Criminal Justice

Functions of the Intelligence Analyst in a Federal Law Enforcement Agency 

An intelligence agency depicts a government agency that is involved in gathering information with the aim of maintaining national defense and security. The means of information gathering employed by the intelligence agencies encompass communication interception, appraisal of public sources, collaboration with other institutions, cryptanalysis and espionage. The propagation and assembly of such information encompasses intelligence analysis. Intelligence analysts are individuals employed by intelligence agencies for the purpose of intelligence analysis (Scholtz & Morse, 2004). Depending on the intelligence needs of the specific intelligence agencies, intelligence analysts have diverse functions. Though differences might occur in their functioning, most intelligence analysts have similar functions in the intelligence agencies that they work for.

An intelligence analyst encompasses an official that is capable of perceiving and construing the intelligence reports that are received from various field agents working for the intelligence agency for which the analyst works. Intelligence analysts are accorded with the role of building up intelligence pictures while at the same time identifying potential targets and agents in case of a security threat (Zhao et al, 2005). The intelligence pictures are meant to identify the threat. Identifying the potential agents of the threat enhances the formulation of the best ways to counter the agents’ threat without causing any casualties. Identifying the targets of the threat ensures that those threatened by the threat are protected sufficiently and effectively.

Intelligence analysts evaluate the credibility of any intelligence information and its sources to ensure that misleading information is not acted upon by the intelligence agencies.

Intelligence analysts in a federal law enforcement agency posses the role of protecting United states from domestic threats by utilizing national and local intelligence databases while at the same time reviewing intelligence and investigative information  provided by special field agents. In this way, the analysts do not only aid in the enforcement of the federal law but also, state country and local law (Morse et al, 2005). This is because they aid in thwarting any form of domestic threats that can affect the local community, a county, state or the whole of America in general. Understanding the information accorded by the special field agents aids the analysts to warn the relevant agencies of the impeding threats such that solutions to the threat can be established in real time.

The intelligence analysts are granted the role of utilizing intelligence data in the operational and strategic analyses, threat assessment as well as case studies that are distributed to local, state and federal agencies. Theses are for law enforcement as well as the entire United States intelligence community with the aim of intercepting any domestic or foreign security breaches that can affect America adversely (Scholtz & Morse, 2004). This strengthens the national defense and security of America. The intelligence analysts are divided into operations’ specialist, reports officers and all-source analysts. The all-source analysts are involved with specific information on activities and projects designated to specific geographical areas for the reasons of counter-terrorism, foreign counter-intelligence as well as the federal law enforcement agency’s structured crime missions.

They also analyze intelligence data from foreign countries whose activities could jeopardize the American security. Operations specialists are accorded with the role of rendering direct support in investigations through front-line intelligence and case management assistance. In this case, they are involved in all the matters regarding the based under investigation to ensure that the right results are arrived at when solving the case (Zhao et al, 2005). Consequently, report analysts are in charge of the review of intelligence reports, bulletins, correspondence summary of information, briefing notes and disseminating relevant information to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. This reduces the duties of the all-source analysts.

Intelligence analysts are individuals designated with the functions of analyzing intelligence information in intelligence analysis (Morse et al, 2005). For the federal law enforcement agencies, the intelligence analysts can be divided into operations specialist, reports officers and all-source analysts. All source analysts deal with understanding and interpreting the intelligence data in specific geographical areas while disseminating it to the American intelligence community. Operations specialists provide direct support in investigation of cases through assistance in case management and front-line intelligence. The reports officers deals with all the reports containing the intelligence data and the dissemination of summarized information to the intended agencies. In conclusion, different intelligence analysts have different roles but their functions are similar regardless of the federal law enforcement agency they work for.










Morse, E., Steves, M., P., & Scholtz, J. (2005). Metrics and Methodologies for Evaluating Technologies for Intelligence Analysts. Conference on Intelligence Analysis, 5 (4), 1-3.

Scholtz, J., & Morse, E. (2004). In depth observational studies of professional intelligence analysts. Human Performance, Situation Awareness, 6 (4), 1-5.

Zhao, E., S., Q., Nguyen, H., & Wang, H. (2005). Impacts of User Modeling on Personalization of Information Retrieval: An Evaluation with Human Intelligence Analysts. Fourth Workshop on the Functions of an Intelligence Analyst, 1(2), 27-36.

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