Fusion Centers

Senate Report Slams DHS Intelligence "Fusion Centers"

Collected personal information about American citizens but produced nothing of value

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The Department of Homeland Security has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a network of 77 so-called "fusion" intelligence centers that have collected personal information on some U.S. citizens — including detailing the "reading habits" of American Muslims — while producing "shoddy" reports and making no contribution to thwarting any terrorist plots,  a new Senate report states.

The "fusion centers," created under President George W. Bush and expanded under President Barack Obama, consist of  special   teams of  federal , state and local officials collecting and analyzing  intelligence on suspicious activities throughout the country.  They have been hailed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as "one of the centerpieces"  of the nation's counterterrorism efforts.

But a bipartisan report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released Tuesday concludes that the centers "often produced irrelevant" and "useless" intelligence reports. "There were times when it was, 'What a bunch of crap is coming through,'" one senior Homeland Security official is quoted as saying.

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