Information-Sharing Policies in Security Agencies

Statement of purpose

The purpose of this case study is to look at the information sharing policies that are present across the top security agencies in the United States. After the 9/11 commission declared that the information policies were a primary cause for the failure to prevent the attacks that took place during 9/11, there is need to analyze the nature and impact of the information policies that exist in within the security agencies. The subject of analysis throughout the course of this study will be the security agencies. In the case study, a special focus will be established and the main agencies in analysis will be the CIA, FBI, NSA, and DIA. The main purpose of this case study is to look at the security agencies, the information policies within the security agencies, and the impact of these policies with regards to preparedness against terrorist attacks. (Purpura, 2007)

Description of the subject

The subjects of analysis throughout the course of the case study are the security agencies. Although there are more than enough security agencies forming the subject of analysis, the main focus will be set on the FBI, CIA, DIA, and NSA. (McEntire, 2008)

The FBI is short for Federal Bureau of Investigations. The agency is classified as an intelligence agency as well as an investigation agency. The agency investigates over 200 categories of crime and reports these to the government. Most of the crimes that are investigated by this agency are federal crimes. This agency forms an integral part of the analysis in the case study due to the fact that it is a counterintelligence agency and is involved with the provision of information to the government with regards to terrorists and terrorism related activities. The FBI has established information policies that set it apart from the other intelligence community. There are restrictions and policies that are unique to this agency that cannot be found in other security agencies. This agency plays a vital role in the case study as had most of the terrorist related information before the attack. This will help in the analysis of the information policies that exist between this security and other top security agencies. (Purpura, 2007)

The CIA is short Central Intelligence Agency. This security agency reports to the Director of National Intelligence. One of the main reasons why this security agency plays a central role in this case study is the national responsibility that has been bestowed on it. The 9/11 attacks were a matter of national security and the fact that this took place right under the nose of the CIA calls for an analysis on the information policies within the organization. The organization has some of the most important counter-terrorism information but this cannot be used for the benefit of the nation due to the information policies that exist between this agency and other security agencies within the United States. The main function of the Central Intelligence Agency is to ensure that the nation has information about corporations, other governments, and individuals so as to aid in effective policy making. The entire activities of the United States Intelligence Community are usually coordinated by the Central Intelligence Agency. (McEntire, 2008)

The NSA is short for National Security Agency. In the case study, security agencies will be analyzed but the analysis on the National Security Agency will be more extensive and detailed. This is because of the relationship that exists between the functions of the NSA and the main topic of the case study. The NSA is an intelligence agency that works in close contract the United States Department of Defense. The agency is responsible for the collection of information with regards to foreign signals and communications. The analysis of these communications and signals is also done by the National Security Agency. The NSA is responsible for protecting the information systems and communications within the United States government. The NSA is responsible for functions involving are based on cryptography and cryptanalysis. The NSA plays an important role with regards to national security. (Maniscalco & Christen, 2011)

The DIA is short for Defense Intelligence Agency and is one of the important pillars of the Intelligence Community in the United States of America. The mission of the Defense Intelligence Agency is to provide military intelligence to defense planers, national security policy makers and defense policy makers in an objective, timely, cogent manner. The DIA is directly linked to the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff as well as Secretary Of Defense with regards to security matters. The DIA will form an important section of the analysis due to the fact that one of its main offices in the pentagon was a target in the 9/11. The analysis on this agency will seek to establish what the role it played with regards to the 9/11 attacks and the relationship that existed between this security agency and other top security agencies before the attacks and how this has changed. The analysis in the case study about the Defense Intelligence Agency will also seek to establish the policies that exist within this organization that are relevant to the 9/11 attacks as well as assessing the policies that exists between the agency and other top security agencies in the united states. Through this, the case study will hope to establish the position of this security agency with regards to the planning and orchestration of the attacks that took place in 9/11. (Bullock & Haddow, 2012)

The case study will conduct analysis on these agencies as well as the intelligence community. The United States Intelligence Community is made up of a total of 16 governmental agencies. All these agencies work in the intelligence community to ensure the safety of the country and security of the governmental information. The agencies work together to ensure that foreign relations and national security are maintained at certain levels of security and diplomacy. The United States Intelligence Community will form an important section of this analysis since it is the security agency that took most of the blame with regards to the attacks that took place in 9/11. This organization is made up of military intelligence, civilian intelligence, analysis intelligence organizations, and intelligence agencies. The intelligence community was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and its main objective was to ensure that there was enough intelligence for effective military planning as well as domestic planning. There are over 1200 governmental organization within the intelligence community and 1931 private companies. (Maniscalco & Christen, 2011)

These organizations are spread over 10,000 locations throughout the United States. The men and women who work for the United States Intelligence Community deal with issues related to intelligence, homeland security, and counterterrorism. In the case study, one of the important issues that will shape the analysis of the role of the Intelligence Community with regards to the 9/11 attacks is with regards to clearance. The intelligence brings together agents from different agencies. These agencies have their own systems with regards to clearance. For instance, the clearance specifications present in the Federal Bureau of investigations are not the same as those found in the Central Intelligence Agency. For this reason, there is a conflict whenever these institutions are needed to work outside the offices of the United States Intelligence Community. One of the reasons that was cited as being a major cause to lack of prevention with regards to the 9/11 attacks was this type of conflict. (Alperen, 2011)

The United States Intelligence Community will also be analyzed with regards to the sharing of institutional information. The various public and private agencies forming the United States Intelligence Community have their separate and unique information with regards to homeland security and counterterrorism. Although this information is useful in planning and national security, the policies that existed between these agencies was a major hindrance with regards the 9/11. The restrictions that exist between the various agencies within the United States Intelligence Community were one of the major challenges that accounted for the attacks that took place on 9/11. In the event these restrictions did not exist within these agencies, it would have been easy to share information throughout the security agencies and this would help in preventing the 9/11 attacks. (Bullock & Haddow, 2012)


The two top agencies that are on the spot with regards to the 9/11 attack are the Federal Bureau of investigation as well as the Central Intelligence Agency. More than one report on the 9/11 attacks show that the attacks took place as a result of lapses within the FBI and CIA. Although both agencies had information that would have easily been used to stop the 9/11 attacks, the restrictions in sharing information as well as the challenges posed by clearance between the two agencies amplified the chances of the attack taking place successfully. The 9/11 commission report found out that the nation would not have been surprised by the attacks since there had been a number of prior attacks. The Islamic extremists that orchestrated the attacks had given a number of signs that they wanted to perform attacks on both the American soil as well as other American interests elsewhere. There were a number of countries that provided the American security agencies with information that would have been used to stop the 9/11 attacks. The FBI and CIA were provided with information about the attack by reputable intelligence agencies from France, Russia, Egypt, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Israel, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Morocco. All these warnings varied from one another but they all pointed to one face – that the Al Qaeda was planning a major strike on the United States and that this attack was imminent. These attacks were provided to the United States intelligence agencies but there was ignorance on the agencies’ part. In March of 2001, the Italian intelligence provided the US intelligence with information that they were facing an imminent attack from the Al Qaeda that involved an aircraft. This was based on a wiretap of the Al Qaeda from the Italian Intelligence. (Alperen, 2011)


There were a number of recommendations after the 9/11 attack. The commission stated that it was important for information procedures to have incentive which ensured that there was a good balance between shared knowledge and security. The US government should identify the potential terrorists as well as prioritize the in the expected manner. The government should also invest in ensuring that terrorists are taken care of. The transportation systems should also undergo changes to improve the overall security. The policies governing the sharing information between the various agencies making up the United States Intelligence Community should be amended and so should the clearance policies. (Purpura, 2007)


Alperen, M. (2011). Foundations of homeland security, law and policy. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Publishers.

Bullock, J. A., & Haddow, G. D. (2012). Introduction to homeland security. (4th ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Maniscalco, P. M., & Christen, H. T. (2011). Homeland security: Principles and practice of terrorism response. Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett.

McEntire, D. A. (2008). Wiley pathways introduction to homeland security, understanding terrorism with an emergency management perspective. New York: John Wiley & Sons Publishers.

Purpura, P. P. (2007). Terrorism and homeland security, an introduction with applications. Oxford: A Butterworth-Heinemann Title.

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