The Bush administration may create a powerful new national security division in the Justice Department to consolidate and coordinate terrorism and espionage investigations better, the New York Times says. The idea reflects concerns among some officials that national security cases handled by Justice Department lawyers and investigators remain fragmented at times because of bureaucratic divisions, despite changes made since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Proponents say a major reorganization would represent another important step in streamlining cases involving terrorism, foreign spying, economic espionage, and other national security matters that could give the department more flexibility to predict and prevent terror attacks. The concept has been compared by some to the MI-5 domestic intelligence service in Britain, with training, investigation, surveillance and prosecution in national security cases consolidated in one division. David Kris, a former Justice Department official, said, “The advantage of an idea like this is that it would bring together under one roof all of the Justice Department’s national security elements, and right now those elements are spread all over the place, willy-nilly.”