skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 200693 Find in a Library
Title: Proactive Terrorist Investigation and the Use of Intelligence
Journal: Journal of Financial Crime  Volume:10  Issue:4  Dated:April 2003  Pages:378-381
Author(s): Paul Swallow
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 4
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper presents a definition of "intelligence" in the field of terrorism, discusses the mechanisms used to channel and deal with intelligence in the United Kingdom and in Europe, and suggests improvements.
Abstract: "Intelligence" related to terrorism is defined as "information relating to a crime that for a variety of reasons cannot be used in court." These reasons might be to protect a source or to disguise intelligence methodology. There are two main agencies involved in terrorist intelligence in the United Kingdom, the Security Service and Special Branch. There are Special Branches (SBs) in each of the country's 52 Home Office forces as well as in "non-territorial" forces such as the British Transport Police. SBs develop intelligence and convert it into evidence that can be passed on to police investigators, usually the Anti-Terrorist Branch. The Security Service is strictly an intelligence-gathering body, and it has made a significant contribution to the countering of terrorism. The Security Service has national responsibility for the collecting and analysis of intelligence that relates to terrorism. SBs are responsible for supporting the Service in this role. At an early stage in any SB and Service joint operation, a decision is made as to the operation's objectives. If these are to gather intelligence, the Service retains control. If the objective is to arrest and charge individuals, SBs will be responsible for passing evidence to law enforcement bodies for operational use. Regarding international terrorism, the Service takes the lead and coordinates its work nationally with SBs through a newly established Police International Counter Terrorist Unit. In addition, a new body, the National Terrorist Financial Intelligence Unit, has been established to deal with powers financial institutions have to disclose suspicious transactions they believe may have terrorist links, as well as to investigate terrorist finances. In Europe as a whole, the handling of counter-terrorist intelligence has usually been coordinated by ad hoc practitioner-led initiatives. In 1999 the European Union's Europol was given a role in countering terrorism. The aftermath of September 11th spurred the Justice and Home Affairs Council to order the establishment of a Counter Terrorist Experts Team (now called the Counter Terrorist Task Force) within Europol. This team, however, has met with limited success, so the most effective route for sharing intelligence is still the police-established informal route offered by the Police Working Group on Terrorism of the European Union. For the United Kingdom, this paper proposes the establishment of a National Special Branch to work alongside the Security Service, but with an overriding decisionmaking and policymaking body to guide the work of both agencies. Such a body would be able to work more effectively than SBs with the Security Service, but it would require a controlling committee to guide its activities. Another possibility would be a National Counter-Terrorist Agency that would embrace the counter-terrorist functions of the Security Service and SB. It would have national responsibility, be chaired by a chief constable, and assume responsibility for protecting the public from terrorism. 1 figure and 2 references
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Europe; European Union; Foreign police; Intelligence acquisition; Intelligence analysis; Intelligence units; Law Enforcement Intelligence Units; Organization development; Police intelligence operations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.