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Ashcroft orders intelligence sharing protocols

United States Attorney General John Ashcroft:
United States Attorney General John Ashcroft: "A calculated, malignant, devastating evil has arisen in our world."  


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General John Ashcroft Tuesday ordered all U.S. attorneys to develop protocols on sharing intelligence reports and other information among federal, state and local officials, declaring that "effective communication is vital" to defeating terrorists.

Speaking at the Anti-Terrorism Coordination Conference, Ashcroft said anti-terrorism task forces in each U.S. attorney's district should convene training sessions for state and local leaders on how to identify foreign intelligence and the best ways of sharing that information.

"A calculated, malignant, devastating evil has arisen in our world," Ashcroft said. "Civilization cannot ignore the wrongs that have been done. America will not tolerate their being repeated. Justice has a new mission, a new calling against an old evil."

The communication protocols, Ashcroft said, should be developed by December 1. The training sessions should be convened by January 31.

The attorney general said he would make available $9.3 million to support state and local participation in the anti-terrorism task forces in each U.S. attorney's district. That money, which would come to about $100,000 for each task force, could be used to hire an intelligence analyst or purchase communications equipment, he said.

Ashcroft, who last week announced a revamping of the Justice Department's mission to focus on anti-terrorism efforts, stressed the need for law enforcement agencies at the state and local levels to develop better intelligence-gathering skills and for federal agencies to improve their ability to share information.

"This intelligence-gathering initiative only serves to underscore the obvious: September 11 changed us and changed the way we do our jobs," Ashcroft said.



Greta@LAW

 
 
 
 



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