Fusion Centers facing growing pains

February 28, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via Federal News Radio

The federal government is not adapting fast enough to the ever-changing threats to homeland security.

From cyber threats to homegrown terrorism, the challenges law enforcement face today are vastly different from those of the past.

Bart Johnson, principle deputy undersecretary of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, said the recent rise in domestic terrorism isn’t an anomaly – it’s the new norm – and security agencies need to operate accordingly. He said federal agencies can’t handle the spike in homegrown terrorism alone; that they must partner with state, local and tribal law enforcement groups.

In order to facilitate collaboration, the 2007 National Strategy for Information Sharing called for the establishment of fusion centers. The centers serve as focal points for collecting, analyzing and sharing threat related information between federal and state, local and tribal partners.

“This is the new plan A,” said Johnson during a speech Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “There is no plan B and there shouldn’t be a plan B. This national network of fusion centers needs to be enhanced, it needs to continue to provide the value-added, and it certainly needs to be institutionalized.”

Story here.