Fusion centers play a unique role in protecting their communities, informing decision making, and enhancing information sharing activities among law enforcement and homeland security partners. The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) helps the National Network of Fusion Centers to develop and implement their capabilities by leading federal interagency efforts to share information and products, conduct training, deploy personnel, and provide connectivity to classified and unclassified systems. These 2013 success stories and best practices illustrate the value of the national network of fusion centers in preventing, protecting against, and responding to criminal and terrorist threats.
Fusion Center Supports DHS Component Investigation in North Carolina
North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center, July 2013
In July 2013, two individuals acting suspicious near staging areas for the local Independence Day celebration were reported to the North Carolina Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC) by Morehead City Police Department (MCPD). The ISAAC identified the subjects as two crew members of a shipping company who had absconded from a vessel a few days prior. The ISAAC shared this information with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for further investigation. ICE and CBP notified the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as security officers from the shipping company and the subjects were subsequently detained, escorted back to their vessel, and allowed to depart the country with their visas revoked.
Fusion Center Supports Arrest of Individual Impersonating a Federal Agent
Virginia Fusion Center, June 2013
In June 2013, the Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) became aware of an individual attempting to impersonate a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent. The individual had contacted various hospitals, universities, and police departments requesting information on critical care hospital rooms, under the premise he was investigating a car accident involving a British national.
The VFC sent a request for information to its law enforcement and healthcare partners. The responses received were shared with ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), who discovered a fake meeting was also scheduled at another area hospital. Through constant communication – guided by the VFC – with both federal and private partners, HSI successfully apprehended and took the subject into custody for False Personation of an Officer or Employee of the United States.
Fusion Centers Collaborate to Support Arrest of Individual Charged with Production of Child Pornography
Central Florida Intelligence Exchange, Tennessee Fusion Center, and Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center, June 2013
In June 2013, several phone calls across the Southeastern United States were made from a telephone belonging to an individual wanted for production of child pornography by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. ICE provided details of the wanted individual to the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange (CFIX) in Orlando and asked them to widely disseminate the information. Based on the location where the phone calls were being made, the CFIX notified the Tennessee Fusion Center (TFC) and Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC) that the suspect may be in their area. These partners subsequently notified all relevant local law enforcement agencies in their area of responsibility. As a direct result of this interstate information sharing, the suspect was located and arrested by the Georgia State Patrol.
Fusion Centers Collaborate to Disrupt an Alleged Plot
Southwest Texas Fusion Center and Minnesota Fusion Center, May 2013
A San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) law enforcement officer made contact with an individual that had ties to a Minnesota-based hate group. The SAPD officer reported this information to the Southwest Texas Fusion Center (SWTFC), where the report was reviewed and research was initiated on the individual and the associated group. An updated report was then forwarded to SWTFC detectives assigned to San Antonio’s FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), who subsequently shared it with the Minnesota JTTF.
The SWTFC also shared the report via Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative channels and with the Minnesota Fusion Center. The Minnesota Fusion Center in turn contacted the Montevideo Police Department and Chippewa Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota, who initiated coordination between local law enforcement regarding a potential domestic threat in their jurisdiction. The following day, the FBI—with assistance from the Bloomington, MN Police Department Bomb Squad— executed a search warrant of the individual's home that uncovered Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs, and firearms, and ultimately led to the individual's arrest.
Fusion Center Supports Multi-Agency Arrest of Foreign National
Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center, March 2013
In March 2013, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Salt Lake City Office sought assistance from the Utah Statewide Information and Analysis Center (SIAC) on a Department of State (DOS) Diplomatic Security Service case involving a Mexican citizen who was unlawfully present in the U.S. and suspected of committing passport fraud.
ICE/HSI asked for assistance in identifying the subject who had applied for a U.S. passport using the identity of a deceased U.S. citizen. By utilizing the SIAC’s analytic and technological capabilities, analysts at the SIAC were able to match the subject to fraudulent identification cards, and also identified a viable address for locating the subject. Equipped with this information, DOS obtained a federal indictment on the subject and HSI/Salt Lake City -- with the assistance of Enforcement and Removal Operations -- apprehended the subject in South Salt Lake, Utah.
As a result of the SIAC’s unique capabilities and access, HSI and DOS were able to quickly identify, locate, and apprehend the subject.
Fusion Centers Collaborate to Locate and Apprehend a Wanted Fugitive
Multiple Fusion Centers, January 2013
In January 2013, Alaska State Troopers informed the Alaska Information Analysis Center (AKIAC) that a fugitive wanted for multiple felony charges in Alaska, including Sexual Assault, Kidnapping, and Assault, was at large, and may have departed the state. Working with TSA, AKIAC analysts determined that the subject had departed Anchorage, AK on a commercial flight and was currently en route to Memphis via Minneapolis. Coordinating through the Tennessee Fusion Center (TFC) and the Memphis TSA, the AKIAC interfaced directly with the Memphis International Airport Police Department, providing an extraditable warrant and National Crime Information Center (NCIC) information concerning the subject. Within two hours of AKIAC’s notification, the subject was in custody of the Memphis International Airport Police Department. This example demonstrates the importance of connectivity between the National Network of Fusion Centers and their Federal, state, and local partners. Through the sharing of information in real-time, these partners were able to locate and apprehend a wanted fugitive.