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Fusion Centers' Support of National Strategies and Guidance

Our nation faces an evolving threat environment, in which threats emanate not only from outside our borders but also from within our communities. This new environment demonstrates the critical role state and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) have in supporting the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between various federal government agencies and state, local, tribal, and territorial partners.

The following is a compilation of national strategies and initiatives that direct our national security, homeland security, and information sharing efforts, as well as the associated references to the critical role of fusion centers and state and local partners in these efforts. Fusion centers accomplish this by providing federal government agencies with critical state and local information and subject matter expertise that they did not receive in the past – enabling the effective communication of locally generated threat-related information to the federal government.

National Security Strategy of the United States of America (2017)

  • The IC, as well as the law enforcement community, offer unique abilities to defend against and mitigate threat actors operating below the threshold of open conflict.
  • Both communities have exceptionally strong liaison relationships throughout the world, allowing the United States to cooperate with allies and partners to protect against adversaries.

National Strategy for Counterterrorism (2018)

  • Accordingly, from civil society and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to private sector partners and foreign allies, the full range of our partnerships must be enhanced to effectively prevent and counter terrorist activity, particularly as tactics and actors can change quickly.
  •  Where applicable, we will better integrate domestic terrorism information into our analysis of homeland threats and continue information-sharing among our federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners.

The National Counterintelligence Strategy of the United States of America (2020-2022)

  • The U.S. Government will:
    • Expand critical infrastructure information exchanges with federal departments and agencies; with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; and with private sector partners, and allies. The U.S. Government will enhance the capability to share threat, incident, vulnerability and risk data with our partners, including providing critical infrastructure owners and operators with actionable information and security best practices;
    • Expand outreach on supply chain threats, risk management, and best practices. Through expanded outreach and sustained engagement, we will establish and deepen partnerships with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and the private sector, and share supply chain threat information and mitigation measures with our partners, especially in U.S. critical infrastructure sectors; and
    • Strengthen partnerships across U.S. Government departments and agencies; with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; and with the private sector. We will strengthen partnerships especially with social media providers, technology companies, and academia – to raise awareness of foreign influence activity, better understand the threat, and provide timely, substantive warning of foreign intentions to interfere with or influence U.S. policy, officials, or the American public.

National Cyber Strategy of the United States of America (2018)

  • The United States will … lead in developing interoperable and mutually beneficial systems to encourage efficient cross-border information exchange for law enforcement purposes and reduce barriers to coordination.
  • Law enforcement actions to combat criminal cyber activity serve as an instrument of national power by, among other things, deterring those activities.
  • All instruments of national power are available to prevent, respond to, and deter malicious cyber activity against the United States.  This includes diplomatic, information, military (both kinetic and cyber), financial, intelligence, public attribution, and law enforcement capabilities.

National Information Sharing Strategy (2007)

  • State and major urban area fusion centers are vital assets critical to sharing information related to terrorism.
  • The federal government’s approach to supporting fusion centers respects our system of federalism and strengthens our security posture

National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding (2012)

  • The suspicious activity reporting process used by the National Network of Fusion Centers and local law enforcement entities…include stakeholder outreach, privacy protections, training, and enabling technology to identify and report suspicious activity in jurisdictions across the country, and serves as the unified focal point for sharing SAR information. 

DHS Information Sharing Strategy (2013)

  • Expand appropriate information sharing with our federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, international, public, and private sector partners through strengthening, enhancing, and extending the distributed homeland security architecture, inclusive of the following elements:
    • National Networking of Fusion Centers
    • Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI); and
    • National Terrorism Advisory System

FBI National Information Sharing Strategy (2012)

  • The FBI supports communication, coordination, and cooperative efforts between Federal and SLTT law enforcement by providing varying levels of support to fusion centers throughout the United States.
  • FBI Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) are the focal point of the FBI Intelligence Program and are the logical conduit for information sharing and collaboration between the FBI (including the JTTFs) and fusion centers.
  • It is vital that the FBI and fusion centers have established partnerships to ensure the timely sharing of information addressing overlapping mission priorities, with an added emphasis on terrorism-related threat information.
  • The TSC works closely with all fusion centers throughout the United States, notifying them whenever there is an encounter with a KST in their jurisdiction

Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (2014)

  • DHS and our partners must continually enhance situational awareness.
  • One critical data source is Suspicious Activity Reporting from state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners as part of the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative. Another source is the “If You See Something, Say Something®” campaign, which encourages citizens to report suspicious activity to the proper law enforcement authorities.
  • Through the National Network of Fusion Centers and other mechanisms, DHS will prioritize the development and timely distribution of locally or regionally oriented joint products. These joint products, produced collaboratively by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, support operations and provide detailed insight on emerging community or region-specific threats.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Strategic Plan (2017-2022)

  • Fully implement an intelligence-driven approach to illegal firearms trafficking and violent gun crime. 
  • Maximize partnerships with other Federal, State, Tribal, and local law enforcement agencies to identify and arrest armed offenders.

National Drug Control Strategy (2019)

  • HIDTAs provide an umbrella to coordinate Federal, state, local, and tribal drug law enforcement agencies’ investigations, and act as neutral centers to manage, de-conflict, analyze, provide intelligence, and execute drug enforcement activities in their respective regions.
  • Improved strategic planning must be informed by better strategic intelligence on transnational organized crime and global criminal networks, fusing law enforcement and Intelligence Community information and intelligence to create the most complete picture available of criminal networks.
  • Agile interagency and international coordination will allow for better detection of changes in the trafficking supply chain, which will support intelligence-driven operations against identified vulnerabilities, from drug production to delivery to the end user. 

National Northern Border Counternarcotics Strategy (2014)

  • Law enforcement and Intelligence Community agencies have been working to enhance information sharing with state, local, and tribal partners along the Northern border . . . Efforts will focus on enhancing and better coordinating existing operations, including but not limited to EPIC, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Fusion Center, (and) State and Major Urban Area Fusion Centers…
  • Fusion centers with Northern border counternarcotics responsibilities will be provided with personnel, secure communications, technical and analytic assistance, training, and other core services.

National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy (2016)

  • Progress in information shar­ing has paralleled an increase in capabilities and improved technology and data-sharing protocols.  Secure dissemination mechanisms have expanded collection, analysis, and intelligence dissemination/sharing among partners at all levels while utilizing processes that ensure the protection of privacy and civil liberties through data and privacy laws, regulations, policies, and processes.  
  • Improved access to relevant intelligence among law enforcement agencies at all levels will enhance their understanding of the impact of SWB activity on counternarcotics cases throughout the United States.
  • DHS I&A deploys dedicated Intelligence Community professionals to fusion centers across the SWB region to provide information sharing and intelligence analysis to support state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners.

DHS’s Northern Border Strategy (2018)

  • DHS must continue to promote and improve interoperable communications and expand efforts to plan and execute integrated operations and investigations with federal, state, local, tribal, and international partners.
  • Public and private partnerships and outreach activities play a vital role in keeping communities safe by promoting public awareness of potential indicators of terrorism and illicit activity.

National Preparedness Report (2019)

  • Fusion Centers are increasingly playing an integral part in major events or incidents at the state and local levels while meeting or exceeding performance standards.
  • Fusion centers and Federal partners distribute these and other unclassified products using a unified information-sharing platform called the Homeland Security Information Network-Intelligence (HSIN-Intel).
  • The increase in information sharing resulted in improved investigative cooperation and analytic collaboration across the fusion center network.

National Prevention Framework (2016)

  • A well-established capability to quickly collect, analyze, and further disseminate intelligence becomes critical in an imminent threat situation. To accomplish this, law enforcement, intelligence, homeland security professionals, and other members of the whole community must form engaged partnerships. These partnerships allow for the seamless acquisition and passage of information. In addition to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) and Field Intelligence Groups (FIG), as well as state and major urban area fusion centers, a variety of analytical and investigative efforts support the ability to identify and counter terrorist threats by executing these prevention support activities. These efforts include other local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal law enforcement agencies, and various intelligence centers and related efforts such as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Regional Information Sharing Systems Centers, criminal intelligence units, real-time crime analysis centers, and others. 

Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities: National Standards for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Public Health (2018)

  • Information sharing is the ability to conduct multijurisdictional and multidisciplinary exchange of health-related information and situational awareness data among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels of government and the private sector. This capability includes the routine sharing of information as well as issuing of public health alerts to all levels of government and the private sector in preparation for and in response to events or incidents of public health significance.
  • Procedures or guidelines in place to coordinate with relevant stakeholders in specific incidents include … coordination with emergency management officials and other relevant entities, such as fusion centers supporting an emergency response, including incidents when the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is activated.

Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime  (2011)

  • Enhancing U.S. intelligence collection, analysis, and counterintelligence on Transnational Organized Crime is a necessary first step, but should be accompanied by collaboration with law enforcement authorities at Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial levels. 

National Biodefense Strategy (2018)

  • This strategy calls for engagement and cooperation across all levels of government, to include SLTT governments, as well as internationally.  It involves partnership with multiple sectors, including the medical; public, animal, and plant health; emergency response; scientific and technical; law enforcement; industrial; academic; diplomatic; defense and security; intelligence; and nonproliferation and counterproliferation sectors, among others.
  • Strengthen the engagement of the law enforcement and security communities with other stakeholders to facilitate recognition and mitigation of situations involving deliberate biothreats and bioincidents.. 

 U. S. Customs and Border Protection Strategy (2020-2025)

  • Leveraging increased engagement and stronger partnerships with U.S. Intelligence Community, partner nations, agencies, trade groups, and industries will advance CBP’s missions of ensuring border security.
  • CBP will play a central role in coordinating across the intelligence community, with other law enforcement agencies, and with our international partners, bringing our full-time intelligence apparatus to bear and proactively surfacing threats before they arrive.

Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program Annual Report (2015)

  • RISS Centers have actively engaged with fusion centers in a variety of ways, including collocating efforts, participating as formal members of fusion center governance bodies, and using HSIN.
  • RISS intelligence analysts interact daily with staff at various fusion centers, and in some instances, RISS Center staff members are assigned to a fusion center. Fusion center and RISS staffs benefit from daily interactions that enable them to capitalize on each other’s knowledge and experience.
  • RISS also participates as an advisory member on the Fusion Center Subcommittee. Through this subcommittee, DHS has facilitated opportunities for collaboration and coordination between field-based information sharing partners in a variety of ways, including analytic exchanges, collaboration on joint products, analytic training, leadership training, and the sharing of best practices and lessons learned.
Last Published Date: February 12, 2020

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