Report Details the FBI’s Implementation of the 2004 9/11 Commission Recommendations
On March 25th , the FBI released The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century, the final report of the 9/11 Review Commission. This congressionally mandated review focused on the FBI’s implementation of the recommendations proposed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission).
“I am pleased the Review Commission recognized the significant progress we have made to build a threat-based, intelligence-driven law enforcement and national security organization,” said FBI Director James B. Comey. “I thank the commissioners and their staff for their efforts to help us better serve and protect the American public.”
The FBI asked three experts to lead this review: Edwin “Ed” Meese III, former United States attorney general; Timothy J. Roemer, former congressman and ambassador; and Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University professor and noted author on terrorism. Over the past 14 months, the Commission visited numerous FBI offices, here and abroad, and—with the full cooperation of the FBI—received more than 60 briefings from FBI personnel in the course of their work.
from page 118
(U) In conclusion, the FBI has made strides in the past decade but needs to accelerate its implementation of reforms to complete its transformation into a threat-based, intelligence-driven organization. The increasingly complex and dangerous threat environment it faces will require no less.
The Review Commission believes that the FBI’s vision of the future should be one in which criminal investigation, counterintelligence, intelligence collection and analysis, and S&T applications are seen as complementary core competencies of a global intelligence and investigative agency.
(U) The Bureau must work toward a culture that integrates its best efforts into both criminal and national security missions; where its highly skilled people intersect synergistically in mission support; but where its core competencies still are nurtured by distinct professional disciplines requiring their own investment strategies, specialized training, and discipline-managed career services.
(U) The FBI will fulfill its domestic intelligence role when its analysts and collectors, like its special agents, are grounded in criminal investigation; have ready access to state-of-the-art technology; continuously exploit the systems, tools, and relationships of the national intelligence agencies; and both cultivate and benefit from robust CONUS and OCONUS collaborative relationships that widen the Bureau’s access to investigative leads and reportable intelligence.
(U) Achieving these ambitious goals should not be a zero-sum game between intelligence and law enforcement. It should mean a continued FBI commitment to a growing criminal investigation mission, to a tighter and smoother integration of intelligence analysts and collectors into the USIC, to a more strategic approach to its growing international footprint, and to greater investment in closer collaborative relationships with US and foreign partners. Accomplishing all this will be hard in any case, but impossible without a firm commitment from FBI leadership and support from the DNI and Congress to accelerate reform.