State and Local Intelligence Fusion Centers: An Evaluative Approach in Modeling a State Fusion Center

Naval PostGraduate School Thesis by Willam A. Forsyth

In the final report on the attacks of September 11, 2001, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) found that the attacks were successful in part because information was not shared and analysis not pooled among the different agencies across all levels of government. Since that time, there have been significant strides to improve cooperation and close the intelligence gaps among the different intelligence and law enforcement services. Effective terrorism prevention, however, requires information and intelligence fusion as a cooperative process at all levels of government so that the flow of intelligence can be managed to support the identification of emerging threats to our homeland.

This thesis explains the value of a state/regional fusion center by examining three successful fusion centers in Arizona, Georgia, and Los Angeles. Recommendations from each agency on "lessons learned" as well as independent research have been provided to help state and local agencies develop their own fusion centers.