Homeland Security Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Intelligence Sharing -- TOMORROW
Washington, D.C. – The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, chaired by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), will hold a hearing entitled “Federal Government Intelligence Sharing with State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement: An Assessment Ten Years After 9/11” tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Room 311 Cannon House Office Building.
After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established and given the responsibility to coordinate activities to improve information sharing efforts among the Federal government and State, local and tribal government agencies. Fusion centers, co-ops between two or more agencies to receive, gather, analyze, and disseminate information to thwart criminal or terrorist activity, have become the centerpiece of this information sharing. Today there are more than 50 primary fusion centers and 25 additional fusion centers in major urban areas across the country.
At this hearing, the Subcommittee will examine what unique value fusion centers bring to preventing terrorism and criminal activity, and protecting critical infrastructure.
Meehan said: “In the 10 years since 9/11, the country has witnessed the establishment and substantial growth of a national network of fusion centers established to share information related to terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and serve as vital points of information exchange between Federal agencies and State and local governments.
“While the terrorist threat was the impetus for the establishment of fusion centers, there has been a marked shift in their mission from counterterrorism to an “all crimes, all hazards” law enforcement approach. On many levels, this appears to be appropriate as these state-run entities are often tasked with providing a comprehensive view of a broad set of criminal, disaster response, and infrastructure protection issues to Federal, State, local and tribal customers. However, as fusion centers have evolved away from a purely counterterrorism mission, it is important to examine the role of Federal funding in their mission and the value fusion centers provide, especially in the current environment of budget uncertainty and fiscal belt-tightening.
“At this hearing, we will survey the fusion center’s role in facilitating the transfer of critical information with the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Forces and Federal, State, local and tribal entities, and their effectiveness in ‘connecting the dots.’ We will also examine DHS’s evolving role in the fusion center mission moving forward.”
When: 10 a.m., Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Where: 311 Cannon House Office Building
**Live video feed will be available HERE
Opening statements, witness testimony, and the live video feed will be available online HERE.
The Honorable Louis F. Quijas
Office for State and Local Law Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security
The Honorable Scott McAllister
Deputy Under Secretary
State and Local Program Office
Office of Intelligence and Analysis
Department of Homeland Security
Mr. Eric Velez-Villar
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Department of Justice