Defending the Homeland:
The Case for Integrating National Guard Intelligence Personnel into the State Fusion Centers
In Fall of 2009 five Al Qa'ida operatives were arrested by federal authorities while in the final stages of separate operational plans to conduct attacks within the United States. Clearly, law enforcement was aware of their activities. Others within the United States intelligence community were aware of who some of the individuals were and of their relationships with Al Qa'ida, but they had no knowledge of the specific plots that were underway. Alarmingly, The Adjutants General (TAGs) of the states where the plots were unfolding were unaware of these activities until the individuals were arrested and the stories hit the press. This is significant because the National Guard plays a key role in the American Homeland Security (HLS) enterprise, principally in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) event. Yet, they typically lack sufficient access to potentially vital information that is available via other channels until after it hits the press or has become operationally irrelevant.