Homeland Security Intelligence: Perceptions, Statutory Definitions, and Approaches
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Since the 911 terrorist attacks, Congress has focused considerable attention on how intelligence is collected, analyzed, and disseminated in order to protect the homeland against terrorist threats. Prior to 911, it was possible to make a distinction between domestic intelligence-primarily law enforcement information collected within the United States-and foreign intelligence- primarily military, political, and economic intelligence collected outside the country. Today, threats to the homeland posed by terrorist groups are now national security threats. Intelligence collected outside the United States is often very relevant to the threat environment inside the United States and vice versa. Although the activities involved in homeland security intelligence HSINT itself are not new, the relative importance of state, local, and private sector stakeholders the awareness of how law enforcement information might protect national security and the importance attached to homeland security intelligence have all increased substantially since the events of 911. There are numerous intelligence collection disciplines through which the U.S. Intelligence Community IC collects intelligence to support informed national security decision-making at the national level and the allocation of tactical military and law enforcement resources at the local level. The collection disciplines are generally referred to as those which fall within national technical means or non-technical means. Technical means include signals intelligence SIGINT, measurement and signatures intelligence MASINT, and imagery intelligence IMINT. Nontechnical means include human intelligence HUMINT and open source intelligence OSINT. Each of these collection disciplines is source-specific-that is, a technical platform or human source, generally managed by an agency or mission manager, collects intelligence that is used for national intelligence purposes.
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