Review of United States Attorneys' Offices' Use of Intelligence Research Specialists

Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2006-003
December 2005
Office of the Inspector General

Purpose, Scope, and Methodology


The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to evaluate the implementation of the intelligence research specialist positions at the USAOs. The OIG assessed how the USAOs employed the intelligence research specialists to analyze and share terrorism-related information, including the functions of the intelligence research specialist positions and the results of their work. We also reviewed guidance, duties, and the work products related to USAO intelligence research specialists.

Scope and Methodology

We conducted fieldwork from February 2005 through June 2005. The review encompassed the intelligence research specialists’ work at all 93 USAOs.

Document Review

We reviewed memorandums and guidance from the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, and EOUSA related to the intelligence research specialist positions. In addition, we reviewed all USAO web sites for additional information about the duties of the intelligence research specialists. We reviewed EOUSA’s strategic plans, performance measurements, position descriptions, and budget information. We obtained and reviewed the FBI’s intelligence analyst training course materials and the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence memorandums and reports. We also reviewed OIG and Government Accountability Office reports related to information sharing and intelligence.

In addition, we received 226 examples of work products provided to us from 68 intelligence research specialists. Among the 226 examples were 29 different types of work products. Work products included ATAC newsletters, link charts, analytical reports, PowerPoint presentations, and course training materials. Of the 79 intelligence research specialists interviewed by the OIG, 7 did not send material because they work on national security information ( NSI ), and another 4 said they did not produce any work products or were unable to provide examples because they were on extended leave.


At EOUSA, we interviewed officials to obtain background information about the intelligence research specialist positions. We spoke with two former Attorney Advisors for the intelligence research specialists to discuss history, purpose, and positions. We also spoke with the Deputy Counsel to the Director of EOUSA to discuss the development of the intelligence research specialist conferences and training opportunities. Further, we spoke with the Assistant Director for the Evaluation and Review Staff (EARS) to obtain additional information about the evaluation of USAO operations.

At the FBI, we met with the Executive Assistant Director for the Directorate of Intelligence to discuss how USAO intelligence research specialists interact with the FBI and the challenges facing the intelligence community. We also met with officials at the College of Analytical Studies at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, to obtain information about training provided to USAO intelligence research specialists.

At the USAO districts selected for site visits, we spoke with USAO managers to discuss the intelligence research specialist positions. We also met with personnel from state fusion centers; local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies; and the U.S. military to obtain feedback on intelligence research specialist services and work products.

We interviewed 79 intelligence research specialists employed by the USAOs to discuss their roles and responsibilities. We spoke with a JTTF Coordinator and the First AUSA from the Eastern District of Virginia about the use of the intelligence research specialists. We also interviewed two U.S. Attorneys and two FBI special agents who spoke at the March 2005 intelligence research specialist conference. Finally, we contacted the Chief of Staff at the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) to obtain additional information about the receipt of intelligence research specialist products.


We sent surveys to all U.S. Attorneys and ATAC Coordinators at all the USAOs. Fifteen U.S. Attorneys and 68 ATAC Coordinators or other USAO officials (for a total of 83) provided responses to our survey. Their responses represented 74 of 93 districts.

Field Visits

We visited six USAO districts to conduct interviews and observe the intelligence research specialists’ work: Massachusetts, Vermont, Western Texas, Northern Texas, Central California, and Southern California. We also attended portions of the intelligence research specialist annual conference in Columbia, South Carolina, to learn about the program and current issues. We toured the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center and the Massachusetts State Fusion Center to observe the operations of state intelligence fusion centers.16

We attended State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training provided by the Institute for Intergovernmental Research in Madison, Wisconsin. We also attended a critical infrastructure meeting and an anti-terrorism training session presented by the Maryland ATAC.

Intelligence Research Specialist Functions

We identified the core functions of the intelligence research specialist positions by reviewing guidance from the Attorney General and EOUSA; reviewing intelligence research specialist position descriptions and EOUSA articles; tabulating survey responses from ATAC Coordinators and U.S. Attorneys; and interviewing intelligence research specialists and EOUSA officials. In addition, we identified examples of best practices in each of the core functions. A description of the core functions and best practice examples is contained in Appendix I.


  1. In general, intelligence fusion centers integrate and analyze information from disparate sources to spot criminal and terrorism patterns.

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