Criminal Intelligence Glossary of Terms

Law enforcement agencies at all levels are working together more than ever to support information sharing. It is important to note that there is a tremendous effort under way to streamline intelligence terms to facilitate information sharing. As a result, criminal intelligence terminology is changing. It is recommended that organizations stay abreast of emerging intelligence-related terminology.

The definitions contained herein are provided from the perspective of criminal intelligence.

Further, it is recognized that some words and phrases will have alternate or additional meanings when used in the context of national security intelligence, the military, or business. The definitions are intended to be merely descriptive of an entity, issue, or process that may be encountered by those working with the criminal intelligence function. Definitions may differ according to state statutes or local rules.

Access (to sensitive information)

Sensitive information and/or intelligence may be released by a law enforcement agency when at least one of the following four prescribed circumstances applies to the person(s) receiving the information:

Right to Know

Based on having legal authority, one’s official position, legal mandates, or official agreements, allowing the individual to receive intelligence reports.

Need to Know

As a result of jurisdictional, organizational, or operational necessities, intelligence or information is disseminated to further an investigation.

Investigatory Value

Intelligence or information is disseminated in the law enforcement community for surveillance, apprehension, or furtherance of an investigation.
Public Value

Intelligence or information can be released to the public when there is a need to know and a right to know the information because of the value that may be derived from public dissemination to (1) aid in locating targets/suspects; and (2) for public safety purposes (i.e., hardening targets, taking precautions).


Intelligence and information with sufficient specificity and detail to implement explicit responses to prevent a crime or terrorist attack.

Administrative Analysis

The analysis of economic, geographic, demographic, census, or behavioral data to identify trends and conditions used to aid administrators in making policy and/or resource allocation decisions.


Collection and analysis of information that shows relationships among varied individuals suspected of being involved in criminal activity that may provide insight into the criminal operation and which investigative strategies might work best.


That activity whereby meaning, actual or suggested, is derived through organizing and systematically examining diverse information and applying inductive or deductive logic for the purposes of criminal investigation or assessment.

Archiving (Records)

The maintenance of records in remote storage after a case has been closed or disposed of, as a matter of contingency, should the records be needed for later reference.

Association Analysis

The entry of critical investigative and/or assessment variables into a two-axis matrix to examine the relationships and patterns that emerge as the variables are correlated in the matrix.

Automated Trusted Information Exchange (ATIX)

Operated by the Regional Information Sharing Systems®, ATIX is a secure means to disseminate national security or terrorist threat information to law enforcement and other first-responders via the ATIX electronic bulletin board, secure Web site, and secure e-mail. Bias/Hate Crime Any criminal act directed toward any person or group as a result of that person’s race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or sexual preference.


An intelligence application concept initially used by military intelligence that stands for command, control, and communication as the hallmark for effective intelligence operations.

Clandestine Activity

An activity that is usually extensive and goal-oriented, planned, and executed to conceal the existence of the operation. Only participants and the agency sponsoring the activity are intended to know about the operation. “Storefront” operations, “stings,” and certain concentrated undercover investigations (such as ABSCAM) can be classified as clandestine collections.

Classified Information/Intelligence

A uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information, including information relating to defense against transnational terrorism, to ensure that certain information is maintained in confidence in order to protect citizens, U.S. democratic institutions, U.S. homeland security, and U.S. interactions with foreign nations and entities.

Top Secret Classification

Applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe (Executive Order 12958, March 25, 2003).

Secret Classification

Applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe (Executive Order 12958, March 25, 2003).

Confidential Classification

Applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe (Executive Order 12958, March 25, 2003).

Collation (of information)

A review of collected and evaluated information to determine its substantive applicability to a case or problem at issue and placement of useful information into a form or system that permits easy and rapid access and retrieval.

Collection (of information)

The identification, location, and recording/storing of information, typically from an original source and using both human and technological means, for input into the intelligence cycle for the purpose of meeting a defined tactical or strategic intelligence goal.

Collection Plan

The preliminary step toward completing an assessment of intelligence requirements to determine what type of information needs to be collected, alternatives for how to collect the information, and a timeline for collecting the information.

Command and Control

Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of a mission.

Commodity (Illegal)

Any item or substance that is inherently unlawful to possess (contraband) or materials which, if not contraband, are themselves being distributed, transacted, or marketed in an unlawful manner.

Commodity Flow Analysis

Graphic depictions and descriptions of transactions, shipment, and distribution of contraband goods and money derived from unlawful activities in order to aid in the disruption of the unlawful activities and apprehend those persons involved in all aspects of the unlawful activities.

Communications Intelligence (COMINT)

The capture of information, either encrypted or in “plaintext,” exchanged between intelligence targets or transmitted by a known or suspected intelligence target for the purposes of tracking communications patterns and protocols (traffic analysis), establishing links between intercommunicating parties or groups, and/or analysis of the substantive meaning of the communication.


A definitive statement about a suspect, action, or state of nature based on the analysis of information.


See Classified Information/Intelligence, Confidential Classification.

Continuing Criminal Enterprise

Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity and any union or group of individuals associated in fact, although not a legal entity, that are involved in a continuing or perpetuating criminal activity.

Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)

This is a proposed term to replace the term “Sensitive But Unclassified.” It has not been officially adopted.


The process of interrelating work functions, responsibilities, duties, resources, and initiatives directed toward goal attainment.


Information compiled, analyzed, and/or disseminated in an effort to investigate espionage, sedition, or subversion that is related to national security concerns. A national security intelligence activity that involves blocking or developing a strategic response to other groups, governments, or individuals through the identification, neutralization, and manipulation of their intelligence services.

Covert Intelligence

A covert activity is planned and executed to conceal the collection of information and/or the identity of any officer or agent participating in the activity.

Crime Analysis

The process of analyzing information collected on crimes and police service delivery variables in order to give direction for police officer deployment, resource allocation, and policing strategies as a means to maximize crime prevention activities and the cost-effective operation of the police department.

Crime-Pattern Analysis

An assessment of the nature, extent, and changes of crime based on the characteristics of the criminal incident, including modus operandi, temporal, and geographic variables.

Criminal History Record Information (CHRI)

Information collected by criminal justice agencies on individuals, consisting of identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, detentions, indictments, information, or other formal criminal charges and any disposition arising therefrom, including sentencing, correctional supervision, and/or release. The term does not include identification information, such as fingerprint records, to the extent that such information does not indicate involvement of the individual in the criminal justice system.

Criminal Investigative Analysis

An analytic process that studies serial offenders, victims, and crime scenes in order to assess characteristics and behaviors of offender(s) with the intent to identify or aid in the identification of the offender(s).

Criminal Predicate

Information about an individual or his/her behavior that may be collected and stored in a law enforcement intelligence records system only when there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is involved in criminal conduct or activity and the information is relevant to that criminal conduct or activity.


The process of deciphering encrypted communications of an intelligence target.


The creation of a communications code/encryption system for communication transmission with the intent of precluding the consumption and interpretation of one’s own messages.


The study of communications encryption methods that deal with the development of “codes” and the “scrambling” of communications in order to prevent the interception of the communications by an unauthorized or unintended party.

Data Element

A field within a database that describes or defines a specific characteristic or attribute.

Data Owner

The agency that originally enters information or data into a law enforcement records system.

Data Quality

Controls implemented to ensure that all information in a law enforcement agency’s records system is complete, accurate, and secure.


The processor system that is used to determine whether multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating the same person or crime and that provides notification to each agency involved of the shared interest in the case, as well as providing contact information. This is an information and intelligence-sharing process that seeks to minimize conflicts between agencies and maximize the effectiveness of an investigation.

Deductive Logic

The reasoning process of taking information and arriving at conclusions from within that information.


The short-term assignment of personnel to address specific crime problems or police service demands.

Designated State and/or Major Urban Area Fusion Center

The fusion center in each state designated as the primary or lead fusion center for the information sharing environment.

Dissemination (of Intelligence)

The process of effectively distributing analyzed intelligence utilizing certain protocols in the most appropriate format to those in need of the information to facilitate their accomplishment of organizational goals.

Due Process

Fundamental fairness during the course of the criminal justice process, including adherence to legal standards and the civil rights of the police constituency; the adherence to principles that are fundamental to justice.

El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC)

A cooperative intelligence center serving as a clearinghouse and intelligence resource for local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. Its primary concern is drug trafficking; however, intelligence on other crimes is also managed by EPIC.


Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity and any union or group of individuals associated in fact, although not a legal entity.

Evaluation (of Information)

All information collected for the intelligence cycle is reviewed for its quality with an assessment of

the validity and reliability of the information.

Event Flow Analysis

Graphic depictions and descriptions of incidents, behaviors, and people involved in an unlawful event, intended to help understand how an event occurred as a tool to aid in prosecution as well as prevention of future unlawful events.

Exemptions (to the Freedom of Information Act)

Circumstances wherein a law enforcement agency is not required to disclose information from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Field Intelligence Group (FIG)

The centralized intelligence component in a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) field office that is responsible for the management, execution, and coordination of intelligence functions within the field office region.

Field Intelligence Report (FIR)

An officer-initiated interview of a person believed by the officer to be acting in a suspicious manner that may be indicative of planning or preparing to conduct criminal activity.

Financial Analysis

A review and analysis of financial data to ascertain the presence of criminal activity. It can include bank record analysis, net worth analysis, financial profiles, source and applications of funds, financial statement analysis, and/or Bank Secrecy Act record analysis. It can also show destinations of proceeds of crime and support prosecutions.

Flow Analysis

The review of raw data to determine the sequence of events or interactions that may reflect criminal activity. Flow analysis includes timelines, event flow analysis, commodity flow analysis, and activity flow analysis and may show missing actions or events that need further investigation.

For Official Use Only (FOUO)

A designation applied to unclassified sensitive information that may be exempt from mandatory release to the public under the FOIA.

Forecast (as related to Criminal Intelligence)

The product of an analytic process that provides a probability of future crimes and crime patterns based on a comprehensive, integrated analysis of past, current, and developing trends.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, enacted in 1966, statutorily provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to access federal agency records, except to the extent that such records (or portions thereof) are protected from disclosure by one of nine exemptions.

Fusion Center

The physical location of the law enforcement intelligence fusion process.

Fusion Center Guidelines

A series of nationally recognized standards developed by law enforcement intelligence subject- matter experts designed for the good practice of developing and managing an intelligence fusion center.

Fusion Process

The overarching process of managing the flow of information and intelligence across levels and sectors of government.


Considers the specific details and pieces of information, including nuances and situational inferences that constitute the elements on which intelligence is developed through analysis.


See Intelligence Records Guidelines

Homeland Security Advisory System

An information and communications structure designed by the U.S. government for disseminating information to all levels of government and the American people regarding the risk of terrorist attacks and for providing a framework to assess the risk at five levels: Low, Guarded, Elevated, High, and Severe.
Human Intelligence (HUMINT)

Intelligence-gathering methods that require human interaction or observation of the target or targeted environment. The intelligence is collected through the use of one’s direct senses or the optical and/or audio enhancement of the senses.

Hypothesis (from Criminal Intelligence Analysis)

An interim conclusion regarding persons, events, and/or commodities based on the accumulation and analysis of intelligence information that is to be proved or disproved by further investigation and analysis.


The representation of an object or locale produced on any medium by optical or electronic means. The nature of the image will be dependent on the sensing media and sensing platform.


Generally defined and observable actions that, based on an analysis of past known behaviors and characteristics, collectively suggest that a person may be committing, may be preparing to commit, or has committed an unlawful act.

Inductive Logic

The reasoning process of taking diverse pieces of specific information and inferring a broader meaning of the information through the course of hypothesis development.

Inference Development

The creation of a probabilistic conclusion, estimate, or prediction related to an intelligence target based on the use of inductive or deductive logic in the analysis of raw information related to the target.


An individual not affiliated with a law enforcement agency who provides information about criminal behavior to a law enforcement agency. An informant may be a community member, a businessperson, or a criminal informant who seeks to protect himself/herself from prosecution and/or provide the information in exchange for payment.


Pieces of raw, unanalyzed data that identify persons, evidence, or events or illustrate processes that indicate the incidence of a criminal event or witnesses or evidence of a criminal event.

Information Classification

See Classified Information/Intelligence.

Information Evaluation

See Evaluation (of Information).

Information Sharing Environment

A trusted partnership among all levels of government, the private sector, and foreign partners to detect, prevent, preempt, and mitigate the effects of terrorism against territory, people, and the interests of the United States of America. This partnership enables the trusted, secure, and appropriate exchange of terrorism information, in the first instance, across the five federal communities; to and from state,

local, and tribal governments, foreign allies, and the private sector; and at all levels of security classifications.

Information Sharing System

An integrated and secure methodology, whether computerized or manual, designed to efficiently and effectively distribute critical information about offenders, crimes, and/or events in order to enhance prevention and apprehension activities by law enforcement.

Information System

An organized means, whether manual or electronic, of collecting, processing, storing, and retrieving information on individual entities for purposes of record and reference.

Intelligence (Criminal)

The product of the analysis of raw information related to crimes or crime patterns with respect to an identifiable person or group of persons in an effort to anticipate, prevent, or monitor possible criminal activity.

Intelligence Analyst

A professional position in which the incumbent is responsible for taking the varied facts, documentation of circumstances, evidence, interviews, and any other material related to a crime and organizing them into a logical and related framework for the purposes of developing a criminal case, explaining a criminal phenomenon, describing crime and crime trends and/or preparing materials for court and prosecution, or arriving at an assessment of a crime problem or crime group.

Intelligence Assessment

A comprehensive report on an intelligence issue related to criminal or national security threats available to local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies.

Intelligence Bulletins

A finished intelligence product in article format that describes new developments and evolving trends. The bulletins are typically Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) and available for distribution to local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement.

Intelligence Community

Those agencies of the U.S. government, including the military, which have the responsibility of preventing breaches to U.S. national security and responding to national security threats.

Intelligence Cycle

An organized process by which information is gathered, assessed, and distributed in order to fulfill the goals of the intelligence function. It is a method of performing analytic activities and placing the analysis in a useable form.

Intelligence Estimate

The appraisal, expressed in writing or orally, of available intelligence relating to a specific situation or condition with a view to determining the courses of action open to criminal offenders and terrorists and the order of probability of their adoption. Includes strategic projections on the economic, human, and/or quantitative criminal impact of the crime or issue that is subject to analysis.

Intelligence Function

That activity within a law enforcement agency responsible for some aspect of law enforcement intelligence, whether collection, analysis, and/or dissemination.

Intelligence Gap

An unanswered question about a cyber, criminal, or national security issue or threat.

Intelligence Information Reports (IIR)

Raw, unevaluated intelligence concerning “perishable” or time-limited information about criminal or

national security issues. Although the full IIR may be classified, local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies will have access to Sensitive But Unclassified information in the report under the tear line.

Intelligence-Led Policing

The dynamic use of intelligence to guide operational law enforcement activities to targets, commodities, or threats for both tactical responses and strategic decision making for resource allocation and/or strategic responses.

Intelligence Mission

The role that the intelligence function of a law enforcement agency fulfills in support of the overall mission of the agency; it specifies in general language what the function is intended to accomplish. Intelligence Mutual Aid Pact (IMAP)

A formal agreement between law enforcement agencies designed to expedite the process of sharing information in intelligence records.

Intelligence Officer

A law enforcement officer assigned to an agency’s intelligence function for purposes of investigation, liaison, or other intelligence-related activity that requires or benefits from having a sworn officer perform the activity.

Intelligence Products

Reports or documents that contain assessments, forecasts, associations, links, and other outputs from the analytic process that may be disseminated for use by law enforcement agencies for prevention of crimes, target hardening, apprehension of offenders, and prosecution. Intelligence Records (Files)
Stored information on the activities and associations of individuals, organizations, businesses, and groups who are suspected (reasonable suspicion) of being involved in the actual or attempted planning, organizing, financing, or commissioning of criminal acts or are suspected of being or having been involved in criminal activities with known or suspected crime figures.

Intelligence Records Guidelines

Derived from the federal regulation 28 CFR Part 23, these are guidelines/standards for the development of records management policies and procedures used by law enforcement agencies.

International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)

INTERPOL is a worldwide law enforcement organization established for mutual assistance in the prevention, detection, and deterrence of international crimes. It houses international police databases, provides secure international communications between member countries for the exchange of routine criminal investigative information, and is an information clearinghouse on international criminals/fugitives and stolen properties.
Key Word In Context (KWIC)

An automated system that indexes selected keywords that represent the evidence or information being stored.

Law Enforcement Intelligence

The end product (output) of an analytic process that collects and assesses information about crimes and/or criminal enterprises with the purpose of making judgments and inferences about community conditions, potential problems, and criminal activity with the intent to pursue criminal prosecution, project crime trends, or support informed decision making by management.

Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES)

Sensitive But Unclassified information specifically compiled for law enforcement purposes that, if not protected from unauthorized access, could reasonably be expected to 1) interfere with law enforcement proceedings, 2) deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication, 3) constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of others, 4) disclose the identity of a confidential source, 5) disclose investigative techniques and procedures, and/or 6) endanger the life or physical safety of an individual.

These are the methodologies (e.g., electronic surveillance or undercover operations) of how critical information is obtained and recorded.


Intelligence activities focusing on current problems and crimes for either case development or resource allocation.

Money Laundering

The practice of using multiple unlawful transactions of money and/or negotiable instruments gained through illegal activities with the intent of hiding the origin of the income, those who have been “paid” from the income, and/or the location of the unlawful income.

National Central Bureau (NCB or USNCB)

The United States headquarters of INTERPOL is located in Washington, D.C.

National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center (NCIRC)

An Internet Web site that contains information regarding law enforcement intelligence operations and practices and provides criminal justice professionals with a centralized resource information bank to access a multitude of criminal intelligence resources to help law enforcement agencies develop, implement, and retain a lawful and effective intelligence capacity.

National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan (NCISP)

A formal intelligence sharing initiative, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of

Justice Programs, that securely links local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies, facilitating the exchange of critical intelligence information. The plan contains model policies and standards and is a blueprint for law enforcement administrators to follow when enhancing or building an intelligence function. It describes a nationwide communications capability that will link all levels of law enforcement personnel, including officers on the street, intelligence analysts, unit commanders, and police executives.
National Security Intelligence

The collection and analysis of information concerned with the relationship and equilibrium of the United States with foreign powers, organizations, and persons with regard to political and economic factors, as well as the maintenance of the United States’ sovereign principles.

A structure of interconnecting components designed to communicate with each other and perform a function or functions as a unit in a specified manner.

Open Communications (OPCOM)

The collection of open or publicly available communications, broadcasts, audio or video recordings, propaganda, published statements, and other distributed written or recorded material for purposes of analyzing the information.

Open Source Information (or Intelligence)

Individual data, records, reports, and assessments that may shed light on an investigatory target or event that do not require any legal process or any type of clandestine collection techniques for a law enforcement agency to obtain. Rather, it is obtained through means that meet copyright and commercial requirements of vendors, as well as being free of legal restrictions to access by anyone who seeks that information.

Operational Analysis

An assessment of the methodology of a criminal enterprise or terrorist organization that depicts how the enterprise performs its activities, including communications, philosophy, compensation, security, and other variables that are essential for the enterprise to exist.
Operational Intelligence

Information is evaluated and systematically organized on an active or potential target, such as groups of or individual criminals, relevant premises, contact points, and methods of communication. This process is developmental in nature, wherein there are sufficient articulated reasons to suspect criminal activity. Intelligence activities explore the basis of those reasons and newly developed information in order to develop a case for arrest or indictment.

Outcome Evaluation

The process of determining the value or amount of success in achieving a predetermined objective through defining the objective in some qualitative or quantitative measurable terms, identifying the proper criteria (or variables) to be used in measuring the success toward attaining the objective, determination and explanation of the degree of success, and recommendations for further program actions to attain the desired objectives/outcomes.


The preparation for future situations, estimating organizational demands and resources needed to attend to those situations, and initiating strategies to respond to those situations.

Pointer System or Index

A system that stores information designed to identify individuals, organizations, and/or crime methodologies with the purpose of linking law enforcement agencies that have similar investigative and/or intelligence interests in the entity defined by the system.


The principles and values that guide the performance of a duty. A policy is not a statement of what must be done in a particular situation. Rather, it is a statement of guiding principles that should be followed in activities that are directed toward the attainment of goals.

The projection of future criminal actions or changes in the nature of crime trends or a criminal enterprise based on an analysis of information depicting historical trends from which a forecast is based.

Preventive Intelligence

Intelligence that can be used to interdict or forestall a crime or terrorist attack.

Privacy (Information)

The assurance that legal and constitutional restrictions on the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of personally identifiable information will be adhered to by criminal justice agencies, with use of such information to be strictly limited to circumstances in which legal process permits use of the personally identifiable information.

Privacy (Personal)

The assurance that legal and constitutional restrictions on the collection, maintenance, use, and disclosure of behaviors of an individual—including his/her communications, associations, and transactions—will be adhered to by criminal justice agencies, with use of such information to be strictly limited to circumstances in which legal process authorizes surveillance and investigation.

Privacy Act

Legislation that allows an individual to review almost all federal files (and state files under the auspices of the respective state privacy acts) pertaining to him/her, places restrictions on the disclosure of personally identifiable information, specifies that there be no secret records systems on individuals, and compels the government to reveal its information sources.


Taking action that is anticipatory to a problem or situation with the intent to eliminate or mitigate the effect of the incident.

Procedural Due Process

Mandates and guarantees of law that ensure that the procedures employed during the course of the criminal justice process to deprive a person of life, liberty, or property meet constitutional standards.


A method of performing an operation or a manner of proceeding on a course of action. It differs from policy in that it directs action in a particular situation to perform a specific task within the guidelines of policy. Both policies and procedures are goal-oriented. However, policy establishes limits to action, whereas procedure directs responses within those limits.

Profile/Criminal Profile

An investigative technique used to identify and define the major personality and behavioral characteristics of the criminal offender based on an analysis of the crime(s) he or she has committed.

Protocol (of Intelligence Collection)

Information collection procedures employed to obtain verbal and written information, actions of people, and physical evidence required for strategic and tactical intelligence analysis.

Purging (Records)

The removal and/or destruction of records because they are deemed to be of no further value or because further access to the records would serve no legitimate government interest.

Qualitative (Methods)

Research methods that collect and analyze information that is described in narrative or rhetorical

form, with conclusions drawn based on the cumulative interpreted meaning of that information.

Quantitative (Methods)

Research methods that collect and analyze information that can be counted or placed on a scale of measurement that can be statistically analyzed.
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations

RICO Act or Similar State Statutes Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (18

U.S.C. Sections 1961-1968) provides civil and criminal penalties for persons who engage in a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of an unlawful debt that has a specified relationship to an enterprise that affects interstate commerce.
Racketeering Activity

State felonies involving murder, robbery, extortion, and several other serious offenses and more than 30 serious federal offenses, including extortion, interstate theft offenses, narcotics violations, mail fraud, and securities fraud.
Reasonable Suspicion

When information exists that establishes sufficient facts to give a trained law enforcement or criminal investigative agency officer, investigator, or employee a basis to believe that there is a reasonable possibility that an individual or organization is involved in a definable criminal activity or enterprise.

Suggestions for actions to be taken based on the findings of an analysis.

Records (Intelligence)

See Intelligence Records (Files).

Records System

A group of records from which information is retrieved by reference to a name or other personal identifier, such as a Social Security number.
Red Team

A technique for assessing vulnerability that involves viewing a potential target from the perspective of an attacker to identify its hidden vulnerabilities and to anticipate possible modes of attack.

Regional Information Sharing Systems® (RISS)

RISS is composed of six regional intelligence centers that provide secure communications, information sharing resources, and investigative support to combat multijurisdictional crime and terrorist threats to over 8,000 local, state, tribal, and federal member law enforcement agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, Australia, Canada, and England.

Regional Intelligence Centers

Multi-jurisdictional centers cooperatively developed within a logical geographical area that coordinate federal, state, and local law enforcement information with other information sources to track and assess criminal and terrorist threats that are operating in or interacting with the region. Reliability
Asks the question, “Is the source of the information consistent and dependable?”


Depending on the type of intelligence, the process of placing analyzed information into the proper form to ensure the most effective consumption.
Requirements (Intelligence)

The types of intelligence operational law enforcement elements need from the intelligence function within an agency or other intelligence-producing organizations in order for law enforcement officers to

maximize protection and preventive efforts as well as identify and arrest persons who are criminally liable.

Responsibility reflects how the authority of a unit or individual is used and determines whether goals have been accomplished and the mission fulfilled in a manner that is consistent with the defined limits of authority.
Risk Assessment

An analysis of a target, illegal commodity, or victim to identify the probability of being attacked or criminally compromised and to analyze vulnerabilities.
Risk Management-Based Intelligence

An approach to intelligence analysis that has as its object the calculation of the risk attributable to a threat source or acts threatened by a threat source; a means of providing strategic intelligence for planning and policymaking, especially regarding vulnerabilities and countermeasures designed to prevent criminal acts; a means of providing tactical or operational intelligence in support of operations against a specific threat source, capability, or modality; can be quantitative if a proper database exists to measure likelihood and impact and calculate risk; can be qualitative and subjective and still deliver a reasonably reliable ranking of risk for resource allocation and other decision making in strategic planning and for operations in tactical situations.

A specific requirement or prohibition that is stated to prevent deviations from policy or procedure. A violation of a rule typically results in an internal investigation and may result in disciplinary action.
Sealing (Records)

Records are stored by an agency but cannot be accessed, referenced, or used without a court order or

statutory authority based on a showing of evidence that there is a legitimate government interest to review the sealed information.

A series of procedures and measures that, when combined together, provide protection of people from harm, information from improper disclosure or alteration, and assets from theft or damage. (Criminal Justice Commission, 1995.)

Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) Information

Information that has not been classified by a federal law enforcement agency that pertains to significant law enforcement cases under investigation and criminal intelligence reports that require dissemination criteria to only those persons necessary to further the investigation or to prevent a crime or terrorist act.

Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)

Classified information concerning or derived from intelligence sources, methods, or analytical processes that is required to be handled within formal access control systems.

Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF)

An accredited area, room, group of rooms, buildings, or an installation where SCI may be stored, used, discussed, and/or processed.

Sensitive Homeland Security Information (SHSI)

Any information created or received by an agency or any local, county, state, or tribal government that the loss, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, modification of, or the unauthorized access to could reasonably be expected to impair significantly the capabilities and/or efforts of agencies and/or local, county, state, and tribal personnel to predict, analyze, investigate, deter, prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, or recover from acts of terrorism. SHSI does not include any information that is:

(1) Classified as national security information 1. pursuant to Executive Order 12958, as amended, or any successor order.
(2) Designated by Executive Order 12951, any 2. successor order, or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. § 2011), to require protection against unauthorized disclosure.
(3) Protected Critical Infrastructure Information 3. (PCII) as defined in 6 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 29.2.
(4) Sensitive Security Information (SSI) as defined 4. in 49 CFR Part 1520.

Signal Intelligence (SIGINT)

The interception of various radio frequency signals, microwave signals, satellite audio communications, non-imagery infrared and coherent light signals, and transmissions from surreptitiously placed audio micro-transmitters in support of the communications intelligence activity. Sources
From an intelligence perspective, these are persons (human intelligence, or HUMINT) who collect or possess critical information needed for intelligence analysis.

Spatial Analysis

The process of using a geographic information system in combination with crime-analysis techniques to assess the geographic context of offenders, crimes, and other law enforcement activity.

Statistical System

An organized means of collecting, processing, storing, and retrieving aggregate information for

purposes of analysis, research, and reference. No individual records are stored in a statistical system.

Strategic Intelligence

An assessment of targeted crime patterns, crime trends, criminal organizations, and/or unlawful commodity transactions for purposes of planning, decision making, and resource allocation; the focused examination of unique, pervasive, and/or complex crime problems.

Substantive Due Process

Guarantees persons against arbitrary, unreasonable, or capricious laws, and it acts as a limitation against arbitrary governmental actions so that no government agency may exercise powers beyond those authorized by the Constitution.


The observation of activities, behaviors, and associations of a LAWINT target (individual or group) with the intent to gather incriminating information, or “lead” information, that is used for the furtherance of a criminal investigation.

Tactical Intelligence

Evaluated information on which immediate enforcement action can be based; intelligence activity focused specifically on developing an active case.


Any person, organization, group, crime or criminal series, or commodity being subject to investigation and intelligence analysis.

Target Profile

A profile that is person-specific and contains sufficient detail to initiate a target operation or support an ongoing operation against an individual or networked group of individuals.


The identification of crimes, crime trends, and crime patterns that have discernible characteristics that make collection and analysis of intelligence information an efficient and effective method for identifying, apprehending, and prosecuting those who are criminally responsible.

Tear-Line Report

A report containing classified intelligence or information that is prepared in such a manner that data relating to intelligence sources and methods are easily removed from the report to protect sources and methods from disclosure. Typically, the information below the “tear line” can be released as Sensitive But Unclassified.


The collection and processing of information derived from non-communications electromagnetic radiations emitting from sources such as radio navigation systems (e.g., transponders), radar systems, and information/data signals emitted from monitoring equipment in a vehicle or device.
Telephone Record (Toll)/Communications Analysis

An assessment of telephone call activity associated with investigatory targets to include telephone numbers called and/or received, the frequency of calls between numbers, the dates of calls, length of calls, and patterns of use.
Third Agency Rule

An agreement wherein a source agency releases information under the condition that the receiving agency does not release the information to any other agency—that is, a third agency.

Threat Assessment

An assessment of a criminal or terrorist presence within a jurisdiction integrated with an assessment of potential targets of that presence and a statement of probability that the criminal or terrorist will commit an unlawful act. The assessment focuses on the criminal’s or terrorist’s opportunity, capability, and willingness to fulfill the threat.

Threat Inventory

An information and intelligence-based survey within the region of a law enforcement agency to identify potential individuals or groups that pose a criminal or terrorist threat without a judgment of the kind of threat they pose. The inventory is simply to determine their presence.

Undercover Investigation

Active infiltration or attempted infiltration of a group believed to be involved in criminal activity and/or the interaction with a LAWINT target with the intent to gather incriminating information or lead information that is used for the furtherance of a criminal investigation.


Asks the question, “Does the information actually represent what we believe it represents?”


Any characteristic on which individuals, groups, items, or incidents differ.


To subject a proposal, work product, or concept to an appraisal by command personnel and/or experts to ascertain the product’s accuracy, consistency with philosophy, and/or feasibility before proceeding.

Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP)

A nationwide data information center operated by the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, designed to collect, collate, and analyze specific crimes of violence.

Vulnerability Assessment

An assessment of possible criminal or terrorist group targets within a jurisdiction integrated with an assessment of the target’s weaknesses, likelihood of being attacked, and ability to withstand an attack.


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