The Role of Fusion Center in Combating Terrorism

The Role of Fusion Center in Combating Terrorism
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The Role of Fusion Center in Combating Terrorism
Fusion centers have been created to facilitate the collaboration of various agencies by providing them with resources, specialists, and relevant information to enhance their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to terrorism or criminal activities. The definition of Homeland Security (2018) for such centers shows that they “operate as state and major urban area focal points for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information between federal; state, local, tribal, territorial (SLTT); and private sector partners.” With the introduction of fusion centers, the battle against terrorism in the United States has been enhanced significantly since various criminal justice agencies have been able to join their efforts in the investigation of potential criminal activities and even in the aftermath of terrorist attacks.
History and Background
Fusion centers were established between 2003 and 2007 to incorporate the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Office of Justice Programs within the Department of Justice among other security-related agencies. The primary purpose of these centers was the promotion of information-sharing at different levels of the federal and state government that were concerned with the state’s security matters. The establishment of the National Network of Fusion Centers followed the attack of the September 11, 2001 that had mainly caught the state unprepared due to lack of appropriate information in the security department. Therefore, fusion centers were created to ensure a close collaboration across jurisdictions and security sectors to enhance and improve national security. These organizations form a decentralized, distributed, and self-organized association of agencies to facilitate the appropriate and effective dissemination of information related to the security of the USA.
Role of Fusion Centers
Fusion centers are information hubs that enable the provision and access to comprehensive and appropriate security-related information that is disseminated to state security agencies. Such information is considered sensitive so it can be accessed or received by authorized parties only. Fusion centers are independent of the federal government, which ensures that they provide security partners with unique perspectives on possible threats to the state (Justice Information Sharing, n.d.). The organization under discussion serves to fill the security gap in United State by linking major stakeholders in the security department, including the frontline personnel, the state government, and the local leadership with the Department of Homeland Security.
The annual assessment of this entity conducted by DHS provides comprehensive information related to the National Network of Fusion Centers. This information includes measurement of the effectiveness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as well as the provision of financial support and advice to the agency in investing in mission areas, which gives DHS great potential benefits. This assessment works toward ensuring the consistency of fusion centers’ performance regardless of their size, scope, location, or purpose. These centers have greatly helped in the reduction of harmful effects of crime and terrorism among individuals in communities in the United States by enhancing public safety through the provision of efficient, effective, ethical, lawful, and professional security-related information.
Fusion centers work in all states, especially in major urban areas, and their activities serve to empower organizations that ensure public safety, respond to fire emergencies, and protect public health, while the security personnel in the private sector also participates in the sharing of information. These centers influence the decision-making processes of the state government on issues related to national and state security through the provision of multidisciplinary expertise and situational awareness. The main role of the organization under discussion is to conduct security analysis to facilitate the sharing of informative guidelines to law enforcement agencies and DHS, thus helping in preventing, protecting against, and responding to criminal activities. The dissemination of information in the mentioned organizations highly depends on the active involvement of all agencies. The work of fusion centers allows the diversification of information sources to provide an accurate and robust analysis that facilitates the sharing of necessary data across all states.
The support received from the Department of Homeland Security enables fusion centers to access and disseminate relevant information, which is a key element in the prevention of criminal activities. Such information is also important in enhancing the efforts of local agencies in the management of violent extremism. Moreover, these institutions have managed to combat terrorism and criminal activities through the enhancement of intelligence and analytical abilities at the level of federal and state agencies. The analysis of events involves the patterning of criminal and terrorist activities, the identification of areas vulnerable to terrorism, and the provision of warning and indicators for crime and violence (Homeland Security, 2018). Furthermore, relevant authorities receive informative reports on suspicious terrorist activities as well as relevant recommendation regarding necessary activities to be implemented to prevent terrorism and crime (Homeland Security, 2018). After analyzing the situation, fusion centers share obtained information with state and local agencies, which are involved in making decisions regarding state security, for appropriate actions to be taken.
In the enhancement of state security and the prevention of criminal and terrorist activities, fusion centers partner with local agencies to inform the frontline personnel and to create awareness among the members of the public regarding potential terrorist or criminal threat. At the same time, the organizations under discussion are involved in informing and educating the government and local partners on the identification, management approaches, and control of potential threats (Homeland Security, 2018). Moreover, this role of fusion centers is quite critical, so it requires a high level of privacy in protecting citizens’ civil rights and the protection of state information as stated in the rule of law. Finally, these centers are mandated to ensure that security agency officials receive appropriate training that will enable them to counter violent extremism.
Sources of Funding for Fusion Centers
Countering terrorism and violent extremism requires a better understanding of potential violent situations so that law enforcement agencies could determine potential crime environments and take appropriate actions. To help these agencies attain expected outcomes, fusion centers receive financial support from federal partners. The estate government also ensures that these entities are staffed with well-trained and qualified personnel as well as provided with proper training, technical assistance, security clearance, and support. There is also a close connection between fusion centers and the federal system to assure security for experts while they conduct their duties. Security information provided by such centers is obtained from different reliable sources such as suspicious activity reporting (SAR), stakeholders in their line of duty, and federal intelligence units.
Fusion centers play a major role in coordinating the state, security agencies, and private sectors in their protection of national security by combating terrorism and criminal activities. The main role of these centers is to gather information regarding potentially criminal activities that might threaten security of the state as well as to share such information to relevant agencies in a private and confidential manner for appropriate actions to be taken. Moreover, fusion centers ensure that state and local partners are provided with timely, relevant, and accurate information regarding the trends and patterns of criminal activities. In such a way, concerned agencies will be able to predict potential targets and introduce appropriate protective measures. The work of fusion centers helps maintain awareness in society by enhancing security in communities as well as providing relevant training to security agency officials and enabling them to advance their techniques in the detection, analysis, and management of criminal activities.

Homeland Security. (2018, December 17). State and major urban area fusion centers. Retrieved from
Justice Information Sharing. (n.d.). Fusion centers and intelligence sharing. Retrieved from

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