More than 40 state-run operations set up after 9/11 to help uncover terrorist plots are proving to be a costly but largely ineffective weapon against terrorism, according to congressional investigators. Homeland Security has given states $380 million to set up the high-tech intelligence centers to help law enforcement officials do what they were not able to do before Sept. 11, 2001: recognize suspicious activity, patterns and people and use the information to prevent terrorist attacks.
However, the centers “have increasingly gravitated toward an all-crimes and even broader all-hazards approach,” focusing on traditional criminals and local emergencies, according to a report this month by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Built with state and federal money, the “fusion centers” are designed to encourage local, state and federal law enforcement and homeland security officers to share information, reports USA Today. The CRS report found “little true fusion, or analysis of disparate data sources, identification of intelligence gaps and pro-active collection of intelligence” at the 42 centers now set up in 37 states.