we need to be careful to limit the confusion in our intelligence analysis and collection. As I mentioned at that last hearing, I am concerned that we may be creating too many intelligence centers to evaluate the same information and respond to the same threats.
For example, the CIA has its Counter Terrorism Center—the Defense Intelligence Agency has its counter terrorism center—the new Department of Homeland Security will have an Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate-the Army has an Information Dominance Center-DOD is developing a Total Information Awareness program-and the FBI has a Counter Terrorism Division. Now the President proposes a new Terrorist Threat Integration Center which apparently will include representatives from all these different centers.
Mr. Wiley, in his testimony, will suggest that TTIC is going have all the information, including raw reports, that other agencies are producing and that it will maintain a database of terrorists accessible to some non-federal officials and entities. This library of terrorist reports will be useful only if it contains accurate information and is available to the people who may need it the most—local police forces and other first responders.
I am concerned that there still appears to be a disconnect between information and the people who need it at the local level. All the reports in the world will not be of any value if no one who needs to know can find them.
I am also worried that this system does not provide a mechanism for ensuring investigations are fully carried out. There were numerous times prior to 9–11 when FBI agents reported suspicious activities which have subsequently been linked to those attacks but those reports were not followed up on. I want to know—the American public wants to know—who is responsible? Who is in charge of ensuring that all the intelligence reports are acted upon?
Will this new intelligence center resolve that problem or only add to the problem? I look forward to the testimony and hope these questions will finally be resolved.
Senator AKAKA. Thank you. I am so glad to have our panel this morning, and especially Secretary England. Good to see you, and always good to be with you.
Mr. ENGLAND. Senator, good to be with you. I wish I was with you in your home State today, however. [Laughter.]
Senator AKAKA. One hundred percent agreement. Secretary England, at our last hearing on this subject Governor Gilmore pointed to the institutional and cultural barriers to intelligence sharing, especially with State and local officials as mentioned by the Chairman. Although I share his concern, I worry that we are creating a multitude of intelligence agencies, all of them performing important functions including sharing information with this new agency TTIC. However, it is still not clear who is responsible for ensuring the proper response to a terrorist threat. So let me pose a scenario to my question.
The CIA receives information about a foreign terrorist group that is thinking about targeting cruise ships. The FBI gets information about foreigners with seafaring backgrounds entering the United States for some illegal purpose. The Honolulu Police Department receives reports about suspicious people loitering about or around
Question, who is responsible for putting all these bits of information together, instigating an investigation, alerting local officials, and telling the public what it should do? Is it the Director of the CIA, the FBI, or the Secretary for Homeland Security? As you can see, some of the confusion that has resulted, especially from the periodic announcements that we are on high terrorist alert, comes because the public is not certain who is in charge of dealing with these threats. So my question then is, who is responsible for putting all of these bits together?
Mr. ENGLAND. Senator, I believe that is clear to me. With this new Terrorist Threat Integration Center, all the data would come into this one center.
The nice thing about this—this is not a new agency, by the way. This is a center. This is an integration of existing capability that we put together so we can collaborate and exchange data and analyze data jointly to get a best answer from the data sources that we have. So all the data would go into this center.
We, the Department of Homeland Security, will have analysts and we will have assessment people in this center. So this is part of Homeland Security. Our responsibility is to relate these threats to our infrastructure. So we will have assessment capability, unique assessment capability that when we see these threats, our people will be aware of critical infrastructure, public and private, throughout America and throughout our territories, etc. That will be our job and our obligation to make those connects, to alert the appropriate people and to put protective measures in place, or respond if we have to. But that will clearly be a responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security working as part of the TTIC with the CIA, the FBI, and the other intelligence agencies.
So I believe that the TTIC will provide a capability to do that kind of assessment and to make those kinds of connections.
Senator AKAKA. Thank you. I see more the need of TTIC as you explain it.
Mr. Wiley, you are deputy chief of the CIA's Counter Terrorist Center and I understand that there is discussion about collocating the Terrorist Threat Integration Center with the CIA's Counter Terrorist Center. As you know, the CTC is unique. Operations officers are brought together with an analyst as an integral part of the targeting operation and analytical functions of counterterrorism efforts. The TTIC is not supposed to have an operational function.
First, how are you going to maintain operational security with CIA operation staff working together with TTIC personnel?
And second, what is the rationale for involving TTIC directly in operations as is now the case in the CIA's CTC?
Mr. WILEY. Senator, the Counter Terrorist Center today, as it was when I was in charge of it through December 1997, is an integrated environment that involves our operations officers, technical collection officers from other agencies, and analysts from the Directorate of Intelligence as well as some analysts from other parts of the Intelligence Community. Operational security there has been maintained from the early days of the Center back in the mid1980's through today by making sure that all those in the Center have access to the information they need to conduct their work, what we call horizontal compartmentalization rather than isolating—the analysts are going to have this slice of information and operators have that slice of information.
I believe that same philosophy can and should be extended to TTIC. TTIC itself does not have an operational role and it is important for legal and privacy and chain of command reasons to separate the two. But it is perfectly possible for them to work together in a secure environment with appropriate caveats for access to information. We have done that. We have a 15, 20-year track record now of having done that and I think it can be extended to the TTIC. I think that the same applies in the work that we have seen with the FBI.
So I am always concerned about operational security, but I believe we have the experience for dealing with this.
Senator AKAKA. I am glad we are raising these questions because, if need be, I am sure we will find an answer to some of these questions.
Mr. D'Amuro, in your testimony you have indicated that there are now 66 FBI joint terrorism task forces around the country. Are these all up and running, and are they all fully staffed? Do they also include local officials?
Mr. D'AMURO. Yes, Senator, I believethe JTTF is not a new concept to the Bureau. It was created 23 years ago in New York City. At the time a lot of people thought that this was not going to work. It turned out to be visionary. It turned out to be a very effective tool, and the reason it is so effective is by including other Federal, State, and local agencies on the JTTFs. So the 66 JTTFs that I have identified in my testimony are up and running. What we are trying to do is get some critically needed training for them so that they know how all of these JTTFs are supposed to operate.
We had, at the time of September 11, I believe it was approximately 26 JTTFs across the country. So by expanding to 66 now you can see the need for training those JTTFs and making sure they understand how they are supposed to operate. They do include State and local participants. We have received over 1,200 requests for security clearances. As of this date I believe we have 936 approved at the secret level and we are working to try to resolve the rest of them.
So they are the shining star, the critical piece of the Bureau's counterterrorism mission. It is how we not only fuse intelligence but it also gives us the ability to go out and act upon that intelligence, to be able to disrupt or prevent terrorist acts as you saw, as I mentioned earlier, in Buffalo.
Senator AKAKA. Thank you. My time has expired. May I just ask a question of Secretary England?
Chairman COLLINS. Certainly.
Senator AKAKA. Because I mentioned cruise ships, are cruise ships considered part of the critical infrastructure?
Mr. ENGLAND. Senator, I am not sure they are critical infrastructure. They are certainly important in terms of protection. But what we will do as part of our department-keep in mind we have only been in place for a month so far, but one of our functions will be to identify the most critical infrastructure in the country and to prioritize. So that has worked under the Office of Homeland Security, but that will expand greatly under the Department of Homeland Security. So it will be part of the total infrastructure. It will be studied, examined, and prioritized.
Senator AKAKA. Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Senator COLEMAN. Thank you, Madam Chairman. First, a comment directed to Mr. D’Amuro. As a former local elected official I appreciate the work of the JTTFs and believe that they really are a wonderful model and work very well. But my concern is this and I hope you will reflect on it. I think they do a very good job of collecting. You talked about that, of collecting data. I still think there are real challenges in terms of—it is the question that Madam Chairman raised about information getting back to those at the local level.
In addition to chiefs of police, there are mayors who are held responsible for knowing what is going on and there is a question about whether they are contained in the security link. Do they have the relevant clearances? What can they be told? So much of what we are talking about depends upon public confidence, and the mayor at the local level is the one who is supposed to know what is going on. If you have a lack of understanding, of someone in the dark at the local level, it undermines public confidence and I think has a very debilitating effect on folks that-moms and dads in our community
So I do hope that we can go back and you can look at how we do a better job connecting with mayors, with folks at the local level, not just in the receipt of the information which we do a very good job now, I believe, of integrating local law enforcement with Federal authorities at the JTTFs. But it is getting it back, and that is still, I think, an honest concern and I would hope that you would reflect on it and figure out some way to deal with it.
Secretary England, I appreciate your clarifying so we all understand the TTIC, they are not an agency. It is a center. My question for you was, and I think I heard you respond somewhat, does Homeland Security expect to create its own operational intelligence unit? If it does, how do you then deal with this issue again of duplication? We have the FBI that focuses on the local level. They have an operational unit. We have CIA-have operational units. Are we