Cybersecurity

By Ben Bain

Blog archive

Lawmakers call for improved counterterrorism IT

An investigation by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee into the failed attempt to bomb an airplane headed for Detroit on Christmas Day found systemic failures across intelligence agencies and that technology used by intelligence agencies isn’t adequate to provide analysts with search-enhancing tools, according to an unclassified report released earlier this week.

Previously, a White House review, led by Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan, found personnel from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and the CIA who are responsible for the government’s watch list process didn’t search all available databases to uncover additional information on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national who allegedly tried to set off a bomb on the aircraft.

The committee's report identified 14 points of failure. To fix the problems, the report suggested that:

  • The State Department should develop a system to electronically notify airlines of individuals whose visas have been revoked.
  • The Obama administration should, in consultation with Congress, simplify, strengthen and add flexibility to watchlisting practices.
  • The director of national intelligence should develop a comprehensive plan to put in place advanced IT systems to can draw connections among related intelligence reports.
  • The FBI director should do a review of the bureau’s IT systems to ensure analysts have access to the necessary intelligence databases.
  • The National Security Agency should clear the backlog of reports that require review for watchlisting.
  • The NCTC should change its practices to allow for nominations to its Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment database.

 

Posted by Ben Bain on May 21, 2010 at 7:21 PM


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