THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, INFORMATION SHARING
AND TERRORISM RISK ASSESSMENT HEARING, "THE
RESILIENT HOMELAND: HOW DHS INTELLIGENCE SHOULD
EMPOWER AMERICA TO PREPARE FOR, PREVENT, AND WITHSTAND
Chairman, members of the Committee, my sincere
thanks for inviting me to speak with you today.
Our Federal Government learned some of the
wrong lessons from 9/11.
That morning we all looked to the skies for
the Air Force F-16's and we looked to Washington
to protect us. The main thrust of federal effort
since then answered that call: troops were deployed
overseas, funding for the CIA and NSA was greatly
increased, and the FBI has begun to focus more
on counterterrorism. But state and local police,
when considered, were considered only as the
"first responders" of terrorism. They
were funded to bein effectthe clean-up
crew to remediate our communities after the
terrorists launched a successful attack.
This focus and fundingon federal forces
and not local police, on international intelligence
and not internal awarenessis wise only
if our enemies are outside our borders and we
can stop them before they get in. But our reality
is much more complicated, and much more dangerous.
Our next 9/11 is as likely to be from terrorists
already within our borders as is it to
be from terrorists overseas who plot to penetrate
Terrorism everywhere is increasingly homegrown.
The trend line is unmistakable: it runs from
the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings, to the 2003
attacks in Casablanca and Istanbul, through
the 2005 subway bombings in London and to the
foiled plans to bomb jumbo-jets flying from
London to the US in 2006. But we need not look
only overseas for examples of the local threat.
Consider this partial list of U.S. locales in
which terrorist activities have been disrupted
in the last five years: Lackawanna NY, Bly OR,
Lodi CA, Torrance CA, Iredell County NC, Miami
FL, Toledo OH and Syracuse NY. In each of these
incidents, and in dozens of other smaller ones,
the perpetrators were not infiltrators. They
were residents, citizens, neighbors-next-door.
They had all the necessary IDs and excuses.
They didn't have to blend in; they were
Of course we do still face a threat from international
terrorists seeking to hit us at home, a-la 9/11.
In these instances as well, state and local
law enforcement are the critical line of defense.
Recall that two of the 9/11 hijackers were pulled
over by local police on routine traffic stops
and released. These terrorists lived in our
towns, ate at our restaurants, and studied at
our schools for many months. It is much more
likely that the nation's 730,000 local police
officers with years on the beat and connections
with all aspects of the communityand not
the perhaps 2,500 FBI agents dedicated to domestic
counterterrorism, or other federal forces, will
have the situational awareness to identify and
locate terrorists already in our midst.
Soon after 9/11, the NYPD realized they had
to tackle prevention on their own. They asked
me and the Manhattan Institute to build them
a small think-tank to support them as they ramped
up their counterterrorism capabilities. NYPD
wasn't getting the Federal support necessary
to detect and defeat terrorists then, and most
police forces still aren't now.
Since our start with NYPD, The Center for Policing
Terrorism at the Manhattan Institute for Policy
Research (CPT) has expanded to become involved
with other agencies such as the Los Angeles
Police Department and the New Jersey State Police.
CPT's focus is to advocate to and enable core
police departments to become "first preventers"
and to adopt the practice of "intelligence
CPT is supported entirely by private philanthropy.
Our donors, who span the political spectrum,
have enabled CPT to fill gaps in public funding,
gaps that I believe should not exist.
I hope to bring to you today an invested
understanding of what needs to be done to prevent
terrorism in our nation. By invested I mean:
my donors, my colleagues, and I have put our
money where our collective mouth is. I am not
an academic promoting theories or a contractor
looking for support. I have the honor of representing
a small group of dedicated citizens who have
sought federal leadership and federal funding,
and when we found both lacking we went and created
the solutions on our own, with our own dollars.
I humbly suggest three categories of solutionall
with minimal budget impactin which Congress
can build resiliency and improve our overall
counterterrorism posture, while also strengthening
the capacity of our state and local police against
the entire range of hazards.
1. Support National Counterterrorism Academies
CPT is proud to have partnered with LAPD to
begin building the National Counter-Terrorism
Academy (NCTA), funded by the Ahmanson Foundation
and the State of California. NCTA already has
60 students from more than 27 public agencies
and private sector companies throughout the
states of California and Nevada. Topics of instruction
include homegrown radicalization, methods for
interdicting terrorism finance and case studies
of significant terrorism plots presented by
the investigators themselves.
Over the next year, the Academy will expand
its course offerings, seek additional funding
and grow to eventually include four components:
a bricks-and-mortar location in Los Angeles;
a virtual, or online, academy; a digital library;
and mobile academic teams. Under the LAPD's
guidance and Chief Bratton's leadership, a small
staff of professionals will develop curricula,
manage operations and outsource the instruction
to the best and brightest.
The Academy will augment and serve as a focal
point for existing federal training programs
and strengthen the intellectual body of homeland
security knowledge by adding the critical perspective
of local agencies. The training will be tailored
to the needs of the up and coming leaders in
state and local agencies and their counterparts
in the public safety and private security fields.
NCTA does not compete with existing institutions
like FLETC. Rather it offers a first-rate, dedicated
option for police leaders to become evangelists
and trainers of first prevention and intelligence-led
In just a few months of operation, NCTA has
already proven to be such a success that we
are eager to expand the model across the nation.
CPT is already underway in discussions to partner
with the New Jersey State Police to build a
sister academy on the East Coast. We are happy
to note that the Bureau of Justice Assistance
was heavily represented in these discussions.
This academy will scale from the LA academy
and draw on the same virtual library, training
teams, and other key assets of the NCTA.
Though the NCTA academy is teaching nearly
30 public agencies the skills they need to prevent
and respond to terrorism, as well as many other
hazards, proposals for modest levels of federal
funding have not been accepted. To fully fund
three full years of NCTA operation, teaching
hundreds of police and private leaders in a
train-the-trainers model, injecting intelligence-led
policing and first preventers practices into
hundreds of departments, and establishing the
premier online library of written materials
and videotaped lectures available to police
across the nations will cost less than $4,000,000.
DHS should fund NCTA and its East Coast counterpart
2. Support Intelligence-led Policing and
Foreign Liaison Officers
Looking at the intelligence picture through
the reality of the homegrown threat, we need
to shift our paradigm from believing we have
to solve for simply how to get intel and training
from DHS (or other Federal entities)
to state and locals, and instead recognize most
of the intelligence relevant to state and locals
simply is not being collected federally.
There are not huge buckets full of magic intelligence
sitting in federal SCIFS that will solve all
the puzzles of big city police.
It has become a well-worn criticism that there
is very little tasking in federal collection
towards things useful to state and locals, and
that the sharing of what does exist is pitiful.
And while Federal organization, tasking and
sharing certainly needs to be fixed, we also
must learn three simple things:
1. A vast array of useful intelligence for
CT and many other crimes is in our communities.
Generally homegrown threats will only be detected
in the communities where they are plotted and
to be launched, but even most foreign-borne
plots will demand that terrorists spend real
time attempting to integrate into the fabric
of our communities. This is intelligence that
will come from close connections with the communities
and the establishment of situational awareness
in the way only our hometown police can do.
2. Police are simply the best entity suited
to collect this intelligence. Our hugely
decentralize police system (the US has over
17,000 police departments) ensures police come
from the communities, they have the community
access and generally the community trust to
find this information. Local entities also generally
have broader legal allowances to investigate
crimes and assess risk in their communities.
And then there are the numbers: there are, of
course, 730,000 police in this nation but perhaps
less than 2,500 FBI agents focusing on domestic
federal entity has the exposure, the insight,
the tools, let alone the breadth to collect
local threat information
3. But, while Police are best suited to
collect this critical intelligence, most simply
are not collecting.
That is to say, we miss much of the need (versus
the homegrown terror threat at least) when we
think we simply need to grease the skids of
information downhill. It is as critical for
DHS to help police collect the intelligence
that exists in their communities as it is for
DHS to share intelligence with police.
After the success of community led policing
and COMPSTAT, the next major innovation in policing
is upon us. Intelligence-led policing is the
ultimate addition of strategy to counterterrorism
and fighting crime. It is conceptually simple:
police departments should create intelligence
opportunities and use the outcomes to direct
their limited resources. A tiny number of US
police departments have intelligence capacities;
the vast majority does not. Though we need to
be mindful of the past abuses by some police
departments in the 1960's, today's police departments
are vastly different organizations, and intelligence
gathering must be integrated into police work,
and not just for counterterrorism.
ILP can be applied to virtually every public
safety challenge police face. Having a firm
understanding of a challenge, in real time,
improves decision-making and produces better
results. Resiliency begins with the way we think
about problems and deal with mental adversity.
Enhancing local intelligence capabilities will
allow us to achieve exactly that.
Fusion centers hold tremendous promise. Though
they exist in every state, many lack real strategy
on how to share intelligence across, up and
down. Fusion centers also offer a perfect vessel
to push the necessity and tactics of Intelligence-led
policing to their client police departments,
but again many are not resourced to do so.
At the strategic level DHS should begin to
preach the value of intelligence-led policing,
and at the user level, institute a pilot plan
via the fusion centers to teach intelligence-led
policing to local police departments.
Intelligence-led policing and First Preventers
doctrine transforms police departments into
proactive counterterrorism agencies. Not only
will they continue to thwart dozens of terrorist
incidents, this posture will deter untold potential
homegrown terrorists as it will create a hostile
environment for violent extremists. Much as
the Broken Windows theory created by George
Kelling and James Q. Wilson and implemented
by Chief Bratton revolutionized crime fighting,
so too will these tools revolutionize the nation's
fight against terrorists.
Although controversial for the FBI and State,
police should take intelligence collection to
the international level. NYPD's international
liaison program is a well known success. The
NYPD officers stationed with foreign counterparts
in major overseas metropolitan police departments
have built NYPD's knowledge networks and best
These relationships inform NYPD's thinking not
only on counterterrorism, but also on fighting
crime and other hazards.
We were very pleased to see this committee
propose the concept of a Foreign Liaison Officers
Against Terrorism (FLOAT) Program as part of
the LEAPS legislation. Since 2003, we have proposed
a program much like FLOAT, in which 5-10 major
city police departments would each assign one
officer overseas to liaison relationships with
foreign police departments. Ideally each city
would send an experienced officer to an area
they know well. LA could send an officer of
Indonesian heritage to Jakarta, Miami could
send a Colombian-American to Bogota, Detroit
could send an Arab-American to Cairo, etc. These
officers would embed with the local police to
collect information on counterterrorism.
The regular reporting from the liaison officers
would then be pooled to the intelligence apparatus
of all participating police departments, and
I won't get into a detailed defense here of
why police need their own international liaison
relationships, but suffice it to say, the current
reporting back from FBI and State generally
does not make it to police. When it does, it
is obvious these departments are curious about
very different lessons and learnings than the
locals. Instead of being seen as adversarial,
federal agencies should see the police liaison
presence as a compliment to federal activities
which can also provide real-time threat reporting
to their local agencies.
As this initiative has not made progress at
the Federal level, CPT leadership is endeavoring
to launch a FLOAT program funded by the local
police and donor dollars. Presuming the police
departments will continue to pay the salary
and benefits of the officers, we estimate the
cost for housing and travel and other incidentals
to be less than $100,000 per year per officer.
We will also arrange to create and house the
fusion hub that will task, collect and distribute
the liaison reports. NCTA, discussed above,
is an obvious home to serve as the hub to disseminate
FLOAT reports throughout the police community.
Again, there is an obvious Federal role here
and we urge the committee to fund international
3. Support Strategic Resource Allocation
Local police agencies are the most knowledgeable
resource when it comes to their own critical
assets. While many states and localities have
done impressive work understanding and cataloguing
critical assets and key resources in their jurisdictions,
there is a stark lack of uniformity in terms,
methodologies and fundamental approaches. We
believe that this ultimately hinders the ability
of national level decision makers to make risk-based
resource allocation decisions, since there is
not a baseline for comparing assets across jurisdictions.
We believe that a common approach for evaluating
critical infrastructure should be mandated on
state and local agencies. There is good news
here. The LAPD, in partnership with DHS has
developed Operation Archangel, a robust methodology
and information technology system for evaluating
and protecting critical infrastructure. Archangel
was created to utilize cooperation and coordination
across departments as well as public and private
sectors to facilitate the strategic application
and management of information and resources
to prevent, deter, mitigate, and respond to
an attack. It is well
thought out and vetted and could be easily and
cheaply incorporated around the country.
Resiliency comes from First Preventers and
The focus of your hearing today, a resilient
homelandcities and towns that can return
to stability after a disasterrelies on
numerous layers of prevention and response preparation.
But it is important to realize that we cannot
begin to consider true resiliency until we know
the 730,000 local police are recruited to the
When CPT goes to police leadership across the
nations to help them build prevention capacities,
we find many police departments to be nearly
tabula rasa when it comes to counterterrorism.
This is not to say they are not eager to be
involved with CT, rather most police departmentsparticularly
in major citiesare already very overburdened
and under-resourced. If they don't see a clear
and present terrorism danger to their city,
it is hard to convince elected officials or
their staff to shift their limited resources
from fighting crime to counterterrorism.
But we have had success and can be successful
elsewhere for two reasons:
1. Police leaders quickly realize
that the "First Preventers" curricula
and intelligence-led policing helps police and
their local partners not just with CT, but against
"all hazards," and
2. These concepts resonate with the highly successful
proactive policing models such as COMPSTAT of
Most agree the Londoners were resilient to
the 7/7 subway bombings because of the long
English history with terrorism and even cultural
memories of WWII. We should not presume to think
we can change American mindsets, but a process
of empowerment and knowledge sharing is, of
course, key to reducing panic in the event of
Local police departments are not just the crux
of public safety in over 17,000 communities,
but they are also the public servants most integrated
with the populace. By offering police insights
and the ability to proactively understand and
pre-empt terrorism, we are in fact injecting
this confidence into our communities.
I would counsel that while we work hard to
adopt the goals of resiliency into nearly everything
related to counterterrorism, we also realize
that sometimes resiliency will not be an option.
Some attack scenarios, including some we judge
as highly likely in the medium term, are so
horrific that the only real strategic alternative
I close by noting that I propose these initiatives
not as a theoretician, but as a representative
of a group of citizens that have since soon
after 9/11found aspects of federal leadership
in domestic counterterrorism lacking so have
been funding and enacting, on our own, solutions
to support our best hope for a secure homeland:
our local police.