In the wake of the terrorist attacks in September 2001, the 9/11 Commission recommended that the U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) find a way to improve information sharing of terrorism-related intelligence at all three levels of government (local, state, and federal). The USIC’s answer to this recommendation was the creation of intelligence fusion centers.
Since the creation of these intelligence fusion centers, there has been much controversy because of the large amounts of personal information secretly collected and shared within the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities. In addition, some critics argue that in the years since their creation, fusion centers and the law enforcement entities affiliated with them have moved away from their original purpose and instead have utilized federal grants and resources to fight local crime.
- Address the following:
- In your opinion, how effective are U.S. fusion centers? Explain.
- Do you feel that the creation of fusion centers has improved information sharing of terrorism-related information at all three levels of government? Why or why not?
- Do you feel that fusion centers have ultimately moved away from their intended purpose? Why or why not?
- Are fusion centers now being used as a local law enforcement tool to help fight local crime? Why or why not?