All the Tools in the Tool Chest

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When the Cipher Brief asked me to write an article assessing how well the FBI has done since 9/11 in protecting our country from terrorism threats and whether there was a need for a separate domestic intelligence agency, I agreed without hesitation.  On 9/11, I had been in the FBI for 15 years and was assigned to the FBI’s Office of the General Counsel.  I lived through and was part of the FBI’s transformation.  I watched the agency I was so honored to serve take a hard look at itself and, as it has always done in its 100 plus years of existence, meet the challenge head on and become even better and stronger.  In the past 15 years, the FBI has effectively integrated intelligence in all aspects of its mission and used both law enforcement and intelligence tools to combat threats to our national security.

Since 9/11, the FBI has increased its intelligence capabilities, not only from a collection perspective, but more importantly, from an analytical and dissemination perspective.  The FBI carries out its mission through a threat based, intelligence led approach.  Instead of developing and collecting intelligence to solve a case, the FBI now collects and uses intelligence to develop a threat picture that is used to disrupt threats before they occur.  Intelligence drives the FBI investigations by helping to understand the threats, how to prioritize them, and determine the best investigative approach.  Being both an intelligence and law enforcement agency, the FBI can bring all the tools to the table to combat the threat.   Furthermore, the FBI has strengthened its information sharing, not only internally but with its intelligence community partners, other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, and with its international partners.

\”The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” – Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62 No.

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