Reply to post 1 & 2 with 250 words each
Since the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, law enforcement has made some strides in order to share information regarding domestic terrorism. Although the system has it’s flaws still, much more obstacles have been cleared prior to the 9/11 attacks on the United States. With intelligence sharing a critical piece of the safety of the United States, Congress decided to pass a law creating intelligence and information sharing a must. “The 9/11 attacks provided the impetus to pass significant anti-terrorism legislation – the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) – to overcome the obstacles posed by the “wall” that inhibited coordination between law enforcement and intelligence”. (Burch, 2008) With the Patriot Act being set into motion, law enforcement agencies must obey certain laws on intelligence sharing closing the gap between these agencies, but not necessarily fixing the intelligence sharing completely.
One example I would like to use is the Lackawanna Six terrorist group being arrest back in Sept 2002. One reason I choose to use this was that this happens to take place where I grew up and vaguely remember hearing about this. The FBI and CIA used intelligence sharing during this process along with information being collected by neighbors to eventually led the capture of these six men, one of them at his wedding in Bahrain. Although these men never actually committed a terrorist plot, they were suspected of travel to Buffalo, NY to recruit young Yemenite males, to carry out terror within the region. They as said to have trained in Afghanistan with Bin Laden months before the Sept 11 attacks but were arrested and sentenced before any killings could have taken place. This was a letter from a concerned parent living within the neighborhood they were operating in, “It warned, “I am very concern. I am an Arab-American… and I cannot give you my name because I fear for my life. Two terrorist came to Lackawanna… for recruiting the Yemenite youth… the terrorist group… left to Afghanistan to meet… bin Laden and stay in his camp for training”, and gave the names of twelve local youths”(Temple-Raston, 2007).
With the knowledge I have gained throughout the course, I would recommend a few things to make the intelligence sharing easier and more effective throughout the intelligence community. First I would make a centrally used information sharing system allowing all departments regardless of local, state or federal stature to access the information they need within their jurisdiction. Secondly, I would have a specific agency designed to investigate within the intelligence community making sure departments are following protocols, actually sharing information fully. Lastly, I would like to implement a quarterly meeting between all the 16 department heads within the intelligence community. If they all come together 4 times a year, information sharing would more than likely increase, creating a friendly work relationship between these people. With these three new implementations to the already processes and procedures of the intelligence community, I think the information sharing system would benefit drastically, thus created a much safer United States of America.
I do believe law enforcements has since overcome the obstacles of not sharing intelligence information between the federal, state and local levels. All it took was an attack of seismic proportion on September 11, 2001 to finally bridge the gap between all law enforcements agencies throughout the United States. In the past the structure of U.S. policing, the nature of police work, some historical stumbles, and common features of police culture all seem to conspire against an intelligence-led approach to policing and the free flow of information. State and federal law enforcement are often represented or perceived as more important and more professional than local police – much to the resentment of local police (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010). Local police sometimes also fear state and federal agencies, because those agencies have the authority to investigate public corruption and civil rights violations in local communities (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010). Specifically, on the issue of information sharing, a common complaint is that it is a one-way street – local police provide information to their state and federal “partners” but get little or nothing in return (Cordner & Scarborough, 2010). Although some of these feelings may still exist between federal, state and local law enforcements they have not let it interfere with working together.
After 9/11 the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services division started on an ambitious effort to allow information sharing among every federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement agency in the United States. In 2009 this system became known as the National Data Exchange which allowed investigators assistants when investigating crimes across state borders. An example of this is a case, David Heim, a state trooper, now retired, with the Kansas Highway Patrol and an early user of N-DEx, accessed it from his laptop using the FBI’s Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal (Mitchell, 2013). During one routine traffic stop in 2010, he says N-DEx revealed that one person in the vehicle was wanted for a drive-by shooting (Mitchell, 2013). That person was arrested. But in his report, he identified another occupant in the vehicle, who had no record (Mitchell, 2013). “The other guy, he’s not associated with the gang, but the gang task force certainly wants to know that he’s associating with a gang member (Mitchell, 2013).” So, they entered him into the system as a known associate (Mitchell, 2013). This system was definitely a step in the right direction post 9/11.
My first recommendations of how to effectively share intelligence information to prevent or reduce crime is: communication. Being in the military I am a communication sergeant and I know the importance of having a strong communication between you and your peers. Especially by establishing secure comms to avoid any interruptions or interceptions. Whether its over the phone or over the computer being able to communicate information to and from securely can aid in the prevention and reduction of crime. The second recommendation I have is meetings whether in person or via webcam to establish facetime and to know exactly the kind of individuals you will be working with. This will help form a solid foundation of partnership. Finally, my last recommendation is freely put out data to the general population that is situated inside the specific territory that is being focused on. Leading foot watches enables the officers to make an association with general society. They have a route for open correspondence and can be amicable with people in general. This will pick up their trust which will open them up to giving law authorization knowledge.