Among the reports that have been done on fusion centers and domestic terrorism:
“Identifying Enemies Among Us: Evolving Terrorist Threats and the Continuing Challenges of Domestic Intelligence Collection and Information Sharing”
Rand Corp., 2014
“Fusion centers seem to fall short both with their local customers and in contributing to the national-level counterterrorism effort ...
“It is difficult for national intelligence structures to talk about domestic terrorism, i.e., terrorism conducted by purely domestic violent extremists on the far left or far right of the political spectrum or extremists motivated by specific issues.”
“Understanding Law Enforcement Intelligence Processes: Report to the Office of University Programs, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism based at the University of Maryland, July 2014
“The major concerns of law enforcement have changed considerably over time. For example, when examining the 2006-07 survey results, law enforcement’s top concern was Islamic extremists. The 2013-14 study results show that law enforcement’s top concern is sovereign citizens.”
“Federal Support for and Involvement in State and Local Fusion Centers”
Majority and Minority Staff Report, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, United States Senate, Oct. 3, 2012
“The Subcommittee investigation found that DHS-assigned detailees to the fusion centers forwarded ‘intelligence’ of uneven quality — oftentimes shoddy, rarely timely, sometimes endangering citizens’ civil liberties and Privacy Act protections, occasionally taken from already-published public sources, and more often than not unrelated to terrorism ...
“At times, DHS officials overstated fusion centers’ ‘success stories’ ...
“The investigation identified problems with nearly every significant aspect of DHS’ involvement with fusion centers ...
“By its own estimates DHS has spent somewhere between $289 million and $1.4 billion in public funds to engage state and local fusion centers in the Federal counterterrorism mission, but has little to show for it.”
“Majority Staff Report on the National Network of Fusion Centers”
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, July 2013
The report said there needs to be better cooperation between the FBI and fusion centers.
“In one instance, the fusion center-FBI relationship is best described as toxic. The animosity and distrust from both sides is pervasive and has created a thoroughly dysfunctional and ineffective relationship …
“There is certainly blame to go around, and the Committee recognizes these examples are extremes. However, these anecdotes demonstrate that the situation is still far from perfect. It just takes one terrorist to slip through, or one plot to fall through the cracks, to put the Homeland in danger.”
“A Review of the Department of Homeland Security’s Missions and Performance”
Sen. Tom Coburn, January 2015
“A review of DHS’s programs shows that DHS’s main domestic counterterrorism programs — including its intelligence initiatives and homeland security grants — are yielding little value for the nation’s counterterrorism efforts. Independent reviews — including audits and investigations by watchdogs — show that DHS’s intelligence and analysis programs, including its state and local fusion centers and other information sharing programs, are ineffective or providing little value.”
“Information Sharing: DHS Is Assessing Fusion Center Capabilities and Results, but Needs to More Accurately Account for Federal Funding Provided to Centers”
United States Government Accountability Office, November 2014
“Fusion centers are uniquely situated to help enhance the national threat picture and help protect the country.” DHS grant funding “remains an important component of federal support to fusion centers,” but to date, DHS “has not been able to accurately account for and report on the amount of funds it has provided to centers.”
“2013 National Network of Fusion Centers Final Report”
“As direct federal investments in fusion centers decrease, state and local governments are bearing an increasing share of the financial responsibility for continued development and sustainment. The result is an increased focus within fusion centers on meeting the needs of state and local customers, which will inevitably impact the amount of attention fusion centers can devote to federal interests and requirements.”
“Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right”
The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, November 2012
In a study of the number of attacks initiated by far-right groups or individuals each year since 1990, the study found that “the overall trend is very clear.”
“From the early 1990s until 2008 there has been a clear increase in the number of attacks. … Although in the 1990s the average number of attacks per year was 70.1, the average number of attacks per year in the first 11 years of the twenty-first century was 307.5, a rise of more than 400 percent.”
“The Domestic Terrorist Threat: Background and Issues for Congress”
Congressional Research Service, January 2013
“The emphasis of counterterrorism policy in the United States since Al Qaeda’s attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) has been on jihadist terrorism. However, in the last decade, domestic terrorists — people who commit crimes within the homeland and draw inspiration from U.S.-based extremist ideologies and movements — have killed American citizens and damaged property across the country ...
“Today, perhaps in part because of the government’s focus on international terrorist ideologies, it is difficult to evaluate the scope of domestic terrorist activity. For example, federal agencies employ varying terminology and definitions to describe it. Also, domestic terrorism-related intelligence collection efforts have not necessarily received the same attention as similar efforts to counter foreign threats ...
“Domestic terrorists may not be the top federal counterterrorism priority, but they feature prominently among the concerns of some law enforcement officers.”