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Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, critics have charged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), while qualified to investigate terrorist incidents after the fact, is not well equipped to adequately gather and assess information to prevent attacks. More intrinsically, many believe that, given a predominant and deeply rooted law enforcement and prosecutorial culture, the bureau may not be able — or, in fact, even willing — to change operational focus toward dedicated counterterrorism intelligence gathering and analysis. To better inform debate, researchers at the RAND Corporation analyzed the domestic security services of four allied countries — the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and Australia. In each of the cases, the authors consider the organization's basic structure, its main threats, its relationship with the police, and the oversight and accountability each has with its respective government. They then weigh both the positive and negative aspects of the systems. Overall, the authors find the case studies useful as a benchmark to guide developments should a decision be made to establish a similar type of agency in the United States.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Security Intelligence in the United Kingdom

  • Chapter Three

    Security Intelligence in France

  • Chapter Four

    Security Intelligence in Canada

  • Chapter Five

    Security Intelligence in Australia

  • Chapter Six

    Assessment and Observations

  • Chapter Seven


  • Appendix

    The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Legislation Amendment (Terrorism) Act, 2003: Background Information

This research in the public interest was supported by RAND, using discretionary funds made possible by the generosity of RAND's donors, the fees earned on client-funded research, and independent research and development (IR&D) funds provided by the Department of Defense.

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