2. National Joint Terrorism Task Force
JTTFs are a collective of counter terrorism units spread throughout the U.S. The primary goal of each unit is to prevent, disrupt and defeat terror operations before they occur. JTTF units consist of FBI agents and a combination of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials (e.g. the ATF, Federal Air Marshals, State Bureaus of Investigation, DHS, police officers, state law enforcement, etc.). JTTF members sign a memorandum of understanding to work under FBI leadership. Each unit is deputized by the FBI as federal law enforcement officers and work as one team.
Terrorists can look like anyone. There is no stereotype. The first phase of any JTTF investigation is intelligence gathering. Who is involved? What are they doing? The next phase is threat assessment. Public records checks and database checks are conducted. This most basic form of investigation may reveal that a suspect is lying or has been stopped for similar surveillance at another location. If a case is warranted, a preliminary or full investigation is initiated. When terrorism activity is confirmed, the decision is made whether to disrupt, arrest or deport the suspect.
Each JTTF refers to a list of terrorist groups established by the State Department. It is a felony for any individual or organization to knowingly support a terrorist group. When support of is identified, the FBI works with the Treasury department to freeze assets (bank accounts) and suspend business operations. At that point, the FBI will also announce that anyone who conducts business with that organization is supporting terrorism and is also committing a felony.
3. Field Intelligence Group (FIG)
FIGs ensure intelligence gathered by field offices is appropriately shared across the FBI and with law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The goal of information sharing is “share by rule, withhold by exception” and “protect sources and methods”.
Like most intelligence organizations, FIGs are drowning in information and starving for knowledge. Intelligence collection is the primary role of Special Agents (answering the 5 Ws). Intelligence Analysts evaluate information, identify trends, recommend options, and forecast outcomes.
Finally, FIGs develop Intelligence Information Reports and disseminate them within approved channels in a timely and usable manner. The expression “I could tell you but, then I’d have to kill you” applies here. Much of the tactics of a FIG are classified.
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