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Counterintelligence Applications to Law Enforcement

NCJ Number
Crime & Justice International Volume: 23 Issue: 99 Dated: July/August 2007 Pages: 30-34
Brian Kelley
Date Published
July 2007
5 pages
This article discusses issues related to cooperation among Federal, State, and local agencies involved in counterintelligence operations intended to identify and thwart terrorist activities.
A generally accepted definition of counterintelligence is offered by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX). ONCIX defines counterintelligence as "the business of identifying and dealing with foreign intelligence threats to the United States. Its core concern is the intelligence services of foreign states and similar organizations of non-state actors, such as transnational terrorist groups. Counterintelligence has both a defensive mission--protecting the Nation's secrets and assets against foreign intelligence penetration--and an offensive mission--finding out what foreign intelligence organizations are planning to better defeat their aims." Cooperation in counterintelligence among appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies has become increasingly important under the threat of terrorist groups intent on infiltrating targeted countries for the purpose of conducting dramatic lethal attacks and crippling vital infrastructure. When a potential terrorist is identified, good counterintelligence techniques can be used to disrupt a planned attack or to collect evidence in support of an arrest. Counterintelligence tactics include the placement or cultivation of an undercover contact inside a terrorist group and the analysis of collected raw information in order to detect links, patterns, and explanations. This should also include assessment of sources of information, how it was acquired, and its reliability. 4 notes