Information fusion centers bring intelligence to local level
| 09.27.2005 | 09:38:40 | Views: 2039 | ID:
September 26 '05: In Massachusetts, an information and intelligence gathering clearinghouse is being developed by state officials along with their local counterparts to help in the fight against terrorism according to a report on Monday by the Boston Globe.
The Commonwealth Fusion Center is a state funded organization staffed by intelligence analysts and intelligence field operators whose main mission is to gather information about possible terror threats to the local and state-wide region and then fuse it with national intelligence.Created in Framingham, the center has won the support of state and federal officials who gave the intelligence clearing house more than $3 million in funds for 2005 while more than $10 million in federal funds will be given "to regional efforts to upgrade technology to communicate with the Fusion Center," the Globe reported. Part of the advantage of the creation of the fusion center is that it allows greater flexibility in information gathering and law enforcement officials told the Globe. "Often analysts help debunk rumors of threats," the Globe reported, "saving authorities time and money." "After a series of manhole explosions in the North End (of Boston) in August, analysts at the [f]usion [c]enter quickly assured officials no terrorist link could be found. They also helped deflate a rumor about MS-13 gang members plotting to kill a law enforcement officer." But there are some that believe the money and energy are being misplaced. Christopher H. Pyle, an retired Army intelligence officer who is known for exposing military surveillance of civilians in the 1960s and 1970s told the Globe the center is a waste of time. "It creates the illusion that we're doing something. ... What we're doing is wasting money. It's a justification for getting more grants from the Department of Homeland Security." At least a half dozen other states are starting similar programs following a model similar to the one in Massachusetts. Read another article on the Commonwealth Fusion Center here.
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