FBI Reorganizes To Take Broader Antiterror Approach


The FBI has begun the most comprehensive overhaul of its counterterrorism division in six years so it can better detect the growing global collaborations by terrorists, the Washington Post reports. The bureau will merge its two international terrorism units — one for Osama bin Laden’s followers and the other for other groups like Hezbollah — into a new structure that borrows both from Britain’s MI5 domestic intelligence agency and the bureau’s efforts against organized-crime families, said Joseph Billy Jr., FBI’s assistant director for counterterrorism.

“We want to place these people together so the intelligence is being shared across each way — left, right, up and down — and that, in turn, will help drive the tactical aspect of how we focus our resources,” Billy said. Borrowing from its 1980s mob-busting strategies, the bureau will encourage agents to forgo immediate arrests whe there is no imminent threat, allowing surveillance of suspects to last longer. The aim is to identify collaborators and facilitators who increasingly span multiple groups and countries, Billy said. “We want to be in a position where we have [] the entire picture that may be taking place throughout the United States identified and [] strategically focus our resources in a way that would give us the better chance of dismantling a group, as opposed to only identifying one aspect of a much larger threat.”

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2007/09/25/ST2007092502577.html?hpid=moreheadlines

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