Our analysis is guided by our Program of Analysis (POA), an assessment of key analytic issues, framed as key intelligence questions (KIQ). These KIQs are shaped by customer needs, Administration and Departmental leadership priorities, and resources. Our KIQs are organized by time frame.
- Immediate and Ongoing Threat KIQs focus on short term or operational issues such as imminent terrorist threats to the homeland. Production that addresses these threats provides the Administration and DHS leadership with the intelligence analysis to better inform near-term operational decision to increase the nation’s security.
- Strategic Context KIQs focus on providing context, trend, or pattern analysis. Production that addresses these KIQs helps our customers understand recent threats in a broader, global, or historical perspective and they shape strategies to combat the threats or address gaps in homeland security. These would include, for example, how the evolving cartel-related violence in Mexico compares to past cartel wars or how threats to our national infrastructure are changing.
- Opportunity KIQs focus on emerging issues or topics for which reporting streams are new or fragmentary; for example, these KIQs may describe the kinds of polices or activities that have been effective in combating newly emerging threats.
As might be expected of an intelligence element supporting a Cabinet-level Department, about half of our KIQs in the POA focus on providing intelligence to respond to the strategic needs of our customers. This is followed by our focus on immediate and ongoing threat. About 10 percent of our focus is on identifying new topics and issues that could impact the Department and its customers.
Our Homeland Security Standing Information Needs (HSEC SINs) form the foundation for information collection activities within the Department and provide other Intelligence Community (IC) and Homeland Security Enterprise members the ability to focus their collection, analytic, and reporting assets in support of the homeland security mission. The HSEC SINs document the enduring all-threats and all-hazards information needs of the Homeland Security Enterprise. The HSEC SINs are updated and published annually to ensure the information needs of the Homeland Security Enterprise are continuously collected, identified, and documented. The institutionalized use of HSEC SINs within collection, production, and dissemination practices enhances the ability of Homeland Security Enterprise members to effectively identify and share information with their stakeholders and partners.
The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has a unique mandate within the Intelligence Community and is the federal government lead for sharing information and intelligence with state, local, tribal and territorial governments and the private sector. It is these non-federal partners who now lead the Homeland Security Enterprise in preventing and responding to evolving threats to the homeland. I&A serves as the information conduit and intelligence advocate for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. I&A supports state and major urban area fusion centers with deployed personnel and systems, training, and collaboration. This National Network of Fusion Centers is the hub of much of the two-way intelligence and information flow between the federal government and our state, local, tribal and territorial partners. The fusion centers represent a shared commitment between the federal government and the state and local governments who own and operate them. Individually, each represents a vital resource for merging information from national and local sources to prevent and respond to all threats and hazards. Collectively, their collaboration with the federal government, one another (state-to-state and state-to-locality), and with the private sector represents the new paradigm through which we view homeland security. Fusion centers have contributed and will continue to contribute to improvements in information sharing and collaboration that will enhance the nation’s overall preparedness.
I&A assumes the program management role for the Department’s engagement with the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) Program Management Office (PMO). As part of that role, I&A is a direct liaison with the NSI PMO and facilitates the efforts of DHS components and fusion centers in becoming active NSI participants. Additionally, I&A leverages SAR data to create analytical products that assist federal, state, local and tribal partners in their respective homeland security missions.
DHS Intelligence Enterprise
The DHS Intelligence Enterprise consists of diverse components with distinct mission sets: Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Management Administration. The U/SIA serves as the Chief Intelligence Officer (CINT) for the DHS Intelligence Enterprise. I&A works with, oversees, and advocates for the DHS Intelligence Enterprise members. The CINT leverages the strength of the entire Enterprise in support of individual and collective missions, with I&A acting as a catalyst for promoting enterprise-wide solutions and projects that are designed to capitalize on the individual strengths of the Department and make them mutually reinforcing. I&A also seeks to leverage the capabilities of the IC in support of these important homeland security missions.
Most recently, I&A has initiated the Homeland Security Intelligence Priorities Framework and the Intelligence Enterprise Management Catalogue. The two activities are important tools that will allow DHS to strategically assess all Departmental intelligence and intelligence-related activities. The Intelligence Enterprise Management Catalogue will be a central database that serves as a repository of data on the intelligence functions, capabilities, activities and assets of the DHS Intelligence Enterprise.