This report for Congress examines the development of fusion centers after September 11, 2001, how these centers continue to evolve, and the role of the Federal Government and private sector in supporting such centers.
Prior to September 11, 2001, information and intelligence fusion functions were conducted primarily by state police criminal intelligence bureaus. The events of September 11, however, provided the primary force for the establishment of over 40 State, local, and regional fusion centers across the country. Fusion centers are State-created entities financed and staffed by States for the purpose of integrating various streams of information and intelligence from the Federal Government, State, local, and tribal governments, as well as private industry. The main goal of these centers is to provide a picture of risks to people, economic infrastructure, and communities to prevent man-made (terrorist) attacks and to respond quickly and efficiently to natural disasters and man-made threats. This report discusses the characteristics of State/regional fusion centers; federalism and the role of the Federal Government in fusion centers; the role of the private sector in fusion centers; and the challenges faced by Congress in developing a national fusion center strategy. This report will be updated as needed. Appendixes
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CRS Report for Congress