Homeland Security Intel: Operations and Oversight

06.08.09 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate intelligence to reduce the threat of domestic terrorism.  The somewhat complex structure of DHS intelligence, at DHS headquarters and in six operational components, is illuminated in a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service.

The new report usefully examines how DHS intelligence is organized to address threat warnings, border security, critical infrastructure protection, and information sharing.  It also considers congressional oversight of DHS intelligence. See “The Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise: Operational Overview and Oversight Challenges for Congress,” May 27, 2009.

Though it is far from the most urgent or important question facing homeland security intelligence, Congress is pulling out all the stops to investigate the origin of a controversial, inartfully worded DHS intelligence memo on “Rightwing Extremism” (pdf). Last week, the House Homeland Security Committee approved a formal resolution of inquiry to demand documents related to the preparation of that memo.