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The TSIS officers detailed to DOS, CIA, and the FBI meet the same high personal and professional standards as the regular employees of these agencies. Accordingly, they are fully integrated into these agencies and have the same access and restrictions as the agencies' own employees. This access includes the ability to read and review information that is disseminated externally to other agencies, as well as internal, operational, “in-house” e-mails and message traffic that is not shared with outside agencies. As a result, TSIS liaison officers may know more about a terrorist threat or incident than they are allowed to disclose, and TSIS understands that this is the tradeoff for those agencies' granting the liaison officers access to their information. TSIS fully concurs with such restrictions when they are based on the "need-to-know" principle and the requirement to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources and methods.
Where TSIS has had issues with this arrangement is in the definitions used by those agencies of what constitutes need-to-know for TSA. For example, threat information is routinely shared with TSIS, whereas domestically acquired non-threat information (such as terrorist group presence, intentions, and capabilities) needed to evaluate the threat information is provided less often, because it is considered investigative or law enforcement material rather than intelligence.
Unlike CIA, DOD, and DOS, the FBI has not historically considered itself an intelligence production agency due to the statutory restrictions on the dissemination of information it collects in its investigative role.
TSIS has experienced no significant intelligence-sharing problems with DOS or DOD. With respect to the CIA, those few times where TSIS has had problems resulted from unfamiliarity on the part of CIA personnel with FAA's (now TSA's) mission, roles, and responsibilities.
On a daily basis, S-60 and TSIS receive a steady stream of raw reporting and finished intelligence from DOS, CIA, and DOD. This flow includes items that are sent electronically, hard-copy products received via courier, and cables and finished intelligence TSIS can access and retrieve using INTELINK. In addition, e-mail communications with TSIS liaison officers and the staff of other agencies are sent and received using both classified and unclassified systems. From this inflow, TSIS Watch analysts identify, on average, between one and two hundred classified cables, reports, hard-copy products, faxes, and e-mails each day that merit closer review.
TSIS does not receive a similar flow of daily raw reports and finished intelligence from the FBI. It has received from the Bureau finished, summary intelligence on terrorist groups in the U.S. and an assessment of the threat these groups pose to domestic airports and air carriers. In addition, TSIS occasionally receives cable messages regarding potential threats to transportation or a response to a detailed question or request for assessment that TSIS may have requested via one of its liaison officers. Like other federal agencies, TSIS also receives the FBI's classified Terrorist Threat Warning Notices, intelligence bulletins, BOLO (Be On the Lookout) alerts, NLETS messages, the NIPC daily report, and the FBI's annual summary report of terrorism in the United States.
We expect, however, that the flow of raw background reporting from the FBI will increase in the future. The USA Patriot Act of 2001 authorized the sharing of criminal investigative information with other federal agencies in matters of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence, amending previous laws that had prohibited the FBI from sharing Grand Jury and FISA information. The Act also directs the Attomey General to establish procedures for the disclosure of such information. In October 2001, President Bush noted that the Act contained provisions to reduce the existing barriers to the sharing of information. He stated, "The ability of law enforcement and national security personnel to share this type of information is a critical tool for pursuing the war against terrorism on all fronts." As these changes in the law and in the guidelines become institutionalized in FBI policy, we anticipate an increased flow of intelligence.
The process of getting intelligence from DOT into the hands of those who need it for aviation security at the operational level (both state and local law enforcement and the affected private sector) has been accomplished at FAA (now TSA) primarily through the preparation and issuance of either Security Directives (SDs), Emergency Amendments (EAs), or Information Circulars (ICs). Occasionally, a strategic assessment of the terrorist threat is also disseminated to provide a general overview of the threat environment. Law enforcement officers responsible for security at airports have access to the threat information contained in SDS, EAs, and ICs, which is transmitted to them via the “Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network” (ALEAN). This information is provided as unclassified, “sensitive security information," which in most cases consists of a declassified version of originally classified information. These declassified versions are prepared by the originating agencies with full knowledge of the intended purpose and recipients of the declassified language. Regulated aviation entities (air carriers and airports) receive the SDs, EAs, and ICs directly. In the case of SDs and EAS, the threat information is coupled with mandated security countermeasures that the air carriers or airport authorities must carry out. For example, watch-listed names are provided to airlines in one of two lists (one list is for individuals who should not be transported unless first cleared by law enforcement; another is for individuals who may be transported, but only after undergoing special security measures reserved for so-called "selectees"). The information is available to individual airline check-in agents, in either a manual or automated form, depending on the specific airline.
In addition to communicating threat information concerning aviation security via SDs, EAs, and ICs, TSA's 24-hour intelligence watch alerts industry representatives to events of potential interest that would not necessarily result in the issuance of SDs, EAs, or ICs. Furthermore, the intelligence watch sometimes relays pertinent information that cannot be declassified (regardless of whether it relates directly to the substance of an individual SD, EA, or IC) via secure telephone to properly cleared industry representatives. While TSA ensures that actionable intelligence is declassified and given broadest possible dissemination to those with a need-to-know, there are on occasion items of information that cannot be declassified, but that help industry decision-makers better understand the general threat climate or the context or rationale for mandated security measures. Thus, while there are no legal or policy obstacles to sharing information at the “sensitive
security information" level-indeed, the information is released in that form for the express purpose of sharing it-information that is classified must be protected in accordance with the laws governing the handling of national security information.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, we at the Department of Transportation recognize the significance of your efforts on behalf of the American people, and we appreciate the opportunity to participate in these proceedings. They will be significant in ensuring the future safety of our Nation. Thank you.
TESTIMONY OF CLAUDIO MANNO, ASSISTANT UNDER SECRETARY FOR INTELLIGENCE, TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Mr. MANNO. Mr. Chairman, and members of the Select Committee, I am pleased to represent the Department of the Transportation and participate in your joint inquiry into the performance of the Intelligence Community concerning the events of September 11, 2001, the terrorist attacks against the United States.
My full statement addresses the questions posed in your letter of invitation and I would respectfully request that it be entered into the record. I would like to verbally summarize the points made in my presentation.
Chairman GRAHAM. Mr. Manno, your statement as well as the statements that have been submitted by all the members of the panel will be part of the record of our hearing.
Mr. MANNO. Yes, sir. Thank you. I believe it is important to look at the policies and procedures in place at the Department to receive and act on intelligence information from the Intelligence Community and law enforcement organizations concerning terrorism. It is helpful to look at this issue, first in terms of how terrorism intelligence flows from the producer agencies of the Intelligence Community to the Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration. The second part of the process concerns how the information from the Intelligence Community is passed to the private sector as well as State and local law enforcement agencies. The mechanisms for passing information by the Intelligence Community to DOT are well established. DOT identifies and updates its intelligence needs in detailed statements of intelligence interests. The producer agencies use these to determine what products DOT may receive.
To help ensure that the Intelligence Community agencies share pertinent intelligence with the Department, the Aviation Security Improvement Act of 1990 required "the agencies of the Intelligence Community to ensure that intelligence reports concerning international terrorism are made available to the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration." The agencies responsible for producing most of the intelligence that we receive are the CIA, the Department of State, FBI, NSA and DIA. In addition, the Department is active in a number of national counterterrorism and law enforcement community efforts by virtue of its relationship with these agencies.
A full-time liaison officer from CIA is posted to the Secretary's Office of Intelligence and Security and that office established a part-time liaison position at FBI. FAA also has provided a liaison officer to the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the NIPC at FBI. TSA's transportation security intelligence service maintains full-time liaison officers at the FBI headquarters in the newly created National Joint Terrorism Task Force, the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, the State Department Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis. We also plan to post liaison officers in the near future at NSA and DIA as well as the Office of Homeland Security. Liaison initiatives are also under way to assign TSA personnel to FBI joint terrorism task forces throughout the coun
try. TSA is currently identifying which task forces around the country would be best suited for TSA participation. The TSIS officers detailed to the State Department, CIA and the FBI meet the same high professional standards as the regular employees of these agencies.
Accordingly, they are fully integrated into these agencies and have the same access and restrictions as the agency's own employees based on the need-to-know principle and the requirement to protect intelligence and law enforcement sources and methods. Historically, where the Department has had issues with this arrangement is in the definitions used by these agencies as to what constitutes need to know. For example, specific threat information may be routinely shared, whereas domestically acquired nonthreat information, such as terrorist group presence and capabilities needed to evaluate threat information is provided less often, because it is considered investigative material rather than intelligence.
Unlike CIA, DOD and the State Department, the FBI has not historically considered itself an intelligence production agency due to the statutory restrictions on the dissemination of information it collects in its investigative role. The Department has experienced no significant intelligence-sharing problems with State or DOD. With respect to CIA, those few times where we have had problems, those resulted from unfamiliarity on the part of CIA personnel with our mission roles and responsibilities. On a daily basis, the Department receives a steady stream of raw reporting and finished intelligence from State Department, DOD. This flow includes items that are sent electronically, hard copy products received via courier and cables and finished intelligence that we can access via community databases. From this in-flow, the analysts on our intelligence watch identify on the average of 100 or 200 cables, reports, hard copy products, faxes and e-mails each day that merit a closer review by
Up to now, we have now received a similar daily flow of raw reports and finished intelligence from FBI. We have received summary general intelligence on terrorist groups in the U.S. and an assessment on the threat these groups pose to domestic airports' air carriers. In addition, we occasionally receive cables regarding potential threats to transportation or a response to a detailed question or request for assessment that we may have posed through our liaison officers assigned there.
Like other Federal agencies, we also receive the FBI's classified terrorist threat warning notices, other alerts and the FBI's annual summary report of terrorism in the United States. We expect, however, that the flow of raw background reporting from FBI will increase in the future. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 authorized the sharing of criminal investigative information with other federal agencies in matters of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence, amending previous laws that prohibited the FBI from sharing grand jury and FISA information.
So we think this will be helpful. The process of getting intelligence from the Department into the hands of those that need it at the operational level, both State and local, law enforcement and the affected parties in the private sector, has been accomplished