This paper explains the role of fusion centers in counterterrorism and strategies after the American terror attack of the 11/September/2001. It, also, explores the recommendations that should be exercised in the current responsibility and the effect of strengthening the attitude of the fusion centers to implement the critical operation capabilities. Suggestions have been made that there should be establishment of unified National Network of Fusion Centers that have the capacity to share information in a professional manner with the federal government together with other local and state entities (Harper, 2012). Fusion Centers simply are exchange of information hubs in the United States that are capable of fighting crime and terrorism through gathering data from various sources. They involve an efficient and sustained mechanism to exchange information and intelligence, full usage of resources, and make more efficient (operations United States Congress House of Represen, 2015). Counterterrorism is a combined strategy to prevent terrorist instances from happening.
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Despite the current role of Fusion Centers, additional improvements are essential and they include reduction of facilities (fusion centers) countrywide to maximize on the effort of the counterterrorism progression through increasing funding to the centers that are not included in the 31 urban areas at risk of attack. Besides, there is need for providing enough requirements for relentless counterterrorism efforts both at the state and local levels to facilitate shifting and maintain productivity. Information consideration should happen on the basis of strategic analysis rather than tactical analysis (Harper, 2012).
According to the findings of Kinard (2012), capability gaps identified during the baseline capability assessment is currently focused on by the federal government to support the justification and to help the fusion centers in arriving at enhanced stage of the ability of all the four critical operation capabilities and protection. A range of resources and services like a guide book, best practices, templates, sample guidelines, workshops and some training sessions were provided by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with federal interagency partners to support fusion center in amplification of Critical Operational Capabilities (Peteritas, 2015).
The focus of the fusion centers was changed to include four major areas of the critical operational capabilities, which perform various functions such as receiving information, analyzing, disseminating and gathering it. The convenient method used to prevent terrorism attacks was dissemination of information to the public on what to do when one encounters or comes across a suspicious event or person (Saari, 2012). A nationwide suspicious reporting activity initiative was created to help create awareness to the general public on how to identify and avert the risks. This exercise served as an example of the efforts by one of the CoCs to stop terrorism.
Role of Fusion Centers has been questioned by both private and public for its inability to clearly identify a single case providing intelligence that can disorganize a terrorist plot since its establishment in 2003. The assessment conducted in 2012 concluded that Fusion Centers had not performed a significant federal counterterrorism effort, information in most case in reported in time and often infringed on private citizen liberties (Kinard, 2012) And the intelligence usually originates from the perilously created sources at a time which is not relative to terrorism; instead they focus on criminal strategies like drug smuggling, gang activities as well human trafficking. The issue of funds allocation is as well greatly criticized. The inability of local fusion centers to build up the need the critical capabilities of contributing to the federal counterterrorism efforts.