Intelligence Reform Implementation at the Federal Bureau of Investigation: Issues and Options for Congress
CRS Report for Congress
Intelligence Reform Implementation at
the Federal Bureau of Investigation:
Issues and Options for Congress
August 16, 2005
Specialist in Intelligence and National Security
Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Division
Specialist in Domestic Intelligence and Counterterrorism
Domestic Social Policy Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Intelligence Reform Implementation at the
Federal Bureau of Investigation:
Issues and Options for Congress
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) embarked on a program to reform its intelligence and national security
programs. In the nearly four years since 9/11 many experts agree the FBI has made
progress in some areas (dissemination of raw intelligence), but some believe that the
FBI has shown little progress in other areas (establishing an integrated and proactive
intelligence program) while the FBI’s budget increased by 68% from FY2000 to
FY2005. The Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission has recommended, and the
White House has approved, the establishment of a National Security Service within
the FBI. This Service would integrate the FBI’s Counterterrorism and
Counterintelligence Divisions with the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI).
Whether this organizational change will yield substantive results is an open question.
There are at least two schools of thought with respect to how the FBI has
performed in implementing its intelligence reform initiatives. The “optimists”
believe there is a critical synergy between the law enforcement and intelligence
disciplines, and that the FBI has successfully made changes throughout its history to
respond to the threats of the time. Since the FBI’s vision for intelligence reform is
sound, success is simply a matter of implementing that vision. Alternatively, the
“skeptics” believe that law enforcement and intelligence are distinct disciplines
demanding different skill sets to achieve different ends. They argue the FBI’s vision
is fundamentally unsound, and its ongoing implementation has not yielded an
integrated intelligence program. According to this group, intelligence collection
remains effectively separated from intelligence analysis at the FBI.
This report analyzes the FBI’s overall intelligence reform effort, focusing on the
implementation of intelligence reform initiatives in the field. Reform policies
designed at FBI Headquarters, with field input, may be of marginal utility unless they
are fully and effectively implemented across the 56 FBI field offices. The
Congressional Research Service (CRS) examined the FBI’s reform initiatives with
a focus on the implementation of the field intelligence group concept, at five field
offices. Allowing for varying levels of progress across field offices, a central tenet
of a high-order functioning intelligence organization is its ability to harness
collection resources to nationally developed intelligence priorities and gaps. While
areas of promise exist, field research indicates that the FBI’s ability to formally
harness intelligence collection (including systemic accountability mechanisms) to
analytically identified intelligence gaps, remains nascent.
In addition, this report discusses several overall options for Congress in
addressing FBI intelligence reform. Organizationally and structurally, Congress
could establish a stand-alone domestic intelligence agency. Alternatively, it could
codify the recently announced National Security Service within the FBI. Potential
areas are outlined for functional oversight, including the FBI-CIA relationship, and
the FBI’s efforts to stanch terrorism finance. And finally, the report reviews options
for addressing the FBI’s intelligence budget, both at the strategic and tactical levels.
In troduction ......................................................1
The Congressional Joint Inquiry..................................3
The 9/11 Commission..........................................4
White House Memorandum for the Attorney General..................5
The FBI’s “Comprehensive Plan” and The Weapons of Mass
Destruction Intelligence Commission..........................5
The National Security Service................................7
Report of The National Academy of Public Administration............11
“Report Card” of The Public Discourse Project.....................11
Report by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General...12
FY2006 Congressional Appropriations Reports.....................13
Two “Schools of Thought”.....................................14
School 1: The Optimists/“Synergists”........................15
School 2: The Skeptics....................................15
Major FBI Intelligence Reforms.....................................16
The Directorate of Intelligence (DI)...........................17
New Position of Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence
(EAD-I) and the Office of Intelligence....................19
New Field Intelligence Groups..............................21
New National (and More Regional) Joint Terrorism Task Force(s)..25
Participation in the New National Counterterrorism Center........26
New Position of Executive Assistant Director for Law
Business Process Changes......................................27
The Intelligence Cycle.....................................27
Resource Enhancement and Allocation Changes.....................29
Intelligence Analyst Cadre..................................30
Enhanced Personnel Authorities.................................32
Issues for Congress...............................................33
The Role of Centralized Decision-Making in Strengthening FBI
Supporters Contend Centralized Management Will Help Prevent
Terrorism by Improving FBI’s Intelligence Program.........33
Skeptics Agree Strong Intelligence Essential, But Question Whether
Centralized Decision-Making Will Improve Program........34
Skeptics Believe FBI’s Law Enforcement Culture Will Prove
Impervious to Centralized Decision-Making................35
Skeptics Also Question Whether Centralized Decision Making
Can Overcome FBI’s Lack of Intelligence Experience........36
Smart Growth and Human Resources.........................37
Intelligence Community Integration Bridging the Foreign/Domestic
FBI Field Leadership......................................38
Intelligence Cycle Implementation in the Field..................39
Continued Information Sharing with State and Local Law
Options for Congress..............................................40
Potential Areas for Functional Oversight.......................42
Budget — Strategic Issues and Options........................43
Budget — Tactical Issues and Options........................44
Appendix 1. Definitions of Intelligence...............................46
Appendix 2. The FBI’s Traditional Role in Intelligence ..................47
Appendix 3. The FBI’s Intelligence Programs —A Brief History...........48
Oversight and Regulation: The Pendulum Swings...................49
Appendix 4. Past Efforts to Reform FBI Intelligence.....................51
List of Figures
Figure 1. National Security Service – Preview Structure...................8
Figure 2. FBI Intelligence Directorate................................18
Figure 3. The Intelligence Cycle.....................................28
Figure 4. FBI Funding Increases.....................................30
Figure 5. Intelligence Analysts On Board..............................31
Intelligence Reform Implementation at the
Federal Bureau of Investigation:
Issues and Options for Congress
This report examines the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) intelligence
program and its reform.1 While the report serves as an update of the FBI’s efforts in
these areas, a substantial part of its focus is on the implementation on the FBI’s
intelligence reform in the field. An important question is whether intelligence policy
designed by senior level Intelligence Directorate personnel at FBI headquarters, with
field input, has been accepted, adopted and implemented within the FBI’s field
structure. The report covers a number of issues of interest to Congress relating to
how well the FBI is progressing with its reform efforts. The report also outlines the
1 The Congressional Research Service (CRS) conducted its research over a four-month
period during late 2004 and early 2005 and benefitted from the extensive access provided
by the FBI. CRS conducted 65 interviews, including three with Special Agents-in-Charge,
and eight with Assistant Special Agents in Charge, and numerous FBI intelligence analysts
and special agents. CRS visited five field offices: New York, New York; Detroit,
Michigan; San Francisco, California; and Phoenix, Arizona and the Washington
Metropolitan Field Office. The sample of field offices visited was not designed to be
representative of the FBI’s 56 field offices. Rather, field offices designated for visits were
chosen for three reasons: either, (1) they historically had the most advanced
counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and intelligence programs; or, (2) they had substantial
experience in investigating high-profile national security cases; or, (3) they were linked to
the events of 9/11. One could argue that if the field offices visited are not advanced in the
implementation of intelligence reform measures, smaller field offices with less institutional
knowledge of national security cases have a higher probability of being even less developed.
Although a smaller FBI field office with less institutional knowledge of national security
cases may be better at implementing some elements of intelligence reform, given the nature
of threats to national security, and the location of risk-assessed terrorist targets, the national
impact of that smaller office’s intelligence reform may pale in comparison to the status of
intelligence reform in, for example, New York or San Francisco.
Information was gathered in accordance with a standardized methodology, including
a uniform protocol of questions asked of similar categories and levels of FBI and non-FBI
employees, including Special-Agents-in-Charge and Assistant Special Agents-in-Charge
directly responsible for implementing the Bureau’s intelligence reforms. Non-FBI
employees interviewed were largely other federal agency Special Agents participating in the
FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces. Additionally, numerous Cental Intelligence Agency
(CIA), as well as state and local law enforcement representatives, were also interviewed for
advantages and disadvantages of several congressional options to make further
changes to the FBI’s intelligence program.2 Finally, a number of appendices
concerning contextual issues surrounding FBI intelligence reform are provided.
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States have been called
a major intelligence failure, similar in magnitude to that associated with the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor.3 In response to criticisms of its role, the FBI has introduced
a series of reforms to transform the bureau from a largely reactive law enforcement
agency focused on criminal investigations into a more mobile, agile, flexible,
intelligence-driven4 agency that can prevent acts of terrorism.5
2 For a history of the FBI, see CRS Report RL32095, The FBI: Past, Present and Future,
by Todd Masse and William Krouse. See Appendix 4 for a summary of the FBI’s past
attempts at intelligence reform.
3 There is a large and growing body of literature on the failures associated with the attacks
of Sept. 11, 2001, and broader issues associated with the effectiveness of the Intelligence
Community in general. The 9/11 Commission attributed the 9/11 attacks to failures in four
areas: imagination, policy, capabilities, and management. See Final Report of the National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, p. 339. See also William E.
Odom, Fixing Intelligence for a More Secure America (New Haven, CT: Yale University
Press, 2003), p. 187. According to the author, the attacks of 9/11 represent a failure of both
intelligence and policy. See also The Commission on Intelligence Capabilities of the United
States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction: Report to the President of the United
States, Mar. 31, 2005. (Hereafter cited as WMD Report.) Chapter Ten of this report,
“Intelligence at Home: The FBI, Justice, and Homeland Security,” is the most germane with
respect to FBI intelligence reform. See also Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,
Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Pre-War Intelligence Assessments on Iraq,
July 7, 2004. See also the National Academy of Public Administration, Transforming the
FBI: Progress and Challenges, Jan, 2005. Chapter three on Intelligence is most pertinent
to the topic of this CRS report. See also Richard A. Posner, Preventing Surprise Attacks:
Intelligence Reform in the Wake of 9/11 (Hoover Institution: Stanford University, 2005).
See also U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, A Review of the FBI’s
Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks, Nov. 2004,
recently released in redacted form.
4 For purposes of this report, intelligence is defined to include foreign intelligence,
counterintelligence and criminal intelligence. Experts differ on the extent to which there
may be a synergy between traditionally defined foreign intelligence and criminal
intelligence. One’s perspective on the relationship between the law enforcement and
intelligence disciplines can have direct effects on policy preferences, including the role of
the FBI in domestic intelligence, and domestic intelligence resource allocation strategies.
For a statutory definition of each type of intelligence see Appendix 1. For a brief summary
of the FBI’s traditional role in intelligence, see Appendix 2. Finally, Appendix 3 provides
a brief history of FBI intelligence.
5 P.L. 108-447, the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act provided the FBI with
additional human resource tools for recruitment and retention, including authority to provide
retention and relocation bonuses to certain categories of FBI employees, and the
establishment of an FBI Investigative Reserve Service. These enhanced authorities for
human resources, as well as others passed in Title II of the Intelligence Reform and
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458), will be discussed in more detail below.
FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has vowed to assert Headquarters’ control
over the FBI’s historically fragmented and much-criticized intelligence program. He
also has signaled his intention to improve the FBI’s intelligence program by, among
other measures, consolidating and centralizing control over fragmented intelligence
capabilities, both at FBI Headquarters and in the FBI’s largely autonomous field
offices.6 Finally, he has contended that intelligence has always been one of the FBI’s
core competencies7 and organic to the FBI’s investigative mission,8 and asserted that
the organization’s intelligence efforts have and will continue to be disciplined by the
intelligence cycle (i.e., the development and conduct of intelligence collection
requirements, collection, analysis, and dissemination).
Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, Mr. Mueller has attempted to restructure
the Bureau’s intelligence program. He has created a new Directorate of Intelligence
(DI) at Headquarters and established Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) at each of the
FBI’s 56 field offices to improve the Bureau’s intelligence capacity.
A number of reports has examined the FBI’s intelligence reform efforts in the
wake of the 2001 attacks, and Congress passed far-reaching legislation reforming the
Intelligence Community, including providing the FBI additional authorities. The
Administration has also responded by directing the FBI to implement changes.
The Congressional Joint Inquiry9
In a sweeping indictment of the FBI’s intelligence activities relating to
counterterrorism, the Congressional Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community10
Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (JIC),11
6 See statement of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI, in U.S. Congress, House Committee
on Appropriations, Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, the
Judiciary and Related Agencies, June 18, 2003.
7 Core competencies are defined as a related group of activities central to the success, or
failure, of an organization. In the private sector, core competencies are often the source of
a company’s competitive advantage. See C. K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel, “The Core
Competency of the Corporation,” Harvard Business Review, Apr. 1, 2001.
8 See statement of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI, in U.S. Congress, Senate Judiciary
Committee, July 23, 2003.
9 The full report of the Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After
the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, available at [http://www.9-11commission.gov/
10 The Intelligence Community (IC) is comprised of 15 agencies: the Central Intelligence
Agency; the National Security Agency; the Defense Intelligence Agency; the National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; the National Reconnaissance Office; and the intelligence
elements of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps; the FBI; the Department of the
Treasury; the Department of Energy; the Coast Guard; the Bureau of Intelligence and
Research of the Department of State; and the Department of Homeland Security
11 See Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist
criticized the FBI for failing to focus on the terrorist threat domestically; collect
useful intelligence; strategically analyze intelligence; and, to share intelligence
internally, and with the rest of the IC. Prior to 9/11, according to the congressional
inquiry, the FBI was incapable of producing significant intelligence products and was
seriously handicapped in its efforts to identify, report on,12 and defend against the
foreign terrorist threat to the United States.13
The 9/11 Commission14
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
(hereafter, the 9/11 Commission) essentially endorsed reforms the FBI initiated
following the September 11 attacks. The Commission noted that the FBI, under
Director Mueller, “has made significant progress in improving its intelligence
capabilities.”15 In its July 2004 report, the Commission recommended leaving the
responsibility for counterterrorism intelligence collection with the FBI, but called for
an integrated national security workforce within the Bureau. Such an option has
often been referred to as “a service within a service.” Specifically, the Commission
recommended that the FBI establish a specialized and integrated national security
workforce consisting of agents, analysts, linguists, and surveillance specialists who
are recruited, trained, rewarded, and retained to ensure the development of an
institutional culture with a deep expertise in intelligence and national security. While
rejecting the establishment of a separate domestic intelligence agency, the
Commission stated that it wanted to ensure that the FBI’s preventative
counterterrorism posture is “... more fully institutionalized ...”16 so that it survives
beyond Director Muller’s tenure. Commissioners also concluded that “... two years
after 9/11 we also found gaps between some of the announced reforms and the reality
in the field.”17
Attacks of September 11, 2001, a report of the U.S. Congress, Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, S.Rept. 107-351;
H.Rept. 107-792, Dec. 2002, pp. xv, xvi, 37-39, 337-338. (Hereafter cited as JIC Inquiry.)
12 See JIC Inquiry, p. 37.
13 Ibid., p. 39.
14 The 9/11 Commission is formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
Upon the United States, and was created by law in late 2002 (P.L. 107-306, Nov. 27, 2003).
It was chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the
Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to
the attacks. The Commission also was mandated to provide recommendations designed to
guard against future attacks.
15 National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, The 9/11 Commission
Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United
States, (Washington, 2004), p. 425. (Hereater cited as Final Report of the National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States .)
16 Ibid., p. 425.
White House Memorandum for the Attorney General
On November 23, 2004, the President issued a Memorandum for the Attorney
General, titled, “Further Strengthening Federal Bureau of Investigation
Capabilities.” In the memorandum, Mr. Bush approved a recommendation made by
the 9/11 Commission calling for the establishment of an integrated national security
workforce. Specifically, the White House directed the Attorney General to
implement the following recommendation of the 9/11 Commission:
A specialized and integrated national security workforce should be established
at the FBI, consisting of agents, analysts, linguists and surveillance specialists
who are recruited, trained, rewarded and retained to ensure the development of
an institutional culture imbued with a deep expertise in intelligence and national18
In adopting the Commission’s recommendation, the President also instructed the
Attorney General and the Director of the FBI to provide a “... a comprehensive plan
with performance measures, including timelines for achievement of specific,
measurable progress...”19 to the President within 90 days. This comprehensive plan
was to address the following issues: (1) Analysis (including standards for
recruitment, hiring, training, and performance of FBI analysts), (2) Products
(including standards for measuring the responsiveness of those products to nationally
determined priorities), (3) Sources (including standards for asset validation and asset
contributions for filling intelligence gaps), (4) Field intelligence operations
(including standards for assessing staffing and infrastructure), and (5) Contribution
of the FBI’s intelligence products to intelligence and national security information
made available to the President and Vice President (including the degree to which
each Field Office is collecting against, and providing information in response to,
The FBI’s “Comprehensive Plan” and The Weapons of Mass
Destruction Intelligence Commission
On February 16, 2005, the FBI responded to the November 23, 2004 White
House Memorandum to the Attorney General, issuing its Report to the President of
the United States — FBI Directorate of Intelligence — Comprehensive Plan for the
FBI Intelligence Program with Performance Measures. This classified report
outlined steps the FBI had taken or anticipated taking. The report addressed
performance measures and milestones in the following five areas: (1) Resources and
Authority for the DI, (2) Intelligence Operations, (3) Human Resources, (4)
Infrastructure, and (5) Planning, Budget, and Performance.
18 Memorandum for the Attorney General, “Further Strengthening Federal Bureau of
Investigation Capabilities,” Nov. 23, 2004. A full copy of this memorandum can be located
An analysis of this classified report by the Commission on Intelligence
Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (hereafter
the WMD Commission) concluded that while the FBI has taken “... some
commendable steps in the direction of an integrated national security workforce...”
its plan “... fails to create a truly ‘specialized and integrated national security
workforce’....”21 Moreover, the WMD Commission concluded that “... In essence,
the [DI] functions as an overlay on intelligence activities that are managed by other
elements of the FBI...” and “... the Directorate’s lack of authority prevents the FBI
from vertically integrating foreign intelligence collection, analysis and
operations....”22 With respect to the collection of foreign intelligence within the
United States, a function in which both the FBI and elements of the Central
Intelligence Agency engage, the WMD Commission argued for “... a fluid system for
coordination — where both agencies are involved in the collection of foreign
intelligence in the United States and conflicts are resolved by the Director of National
Intelligence (or the Attorney General if it is a question of what U.S. law permits).”23
The WMD Commission concluded, in part, that
Although the FBI is making progress toward becoming a full member of the
Intelligence Community, it has a long way to go and significant hurdles remain.
In our view, the FBI has not constructed its intelligence program in a way that
will promote integrated intelligence efforts, and its ambitions have led it into24
unnecessary new turf battles with the CIA.
Regarding the contentious issue of whether the FBI should continue to play a
leading federal role in domestic intelligence collection, or, instead, be replaced by a
separate agency akin to the British Security Service (MI-5),25 the 9/11 and WMD
Commissions rejected the establishment of a separate entity, although the WMD
Commission qualified its rejection, concluding
... We recommend that the policymakers re-evaluate the wisdom of creating a
separate agency — an equivalent to the British “MI-5” — dedicated to
intelligence collection in the United States should there be a continued failure to
institute the reforms necessary to transform the FBI into the intelligence26
organization it must become.
21 Letter to the President on FBI and CIA Transformation Plans from The Commission on
the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction
(hereafter, referred to as the WMD Commission) concerning the adequacy of plans produced
in response to the White House Memorandum to the Attorney General, Mar. 29, 2005, p. 2.
A copy of the letter can be found at the Commission’s website at
[ h t t p : / / www.wmd.gov/ r e por t / ] .
23 See Report of the WMD Commission, March 31, 2005, p. 470.
24 Ibid., p. 451.
25 See Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
States, pp. 423-428.
26 See WMD Commission, p. 468.
The National Security Service. On June 29, 2005, the President issued a
memorandum stating his acceptance of the WMD Commission’s recommendation
that a National Security Service be established within the FBI. The White House
called for the
... creation of a new National Security Service within the FBI under a single
Executive Assistant Director. This service would include the Bureau’s
Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Divisions and the Directorate of
Intelligence. The service would be subject to the coordination and budget
authorities of the DNI, as well as the same Attorney General authorities that
apply to other Bureau divisions.27
The President directed the Attorney General, in cooperation with the Director of
National Intelligence (DNI) and the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget, and any other affected agencies, to implement the following initiatives: (1)
combine the mission, capabilities and resources of the counterterrorism,
counterintelligence and intelligence elements of the FBI into a new National Security
Service, (2) obtain the concurrence of the DNI before an individual is appointed as
head of the FBI’s National Security Service, (3) ensure the FBI’s National Security
Service, both at headquarters and in the field, is funded though the National
Intelligence Program ..., and (4) establish programs to build an FBI National Security
Service workforce....28 The White House directed that National Security Service be
headed by an FBI “Executive Assistant Director (EAD) or other senior FBI Official
of an equivalent or higher level of authority, experience, and responsibility.”29
While the details, including the structure and chain of command of this
organization have yet to be announced, Figure 1 provides a possible organizational
structure. The dotted line between the DNI and the leader of the National Security
Service reflects the still-to-be-determined relationship between the DNI and the head
of the Bureau’s new National Security Service.
27 See White House Memorandum, “Strengthening the Ability of the Department of Justice
to Meet Challenges to the Security of the Nation,” June 29, 2005. The entire memorandum,
along with broader White House Fact sheet outlining additional WMD Commission
recommendations the White House has approved, can be located at
[ h t t p : / / www.whi t e house.go v/ news/ ] .
29 Ibid. According to an FBI press release dated Aug. 12, 2005, Gary M. Bald, the former
FBI EAD for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence has been appointed as the EAD for
National Security. The FBI positions of EAD for Intelligence and EAD for
Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence have been consolidated to form the new position
of EAD for National Security which will lead the FBI’s National Security Branch. Mr.
Philip Mudd, former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism
Center, was appointed as deputy head of the National Security Branch. According to the
press release, both Attorney General Gonzales and DNI Negroponte “... have concurred with
this decision.” See [http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel05/nsbleadership081205.htm].
Figure 1. National Security Service – Preview Structure
Pr es ident
Attorney GeneralDirector National Intelligence
National Security Service
FBI Counterterrorism FBI Counterintelligence FBI Intelligence
Division Division D i r ec t or ate
Source: CRS Analysis of June 29, 2005 White House Memorandum, titled Strengthening the
Ability of the Department of Justice to Meet Challenges to the Security of the Nation.
The relationship remains less than clearly defined because the language
contained in White House memorandum establishing the National Security Service
is vague with respect to the degree of authority the DNI will exercise over the new
entity. The memorandum states that the Attorney General, in coordination with the
DNI, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and, as appropriate, the
head of other agencies, shall
Develop procedures to ensure the DNI, through the head of the FBI’s National
Security Service, can effectively communicate with the FBI’s field offices,
resident agencies, and any other personnel in the National Security Service, to
ensure that the activities of the service are appropriately coordinated, consistent
with the authorities of the Attorney General and the DNI granted by law or by the30
Exactly which “procedures” are established and how the term “communicate”
is interpreted and implemented will be critical factors in determining the extent of the
DNI’s influence over the activities of the FBI’s National Security Service. This lack
of clarity may be intentional to allow flexibility in working out arrangements. It has
resulted in some seemingly contradictory comments by executive officials. For
example, when asked to whom the Director of the National Security Service would
report, Principle Deputy DNI General Hayden reportedly referenced the “dual-hatted”
nature of his former post as head of the National Security Agency, where he reported
30 See White House Memorandum, “Strengthening the Ability of the Department of Justice
to Meet Challenges to the Security of the Nation,” June 29, 2005.
to both the Secretary of Defense and Director of Central Intelligence. He reportedly
stated “...We’ve lived with these kind of arrangements,” and added that the new FBI
intelligence chief would “have to be sensitive to both” the DNI and the FBI
director.”31 When asked the same question, however, an anonymous Department of
Justice official was reported to have stated, “The person (Director of the National
Security Service) will be reporting to the Director of the FBI. He will work for the
Director of the FBI....He will have a relationship with the (Director of National
Intelligence) because he will be the person the (Director of National Intelligence) will
look to on budget issues.”32 Another anonymous law enforcement official, citing the
broad language in the White House memorandum reportedly stated, “It says
‘communicate with’ not ‘issues orders to’” in describing the authority the DNI will
exercise over the FBI’s new intelligence chief.33
If the relationship between the DNI and the new FBI EAD for National Security
approximates that described by Deputy DNI Hayden, it could represent a significant
change from past practice, where the former Director of Central Intelligence largely
deferred to the FBI director with respect to FBI intelligence operations. If on the
other hand, the relationship takes on the dimensions outlined by the anonymous DOJ
official, it would signify a more “business-as-usual” approach.
Additional information may be available when the Attorney General reports,
within 60 days of June 29, the steps taken to implement the memorandum. It is more
likely that the true meaning of “procedures” and DNI “communication” with FBI
field offices will not be known in practice until months after the procedures are
disseminated to the field, and the EAD for National Security or the Office of the DNI
audits the procedures to monitor their implementation. The White House
memorandum requires a report “...on the progress in implementing this
memorandum...” from the Attorney General, in coordination with the DNI, within
Some civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the creation of a National
Security Service within the FBI. Timothy Edgar, American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) Policy Counsel for National Security stated
Spies and cops have different roles and operate under different rules for a very
important reason: to ensure that our law enforcement agencies stay within the
Constitution. This proposal could erode the FBI’s law enforcement ethic and put
parts of the FBI under the effective control of a spymaster who reports to the34
president - not the attorney general.
31 See Shaun Waterman, “Intelligence Reforms Raise Civil Liberties Concerns,” United
Press International, June 30, 2005.
34 See American Civil Liberties Union, “ACLU Slams Plan to Place Parts of the FBI Under
Control of Intelligence Agencies, Warns of Further Mixing of Law Enforcement with
Intelligence Operations,” press release, June 29, 2005, available at ACLU's website, at
[ ht t p: / / www.acl u.or g/ Saf e andFr ee/ Saf e andFr ee.cf m? ID=18608&c=206] .
As indicated in Appendix 3 of this report, in the past the domestic intelligence
activities of the FBI and broader IC have been found to have “...threatened and
undermined the constitutional rights of Americans to free speech, association and
privacy.”35 Some critics of the Administration’s plan to establish a National Security
Service within the FBI are concerned about the extent to which an investigative and
intelligence agency may be vulnerable to political manipulation. Acknowledging this
concern, Attorney General Gonzalez reportedly stated that while the DNI will control
the FBI’s intelligence budget, intelligence officials “... are not going to be directing
Notwithstanding some criticism of the FBI’s intelligence reform, prior to the
publication of the Report of the WMD Commission report,37 many observers believe
the FBI has adopted a sound approach in its intelligence reforms. Consistent with the
findings of the 9/11 Commission,38 Title II of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism
Prevention Act (P.L. 108-458) states “... the Director of the FBI shall continue efforts
to improve the intelligence capabilities of the FBI and to develop and maintain within
the Bureau a national intelligence workforce.”39 [Emphasis supplied] Moreover, the
act re-named the existing Office of Intelligence the DI and accorded its director the
responsibility for, inter alia, “... supervision of all national intelligence program
projects, and activities of the Bureau.”40 The act also provided the FBI new and
strengthened personnel authorities, such as establishing intelligence analyst positions
without regard to Chapter 51 of Title 5, U.S. Code.41 Finally, the FY2005
Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-447) provided certain new retention and
recruitment authorities for the FBI.42
Although some observers believe that the FBI’s success in reforming its
intelligence program turned on successfully implementing these and other measures
intended to strengthen its intelligence operations, the WMD Commissioners
35 See United States Senate, Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans, Book II,
Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to
Intelligence Activities, Apr. 26, 1976 (Church Committee), p. 290. Although reaching this
conclusion, the committee also observed “... we do not question the need for lawful
domestic intelligence.” (p. 289).
36 See Douglas Jehl, “Bush to Create New Unit in FBI for Intelligence,” New York Times,
June 30, 2005.
37 See The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding
Weapons of Mass Destruction, A Report to the President of the United States, Mar. 31,
38 See Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
States, pp. 423-428.
39 See P.L. 108-458, §2001, 28U.S.C. 532 note.
40 Ibid., §2002.
41 Title 5 U.S. Code pertains to government employees; Part III, Subpart D concerns pay and
allowances; and Chapter 51 deals with classification of positions.
42 See Congressional Record, Nov. 19, 2004, pp. H10429-H10431.
suggested that the Bureau’s approach may be fundamentally flawed.43 The
Commission recommended instead that the FBI develop an integrated National
Security Service within the Bureau that would co-join all elements of the intelligence
cycl e. 44
Report of The National Academy of Public Administration
The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), in a January 2005
report, concluded that while the FBI continues to confront implementation
challenges, the Bureau’s approach to intelligence reform is fundamentally sound.45
NAPA urged the FBI to “...continue to emphasize intelligence management and that
it [the Office of Intelligence] not become encumbered by detailed operational and
production responsibilities.”46 Commenting on the relationship between the IC,
particularly the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which performs some foreign
intelligence collection within the United States, and the FBI, NAPA recommended
that the FBI “... rely on American intelligence agencies operating abroad to meet their
covert foreign intelligence needs and that those agencies rely on domestic intelligence
capabilities of the FBI, rather than develop redundant capabilities.”47
“Report Card” of The Public Discourse Project
The Public Discourse Project (PDP), a non-profit organization established by
the 10 former Commissioners of the now defunct National Commission on the
Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also plans to issue a report on the progress
of intelligence reform. The Project’s goal is to “... fulfill the 9/11 Commission’s48
original mandate of guarding against future attacks.” Specifically, PDP intends to
issue a “report card” on the implementation status of the Commission’s 41
recommendations that will be based in part on results from a series of public panel
discussions. The Project’s first panel, convened on June 6, 2005, addressed the status
of FBI and CIA reforms. During the panel discussion, chaired by former 9/11
Commissioner Jamie Gorelick, the following points were noted: (1) a recognition
that the FBI has made substantial progress in some areas (intelligence dissemination),
43 See WMD Report, Chapter 10, pp. 451-483.
44 See also CRS Report RL32336, FBI Intelligence Reform Since September 11, 2001:
Issues and Options for Congress, by Alfred Cumming and Todd Masse, Option 2, p. 40.
45 The FBI commissioned NAPA to undertake a study of the transformation of the FBI.
While including intelligence reforms at the FBI, the NAPA study also includes security
changes the FBI has made pursuant to the Webster Commission recommendations in the
wake of Robert Hanssen’s espionage activities at the FBI. The NAPA study also includes
an assessment of the FBI counterterrorism strategy and FBI changes in response to the Sept.
11, 2001 attacks. See [http://www.napawash.org/Pubs/FBI010505.pdf] for the full NAPA
46 See a Report by a Panel of NAPA for the U.S. Congress and the FBI, Transforming the
FBI: Progress and Challenges, Jan. 2005, p. 66.
47 Ibid., p. 68.
48 See [http://www.9-11pdp.org/about/index.htm].
yet little, if any, in other areas (information technology); (2) a belief that there
continues to be a lack of clarity and diffused accountability concerning the many
agencies that now have de jure or de facto responsibility for counterterrorism
intelligence; (3) the ethos of the FBI continues to manifest itself in a manner that
leads to, according to one panelist, FBI intelligence analysts being treated as
“furniture” or “carpet dust” because they are not Special Agents; (4) a notion
expressed by two panelists that, notwithstanding its problems, the FBI should retain
its domestic intelligence mission.49
Report by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector
In June 2005, the Department of Justice’s (DOJs), Office of Inspector General
(OIG), released a redacted version of a report documenting how the FBI handled
intelligence information prior to September 11, 2001. Although many of the findings
contained in the report are consistent with those outlined in studies previously
mentioned, the OIG report went further by concluding that the FBI
... had at least five opportunities to learn about (the presence of hijackers Hazmi
and Mihdar) in the United States and seek to find them before September 11,
2001. Much of the cause for these lost opportunities involved systemic
problems. We found information sharing problems between the CIA and FBI
and systemic problems within the FBI related to counterterrorism investigations.
The systemic problems included inadequate oversight and guidance to FBI
detailees at the CIA, the FBI employees’ lack of understanding of CIA
procedures, the inconsistent documentation of intelligence information received
informally by the FBI, the lack of priority given to counterterrorism
investigations by the FBI before September 11, and the effect of the wall on FBI51
The DOJ OIG Report also noted that the FBI has “... taken numerous steps to52
reorganize and strengthen its Counterterrorism Program....” The OIG’s report also
recognized that the CIA had failed to provide the FBI information about two of the
49 See [http://www.9-11pdp.org/press/2005-06-06_transcript.pdf] for the complete transcript
of the panel discussion. In addition to former Commissioner Jamie Gorelick, other panelists
included John Gannon, Richard Thornburgh, and Chitra Ragavan.
50 In recent months, the DOJ IG’s Office released four reports related to the FBI’s
intelligence and national security programs. In May 2005, it published The Federal Bureau
of Investigation’s Efforts to Hire, Train, and Retain Intelligence Analysts; and in June 2005,
it released publicly redacted versions of two reports: (1) A Review of the FBI’s Handling of
Intelligence Information Prior to September 11 Attacks, and (2) A Review of the Terrorist
Screening Center. In June 2005, it also published The Department of Justice’s Terrorism
Task Forces. See [http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/] for these and other related reports.
51 See U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, A Review of the FBI’s
Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks, Nov. 2004, p.
52 Ibid., p. 355.
hijackers “... when it [CIA] should have and we believe the CIA shares significant
responsibility for the breakdown in the Hazmi and Mihdar case.”53
FY2006 Congressional Appropriations Reports
Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved FY2006
spending bills for the FBI, and although each acknowledged the Bureau’s progress
in reforming its intelligence programs, both committees called for more progress. In
its report accompanying the FY2006 appropriations bill (H.R. 2862), the House
Appropriations Committee acknowledged FBI’s improvements but also
recommended that as a “next step”54 the Attorney General implement the
recommendations of the WMD Commission. Specifically, the House panel directed
the Attorney General to “... create within the FBI an Associate Deputy Director for
National Security to oversee and coordinate the activities of the EAD for
Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence and the national security activities of the
DI.”55 According to press accounts, subsequently confirmed by White House action,
the Administration “... has agreed to adopt the recommendations of a presidential
commission and will allow the Director of National Intelligence, John D.
Negroponte, to help choose a powerful intelligence chief at the FBI.”56 Because the
details of the new service remain to be sketched and its chief’s authorities remain to
determined, it is unclear how the Bureau ultimately will decide to integrate its
national security and intelligence missions. What does seem clearer is that the
President has extended to the DNI concurrence authority with the FBI Director in
filling the new position — an authority first extended to the DNI under the
Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, and which applied at that time to the FBI’s EAD
for Intelligence, the Bureau’s then senior intelligence position. The joint
appointment of a senior FBI official by the chief executive officer of the Intelligence
Community (IC) represents a degree of IC influence in FBI personnel decisions that
had not existed prior to the 2004 Intelligence Reform Act.57
53 Ibid., p. 353.
54 See U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, Science,
State, Justice, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, Fiscal Year 2006 (H.Rept. 109-
55 Ibid., p. 22-23.
56 See David Johnson, “Antiterror Chief Will Help Choose an FBI Official,” in New York
Times, June 12, 2005, p. A1. The title of this article may be slightly misleading, as it is the
DNI, and not the director of any counterterrorism organization, who will choose jointly with
the Director of the FBI, the high ranking FBI intelligence official.
57 Prior to the IRTPA (P.L. 108-458), if there was a vacancy in the Assistant Director, FBI
National Security Division, the Director, FBI was to provide the Director of Central
Intelligence with “timely notice” of the recommendation of the Director, FBI of an
individual to fill the position “... in order that the Director of Central Intelligence may
consult with the Director of the FBI before the Attorney General appoints an individual to
fill the vacancy.” See 50 U.S.C. 403-6. According to a conference report for the
Intelligence Authorization Act of 1997, conferees stated that for purposes of DCI
consultation of the Assistant Director, National Security Division of the FBI, “...timely
notice means notice will be provided at a sufficiently early stage in the process that
Employing somewhat similar language, the Senate Appropriations Committee,
found that “... the FBI has made significant strides in its efforts to transform itself
from an agency whose primary mission was investigating crimes to one whose top
priority is preventing terrorism....”58 The Committee also stated that despite an
“astounding 66% budget increase” the FBI has “... not permanently realigned its
workforce to reflect its new priority missions....”59 The Committee asserted that
while the FBI had enhanced its national security and intelligence training, it “ ... does
not have the capacity to train its newly hired agents, analysts and support personnel
and cannot ensure that its analysts are adequately trained before being assigned to the
field.”60 The Committee recommended that in addition to supporting the requested
spending increases for the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) and training, $15.1 million
be appropriated to “... construct a new regional intelligence and training center.”61
While observers generally agree that the FBI has made substantial progress in
reforming its intelligence program, they sharply disagree as to whether the FBI’s
changes are adequate. Some, for example, continue to argue that because the
disciplines of law enforcement and intelligence so fundamentally differ, that the
United States should establish a stand-alone domestic intelligence service,
independent of the FBI.
While there may be no correct “blueprint” for the optimal organization and
execution of domestic intelligence, there remain serious questions and debate over
the efficacy and appropriateness of the FBI’s intelligence reforms. The continuing
discussion is defined by at least two “schools of thought.”
Two “Schools of Thought”
The first school of thought argues that the FBI’s vision for intelligence reform
is sound; the FBI must, however, overcome certain capacity constraints in order to
implement successfully its vision. Effective personnel recruitment, morale building
measures, training and retention measures are the primary capacity limits that
adherents to this school of thought could cite as important. An alternative school of
thought contends that the FBI’s vision for intelligence reform is fundamentally
consultation is still meaningful and that the DCI will be provided sufficient time to respond
to the notification prior to the recommendation being forwarded to the Attorney General.”
Moreover, the conferees stated that by requiring the DCI “... to be consulted regarding the
appointment of the head of the FBI’s National Security Division, they do not intend to give
the DCI control over FBI law enforcement activities....Nevertheless, the head of the National
Security Division manages a significant portion, both in budgetary and substantive terms,
of the NFIP, and the conferees believe it is wholly appropriate that the DCI have some voice
in his or her appointment.” See H.Rept. 104-832, Section 815, Sept. 24, 1996.
58 See U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Appropriations, Departments of Commerce and
Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2006, (S.Rept.109-88), p. 25.
60 Ibid. p. 26.
flawed, insofar as it does not fully integrate all the activities traditionally associated
with the intelligence cycle. Without full and formal control, including budget
execution authority, over all elements of the intelligence cycle, from the setting of
collection requirements to collection to analysis and dissemination, adherents of this
school of thought could argue, the failed history of intelligence reform at the FBI is
likely to repeat itself.
School 1: The Optimists/“Synergists”. The optimists/“synergists”
recognize that the events of 9/11 represented a substantial shock to the FBI’s
traditional priorities and culture. They argue, however, that the FBI has developed
a coherent and sound vision for an intelligence program that integrates and leverages
what they assert is a synergy between the FBI’s criminal and national security
missions. This group also argues that the FBI has made, or is in the process of
making, well thought out organizational, business process, and budgetary changes
that will allow it to implement fully policy and legal changes that once hampered the
Bureau’s efforts to be more effective and efficient members of the U.S. Intelligence
Community. While adherents to this school might concede that the pace of FBI
reform could be quicker, they believe that the FBI has changed its focus and priorities
before, and is capable of changing them again to meet national security demands
today. For this group, the only hurdles to be overcome are the timely implementation
of the vision. These hurdles might include capacity limitations regarding the
recruitment, training, performance rating, and retention of intelligence professionals.
Although additional resources might be welcomed by this group, some adherents to
this school might also argue that it may be appropriate for the FBI’s budget (having
increased from $3.1 billion in FY2000 to a requested amount of $5.7 billion for
FY2006) to level off, as increases of this magnitude may be difficult to absorb
effectively in such a short period of time.
School 2: The Skeptics. The skeptics believe that there is some limited
synergy between the disciplines of law enforcement and intelligence with respect to
terrorism fund-raising,62 but they doubt it extends to other issues. Moreover, they
contend that the benefits of a focused and integrated intelligence program would far
outweigh the intangible benefits derived from any existing synergy. As a result,
skeptics of the FBI’s approach believe the FBI’s vision for intelligence reform is
fundamentally flawed. Indeed, they argue that rather than the Bureau’s criminal
division generating more leads for the Bureau’s intelligence investigators to pursue,
just the opposite occurs. They believe that the newly created DI is constrained by
limited personnel and budget execution control over the Bureau’s intelligence
activities, and by minimal control over intelligence collection. In structuring the
Directorate, the FBI, they further assert, is modeling itself after the CIA, which has
a intelligence directorate responsible for analyzing intelligence, and a Directorate of
Operations charged with collecting it. Some observers blame this bifurcated
structure for what they characterize as the IC’s poor performance, and recommend
62 For perspectives on linkages between terrorist groups and criminal activities, see Douglas
Farah, Blood from Stones: the Secret Financial Network of Terror (New York: Broadway
Books, 2004). See also Rachel Ehrenfeld, Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and
How to Stop It (Chicago: Bonus Books, 2003). See also National Commission on Terrorist
Attacks Upon the United States, Monograph on Terrorist Financing.
that analysts and collectors be co-located as part of an integrated intelligence work
force. Skeptics conclude that the FBI must at least unify intelligence analysis and
collection under one chain of command within the FBI. Some go further, suggesting
that the government adopt Britain’s MI-5 model and establish a domestic intelligence
agency, independent of the FBI.63
Major FBI Intelligence Reforms
In response to the 9/11 attacks, Director Mueller vowed that the FBI would
refocus its efforts, and concentrate on counterterrorism, counterintelligence and cyber64
crime as the Bureau’s three priorities. He also committed to improving the FBI’s
intelligence program by consolidating and centralizing control over the Bureau’s
historically fragmented intelligence capabilities, both at FBI Headquarters and in the
FBI’s field offices.65 He also reaffirmed his belief that intelligence had always been66
one of the FBI’s core competencies and central to the FBI’s investigative mission,
and asserted that the organization’s intelligence efforts had and would continue to be
disciplined by the intelligence cycle of intelligence requirements, collection, analysis,
In 2005, the FBI says its also plans to (1) establish a dedicated funded staffing
level for agents within the intelligence program and assign those agents to work as
collectors, target developers and reporters; (2) incorporate a strategic intelligence unit
into the DI; (3) incorporate strategic analysis into each FIG; (4) integrate Intelligence
63 For an assessment of the arguments associated with the establishment of a new agency
to fulfill the domestic intelligence mission in the United States, see CRS Report RL31920,
Domestic Intelligence in the United Kingdom: Applicability of the MI-5 Model to the
United States, by Todd Masse. For a comparison of how four other democracies (Australia,
Canada, France, and the United Kingdom) structure and operate their domestic intelligence
agencies, see Peter Chalk and William Rosenau, Confronting the Enemy Within: Security
Intelligence, the Police and Counterterrorism in Four Democracies, (RAND, 2004). See
also Richard A. Posner, Preventing Surprise Attacks: Intelligence Reform in the Wake of
9/11 (2005). See also William E. Odom, “Why the FBI Can’t Be Reformed,” Washington
Post, June 29, 2005, p. A21.
64 According to the FBI’s 1998-2003 Strategic Plan, issued in May 1998, the FBI, prior to
9/11, had established three tiers of priorities: 1) National and Economic Security, aimed at
preventing intelligence operations that threatened U.S. national security; preventing terrorist
attacks; deterring criminal conspiracies; and deterring unlawful exploitation of emerging
technologies by foreign powers, terrorists and criminal elements; 2) Criminal Enterprise and
Public Integrity; and 3) Individuals and Property. Countering criminal activities was a
prominent feature of each tier. See Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General,
Federal Bureau of Investigation: Casework and Human Resource Allocation, Audit
Division, Sept. 2003, pp. 03-37.
65 See statement of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI, in U.S. Congress, House
Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice,
State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies, June 18, 2003.
66 See statement of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI, in U.S. Congress, Senate Judiciary
Committee, July 23, 2003.
and Law Enforcement Community partners fully into the FIGs; and, (5) incorporate
the review element “intelligence” into the performance plans of each FBI special
agent and supervisory agent, measuring them on the number of sources developed
and intelligence produced. The FBI also will add an Assistant Special Agent in
Charge (ASAC) for each of the 21 Field Offices that currently are served by only one
ASAC. This individual will be responsible for guiding that office’s national security
mission and will undergo training in intelligence processes and procedures before
assuming the post.67
Since 9/11, the FBI has initiated, or been encouraged to initiate, numerous
organizational, business practices, and resource allocation changes in an attempt to
strengthen its intelligence program. Organizationally, the Bureau first established an
Office of Intelligence — now redesignated as the DI as a result of P.L. 108-458, in
an effort to focus its intelligence efforts. The Bureau also established Field
Intelligence Groups (FIGs) in each of its 56 field offices. Other changes include
hiring additional intelligence analysts and Special Agents dedicated to intelligence
collection; developing a new intelligence training curriculum; and, establishing new
information systems to manage the intelligence flow.68 The following sections detail
some of these changes. Whether the newly appointed EAD for National Security and
deputy head of the National Security Branch will alter these changes remains an open
The FBI is restructuring to support an integrated intelligence program. The FBI
Director also has created new intelligence-related positions and entities at FBI
Headquarters and across its 56 field offices to improve its intelligence capacity.
The Directorate of Intelligence (DI). At the direction of Congress, Director
Mueller in 2004 established a new DI within the FBI that he said would have “broad
67 U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, Report to the President of the United States — FBI
Directorate of Intelligence Comprehensive Plan for the FBI Intelligence Program with
Performance Metrics, Feb. 16, 2005. (Hereafter cited as FBI Comprehensive Report.)
68 While information technology is critical to management of the intelligence cycle, this
report does not focus on the FBI’s information management practices. The FBI’s activities
in this area have been extensively documented by others. See statement of Robert S.
Mueller, Director, FBI, Before the U.S. Congress, House Committee on Appropriations,
Subcommittee on Science, Justice, State, and Commerce, and Related Agencies, Mar. 8,
2005; House Appropriations Surveys and Investigations Staff, The Federal Bureau of
Investigation’s Implementation of the Virtual Case File System: A Report to the Committee
on Appropriations of the U.S. House of Representatives, Apr. 2005; U.S. Department of
Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, The Federal Bureau of
Investigation’s Management of the Trilogy Information Technology Modernization Project,
Audit Report 05-07, Feb. 2005; and National Research Council, May 2004, A Review of the
FBI’s Trilogy’s Information Technology Modernization Program.
and clear authority over intelligence related functions” at the Bureau.69 Figure 2
provides a picture of the Directorate.
Figure 2. FBI Intelligence Directorate
Department of JusticeIntel CoordinatingDirectorateSES Special Assistant;OGAs Detailees
Council Staffof IntelligenceEAD-IIntelligence Issues
DAD for Intel CycleManagementCTDDADCDSCCyDSCCIDSCDAD for IntelProgramSACs
Language Services SectionField Intelligence SectionIntel Management SectionNational Counterterrorism Intel Career Management Intel Program Management
Plans & Intel Career
Translation & Deployment Unit IField Oversight UnitIntelligence Requirements & Administrative DepartmentDevelopment UnitBudget Formulation Unit
Collection Mgmt I
Analysis & Production Training & Threat
Translation & Deployment Unit IIHUMINT Management UnitIntelligence Requirements & DepartmentOversight UnitForecasting &
Collection Mgmt IIPlanning Unit
HUMINT Planning & Policy Terrorists Intelligence
Translation & Deployment Unit IIIUnitExploitation & Targeting UnitIdentities GroupCertification UnitAnalysis & Evaluation Unit
Information Sharing & Intelligence
Operations Management UnitStrategic Analysis & Production UnitKnowledge DevelopmentPersonnel Resources UnitCommunications Unit
Language Testing &
Current Intelligence UnitCurrent Support & RequirementsAssessment UnitAdministrative National Virtual Translation Center
Intelligence Relations UnitTech Planning &
Contract Linguist Unit
Source: FBI Comprehensive Report, Feb. 15, 2005.
69 See Director Mueller Testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Commerce, Justice, State, June 3, 2004. The first public official mention of a DI came in
June 2004 when Director Mueller testified that the FBI intended to take the first step
towards creating an intelligence service within the FBI by creating an intelligence
directorate on the foundation of the already extant Office of Intelligence. Later, Congress,
in two separate bills, each subsequently signed into law, directed the FBI to establish a DI.
See P.L. 108-458, Section 2002, which re-designated the former Office of Intelligence as
the DI. See also P.L. 108-447 and the accompanying Conference Report 108-792 as printed
in the Congressional Record, Nov. 19, 2004, p. H10429, which adopted House report
language establishing a DI. The 9/11 Commission in June 2004 recommended that the FBI
create a “specialized and integrated national security workforce.” See the 9/11 Commission
Report, p. 425.
The FBI describes its Directorate as a dedicated national intelligence workforce
within the Bureau that is comprised of intelligence analysts, language specialists,
physical surveillance specialists and special agents. One of the Directorate’s
principal responsibilities is to manage the Bureau’s intelligence collection and
analysis. The DI also is responsible for (1) analyzing intelligence gaps and
developing sources to collect intelligence to fill those gaps; (2) developing uniform
human source management and evaluation procedures; (3) developing standard
dissemination policies; and, (4) ensuring appropriate focus on tactical intelligence.
Establishment of the new directorate is the most recent in a series of steps the
FBI has taken since the 9/11 terrorist attacks as part of its effort to centralize control
over, and thus improve the Bureau’s intelligence program. The newly established
directorate builds on earlier changes the Bureau made in its intelligence operations
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, Director Mueller established a
dedicated analysis section in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. In December
2001 he centralized the Counterterrorism intelligence program under a new Office
of Intelligence70 within the Counterterrorism Division. Expanding on his 2003
efforts to centralize control over the FBI’s intelligence program, Director Mueller
took three additional actions. First, he directed the Office of Intelligence to
implement an integrated FBI-wide intelligence strategy to improve intelligence
analysis, collection, and sharing, and to develop an intelligence analyst career path.
Second, he elevated intelligence from program support to full program status. And,
third, he established the new position of Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence
New Position of Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence
(EAD-I) and the Office of Intelligence. As part of his effort to centralize
control, Director Mueller established a new position — the EAD-I. The EAD-I
manages a single intelligence program across the FBI’s four investigative/operational
divisions — counterterrorism, counterintelligence, criminal, and cyber. Previously,
each division controlled and managed its own intelligence program. To emphasize
its new and enhanced priority, the Director also elevated intelligence from program
70 The Office of Intelligence has had an uneven, albeit short, leadership history since its
establishment. Although Director Mueller announced OI’s established in Dec. 2001, the
position of OI Assistant Director was vacant for 1½ years, until Apr. 2003. The selected
individual served four months before being appointed to another FBI position. The position
then was vacant for almost five additional months before Michael Rolince, Special-Agent-
in-Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, was appointed to lead the office on an
acting basis in mid-Dec. 2003.
71 The FBI established the position of EAD-I in early 2003, and the position was filled in
Apr. 2003, when Maureen Baginski, the former Director of Signals Intelligence, National
Security Agency, was appointed. It was four months before EAD-I Baginski began working
in her new capacity, and an additional four months before Congress approved the
reprogramming action formally establishing the EAD-I position. Some critics date whatever
progress the FBI has made in upgrading intelligence to Baginski’s arrival, but contend that
because this critical position was left vacant for an extended period of time, the FBI made
little, or no progress, between Sept. 11 and Baginski’s arrival almost 1½ years later.
support to full program status, and established a new Office of Intelligence (OI). The
OI, redesignated the DI by Congress (P.L. 108-458), is responsible for implementing
an integrated FBI-wide intelligence strategy, developing an intelligence analyst career
path, and ensuring that intelligence is appropriately shared within the FBI as well as
with other federal agencies.72 The Directorate also is charged with improving
strategic analysis, implementing an intelligence requirements and collection regime,
and ensuring that the FBI’s intelligence policies are implemented. Finally, the office
oversees the FBI’s participation in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).
The DI, headed by an Assistant Director who reports to the EAD-I, is comprised
of six units: (1) Career Intelligence (works to develop career paths for intelligence
analysts); (2) Strategic Analysis (provides strategic analyses to senior level FBI
executives); (3) Oversight (oversees FIGs); (4) Intelligence Requirements and
Collection Management (establishes and implements procedures to manage the FBI
intelligence process); (5) Administrative Support; and, (6) Executive Support.
FBI Says EAD-I Has Necessary Budget Authorities; Skeptics
Disagree. Director Mueller has stated on several occasions that the EAD-I,
working first through OI and now through its replacement, the DI, wields important
new authorities. In testimony in February 2005, the FBI Director said the FBI had
invested “... unified intelligence authorities...”73 in the FBI’s Office of Intelligence
led by the EAD. Referring to the then-new DI, Director Mueller testified in March
2005, that “... the FBI has established the DI with clear authority and responsibility
for all FBI intelligence functions....”74
Earlier, with regard to the former Office of Intelligence, the Director testified
on September 8, 2004, “... The Office of Intelligence continually monitors
performance through imbedded intelligence elements in the field and headquarters
and adjusts tasking and resources based on nationally directed intelligence
requirements: the authorities and responsibilities of our Office of Intelligence allow
it to carry out two broad areas of responsibilities: management of the FBI
intelligence component; and direction to it to ensure that its activities are in keeping
with the priorities established by the President and the needs of the users of
Critics, however, counter that the EAD-I’s lack of authority is pervasive. The
EAD-I, according to the WMD Commission, lacks control over FIG analysts, special
agent collectors, and intelligence resources. The Commission concluded, for
example, that the DI has little direct control over FIGs, and that the FIGs’ impact on
72 See statement of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI, before Joint Inquiry, Oct. 17, 2002.
73 See “Global Threats to the U.S. and the FBI’s Response,” Testimony of Robert S.
Mueller, III, Director, FBI, before the Senate Select Committee Intelligence, Feb. 16, 2005.
74 See Testimony of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI, before the House Appropriations
Committee, Subcommittee on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the
Judiciary and Related Agencies, June 3, 2004.
75 See “FBI Views on Intelligence Reform,” Testimony of Robert S. Mueller, III, Director,
FBI, before the (then-named) Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.
how field offices conduct counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations
remains questionable. With regard to collection, the Commission concluded that the
Directorate lacks the authority necessary to direct intelligence gathering, and
commands no operational resources. The Commission further asserted that the EAD-
I controls only 4% of the Bureau’s intelligence spending.76
In its second principal change to the Bureau’s intelligence program, the FBI
established FIGs in each of its field offices. And it is in the field where the essential
collection of intelligence takes place, making the FIG a critical determinant of the
FBI’s eventual success in improving its intelligence operation.
New Field Intelligence Groups. If the FBI’s intelligence reform program
has a centerpiece, it arguably is the newly created FIGs. Established in October 2003
in each of the Bureau’s 56 field offices, the FIGs are stand-alone entities comprised77
largely of intelligence analysts, linguists, and surveillance specialists who are
responsible for executing field intelligence operations at the direction and under the
supervision of FBI headquarters. Formerly, Bureau intelligence analysts were
assigned to field operational squads, where they often were tasked by FBI special
agents to check data bases and perform other largely day-to-day functions —
including clerical work — in support of operations. Field analysts rarely were called78
on to conduct strategic analysis and to produce analytic reports.
Each FIG is comprised of intelligence and language analysts, who conduct
largely tactical analyses; special agents, who are responsible for intelligence
collection; reports officers, a relatively newly created position; and security
specialists.79 Reports officers are expected to play a key role by sifting raw,
unevaluated intelligence and determining to whom it should be disseminated within
the FBI and other federal agencies for further processing.
Through its FIGS, the FBI says it intends to accomplish two goals. First, it
wants to use each FIG to serve as a linchpin in the FBI’s plan to integrate law
enforcement and intelligence operations in the field. By establishing intelligence
76 See WMD Report, p. 459.
77 For the purposes of this report, intelligence analysts are defined as all-source analysts who
conduct tactical and strategic analysis. Until recently, the FBI had two categories of
analysts — Intelligence Research Specialists, who were responsible for all-source analysis,
and Intelligence Operations Specialists, who provided tactical analytic support for cases and
operations. The FBI has merged these two positions with the newly created “Reports
Officer” position, and re-titled the consolidated position as “intelligence analyst.” The FBI
says its purpose in doing so is to standardize and integrate intelligence support for the FBI’s
highest priorities. Within the intelligence analyst position, there are four “areas of interest”
— counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal; and three specific work
“functions” — all source, case support, and reports (dissemination).
78 See 9/11 Commission Staff Statement no. 9, “Law Enforcement, Counterterrorism and
Intelligence Collection in the United States Prior to 9/11.”
79 The number of individuals in a field intelligence group varies, depending upon the size
of the field office. See “FBI Field Office Intelligence Operations,” Concept of Operations,
units in each office, the FBI aims to create an atmosphere and structure whereby the
discipline of intelligence will infuse all operations conducted by special agents.
Second, the Bureau, through the FIG, says it wants to elevate the importance of
analysts within an FBI law enforcement culture that has long celebrated the role of
the special agent and had less regard for analysts.80
Ultimately, the Bureau maintains that it wants to reverse that relationship by
empowering analysts and enabling them to analyze available intelligence, identify
gaps in that intelligence and then direct FBI special agents to collect intelligence that
will fill those gaps. According to the FBI, it expects each FIG to progress through
three phases, in a fashion somewhat analogous to a software release, with versions
“1.0 through 3.0.” During version “1.0,” the intent is to bring together analysts in the
FIG and conduct any necessary hiring of new analysts. As part of version “2.0,” the
FIG assumes responsibility for managing the intelligence cycle in the field, insuring
that collected intelligence is analyzed and disseminated. In version “3.0,” the FIG
tasks special agent collectors to collect intelligence against gaps in intelligence that
analysts have determined exist.
FIGs and Driving Intelligence Collection. Whether the FBI will achieve
its stated goal of creating a culture in which its analysts — historically of less status
than special agents — will acquire the institutional authority to task special agents
to collect intelligence remains at least uncertain, and in the view of some, highly
unlikely. Although Bureau reforms are a work in progress, there are indications that
the FBI may be falling short of this particular goal. For example, the 9/11
Commission noted that analysts continue to be assigned menial tasks, including
covering phones at the reception desks and emptying the office trash bins.81 The
WMD Commission in its 2005 report concluded that there is evidence of analysts’
continuing subordinate role.82 CRS’s recent field research largely confirmed those
observations. Although the picture is mixed, and pockets of promise exist, CRS
research indicated that FIG analysts often continue to lack the institutional standing
and authority to direct special agents to collect needed intelligence. One senior FIG
analyst said that the Bureau eventually would accomplish its goal of analytically
driven intelligence collection, but cautioned that “the FBI is still an investigations
driven agency,” where the Bureau’s special agents, rather than its analysts, effectively83
determine what intelligence will be collected. In a comment that reflected the views
of many of those interviewed — both special agents and analysts — an analyst84
conceded, “I cannot imagine [FIG] analysts driving collection.”
CRS found that analysts who had established credibility in the eyes of special
agents could and, on occasion, did direct special agent to collect needed intelligence,
80 Ibid. See FBI, Concept of Operations: FBI Field Office Intelligence Operations, Aug.
81 See “Reforming Law Enforcement, Counterterrorism, and Intelligence Collection in the
United States,” 9/11 Commission Staff Statement, No. 12., pp. 4-5.
82 WMD Commission, p. 455.
83 FIG interview, Nov. 29, 2004.
but that their success in doing so depended on their professional credibility
established over time, rather than on institutional authority derived from their
association with a FIG. Professional credibility undoubtedly is an important
ingredient if an analyst is to successfully direct intelligence collection; so too is
institutionally-derived authority that FIGs are intended to provide. CRS detected
little evidence of the latter. One Supervisory Special Agent commented, “the special
agent will always be the center of the universe.”85
Another contributing factor to the FIGs’ success is the credibility with which
FBI special agents view the intelligence requirements process. If the FIG analysts
lack the institutional power necessary to direct intelligence collection and hold
special agents accountable for that collection — one of the Bureau’s principal
justifications for establishing the FIGs, the FIG construct could become increasingly
FIGs and the Intelligence Requirements Process. One of the tools
used by analysts and special agents to guide intelligence collection is the
“requirements process,” a structured procedure employed by intelligence
professionals to establish intelligence collection priorities. Specifically, the Bureau
identifies gaps in its understanding of terrorism and instructs its special agents to fill
those gaps by collecting certain intelligence. The FBI also provides unclassified, law
enforcement sensitive versions to state, local and tribal law enforcement partners, so
that they can assist in broadening the Bureau’s understanding of domestic terrorism
through their own intelligence collection. Both sets of requirements — those used
by the Bureau and those used at the state and local level — are supposed to be refined
versions that reflect national collection requirements established by the DNI.
Most observers view the FBI’s development of a formal requirements process
as a new and positive development that will bring more rigor to the Bureau’s
intelligence program. But whether field agents accept and act on the requirements
will turn on their willingness to conform to a more formal intelligence process than
they are used to, one in which collection priorities essentially are established by
intelligence analysts, and special agents are held accountable for collecting needed
intelligence. A central tenet of a high-order functioning intelligence organization is
that it is able to harness its collection resources to nationally developed and
coordinated intelligence priorities and gaps. The intelligence cycle is just that, a
cycle, in which analysts and collectors interact regularly to incorporate new
information and refine intelligence collection requirements; analysts and collectors86
are central to the cycle.
The 9/11 Commission noted with concern that it found gaps between some of
the announced reforms and the reality in the field. Specifically, the Commission
stated, “... that management in the field offices still can allocate people and resources
to local concerns that diverge from the national security missions. This system could
86 The conceptually pure intelligence model, one in which analysis “drives” intelligence
collection is difficult to achieve, and, as many intelligence professionals are aware, there is
no one agency in the IC that implements such a model flawlessly.
revert to a focus on lower-priority criminal justice cases over national security
requirements.”87 The WMD Commission expressed similar concerns with regard to
the requirements process, noting that many field offices are still tempted to put law
enforcement ahead of intelligence-gathering.
CRS field interviews surfaced similar concerns. Acceptance of the intelligence
requirements process appears to be mixed. While pockets of promise exist, field
research indicates that the FBI’s ability to formally harness intelligence collection
(including systemic accountability mechanisms) to analytically identified intelligence
gaps, remains nascent. Although some found the formal intelligence collection
requirements document to be useful, the prevailing view was that special agents,
rather than intelligence analysts, were best positioned to determine what intelligence
needed to be collected. Referring to the new formal collection requirements, one
federal official stated, “We do it intuitively ... I know what the information
requirements are.” Another official said, “If I have a piece of information, I’ll find
the requirements that it fits.” The latter sentiment, could be a troubling indication
that some agents continue to rely on reactively collecting intelligence in response to
an event, than fit into an existing collection requirement. Although some intelligence
collection requirements can be filled in this manner, many observers believe it not
a proactive or efficient means of doing so.
Such views raise questions about the role of FBI intelligence analysts and the
viability of the new FIG structures. While the progression of the FIGs through
various stages of analysis will take time, what remains to be seen is whether the FBI
is capable of making the cultural change necessary to implement an effective,
efficient, and formalized intelligence cycle.
FIGs and Tactical Versus Strategic Intelligence Analysis.88 In
addition to ultimately driving intelligence collection through the requirements
process, FIG analysts are expected to tactically and strategically analyze intelligence,
disseminating their results to the Bureau, state and local law enforcement partners,
and, when appropriate, to the rest of the IC. Historically, analysts in the field have
spent the bulk of their time providing tactical support to ongoing cases; external
dissemination and strategic analysis generally were secondary functions.
87 See Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
States, p. 425.
88 Tactical analysis is generally thought of as analysis which provides direct support to an
ongoing intelligence operation or investigation. Strategic analysis, on the other hand,
provides a broader scope of analytical activities designed to assess national threats, threat
trends, and the modus operandi of individuals or groups that threaten U.S. national security.
As defined by the 9/11 Commission, the role of strategic (counterterrorism) analysis is to
“... look across individual operations and cases to identify trends in terrorist activity and
develop broad assessments of the terrorist threat to U.S. interests.” See “Law Enforcement,
Counterterrorism, and Intelligence Collection in the United States Prior to 9/11,” Staff
Statement no. 9, p. 8. Although strategic analysis can be highly useful to operational
personnel, its intended consumer set includes, but is not limited to, national level policy and
decision makers. Tactical and strategic intelligence analyses are mutually supportive.
While the WMD Commission said that the FBI had made significant progress
in tactically analyzing intelligence, and disseminating it, the Commission expressed
concern that the Bureau’s strategic capabilities — those that are central to guiding a
long-term, systematic approach to national security issues — have lagged. The
Commission attributed this to the Bureau’s failure to carve out time for the its
analysts in the field to do long-term, strategic analysis. According to the WMD
Commission, the FBI currently publishes approximately a quarter as many long-term
(non-current) analytical pieces as CIA does in a given year.89
CRS interviews indicated those FIGs visited have been disseminating a
substantially increased number of Intelligence Information Reports (IIRs).90
However, there appears to be a continued relative dearth of strategic analysis
produced. According to the FBI’s statistics, in the first eight months of FY2005,
Bureau analysts produced 5,630 IIRs and 80 strategic assessments. There could be
a number of explanations for this. One could argue that it is a question of resources
— that only when the FIGs are fully staffed, will individuals be allocated to the
strategic analytical functions. Each field office handled the three analytical work
functions differently — for example, some wanted analysts cross-trained in each of
the three work roles, and others had individual analysts allocated to one of the three
functions. Critics may contend that local FIG management is not allocating sufficient
resources to strategic analysis. That is, if focused strategic analysis is one of the core
principals of FBI intelligence reform, one could expect that some percentage of on-
board intelligence analysts should be dedicated to that function regardless of how
many intelligence analysts each field office has.
New National (and More Regional) Joint Terrorism Task Force(s).
In July 2002, the FBI established a National Joint Terrorism Task Force (NJTTF),
which coordinates its nationwide network of 103 Joint Terrorism Task Forces91
(JTTFs). The NJTTF also coordinates closely with the FBI’s newly established
Counterterrorism Watch, a 24-hour operations center, which is responsible for
tracking terrorist threats and disseminating information about them to the JTTFs, to
the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Operations Center and,
indirectly, to state and local law enforcement. CT Watch is located at the FBI’s
the Bureau has increased their number from 35 (2001) to 103 in 2005, and the
89 See Report of the WMD Commission, Mar. 31, 2005, p. 454.
90 IIRs generally provide raw, unevaluated intelligence to a wide variety of consumers. FBI-
wide and according to the FBI Director’s testimony, the FBI had a “222% increase in the
dissemination of Intelligence Information Reports ...” from calendar year 2003 to calendar
year 2004. See Mar. 8, 2005 testimony.
91 JTTFs are FBI-led and are comprised of other federal, state and local law enforcement
officials. JTTFs serve as the primary mechanism through which intelligence derived from
FBI investigations and operations is shared with non-FBI law enforcement officials. JTTFs
also serve as the principal link between the IC and state and local law enforcement officials.
92 See statement of Larry A. Mefford, Executive Assistant Director — Counterterrorism and
Counterintelligence, FBI, U.S. Congress, House Select Committee on Homeland Security,
Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Science, Research and Development; and the
Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Border Security, Sept. 4, 2003.
number of federal, state and local participants has more than quadrupled — to over
Participation in the New National Counterterrorism Center. President
Bush in his January 2003 State of the Union address announced the establishment of
the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), which was responsible for issuing93
threat assessments based on all-source intelligence analysis. The TTIC was a joint
venture comprised of a number of federal agencies with counterterrorism
responsibilities, and was directed by a CIA-named official, and a deputy director
named by the FBI. Subsequently, and pursuant to P.L. 108-458, (50 U.S.C. 401 note)
“... all functions and activities discharged by the Terrorist Threat Integration
Center...” were transferred to the newly established National Counterterrorism Center94
(NCTC). Congress directed that the Director of the NCTC “... shall administer the
Terrorist Threat Integration Center ... as a component of the DI of the National95
Counterterrorism Center....” As of early 2005, the NCTC had more than 600
employees, with approximately 250 being provided by various U.S. government96
agencies and the remainder consisting of private sector contractors.
New Position of Executive Assistant Director for Law Enforcement
Services. The FBI has been criticized for failing to effectively share intelligence
within the Bureau, with other intelligence agencies comprising the U.S. Intelligence
Community, and state and local law enforcement authorities. In an effort to address
these concerns, Director Mueller established the new position of Executive Assistant
Director for Law Enforcement Services under which was placed the new Office of
Law Enforcement Coordination. A former state police chief now heads that office
and is responsible for ensuring that relevant intelligence is shared, as appropriate,
with state and local law enforcement.
In addition to these organizational changes, the FBI has attempted to alter its
business practices. A major theme in this area is an attempt to formalize the
93 See CRS Report RS21283, Homeland Security: Intelligence Support, by Richard A. Best,
94 See P.L. 108-458, §1092.
96 See Faye Bowers, “U.S. Intelligence Agencies Make Headway on Reform,” Christian
Science Monitor, Mar. 14, 2005. CRS interview with NCTC official, Mar. 29, 2005. For
additional information on the NCTC, see CRS Report RL32816, The National
Counterterrorism Center: Implementation Challenges and Issues for Congress, by Todd
M. Masse. On June 10, 2005, President Bush nominated Vice Admiral John S. Redd for the
position of Director of NCTC, Office of the DNI. The Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence held confirmation hearings on July 21,2005. Mr. Redd was subsequently
confirmed by the Senate by voice vote on July 28, 2005.
Business Process Changes
To transform and upgrade its intelligence program, the FBI is changing how it
processes intelligence by formally embracing the traditional intelligence cycle, a
long-time practice followed by the rest of the IC.
The Intelligence Cycle. The FBI is attempting to formalize and discipline
its approach to intelligence by embracing the traditional intelligence cycle (See
Figure 1, below), a process through which (1) intelligence collection priorities are
identified by national level officials, (2) priorities are communicated to the collectors
who collect this information through various human and national technical means,
(3) the analysis and evaluation of this raw intelligence are converted into finished
intelligence products, (4) finished intelligence products are disseminated to
consumers inside and outside the FBI and DOJ, and (5) a feedback mechanism is
created to provide collectors, analysts and collection requirements officials with
consumer assessment of intelligence value. To advance that effort, the EAD-I
developed and issued nine concepts of operations, which essentially constitute a
strategic plan identifying those areas in which changes must be made. These changes
are seen as necessary if the FBI is to successfully establish an effective intelligence
program that is both internally coordinated and integrated with its IC counterparts.
However, as outlined above, many observers have concluded that due to certain
structural and cultural factors, despite its many changes the FBI does not yet have
an integrated intelligence cycle. If, as limited CRS field research indicates, obstacles
to the establishment of an intelligence gap-driven collections strategy continue, the
intelligence cycle could become disjointed, a series of discrete events, versus a
reinforcing cycle between intelligence collector, analyst, and consumer.
Figure 3. The Intelligence Cycle
Source: [http://www.FBI.gov], as altered by the Congressional Research Service.
The FBI is trying to improve and upgrade its functional capabilities at each step
along the cycle. Success may turn, in part, on the performance of the Directorate of
Intelligence, as it executes its responsibility to “... manage and satisfy needs for the
collection, production and dissemination of intelligence” within the FBI and to
ensure requirements “levied on the FBI by national, international, state and local
agencies” are met.97
With regard to counterintelligence, which is information gathered, and activities
conducted, to protect against espionage, other intelligence activities, sabotage, or
assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign governments or elements thereof,
foreign organizations, or foreign persons, or international terrorist activities, the FBI
has established six field demonstration projects led by experienced FBI retirees.
These teams are responsible for assessing intelligence capabilities at six individual
field offices and making recommendations to correct deficiencies.98
97 See FBI, Concept of Operations: FBI Intelligence Requirements and Collection
Management, Aug. 2003, prepared jointly by FBI Headquarters divisions, reviewed by FBI
field office representatives and coordinated by the FBI’s Office of Intelligence, Aug. 2003.
The Assistant Director, Office of Intelligence, reports to the EAD-I.
98 Funding was authorized under the FY2004 Intelligence Authorization Act (P.L. 108-177).
Resource Enhancement and Allocation Changes
In the last several years, Congress has approved increases in FBI spending
totaling 68% — raising spending from $3.1 billion in FY2000 to $5.2 billion in
FY2005.99 For FY2006, the Bush Administration requested $5.7 billion for the FBI,
which would finance 2,086 new positions — 615 Agents and 508 Intelligence
Analysts — and $496 million in new investments aimed at strengthening the
Bureau’s Intelligence Program, and support Counterterrorism and
Counterintelligence activities.100 Figure 4 below illustrates the increases in terms of
gross new budget authority (appropriations). Although Congress has not given final
approval to the requested increase, the House Appropriations Committee supports the
Administration’s request but noted its concern over what it views as a growing
imbalance between continuing Administration requests for funding for additional
staff and fund spending requests to improve the Bureau’s infrastructure. In its report,
the Committee stated, “... while the FBI has been provided a significant number of
additional staffing resources since September 11, 2001, investment in the FBI’s
infrastructure has not increased correspondingly.”101 The panel reduced requested
personnel funding to 1,629 new positions, and devoted the funding difference to the
following programs: information technology program management, training,
information technology network connectivity, administrative staff, expanded secure
space, and recruitment and retention.102
The legislation permits the FBI Director to “... enter into personal services contracts if the
personal services to be provided under such contracts directly support the intelligence or
counterintelligence missions of the FBI.”
99 See [http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/2003summary/html/FBIcharts.htm] and U.S. Congress,
House Committee on Appropriations, Commerce, Justice, and State Subcommittee, Where
the Money Goes: Fiscal 2004 Appropriations, Conference Report, H.Rept. 108-401. For
FY2006 numbers, see U.S. Department of Justice, Justice Management Division,
Department of Justice Request Information by Appropriation, FBI.
100 See Testimony of Robert S. Muller, III, Director, FBI, before the House Appropriations
Committee, Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies,
Mar. 8, 2005. See also Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, 2006 Budget
and Performance Summary.
101 See U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Appropriations, Science,
State, Justice, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, FY2006 (H.Rept. 109-118), p. 24.
Figure 4. FBI Funding Increases
*Source: Office of Management and Budget, Department of Justice FY2006 Budget Request.
Note: FY2006 numbers represent the Administration’s request. The requested amount, $5.7
billion, does not include the $74 million supplemental for the FBI in the Iraqi War
Supplemental. In part, these funds will be allocated to the Terrorist Screening Center.
Intelligence Analyst Cadre. By January 31, 2005, the number of newly
hired FBI analysts had climbed 76% since FY2001 — increasing to 1,800 from
1,023.103 (See Figure 5.) For FY2006, the Administration requested an additional
According to the Office of Management and Budget, the Administration’s total
FY2006 total budget request of $5.7 billion would adequately support a total analytic
cadre of 2,700.105 It appears, however, that adequate infrastructure support for
Bureau analysts is still lacking in certain critical areas. For example, as of this
writing, some analysts in the field still did not have Internet access on their
103 U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, Report to the President of the United States — FBI
Directorate of Intelligence Comprehensive Plan for the FBI Intelligence Program with
Performance Metrics, Feb. 16, 2005, p. 65.
104 See Testimony of Robert S. Muller, III, Director, FBI, before the House Appropriations
Committee, Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies,
Mar. 8, 2005.
105 See Office of Management and Budget, Department of Justice, Budget of the United
States Government, FY2006. As of Jan. 31, 2005, the FBI had approximately 1,800
intelligence analysts on board. See also U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, Report to the
President of the United States — FBI Directorate of Intelligence Comprehensive Plan for
the FBI Intelligence Program with Performance Metrics, Feb. 16, 2005, p. 41.
desktops.106 And some analysts had yet to receive the Bureau’s training in basic
analytic skills. One possible conclusion is that the Bureau has failed to adequately
fund infrastructure support for its new analysts. If true, this could pose long-term
retention issues as new analysts scan a very competitive environment for analytic
talent and gravitate toward those employers who are able to fully support them.
Figure 5. Intelligence Analysts On Board
12 12 11 80
FY 2001FY 2002FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005
Source: FBI Comprehensive Report, p. 65.
Note: FY2005 numbers through Jan. 31, 2005.
Inadequate support may also raise retention issues. Although the turnover of
FBI intelligence analysts has decreased for two consecutive fiscal years, from 10%
in FY2002 to 9% in FY2003 and 8% in FY2004, according to a recent Department
of Justice OIG Audit Report, 35% of intelligence analysts hired since 2002 “do not
plan to remain in those positions for the next five years.”107 If that percentage holds
true, of the 777 analysts hired since FY2003, 270 can be expected to leave their
current positions over the next five years. Moreover, approximately 75% of
intelligence analysts employed by the FBI who served six or fewer years as Bureau
analysts, departed in FY2004. The Department of Justice OIG concluded that
analysts, particularly those who have earned advanced degrees, are most likely to
leave the Bureau within two years of being hired — a matter of no small consequence
given that 56% of all new intelligence analysts hired by the FBI between FY2002
and 2004 had advanced degrees.108
Existing Analytical Resource Allocation. The FBI also faces a challenge
in striking the appropriate balance in allocating its analytic resources in the field
between counterterrorism and its other largely criminal investigations. Director
Mueller has established counterterrorism as the Bureau’s priority. And, yet, in some
field offices, the deployment of analytic resources does not appear to reflect that
priority. For example, in one field office CRS visited, almost 40% of analysts were
106 The lack of desktop access to the Internet, according to FBI officials, is shared by other
intelligence agencies across the IC.
107 See U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Audit Division, The
Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Efforts to Hire, Train, and Retain Intelligence Analysts,
Audit Report 05-20, May 2005, pp. xii - xiii.
108 Ibid., p. 15.
detailed to support white collar and violent crime investigations. The remaining 60%
were evenly split between supporting counterterrorism and counterintelligence cases.
The Bureau contends that the information it gleans from its criminal investigations
often provide important leads in counterterrorism cases, and thus justifies continuing
to devote significant analytic resources to on-going criminal investigations.
Enhanced Personnel Authorities
Both the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-447) and the
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458) provide
the FBI with enhanced human resource authorities. These authorities include (1) an
exemption from Chapter 51 of Title 5, U.S. Code with respect to the establishment
of positions for intelligence analysts, (2) the establishment of an FBI Ready Reserve
Service, (3) an increase in the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65 years of age
for no more than 50 exemptions in any fiscal year, and (4) the payment of retention
and relocation bonuses to FBI employees with unique qualifications. P.L. 108-447
provided $30 million above the FBI’s FY2005 request to implement these
authorities; it was enacted in December 2004.
Research indicates that insofar as the exemptions to Chapter 51 of Title 5 are
concerned, the FBI still does not currently have any GS-15 non-supervisory
intelligence analysts.109 While the FBI is in the process of establishing Senior
Intelligence Officer (SIO) positions similar to National Intelligence Officers, it
appears that only half of the previously announced positions are geared toward
regional and/or functional threats. The FBI has requested one SIO position for each
of the following geographic areas: (1) East Asia, (2) Europe, (3) Latin
America/Africa, (4) Near East/South Asia, and (5) Russia/Eurasia.110 Additional SIO
positions pending Office of Personnel Management approval in August 2005
included the following functional areas: (1) counterterrorism, (2) counterintelligence,
(3) global crime, and (4) financial intelligence. Other requested positions are more
policy oriented, such as congressional affairs, information technology, and legal
issues. Issues may arise as to how the incumbents will interact with the existing
Assistant Director for Congressional Affairs, Chief Information Officer, and General
Counsel, respectively. In disputes over national security or intelligence policy, for
example, how much weight do the Assistant Directors for Counterterrorism and
Counterintelligence, the EAD — National Security Service, the SIO
Counterterrorism; and SIO Policy have?
109 Field interviews at aforementioned FBI Field Offices.
110 According to the FBI, it has modeled these positions on the National Intelligence
Council. The FBI’s role in collecting foreign intelligence is outlined in Executive Order
12333 (signed 1981), Section 1.14(c), which states: “... the FBI shall conduct within the
United States, when requested by officials of the Intelligence Community designated by the
President, activities undertaken to collect foreign intelligence or support foreign intelligence
collection requirements of other agencies within the Intelligence Community, or when
requested by the Director of the National Security Agency, to support the communications
security activities of the United States Government.” Section 1.14(d) also states “.. the FBI
shall produce and disseminate foreign intelligence and counterintelligence.” Recently, the
FBI and the CIA signed a classified memorandum of understanding covering these matters.
Issues for Congress
In approving the most sweeping reform of the Intelligence Community (IC)
since its establishment in 1947, Congress fundamentally altered the Community’s
chain of command by establishing the new position of Director of National
Intelligence (DNI) as part of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act
of 2004. Among the many issues confronting the DNI, one of the most important is
his assessment of the FBI’s efforts to reform its intelligence program. Congress
could confront a number of issues in measuring FBI performance in this critical area.
They include the following:
!The FBI’s new focus on centralized headquarters decision-making;
!Implementation challenges, including those in each area of the
!Congressional oversight; and
!The adequacy of resources to support reforms.
The Role of Centralized Decision-Making in Strengthening
Some observers believe a major issue is whether the FBI’s new centralized
management structure will provide the organization with the requisite formal and
informal authority to ensure that its intelligence priorities are implemented effectively
and efficiently by FBI field offices. Historically, and particularly with respect to the
FBI’s law enforcement activities, field offices have had a relatively high degree of
autonomy to pursue locally determined priorities. A related issue is whether FBI
employees will embrace, or resist, FBI Headquarters’ enhanced management role and
its new emphasis on intelligence.
Supporters Contend Centralized Management Will Help Prevent
Terrorism by Improving FBI’s Intelligence Program. Supporters argue that
a centralized management structure is an essential ingredient of a counterterrorism
program, because it will enable the FBI to strengthen its intelligence program,
establish intelligence as a priority at FBI field offices and improve headquarters-field
According to proponents, FBI Director Mueller has centralized authority by
making six principal structural changes. He has (1) established a new DI within the
FBI that will have “broad and clear authority over intelligence related functions at the
111 An organization’s structure and business processes influence its performance. Large
organizations with dispersed operations continually assess the appropriate balance between
decentralized and centralized elements of their operations. Although the mission of
National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) is unrelated to that of the FBI, it too
has dispersed operations. In a review of the causes of the 1986 Columbia shuttle accident,
the board investigating the accident found that “The ability to operate in a centralized
manner when appropriate, and to operate in a decentralized manner when appropriate, is the
hallmark of a high-reliability organization.” See Columbia Accident Investigation Report,
vol. I, Aug. 2003. Available at [http://www.caib.us/news/report/volume1/default.html].
Bureau”;112 (2) established a new position of Executive Assistant Director for
Intelligence (EAD-I); (3) created a new Office of Intelligence to exercise control over
the FBI’s historically fragmented intelligence program; (4) established a National
Joint Terrorism Task Force; (5) established intelligence units in each field office to
collect, analyze and disseminate intelligence to FBI Headquarters, and (6) based on
the recommendations of the WMD Commission and subsequent White House
guidance, created a National Security Branch within the FBI that will integrate “...the
FBI’s national security mission with the Director of National Intelligence and the
Supporters contend that by centralizing decision-making, the FBI will be able
to address several critical weaknesses which the JIC Inquiry attributed to
decentralized management. First, a central management structure will enable the FBI
to more easily correlate intelligence, and thereby more accurately assess the presence
of terrorists in the United States. Second, the FBI will be able to strengthen its
analysis capabilities, particularly with regard to strategic analysis, which is intended
to provide a broader understanding of terrorist threats and terrorist organization.
Third, FBI Headquarters will be able to more effectively fuse and share intelligence
internally, and with other IC agencies. Finally, centralized decision-making will
provide FBI Headquarters a means to enforce intelligence priorities in the field.
Specifically, it provides a means for FBI Headquarters to ensure that field agents
spend less time gathering information to support criminal prosecutions — a legacy
of the FBI’s law enforcement culture — and more time collecting and analyzing
intelligence that will help prevent terrorist acts.
Supporters contend that employees are embracing centralized management and
the FBI’s new intelligence priorities, but caution it is premature to pronounce
centralized management a success. Rather, they suggest that, “with careful planning,
the commitment of adequate resources and personnel, and hard work, progress should
be well along in three or four years,”114 but concede that, “we’re a long way from
Skeptics Agree Strong Intelligence Essential, But Question
Whether Centralized Decision-Making Will Improve Program. Skeptics
agree that if the FBI is to prevent terrorism, it must strengthen its intelligence
program, establish intelligence as a priority at FBI field offices, and improve
headquarters-field coordination. But they question whether centralizing decision
112 See Testimony by Director Mueller before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on
Commerce, Justice, State, June 3, 2004.
113 See Aug. 12, 2005 FBI press release available at
[http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel05/nsbleadership081205.htm]. According to this
document, the FBI will consolidate the positions of EAD for Counterterrorism and
Counterintelligence and EAD for Intelligence into a single EAD for National Security.
114 See statement of Richard Thornburgh, Chairman, Academy Panel on FBI Reorganization,
NAPA, U.S. Congress, House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce,
State, Justice, the Judiciary and Related Agencies, June 18, 2003, p. 3.
115 Interview with an FBI official, Jan. 6, 2004.
making at FBI Headquarters will enable the FBI to accomplish these goals, and they
cite two principal factors in which they suggest will undermine the impact of
centralized decision making. They question whether any structural management
changes can (1) change a vested and ingrained law enforcement culture, and (2)
overcome the FBI’s lack of intelligence experience and integration with the IC.
Skeptics Believe FBI’s Law Enforcement Culture Will Prove
Impervious to Centralized Decision-Making. Skeptics assert that the FBI’s
entrenched law enforcement culture will undermine its effort to establish an effective
and efficient intelligence program by centralizing decision-making at FBI
Headquarters. They point to the historical importance that the FBI has placed on
convicting criminals — including terrorists. But those convictions have come after
the fact, and skeptics argue that the FBI will continue to encounter opposition within
its ranks to adopting more subtle and somewhat unfamiliar intelligence methods
designed to prevent terrorism. Former Attorney General Janet Reno, for example,
reportedly “leaned toward closing down surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence116
Surveillance Act (FISA) if they hindered criminal cases.” One observer said, “law
enforcement and intelligence don’t fit ... law enforcement always wins.”117
Some observers speculate that one reason law enforcement priorities prevail
over those of intelligence is because convictions that can disrupt terrorist planning
in advance of an attack often are based on lesser charges, such as immigration
violations. FBI field personnel therefore may conclude that they should focus more
effort on prosecuting criminal cases that result in longer jail terms.118 Observers also
suggest that because of the importance attached to successful criminal prosecutions,
to the extent intelligence is used, it will be used to support criminal investigations,119
rather than to learn more about potential counterterrorism targets.
Skeptics are convinced that the FBI’s law enforcement culture is too entrenched,
and resistant to change, to be easily influenced by FBI Headquarters directives
emphasizing the importance of intelligence in preventing terrorism. They cite the
Gilmore Commission, which concluded
... the Bureau’s long-standing traditional organizational culture persuades us that,
even with the best of intentions, the FBI cannot soon be made over into an
organization dedicated to detecting and preventing attacks rather than one120
dedicated to punishing them.
116 See JIC Inquiry, p. 224.
117 Interview with a former senior intelligence official, Oct. 15, 2003.
118 See JIC Inquiry, p. 224.
119 See Testimony of John MacGaffin, III, before the National Commission on Terrorist
Attacks Upon the United States, Dec. 8, 2003, p. 4.
120 See, Implementing the National Strategy: Fourth Annual Report to the President and the
Congress of the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism
Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (Gilmore Commission), pp. 43-44.
Skeptics Also Question Whether Centralized Decision Making Can
Overcome FBI’s Lack of Intelligence Experience. Skeptics assert that the
FBI’s inexperience in the intelligence area has caused it to misunderstand the role
intelligence can play in preventing terrorism, and they question whether centralized
decision-making can correct this deficiency.
Specifically, they contend the FBI does not understand how to collect
intelligence about potential counterterrorism targets, and properly analyze it. Instead,
skeptics argue that notwithstanding the FBI’s current efforts to develop detailed
collection requirements, FBI agents will likely continue to “gather” evidence to
support criminal cases. Moreover, skeptics argue, the FBI will “run faster, and jump
higher,” in gathering even more information at the urging of FBI Headquarters to121
“improve” intelligence. Missing, however, according to critics, is the ability to
implement successfully a system in which intelligence is collected according to a
strategically determined set of collection requirements that specifically target
operational clandestine activity. These collection requirements in turn must be
informed by strategic analysis that integrates a broader understanding of terrorist
threats and known and (conceptually) unknown gaps in the FBI’s intelligence base.
Critics fear that FBI analysts, instead, will continue to spend the bulk of their time
providing tactical analytic support to FBI operational units pursuing cases, rather than
systematically and strategically analyzing all-source intelligence and FBI intelligence
The FBI is likely to confront significant challenges in implementing its reforms.
Its most fundamental challenge, some assert, will be to transform the FBI’s deeply
entrenched law enforcement culture, and its emphasis on criminal convictions, into
a culture that emphasizes the importance that intelligence plays in counterterrorism
and counterintelligence. Although observers believe that FBI Director Mueller is
identifying and communicating his counterterrorism and intelligence priorities, they
caution that effective reform implementation will be the ultimate determinant of
success. The FBI, they say, must implement programs to recruit intelligence
professionals with operational and analytical expertise; structure formal career
development paths, including defined paths to promotion; and continue to improve
information management and technology. These changes, they say, should be
implemented in a timely fashion, as several years have passed since the attacks of
September 11, 2001. They also contend the FBI must improve intelligence sharing
within the FBI and with other IC agencies, and with federal, state and local agencies.
Technology. It is axiomatic that intelligence collected fails to have utility if
it cannot be retrieved, analyzed and shared with appropriate personnel in a timely
fashion. While the FBI’s experience with the Virtual Case File (VCF) was a
resounding and well documented failure, it has made progress in other areas. As the
FBI develops its new Sentinel system, Congress is expected to follow its progress to
ensure that the well-documented maladies associated with the VCF program are not
repeated once again. Moreover, as turnover of senior leadership responsible for
121 Interview with a former senior FBI official, Aug. 21, 2003.
information technology at the FBI has been a problem, Congress may explore with
the FBI additional means, if necessary, of ensuring executive continuity, particularly
for the Chief Information Officer position.
Smart Growth and Human Resources. While technical tools have been
and continue to be instrumental in the collection of intelligence, human capabilities122
are essential. Since September 11, 2001, the FBI has been under tremendous
pressure to hire, train, and retain intelligence professionals. As indicated above, the
FBI has nearly doubled the size of its analytical cadre, while substantially increasing
the number of special agents dedicated to national security. However, with such
rapid hiring and reallocation comes increasing infrastructure demands that the FBI
was not, arguably, prepared for. As mentioned above, limited CRS research suggests
newly hired analysts in the field continue to wait for training opportunities for
periods longer than they were initially told by their supervisors. Notwithstanding
new human resource authorities provided to the FBI by IRTPA (P.L. 108-458) and
FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-447), efforts to provide expert,
senior level positions and promotion opportunities for FBI intelligence analysts do
not currently exist. The reinvented performance appraisal systems for both special
agents dedicated to the FBI’s two top priorities and intelligence analysts have yet to
be formally implemented. The FBI maintains that it “fundamentally changed the123
criteria for hiring special agents and intelligence analysts (in the wake of 9/11) ...”
Historically speaking, the FBI has placed a premium on interchangeable generalists
who could be transferred from program to program.
Intelligence Community Integration Bridging the Foreign/Domestic
Divide. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the distinction between U.S.
domestic and foreign intelligence collection activities has blurred as authorities
grapple with the possibilities raised by terrorists crossing U.S. borders.
Although the FBI and CIA historically have shared responsibilities for foreign
intelligence collection in the United States and, since 9/11, have been recognized in
some quarters for improving coordination, skeptics contend that both agencies still
spend an inordinate amount of time fighting over turf, particularly when it comes to
gathering intelligence in the United States.124 According to the WMD Commission,
122 This was one of many important themes mentioned in the report issued by the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Yet
123 See John Solomon, “FBI Failed to Hire MidEast Experts, Guardian Unlimited, Jun 19,
124 This issue involves more than the FBI and CIA. Some experts have maintained that with
the proliferation of entities engaged in domestic intelligence or counterterrorism intelligence
in the wake of 9/11, there has been a diffusion of accountability for counterterrorism
functions that may undermine the U.S. government’s collective counterterrorism efforts.
In the words of John Gannon, former National Intelligence Council Chairman, “... in an
effort to converge accountability, we’ve actually created divided accountability....” Which
agencies/entities have which responsibilities, and are the functional expectations reasonable
for any one entity? Moreover, according to Gannon, in an era of steady demand for
for example, “clashes have become all too common ..., particularly in the context of
intelligence gathered in the United States. Both agencies agree that lack of
coordination has jeopardized on-going intelligence activities.”125
The FBI and CIA reportedly have agreed to a memorandum of understanding
(MOU) that outlines ways to better coordinate each agency’s respective intelligence
activities. The MOU reportedly represents the first such agreement between the two
agencies in nearly two decades. The MOU is classified and is not expected to be
made public. According to press accounts, however, it stipulates the procedures both
agencies would follow, particularly when targets of interest travel to the United
States from overseas.
FBI Field Leadership. An important issue is whether the FBI’s field
leadership is able and willing to support Director Mueller’s reforms. Critics argue
that the lack of national security experience among the existing cadre of Special
Agents-in-Charge (SACs) of the FBI’s field offices represents a significant
impediment to change. According to one former senior FBI official, “... over 90%
of the SACs have very little national security experience....”126 He suggested that
lack of understanding and experience would result in continued field emphasis on
law enforcement rather than an intelligence approach to terrorism cases. According
to the WMD Commission, “... even now, only nine of the heads of the FBI’s 56 field
offices come from divisions other than the Criminal Division.”127 While it is
arguable how much national security expertise a senior level executive should
have,128 in today’s complex threat environment, leaders with an expertise in national
security matters may prove the most useful.
Supporters counter that Director Mueller has made it clear that his priorities are
intelligence and terrorism prevention. Some SACs who have been uncomfortable
with the new priorities have chosen to retire. But critics contend that it will require
a number of years of voluntary attrition before field leadership more attuned to the
importance of intelligence is in place.
decentralized analysis to support operations, the perception or expectation that one stop
shopping “intelligence centers” will be a panacea may be problematic. See transcript of the
first public panel of the Public Discourse Project, “The Unfinished Agenda: CIA and FBI
Reform,” June 6, 2005, available at [http://www.9-11pdp.org/ua/2005-06-06_transcript.pdf].
125 See WMD Report, p. 469.
126 Interview with a former senior FBI official, Oct. 2, 2003.
127 See WMD Report, p. 453.
128 According to a recent press article, Gary M. Bald, recently appointed as the EAD for
National Security, when asked about his knowledge of Middle East culture and history,
reportedly stated, “I wish I had it, it would be nice.” According to this same article, Director
Muller reportedly stated that knowledge of international terrorism, Middle East history and
dealing with foreign governments was “helpful, not essential,” for senior level FBI
counterterrorism positions. See John Solomon, FBI Chief Won’t Mandate Terror Expertise,
Associated Press, June 21, 2005.
An additional issue raised by some observers is the relatively brief tenure of FBI
senior executives, both in the field and at Headquarters. Former Attorney General
Richard Thornburgh recently stated that the “... median tenure of a special agent in
charge is 15 months ... and the average tenure of an senior executive service (SES)
at headquarters is 13 months....”129 One could argue that given the long-term nature
of implementing such significant cultural change at the FBI there is a need for leaders
to remain in place for periods longer than 15 months.
Intelligence Cycle Implementation in the Field. The essence of the
intelligence cycle is that intelligence collectors, analysts, consumers and those setting
intelligence collection requirements are all part of an integrated and holistic system.
The output of the cycle is only as strong as its constituent elements. Moreover, each
stage of the cycle is accountable to the others in a non-linear fashion. That is, for
example, the consumers are accountable to those drafting collection requirements
because their feedback and view of global threats feed directly into the establishment
of additional, or refinement of existing, intelligence requirements. Intelligence
collectors are accountable to analysts, as analysts represent institutional, global, and
strategic knowledge about particular threats, and gaps in the IC’s intelligence base
about these threats.
While the FBI has made some progress in certain elements of the intelligence
cycle, arguably, it does not as yet have a well developed system. As outlined above,
CRS research indicates that the FIGs do not as yet have the institutional power to
task intelligence collection. One supervisory special agent told CRS, the
“Intelligence cycle remains an event (for us), not a process.” Impediments to
implementing an effective and efficient intelligence cycle include, among other
factors, the culture of the FBI, wherein intelligence analysts, particularly in the field,
may not be treated as equals. Observers differ as to whether they believe the FBI is
capable of making these changes. The optimists/”synergists” cite the FBI’s history
of changing to meet the demands of the time and believe, over time, it will make the
necessary changes to become a proactive domestic intelligence and investigative
agency. Skeptics believe that intelligence and law enforcement are different
disciplines and should be separated into different organizations, albeit with linkages
built for analysis and relatively rare criminal prosecutions.
Continued Information Sharing with State and Local Law
Enforcement. One of the primary means by which the FBI shares information with
state and local law enforcement agencies and officers are the FBI — led Joint
Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs). Started in 1980 in New York City, the JTTFs have
expanded to 103 JTTFs in operation today. A recent Department of Justice, Office
of Inspector General report states that “... the Department’s terrorism task forces and
advisory councils generally function as intended, without significant duplication of
effort, and they contribute to the department’s goal to prevent terrorism and promote
national security.”130 Partly as a result of ambiguous federal and state roles in
129 See transcript of the first public panel of the Public Discourse Project, “The Unfinished
Agenda: CIA and FBI Reform,” June 6, 2005.
130 See U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, Evaluations and
counterterrorism matters, and partly as a result of unrealistic perceptions of inherent
intelligence limitations, there have historically been occasional and mutual
recriminations between some state and local law enforcement agencies and the FBI
with respect to intelligence sharing.
Options for Congress
Numerous policy and budgetary options are available to Congress with respect
to the FBI’s intelligence program. These options range from the far-reaching —
creating a new domestic intelligence agency — to more narrowly tailored
adjustments to the FBI’s budget to encourage more rapid implementation of the
existing FBI vision for intelligence reform. The White House approval of the WMD
Commission’s recommendation to establish a National Security Service within the
FBI leads to additional questions about the FBI’s organization for intelligence. First
and foremost, will the creation of a new structure tangibly affect the cultural changes
that, arguably, need to made at the FBI?131 For example, will the FIGs now become
empowered and more capable of managing and directing intelligence activities in the
field because they now have at least an indirect reporting chain to the DNI? Second,
as the National Security Service will be led by an EAD, or other senior FBI official,
what will be the status of the FBI’s existing EAD positions for
Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence and Intelligence? Third, what exactly is the
relationship between the DNI and the leader of the National Security Service? For
example, to what extent, if at all, will the DNI be able to re-direct FBI
counterterrorism and counterintelligence operational and analytical resources at
headquarters and in the field? How will any disputes between the FBI Director and
the DNI over resources within the National Security Service be resolved? Finally,
how will the National Security Service relate to and interact with the FBI’s Criminal
and Cyber Divisions?
The legislative options depend, to some extent, on which school of thought one
finds most compelling. Not surprisingly, skeptics will advocate more far-reaching
options, and optimists will favor more narrowly targeted changes focused on
implementation. Adherents to the skeptics school of thought find problematic the
argument that there is strong synergy between the intelligence and law enforcement
disciplines. Moreover, they believe the civil liberties argument for the FBI
maintaining the domestic intelligence mission may have been weakened by P.L. 108-
Inspections Division, The Department of Justice’s Terrorism Task Forces, June 2005. It
should be noted that the FBI-led JTTFs are only one of the Department’s task forces
oriented toward counterterrorism.
131 For an assessment of why the IC resists change, see Amy Zegart, “September 11th and the
Adaptation Failure of U.S. Intelligence Agencies,” in International Security, vol. 29, no. 4
458, as it provided the DNI with substantially enhanced authority over domestic
intelligence through personnel and budgetary means.132
If one is in the optimist/“synergist” camp, one of the greatest threats to the FBI’s
intelligence program may be undue turnover in leadership at the senior most levels
of the FBI, which could undermine the institutionalization of change. A close second
in terms of threats to the reform efforts is attrition rates among intelligence
professionals, and the potential to lose substantial numbers of newly hired analysts.
The sheer magnitude of intelligence analyst hiring, from 1,023 on-board in FY2001,
to a requested level of 2,700 in FY2006 is of considerable concern given certain
attrition factors and the apparent lack of well-developed internal training
infrastructure to support such an increase. While Congress has passed human
resource retention measures to retain senior leadership and intelligence professionals,
it is not certain how successfully the FBI is implementing these measures. Possible
legislative options fall into at least two broad categories — structural/organizational
Structural/Organizational. There are two broad options in this area:
(1) Establish a Domestic Intelligence Agency. The pro and con
arguments for this option have been outlined in numerous reports and testimony
before congressional committees and national commissions.133 This option was
rejected by both the 9/11 Commission and the WMD Commission. However, the
WMD Commission stated that “we recommend that policymakers re-evaluate the
wisdom of creating a separate agency — an equivalent to the British MI-5 —
dedicated to intelligence collection in the United States should there be a continued
132 See P.L. 108-458 §1014 (50 U.S.C. §403-406), Role of Director of National Intelligence
in Appointment of Certain Officials for Intelligence-Related Activities. One of these
positions for which the head of an agency shall obtain the concurrence of the DNI is the
FBI’s EAD-I, “...or any successor to that position,” which would likely cover the leader of
the National Security Service. Moreover, the DNI’s budget authorities with respect to the
NIP, under which the FBI’s intelligence program falls, are outlined in P.L. 108-458
133 A few of these studies listed above include The Final Report of the National Commission
on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; William E. Odom, Fixing Intelligence for a
More Secure America (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003); and The
Commission on Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass
Destruction: Report to the President of the United States, Mar. 31, 2005 (WMD Report).
Chapter Ten of this WMD Report, “Intelligence at Home: The FBI, Justice, and Homeland
Security,” is the most germane with respect to FBI intelligence reform. See also Senate
Select Committee on Intelligence, Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Pre-War
Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, July 7, 2004. See also the National Academy of Public
Administration, Transforming the FBI: Progress and Challenges, Jan, 2005. Chapter three
on Intelligence is most pertinent to the topic of this CRS report. See also Richard A. Posner,
Preventing Surprise Attacks: Intelligence Reform in the Wake of 9/11 (Hoover Institution:
Stanford University, 2005). See also U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector
General, A Review of the FBI’s Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the
September 11 Attacks, Nov. 2004, recently released in redacted form. See also Mark
Sherman, “Panel Weighs Creating New Intel Agency,” Washington Post, June 17, 2005.
failure to institute reforms necessary to transform the FBI into the intelligence
organization it must become.”134 Supporters argue that the establishment of a
separate agency could provide a focus on the intelligence mission that a “hybrid”
agency such as the FBI, with its dual law enforcement and intelligence missions
cannot. However, according to skeptics, establishing a new agency would present
organizational challenges and unwisely de-couple what they see as mutually
reinforcing disciplines of law enforcement and intelligence.
(2) Establish an Integrated National Security Service135 within the
FBI. While the White House has approved a key recommendation of the WMD
Commission to establish such a service, this acceptance was achieved through the
issuance of a White House memorandum. The June 29, 2005 White House Fact
Sheet accompanying the memorandum of the same date stated that the White House:
“... will work with Congress on recommendations that require legislation.”136 It then
states that one of the issues that requires legislation is the creation of a new assistant
attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice. It does not state
that it would be working with Congress on legislation requiring the creation of the
National Security Service within the FBI. As a result of being created via a
presidential memorandum, the new service and its functions are not codified in law
and, therefore, are subject to unilateral change in the future. Congress may consider
codification of the new organization within the FBI to ensure its functions,
relationships, and activities, are explicitly specified in law. Because the FBI’s
Directorate of Intelligence has now become part of the National Security Service
under the new White House plan, if Congress agrees with the executive branch
memorandum, Section 2002, of Title II, of P.L. 108-458137 may need to be amended
to update its functions and reporting relationships within the National Security
Important factors in determining the breadth and efficacy of the position of
Director of the National Security Service include what the specific authorities of the
EAD for National Security and his deputy are; the relationships of the EAD for
National Security and his deputy to the DNI, Director, FBI and Attorney General; and
the extent to which the EAD for National Security and his deputy can engage
constructively the 56 Special Agents in Charge and empower the 56 FIGs.
Potential Areas for Functional Oversight. Three areas of potential
interest to Congress are FBI-CIA cooperation, terrorist funding and financial analysts,
and Special Agents in Charge and FIGs, as described below.
134 See WMD Commission, p. 468.
135 For further discussion see CRS Report RL32336, FBI Intelligence Reform Since
September 11, 2001: Issues and Options for Congress, by Alfred Cumming and Todd
136 See “Fact Sheet: Bush Administration Implements WMD Commission
Recommendations,” White House Fact Sheet, June 29, 2005.
137 Among other initiatives, this Section of the law redesignated the FBI’s Office of
Intelligence as the Directorate of Intelligence.
(1) FBI-CIA Cooperation. With regard to reported continuing turf battles
between the FBI and CIA, one approach would be to conduct aggressive oversight
to ensure that the FBI and CIA are cooperating in collecting intelligence overseas and
domestically. Specially, Congress could review whether the memorandum of
understanding reportedly negotiated between the FBI and CIA includes effective
“rules of the road” that clearly outline each agency’s intelligence collection
responsibilities. If Congress determined the MOU to be appropriate, it might then
monitor its implementation through the use of various oversight mechanisms
including hearings and audits.
(2) Terrorist Funding and Financial Analysts. At a time when
increasing attention arguably should be focused on terrorist financing, Congress
could assess whether the FBI is focusing adequate intelligence resources in this area.
Among other issues, it might review whether the FBI’s FIGs possess an appropriate
level of terrorist financial analytic capability. Financial analysts interviewed by CRS
at various field offices raised concerns about perceived career path inequities
between the FBI’s financial analysts and intelligence analysts.
(3) Special Agents in Charge and FIGs. Congress, through its various
oversight mechanisms, could consider whether the special agents in charge of FBI’s
field offices are devoting an appropriate level of management attention to the FIGs.
It might also inquire whether the FBI has provided an appropriate level of
management attention at the assistant agent in charge level, and consider whether the
FBI should appoint an Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASACs) in each field
office whose sole responsibility is intelligence activities within each field office.
Budget — Strategic Issues and Options. With respect to the budget,
there are both strategic and tactical options. The strategic options center on the
harmonization of the National Intelligence Program budget with the internal
budgetary authorities of the DI. The tactical options concern budgetary tradeoffs
within the existing FBI intelligence program. Some options are:
(1) Consolidate All FBI Intelligence Spending Under the National
Intelligence Program. According to the WMD Commission, the EAD-I
controlled only 4% of FBI’s spending on intelligence. The WMD Commission also
concluded that if the FBI’s EAD-I does not directly control the National Intelligence
Program resources within the FBI, then the DNI’s influence over the FBI’s National
Intelligence Program is tenuous, which may be inconsistent with his stated budgetary
authorities outlined in P.L. 108-458.138 The bulk of the Bureau’s spending on
intelligence lies outside the EAD-I’s control, residing principally in the
Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence Divisions. The June 29, 2005 White
138 The budgetary authorities of the DNI are strongest with respect to the NIP element of the
IC budget. The DNI only “participates” in the development “... by the Secretary of Defense
...” of the annual budgets for the Joint Military Intelligence Program (JMIP) and the Tactical
Intelligence and Related Activities (TIARA). It is possible that the Administration could
request of Congress, that the FBI’s budget for domestic intelligence be treated more in a
manner like that of the JMIP and TIARA programs, with the Attorney General, for purposes
of the FBI’s intelligence budget, serving a role similar to that of the Secretary of Defense
with respect to JMIP and TIARA.
House memorandum stipulates that the Attorney General shall “... Ensure that the
FBI’s National Security Service’s intelligence activities, both at headquarters and in
the field, are funded through the National Intelligence Program....”139 This appears
to be consistent with the more specific language outlined in Title I, Section
guidance,” “develop and determine,” and “present” a National Intelligence Program
In a related matter, the internal structure of the FBI’s budget might also be more
clearly delineated to specify the sum total of its intelligence spending. Currently, the
bottom line figure in the FBI budget’s “intelligence decision unit” does not represent
the total of FBI spending on intelligence related matters.
(2) Congressional Jurisdiction. Another possible strategic issue for the
Congress may be whether the FBI’s portion of the NIP continues to be appropriated
through existing subcommittees or, in a manner more consistent with the other140
elements of the IC budget, which are funded by the Defense Appropriations
Subcommittees. The Bureau’s intelligence program is authorized by the House and
Senate intelligence committees. Its intelligence budget, however, is appropriated by
the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Science, Department of State, Justice,
and Commerce, and Related Agencies and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee
on Commerce, Justice and Science. An estimated one-third of the FBI’s FY2006
budget request of $5.7 billion is for intelligence-related activities. Consistency in
congressional procedures for funding elements of the Intelligence Community,
however, may not necessarily be a compelling argument for change, particularly if
congressional oversight and support of the FBI’s intelligence program is determined
to be best served by existing arrangements.
Budget — Tactical Issues and Options. Given the substantial increases
in the FBI budget outlined above, one central question that may be asked of experts
is the extent to which additional resources are essential to the implementation of the
FBI’s vision. It may be universally true that any executive agency can do more with
more resources. However, it is also true that there are competing uses for existing
resources. Given the steady FBI increases allocated to intelligence, some may
question whether an additional 500 intelligence analysts are truly necessary. Certain
tradeoffs, between more analytical staff and infrastructure, such as training and
information technology to support those bodies, may be debated. Since not all
observers fit neatly into the two “schools of thought” discussed above, CRS explores
a number of options:
139 See White House Memorandum, “Strengthening the Ability of the Department of Justice
to Meet Challenges to the Security of the Nation,” June 29, 2005.
140 There are three elements of the Intelligence Community’s budget: (1) the NIP, (2) the
Joint Military Intelligence Program (JMIP), and (3) the Tactical Intelligence and Related
Activities (TIARA). While the NIP funds activities within and external to the Department
of Defense (DOD), JMIP and TIARA only fund DOD activities. See CRS Report RS21945,
The U.S. Intelligence Budget: A Basic Overview, by Stephen Daggett.
(1) Fully Fund the Administration’s FY2006 Request for the FBI. At
$5.7 billion, this request represents an 11% increase over FY2005 and would support
2,945 counterterrorism agents and 2,746 intelligence analysts (an increase of 500
intelligence analysts to assist in the war on terrorism). In order to allow the FBI
maximum flexibility in allocating these resources to areas of greatest threat, the
appropriation would not be conditioned or tied to any intelligence reform milestones.
(2) Encourage Staff Retention: Option 1. Condition additional funding
to measurable and concrete personnel achievements in intelligence reform,
particularly those measures dedicated to implementation of career paths, intelligence
professional performance appraisals, and staff retention. For example, one could
fully fund salaries and expenses for additional special agents working, yet tie the
appropriation for 500 intelligence analysts to one or more of the following: (1)
ensuring that all analysts hired during the last three years at HQ and in the field, have
taken the Analytical Cadre Education Strategy-1 course; (2) the development of
regional training programs modeled on those provided to other intelligence analysts
in the intelligence community; (3) the provision of all intelligence analysts with
Internet terminals on their desks; (4) the demonstrated implementation of the
expanded human resource authorities (including exemptions from Title 5), including
the implementation of a Senior Analytic Service or Senior Intelligence Service within
the DI for regional and functional intelligence and/or terrorism threats, (yet not policy
advisers); (5) the implementation of new performance evaluation systems for special
agents and intelligence analysts that focus on qualitative versus quantitative output,
and (6) the development of formal mechanisms to ensure that field intelligence
collectors are responsive to filling intelligence gaps assigned to them by the FIGs.
If it chose conditional appropriation of funds, the subcommittee might establish
reporting requirements for the FBI in whichever areas it adopted.
(3) Encourage Staff Retention: Option 2. Appropriate some funding
level under the requested 500 intelligence analysts and require the remainder of the
resources be dedicated to new personnel who would serve as (1) administrative
assistants responsible for the non-analytical functions many field intelligence analysts
are asked to perform periodically, and (2) qualified, full-time instructors who would
be dedicated to providing both new and experienced intelligence analysts with access
to enhanced in-house training, as well as continued exposure to intelligence
community and academic training programs. While there may be an existing human
resources formula for how many “support” personnel are necessary to support each
newly hired special agent, this formula likely preceded the current intelligence reform
efforts. In short, Congress could require that analysts not be diverted to non-
Appendix 1. Definitions of Intelligence
There are three formal categories of intelligence defined under statute or
regulation. They are
!Foreign Intelligence. Information relating to the capabilities,
intentions, or activities of foreign governments or elements thereof,
foreign organizations, or foreign persons.141
!Counterintelligence. Information gathered, and activities
conducted, to protect against espionage, other intelligence activities,
sabotage, or assassinations conducted by or on behalf of foreign
governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, or foreign
persons, or international terrorist activities.142
!Criminal Intelligence. Data which has been evaluated to determine
that it is relevant to the identification of and the criminal activity
engaged in by an individual who or organization which is reasonably
suspected of involvement in criminal activity. [Certain criminal
activities including but not limited to loan sharking, drug trafficking,
trafficking in stolen property, gambling, extortion, smuggling,
bribery, and corruption of public officials often involve some degree
of regular coordination and permanent organization involving a large
number of participants over a broad geographical area].143
141 See National Security Act of 1947, as amended (50 U.S. Code, Chapter 15, 401(a)) and
E.O. 12333, 3.4.
143 See Code of Federal Regulations, Part 23.
Appendix 2. The FBI’s Traditional
Role in Intelligence144
According to Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities,
signed December 4, 1981, and the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S. Code
§401), the FBI is a statutory member of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
Specifically, and in accordance with Section 1.14 of Executive Order 12333, United
States Intelligence Activities, the intelligence roles of the FBI are outlined as follows:
Under the supervision of the Attorney General and pursuant to such regulations as
the Attorney General may establish, the Director of the FBI shall
(a) Within the United States conduct counterintelligence and coordinate
counterintelligence activities of other agencies within the IC. When a
counterintelligence activity of the military involves military or civilian personnel
of the Department of Defense, the FBI shall coordinate with the Department of
(b) Conduct counterintelligence activities outside the United States in
coordination with the Central Intelligence Agency as required by procedures145
agreed upon by the Director of Central Intelligence and the Attorney General;
(c) Conduct within the United States, when requested by officials of the IC
designated by the President, activities undertaken to collect foreign intelligence
or support foreign intelligence collection requirements of other agencies within
the IC, or, when requested by the Director of the National Security Agency, to
support the communications security activities of the United States government;
(d) Produce and disseminate foreign intelligence and counterintelligence; and
(e) Carry out or contract for research, development, and procurement of technical
systems and devices relating to the functions authorized above.
144 According to press reports, the FBI and CIA recently signed a classified memorandum
of understanding concerning the collection of foreign intelligence within the United States.
145 Under P.L. 108-458, Subtitle A (50 USC 401 note), the position of the Director of Central
Intelligence has been replaced by the Direction of National Intelligence. This change has
not yet been reflected in Executive Order 12333.
Appendix 3. The FBI’s Intelligence Programs —
A Brief History
The FBI is responsible for deterring, detecting and preventing domestic
activities that may threaten the national security, and, at the same time, respecting
constitutional safeguards.146 The FBI, a statutory member of the IC, is able to collect
foreign intelligence within the United States when authorized by IC officials.
The FBI and its predecessor, the Bureau of Intelligence, have collected
intelligence — foreign intelligence, counterintelligence and criminal intelligence —
in the United States since 1908,147 and, at times, effectively.148 During the Cold War,
the FBI successfully penetrated the Soviet leadership through a recruited U.S.
Communist Party asset. The FBI also battled the Kremlin on the counterintelligence
front.149 In 1985 — dubbed the Year of the Spy, the FBI arrested 11 U.S. citizens
for espionage — including former United States warrant officer John Walker, who
provided the Soviets highly classified cryptography codes during a spying career that
began in the 1960s. The FBI also arrested Larry Wu-Tai Chin, a CIA employee, a
spy for the People’s Republic of China; Jonathan Pollard, a Naval Investigative
Service intelligence analyst who stole secrets for Israel; and Ronald Pelton, a former
National Security Agency communications specialist who provided the Soviet Union
classified material.150 More recently convicted spies include FBI Special Agent
Robert P. Hanssen, who spied on behalf of Soviet Union and, subsequently, Russia,
and pleaded guilty to 15 espionage-related charges in 2001; and former Defense
Intelligence Agency analyst Ana Belen Montes, arrested in 2001 and subsequently
convicted for spying for Cuba.
The FBI has been applauded for its historical successes, but also criticized for
overstepping constitutional bounds by targeting U.S. citizens who were found to be
exercising their constitutional rights.151 For example, during the 1919-1920 “Palmer
146 For a more detailed description of the FBI’s traditional intelligence role, see Appendix
147 For an official history of the FBI, see [http://www.fbi.gov/fbihistory.htm]. See also CRS
Report RL32095, The FBI: Past, Present and Future, by William Krouse and Todd Masse.
148 Interview with a former senior FBI official, Oct. 3, 2003.
149 The successful prosecution of an espionage case can be viewed as both a
counterintelligence success, and failure. It is a success insofar as the activity is stopped, but
is a failure insofar as the activity escaped the attention of appropriate authorities for any
period of time.
150 See CRS Report 93-531, Individuals Arrested on Charges of Espionage Against the
United States Government: 1966-1993, by Suzanne Cavanagh (out of print; available from
the authors of this report). For a compilation of espionage cases through 1999, see
151 See Tony Poveda, Lawlessness and Reform: The FBI in Transition (Brooks/Cole
Raids,” the FBI’s so-called Radical Division (later renamed the General Intelligence
Division) arrested individuals allegedly working to overthrow the U.S. government,
but who were later judged to be innocent.152
Between 1956 and 1970, the FBI investigated individuals it believed were
engaging in “subversive” activities as part of the FBI’s so-called COINTELPRO
Program.153 In the mid-1960s, the FBI surveilled such prominent Americans as
Martin Luther King, Jr., collecting “racial intelligence.”154 And in the 1980s, the FBI
was found to have violated the constitutional rights of members of the Committee in
Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) who the FBI believed violated
the Foreign Agent Registration Act.155 Although congressional investigators
concluded that the FBI’s investigation did not reflect “significant FBI political or
ideological bias ...,” its activities “resulted in the investigation of domestic political
activities protected by the First Amendment that should not have come under
Oversight and Regulation: The Pendulum Swings
In response to these FBI abuses, the Department of Justice imposed domestic
intelligence collection standards on the IC, including the FBI. For example, in 1976,
Attorney General Edward H. Levi issued specific guidelines governing FBI domestic
security investigations. Congress also established House and Senate intelligence
oversight committees to monitor the IC. And President Carter signed into law the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which established legal procedures
and standards governing the use of electronic surveillance157 within the United States.
152 See Edwin Hoyt Palmer, The Palmer Raids,1919-1921: An Attempt to Suppress Dissent,
Seabury Press, 1969.
153 For further information on the history of COINTELPRO, see S.Rept. 94-755,
Supplementary Detailed Staff Reports of Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans,
Book III, Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with
Respect to Intelligence Activities, U.S. Senate, (Washington, Apr. 23, 1976); (Hereafter
cited as the Church Committee Report).
154 Ibid., Book II, p. 71.
155 The Foreign Agent Registration Act requires that persons acting as foreign agents (as
defined by the act) register with the U.S. Department of Justice for, among other reasons,
transparency. (See 22 U.S.C. Chap. 611)
156 U.S. Congress, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, The FBI and CISPES, 101st
Cong., 1st sess., S.Rept. 101-46 ( Washington GPO: July 1989).
157 Subsequent legislation expanded the authority of FISA with respect to physical searches,
pen registers, trap and trace devices, and court ordered production of records and other
tangible things. See CRS Report RL30465, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An
Overview of the Statutory Framework and Recent Judicial Decisions, by Elizabeth B.
Critics argue that until Congress approved the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act granting
the FBI additional authority to investigate suspected terrorists, increased oversight
and over-regulation had seriously weakened the FBI’s intelligence capabilities. Some
thought that not only had regulations curtailed the FBI’s surveillance authorities, but
that they had undermined the risk-taking culture thought to be essential to successful
intelligence work.158 The Levi Guidelines159 were singled out as being particularly
Some observers blamed the restrictions for discouraging domestic intelligence
collection unless the FBI could clearly show that its collection was tied to a specific
alleged crime. They also said the restrictions led the FBI to transfer responsibility for
parts of its counterterrorism program from the FBI’s former Intelligence Division to
its Criminal Division. The result, they contend, was an anemic intelligence program
that contributed to the failure to prevent the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.161
158 See Bill Gertz, Breakdown: How America’s Intelligence Failures Led to September 11
(Regnery Publishing, 2002), pp. 83-125.
159 According to the Levi guidelines, domestic security investigations were to be limited to
gathering information on group or individual activities “... which involve or will involve the
use of force or violence and which involve or will involve a violation of federal law....”
160 See Testimony of Francis J. McNamara, former Subversive Activities Control Board
Director, before the National Committee to Restore Internal Security, May 20, 1986.
Quoted in W. Raymond Wannall, “Undermining Counterintelligence Capability,”
International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, vol. 15, winter 2002, pp. 321-
161 Interviews with former senior FBI officials.
Appendix 4. Past Efforts to Reform FBI Intelligence
The FBI’s current intelligence reform is not its first. Twice before — in 1998,
and then again in 1999 — the FBI embarked on almost identical efforts to establish
intelligence as a priority, and to strengthen its intelligence program. Both attempts162
are considered by some to have been failures.
Both previous attempts were driven by concerns that FBI’s intelligence
effectiveness was being undercut by the FBI’s historically fragmented intelligence
program. The FBI’s three operational divisions, at the time — criminal,
counterterrorism and counterintelligence — each controlled its own intelligence163
program. As a result, the FBI had trouble integrating its intelligence effort
horizontally between its divisions. In intelligence world parlance, the programs were
In 1998, the FBI attempted to address the stove pipe problem by consolidating
control over intelligence under the authority of a newly established Office of
Intelligence. It also took steps to improve the quality of its intelligence analysis,
particularly in the criminal area, which was viewed as particularly weak.
Dissatisfied with the results, the FBI launched a second round of reforms the
following year aimed at more thoroughly integrating FBI intelligence analysis in
support of investigations. A new Investigative Services Division (ISD) was
established to replace the Office of Intelligence, and to house in one location all FBI
analysts that until then had been “owned” by FBI’s operational divisions. Although
the ISD was intended to provide each of the divisions “one-stop shopping” for their
intelligence needs, it was never accepted by the operational divisions, which wanted
to control their own intelligence analysis programs. In the wake of 9/11, the FBI
concluded that analysts would be more effective if they were controlled by the
operational divisions. ISD was abolished, and analysts were dispersed back to the
divisions in which they originally served.
Although observers blame the failure of both prior reform efforts on several
complex factors, they put the FBI’s deeply-ingrained law enforcement mentality at
the top of the list. As one observer described it, efforts to integrate intelligence at the
FBI were substantially hampered because resources dedicated to intelligence were
gradually siphoned back to the FBI’s traditional counter crime programs. Moreover,
there was also little sustained senior level support for an intelligence function that
was integrated with the IC.164
162 Interview with a former senior FBI official, Oct. 2, 2003.
163 A fourth division — cyber crime — was established in Apr. 2002. Until the appointment
of the EAD-I, it, too, had its own intelligence component.
164 Interview with a former senior FBI official, Oct. 2, 2003.
As alluded to above, the 9/11 Commission detected through its staff visits to
FBI field offices a gap between policy goals and the implementation of that policy.
Reasonable individuals can differ with respect to the status of implementation of
particular policies. For example, what is a reasonable expectation for where the FBI
ought to be in implementing its stated intelligence reforms given that the nation is
now over 3½ (or 2½ years — depending on when one chooses as a start date for FBI
reforms) years out from the attacks of September 11, 2001? Numerous analogies of
the FBI as an “aircraft carrier ... that takes a long time to stop going in one direction
and turn around and go in another ...”165 have been made, which speak to the
difficulties inherent in changing any large organization with a strong and deeply
ingrained culture. These challenges notwithstanding, as many have argued and are
aware, the national security imperative demands results in a timely manner.
165 See comments of former FBI EAD Dale Watson to Richard A. Clarke in Richard A.
Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, (Free Press, 2004), p. 219.
In reference to the power of the 56 FBI field offices, Mr. Watson, a career FBI official,
stated that “These Field Offices all have had their own way, little fiefdoms, for years.”
Some might argue that notwithstanding the changes the FBI has made that its Field Offices
still retain a large measure of their power vis-a-vis headquarters and how they allocate
investigative and operational funds. Others might argue that the centralization measures
Director Mueller has put in place have substantially reduced field office independence,
particularly with respect to the top priorities of counterterrorism and counterintelligence.