No Independent Intelligence Unit Needed, FBI Official Argues


The FBI’s chief spokesman, John Miller, is arguing against the case for creating a separate domestic intelligence agency with no police powers, similar to Britain's MI5. In an op-ed article in the New York Times, Miller says the critics, including Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, are unaware of how far the bureau has come in transforming itself into an intelligence-driven organization and how many attacks have been prevented. Miller lists 5 terorist plots stoped in progress in the last year.

A new intelligence agency would have to take a year or more to get into action, assemble a database and “develop trusting relationships” with the nation's 18,000 local law enforcement agencies, Miller argues. He questions whether the British system is better, saying that officials at systems abroad that lack police powers “tell us they wish they could make arrests.” Miller notes that the FBI has expanded partnerships with local law enforcement by increasing the number of joint terrorist task forces to 101 today from 33 before 9/11. In those squads, local police detectives, our agents, and analysts and investigators from other federal agencies work side by side, sharing information and running down leads. A database, called the Investigative Data Warehouse, can search more than 700 million records from more than a dozen agencies and match them against the FBI’s own investigative records, he says.


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