The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) and state and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) serve distinct, but complementary roles in securing the homeland. FIGs are the hub of the FBI's Intelligence Program and serve as the FBI's conduit for information sharing and collaboration between the FBI, the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), fusion centers, other federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, government, and private sector entities. Fusion centers are owned and operated by state and local entities and are uniquely situated to empower front-line law enforcement, public safety, fire service, emergency response, public health, and private sector security personnel to lawfully gather and share threat related information. Both rely on intelligence and information from a wide variety of sources to support their efforts. Both contribute to the Information Sharing Environment.
Field Intelligence Groups
FIGs are located in each of the FBI's 56 field offices and are staffed with FBI intelligence analysts, language analysts, and special agents. FIGs are the primary mechanism through which FBI field offices develop human intelligence, identify emerging trends, identify, evaluate, and prioritize threats within their areas of responsibility, and support domain awareness and investigative efforts through the use of strategic and tactical analysis, linguists, subject matter experts, special operations groups and specialized surveillance groups. FIGs have established processes for collecting, analyzing producing and disseminating intelligence information, while contributing to the enterprise-wide understanding of the current threat environment. These processes enhance the FBI's ability to successfully penetrate national and transnational criminal networks, terrorist organizations, foreign intelligence services, and other entities that seek to harm the United States.
FIGs analyze and disseminate information to the IC and other federal, state, local and tribal agencies as well as foreign counterparts. Utilizing dissemination protocols, FIGs contribute to local and regional perspectives on all threats, and serve as the FBI's primary intelligence link with fusion centers, the IC, and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs).
Fusion Centers Overview
As described in the National Strategy for Information Sharing, fusion centers serve as focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat- related information among federal and state, local, tribal, and territorial partners. They produce actionable intelligence for dissemination, which may aid law enforcement organizations in their investigative operations.
Owned and operated by state and local entities, fusion centers serve the specific needs of their jurisdictions while supporting the border homeland security enterprise. Fusion centers overlay national intelligence with local, state, and regional information, enhancing understanding of the threat environment across all levels of government. They can augment the Federal Government's analytic capability and enhance situational awareness in order to protect the nation.
Fusion centers leverage trusted relationships within the state, local, tribal and territorial environment to assist law enforcement and homeland security partners in preventing, protecting against, and responding to crime and terrorism. They support the implementation of risk-based, information-driven prevention, response, and consequence management programs within their respective communities. Further, fusion centers across the nation are seeking to form a National Network bridging jurisdictional boundaries to provide effective communication channels and collaborative opportunities.
Comparison and Integration
FIGs and fusion centers share a common mission of gathering, analyzing and disseminating intelligence information. The FBI is committed to increasing its collaboration with fusion centers to ensure that seamless sharing of information further strengthens existing relationships with state, local, and tribal partners, while enhancing the FBI's capabilities to address priority investigative and intelligence programs that focus on mitigating threats to protect the homeland.
Illustrated below is a comparison between FIGs and fusion centers:
|Field Intelligence Groups||Fusion Centers|
|Operated by the FBI||Owned and operated by state and local authorities|
|Local, regional, national, and internationally focused||State/local centric|
|Collect, gather, analyze, produce, and disseminate actionable intelligence to lead and support FBI investigative and intelligence programs, and to inform IC partners, and other federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement||Produce actionable intelligence and provide state and local context to threat information for dissemination to appropriate law enforcement and homeland security partners|
|Manage broad counterterrorism, national security, and criminal intelligence collection operations in FBI Field Offices||Deal with terrorism, criminal, and public safety matters across multiple disciplines, including law enforcement, public safety, fire service, emergency response, public health, and private sector security|
As partners in securing the homeland, FIGs and fusion centers collaborate to add value to their respective primary missions. FBI and DHS personnel embedded in fusion centers serve to increase information sharing through communication and collaboration, to improve understanding of overlapping local, state and federal threat priorities, and to facilitate controlled access to FBI information systems. Embedded FBI agents and analysts seek to appropriately leverage the information sharing capabilities of the organizations represented in fusion centers to meet local, regional and national collection requirements. Embedded FBI personnel also ensure fusion centers have access to FBI intelligence products, e.g., Situational Intelligence Reports, Intelligence Assessments, Intelligence Bulletins, and Intelligence Information Reports, for dissemination to state, local and tribal law enforcement partners.
Protection of the United States from terrorism and other national security threats is dependent on the collection, gathering, and analysis of intelligence and information from a broad array of sources on a continual basis. Important intelligence contributions may be from efforts of the IC, other federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial law enforcement, Homeland Security authorities, other government agencies, or the private sector. Therefore, it is the development of partnerships that facilitate communication, collaboration, coordination and integration of intelligence and information sharing into the domestic intelligence enterprise that provides the best opportunity to successfully achieve the common goal of protecting our national security.