oversight

International Terrorism: FBI Investigates Domestic Activities to Identify Terrorists

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-09-07.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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                                              INTERNATIONAL
                                              TERRORISM
                                              FE31Investigates
                                              Domestic Activities to
                                              Identify Terrorists


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General Government Division

B-23289 1

September 7,199O

The Honorable Don Edwards
Chairman, Subcommittee on Civil
  and Constitutional Rights
Committee on the Judiciary
House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman:

This report responds to your February 1,1988, request that we review the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) international terrorism program. We also address specific questions in
your July 27, 1989, letter about our detailed file review. Unfortunately, data access issues
both impeded our progress and limited our ability to draw conclusions.

As you know, the FBI removed (“redacted”) information it considered sensitive from the files
before we were granted access to them. The redaction procedures were time consuming and
delayed issuance of this report. Given that the FBI redacted the closed files before we
reviewed them, we were limited in our ability to develop overall conclusions regarding the
FBI’S international terrorism program. The questionnaire and case file data clearly
demonstrated that the FBI did engage in monitoring of First Amendment-type activities
during its international terrorism investigations. However, we are not able to determine if
the FBI infringed First Amendment rights when monitoring these activities or if the FBI had a
reasonable basis to monitor such activities.

Unless you publicly announce the contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this
report until 30 days from the date of issuance. At that time, we will send copies of the report
to the Attorney General and the FBI Director. Upon request, we will send copies to other
interested parties.

Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix IV. Please contact me at 276-8389 if
you have any questions concerning the report.

Sincerely yours,




Lowell Dodge               /
Director, Administration
  of Justice Issues
Executive Summary


                 In carrying out its responsibilities for investigating possible terrorist
Purpose          activities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) must balance its
                 investigative needs against the need to respect individuals’ First Amend-
                 ment rights, such as the freedom of speech and the right to peaceably
                 assemble. The difficulties in trying to balance between the two was
                 exemplified in an investigation of the Committee in Solidarity with the
                 People of El Salvador (CISPES).According to the FBI, it opened an investi-
                 gation on the basis of an informant’s information that CISPESwas
                 involved in terrorist activities. CISPESalleged that the FBI investigated it
                 because it opposed the Reagan administration’s Central American poli-
                 cies. The release of documents obtained under the Freedom of Informa-
                 tion Act raised questions about the FBI monitoring of American citizens
                 exercising their First Amendment rights.

                 Because of the issues raised about the FBI'S investigation of CISPES,the
                 Chairman, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, House Judi-
                 ciary Committee, asked GAO to review the FBI'S investigation of possible
                 international terrorism activities to determine

             l the basis on which the FBI was opening investigations,
             . the scope and results of the investigations,
             l whether the FBI had monitored First Amendment activities during the
               investigations, and
             l the reasons the investigations were closed.


                 The FBI is responsible for detecting, preventing, and reacting to interna-
Background       tional terrorism activities that involve the unlawful use of force or vio-
                 lence to try to intimidate a government or its civilian population for
                 political or social objectives. The FBI maintains a general index system in
                 support of its investigative matters. The FBI identifies various informa-
                 tion it obtains during its investigations and enters it into the system for
                 future retrieval. This process, known as indexing, records such informa-
                 tion as individuals’ and organizations’ names, addresses, telephone num-
                 bers, and automobile license plate numbers. The FBI has policies
                 governing indexing and the period of time indexed information is
                 retained.

                 The allegations raised about the FBI'S CISPESinvestigation prompted an
                 internal FBI inquiry of that investigation. The internal study found that
                 the FBI had properly opened the investigation, but the study also found
                 that the FBI had substantially and unnecessarily broadened the scope of
                 the investigation and had mismanaged the investigation. In response to


                 Page 2                                    GAO/GGD90-112 International   Terrorism
                   Executive Summary




                   the study’s finding, the FBI Director implemented a number of policy and
                   procedure changes regarding international terrorism investigations.

                   Between January 1982 and June 1988, the FBI closed about 19,500 inter-
                   national terrorism investigations. The FBI completed GAOquestionnaires
                   about various aspects of 1,003 cases randomly selected by GAO(e.g., the
                   reasons cases were opened and closed, the subjects of investigations, the
                   monitoring of First Amendment activities, and the use of indexing). GAO
                   is generalizing the results of its questionnaire analyses to an adjusted
                   universe of 18,144 closed international terrorism cases.

                   On the basis of the questionnaire responses, GAOrandomly selected 150
                   cases for review. Eight more cases were added at the request of the Sub-
                   committee. (See p. 35.) However, the FBI limited GAO’Saccess to data by
                   removing from the case files information it believed could potentially
                   identify informants, ongoing investigations, and sensitive investigative
                   techniques. The FBI also removed information it received from other
                   agencies.


                   GAOestimates that about half of the 18,144 cases were opened because
Results in Brief   the FBI suspected that individuals or groups were involved in terrorist
                   activities. U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens were the subjects
                   in 38.0 percent of the 18,144 cases. The FBI monitored First Amendment-
                   type activities in about 11.5 percent of these 18,144 cases. The FBI
                   indexed information about (1) individuals who were not the subjects of
                   the investigations in about 47,8 percent of the cases and (2) groups not
                   the subjects of the investigations in about 11.6 percent of the cases. The
                   FRIclosed about 67.5 percent of the cases because it did not develop evi-
                   dence to indicate that the subjects were engaging in international ter-
                   rorist activities.

                   The questionnaire and case file data show that the FBI did monitor First
                   Amendment-type activities during some of its international terrorism
                   investigations. Because of the limitations placed on its access to files,
                   however, GAOcannot determine if the FBI abused individuals’ First
                   Amendment rights when it monitored these activities or if the FBI had a
                   reasonable basis to monitor such activities.




                   Page 3                                   GAO/GGD-30-112 International   Terrorism
                           Executive Summary




GAO’s Analysis

ReasonsCasesWere           From an adjusted universe of 18,144 closed international terrorism
Opened                     investigations from January 1982 to June 1988, GAO estimates that the
                           FBI opened 9,507 cases (52.4 percent) because it had obtained informa-
                           tion indicating that someone was engaged in or planning international
                           terrorist activities. (See p. 17.)

                           The reasons cases were opened were essentially those stated in broad
                           categories listed on GAO'S questionnaires, which were completed by FBI
                           personnel. To develop more detailed descriptions of the reasons cases
                           were opened, GAO reviewed 158 cases and identified whether the infor-
                           mation in the files indicated that the subject was or may have been
                           (1) involved in or planned a terrorist act, (2) a leader or member of a
                           terrorist group, or (3) associated with or linked to a terrorist group. The
                           results of GAO'S review showed that the FBI opened 70 of the 158 cases
                           because of information indicating the subjects were associated with or
                           linked to a terrorist group. For example, the information obtained may
                           have indicated that the individual’s phone number had been called by
                           another person under investigation. Of these 70 cases, U.S. citizens and
                           permanent resident aliens were the subjects in 37 cases. (See pp. 18 and
                           19.)


Monitoring of First        The FBI observed First Amendment-type activities to obtain information
Amendment Activities       about the subjects of investigations. Information on such activities was
                           also obtained through informants or from other law enforcement
                           agencies,

                           On the basis of its questionnaire results, GAO estimates that the FBI moni-
                           tored or observed First Amendment activities in 2,080 (11.5 percent) of
                           its international terrorism cases. Of these 2,080 cases, 951 were investi-
                           gations of U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens. (See pp. 20 and 21.)


Indexing of Names in       On the basis of its questionnaire results, GAO estimates that the FBI
Terrorism Investigations   indexed information about individuals, other than the subjects of inves-
                           tigations, in 8,671 (47.8 percent) of its international terrorism cases. Of
            Y              these 8,671 cases, 3,354 were cases involving indexing of U.S. citizens or
                           permanent resident aliens. Similarly, GAO estimates that 2,105 cases
                           involved indexing of groups during the investigations. Of these 2,105


                           Page 4                                    GAO/GGD-90.112 International   Terrorism
                          Executive Summary




                          cases, 913 were cases involving indexing of groups with U.S. citizens or
                          permanent resident aliens. (See pp. 23 and 24.)


ReasonsCasesWere Closed   GAO estimates that the FBI closed 12,240 cases (67.5 percent) because it
                          found no evidence linking the subject to international terrorist activities.
                          Of the investigations, another 4,015 cases (22.1 percent) were closed
                          because the subject moved or could not be located. The remaining 1,889
                          cases (10.4 percent) were closed for other reasons, such as the subject
                          was arrested or the case was transferred to another FBI field office. (See
                          pp. 25 and 26.)


                          The FBI removed information it considered sensitive from the closed case
Recommendations           files before giving the files to GAO to review. Further, the FBI denied GAO
                          access to open cases. Because of these limitations -information      being
                          removed from the files and no access to open cases- GAO is not making
                          any recommendations. Also, GAO could not evaluate changes the FBI had
                          made to its international terrorism program because of the lack of
                          access to open cases.


                          GAO requested, but did not receive, written FBI comments on the report.
Agency Comments           However, GAO discussed the report with FBI officials who generally
                          agreed with the facts. GAO incorporated other views of the officials
                          where appropriate.




                          Page 6                                    GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
                                                                                                 v
Contents


Executive Summary                                                                                    2

Chapter 1                                                                                           8
Introduction        The FBI’s International Terrorism Program                                       9
                    Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                             13

Chapter 2                                                                                          16
Results of          Subjects of International Terrorism Investigations
                    Reasons Cases Were Opened
                                                                                                   16
                                                                                                   17
International       Monitoring of First Amendment Activities                                       20
Terrorism           Indexing of Names in Terrorism Investigations                                  23
Investigations      Reasons Cases Were Closed                                                      25
                    Conclusions                                                                    26

Appendixes          Appendix I: The FBI’s Investigation of CISPES                                  28
                    Appendix II: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                31
                    Appendix III: Summary of Selected Cases Reviewed                               37
                    Appendix IV: Response to Specific Questions in the                             41
                        Chairman’s July 27, 1989, Letter
                    Appendix V: Major Contributors to This Report                                  47

Tables              Table 2.1: Estimated Number of Cases by Subjects                               17
                    Table 2.2: Estimated Number of Cases by Reasons Cases                          18
                        Opened and Subject Type
                    Table 2.3: Reasons for Opening the 158 Cases Reviewed                          19
                    Table 2.4: Estimated Number of Cases by Monitoring of                          21
                        First Amendment Activities and Subject Type
                    Table 2.5: Estimated Number of Cases by Reasons Cases                          26
                        Closed and Subject Type
                    Table IV. 1: Results of Indexing in ARMS for 25 Selected                       43
                        Cases
                    Table IV.2: Results of Indexing in FOIMS for 25 Selected                       44
                        Cases
                    Table IV.3: Examples of TRAC Reports (Calendar Years                           46
                         1988-1989)

Figures             Figure 2.1: Subjects of FBI International Terrorism                            17
           Y             Investigations
                    Figure 2.2: Percentage of Cases With Monitoring Activity                       21



                    Page 6                                   GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
Figure 2.3: Indexing of Individuals and Groups Not                           24
     Subjects of Investigations
Figure 2.4: Percentage of Cases With Monitoring Activity                     26
     by Whether Information Was Indexed
Figure II. 1: Questionnaires Included in Our Analyses                        34




Abbreviations

ARMS      Automated Records Management System
CISPFS    Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador
FBI       Federal Bureau of Investigation
EY)IMS    Field Office Information Management System
OIPR      Office of Intelligence Policy and Review
OPEA      Office of Program Evaluations and Audits
TIS       Terrorism Information System
TRAC      Terrorist Research and Analytical Center


Page 7                                  GAO/GGLMO-112 International   Terrorhn
Chapter 1

Introduction


               The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States guaran-
               tees certain rights, among which are the freedom of speech and the right
               to peaceably assemble. In exercising these rights, individuals are
               allowed to voice their disagreement with the policies and practices of
               the government. Their disagreement can take the form of a demonstra-
               tion or march to show support for their cause without fear of reprisal or
               interference from anyone when exercising these rights.

               The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for, among other
               matters, conducting investigations of people suspected of engaging in
               international terrorist activities, which is the unlawful use of force or
               violence to intimidate a government or its population for political or
               social objectives. However, national security concerns have to be carried
               out in such a way that individuals’ First Amendment rights are not vio-
               lated. The difficulty the FBI faces in trying to balance its responsibilities
               without violating individuals’ personal liberties was exemplified in a
               case involving the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Sal-
               vador (CISPES).

               CISPESalleges that the FBI investigated it, its members, and groups that
               were associated with it solely for the political reason that they were
               opposed to President Reagan’s Central American policies. According to
               the FBI, at the request of the Department of Justice, it opened a criminal
               investigation of CISPESin September 1981 to determine if CISPESwas
               required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The
               investigation did not find a violation of the act but indicated that CISPES
               verbally supported the opposition movement. The FBI subsequently
               closed the investigation in February 1982. However, the FBI continued to
               collect information about CISPESfrom an informant. The informant said
               that CISPESwas involved in international terrorism or acts in support of
               or preparation for international terrorism. Consequently, the FBI opened
               an international terrorism investigation on CISPESin March 1983. During
               the investigation, the FBI conducted surveillance of CISPFSand other
               groups associated with it. The FBI closed the international terrorism
               investigation in June 1985 because it found no evidence of CISPES
               involvement in international terrorist activities.

               The Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based lawyers group
               representing CISPES,released information it had obtained from its
               Freedom of Information Act request regarding the FBI’S CISPESinvestiga-
               tion The release of these documents prompted allegations by the Center
               that the FBI had conducted extensive surveillance of American citizens
               opposed to the Reagan administration’s policies in Central America.


               Page 8                                     GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
                    Chapter 1
                    Introduction




                    These allegations resulted in an internal FBI inquiry of its CISPESinvesti-
                    gation. The inquiry found that the FBI was justified in opening its CISPFS
                    investigation but that it mismanaged the investigation. For example, a
                    background check on the informant was not done in accordance with
                    normal procedures. In response to the findings reflected in the CISPES
                    report, the FBI Director implemented 33 policy and procedure changes
                    regarding international terrorism, according to the Assistant Director,
                    Inspection Division. These changes included (1) changing the system for
                    handling and managing informants; (2) modifying the Attorney Gen-
                    eral’s Foreign Counterintelligence Guidelines; (3) rectifying the short-
                    comings in the FBI’S decision-making review and approval processes;
                    (4) developing written guidance concerning activities protected by the
                    First Amendment and the collection and preservation of printed public
                    source materials; (6) establishing a system to ensure that all field office
                    requests about guidance, particularly those about justification, focus,
                    and use of sensitive techniques, be brought to the attention of higher
                    level Bureau officials; and (6) changing other day-to-day operations
                    about general FBI policies, training, and internal inspection programs.

                    Because of the allegations about the FBI’S investigation of CISPES, the
                    Chairman, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, House Judi-
                    ciary Committee, asked us to review the FBI’S investigations of individ-
                    uals and monitoring of First Amendment activities with respect to the
                    FBI’s international terrorism program.



                    The FBI, under the direction of the Attorney General, is the lead federal
The FBI’s           agency responsible for preventing, interdicting, and investigating
International       domestic and international terrorist activities. The focus of international
Terrorism Program   terrorism investigations is to be on the unlawful activity of an indi-
                    vidual or a group, not the ideological motivations of the individual or
                    group members. The FBI collects information about individuals, group
                    memberships, associations, movements, etc., that serves as a basis for
                    prosecution and builds an intelligence database for future prevention of
                    terrorist acts. According to its records, the FBI closed about 19,500 inter-
                    national terrorism cases between January 1, 1982, and June 30, 1988.

                    The FBI’S international terrorism program is carried out under the aus-
                    pices of the Counterterrorism Program.] The mission of the program is

                    ‘Executive Order 12333, dated December 1,1981, and related statutes provide the authority for the
                    FBI, pursuant to regulations established by the Attorney General, to conduct counterintelligence
                    activities both within and outside the United States.



                    Page 9                                                 GAO/GGD-90-112 International     Terrorism
                            Chapter 1
                            Introduction




                            to detect, prevent, and react to unlawful violent activities of individuals
                            or groups whose intent is to (1) overthrow the government; (2) interfere
                            with the activities of a foreign government in the United States;
                            (3) impair the functioning of the federal government, a state govern-
                            ment, or interstate commerce; or (4) deprive Americans of their civil
                            rights.

                            The FBI uses the statutory definition of international terrorism, which is
                            an unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to
                            intimidate or coerce a government, or the civilian population, for polit-
                            ical or social objectives. International terrorism involves acts committed
                            by groups or individuals who are foreign-based and/or directed by coun-
                            tries or groups outside the United States or whose activities transcend
                            national boundaries.


Guidelines for Conducting   The Attorney General’s Guidelines for Foreign Intelligence Collection
International Terrorism     and Foreign Counterintelligence Investigations establishes the principal
                            investigative policies and criteria for conducting international terrorism
Investigations              investigations. The guidelines govern the type of investigation, basis for
                            initiating the investigation, and the investigative techniques that can be
                            used during the investigation. According to the guidelines, subjects of
                            international terrorism investigations may be categorized as a foreign
                            power, foreign officials, foreign visitor, or U.S. person. A U.S. person is
                            defined as a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident alien, or an organization.2
                            Additionally, the guidelines provide that U.S. citizens’ rights are to be
                            protected during the FBI’S investigations.

                            International terrorism investigations are conducted at varying levels of
                            investigative intensity. FBI policy requires that a basis of specific facts
                            be established before it undertakes a complete, detailed investigation of
                            individuals or groups. Upon initial receipt of an allegation, a review may
                            be instituted to determine if a factual basis for the allegation exists. The
                            FBI stated that specific restrictions are applied regarding the scope and
                            investigative techniques that may be used. Of the approximately 19,500
                            closed international terrorism cases, about 18,200 were conducted to
                            determine if further inquiry was warranted. The remaining 1,300 inves-
                            tigations were of a more detailed nature. Investigations may be initiated


                            “The Attorney General’s Guidelines define U.S. person as a United States citizen; a permanent resi-
                            dent alien; an unincorporated association substantially composed of U.S. citizens or permanent resi-
                            dent aliens; or a corporation incorporated in the United States, except for a corporation directed and
                            controlled by a foreign government or governments.



                            Page 10                                                  GAO/GGDSO-112 International        Terrorism
  .
                         Chapter 1
                         Introduction




                         on individuals or groups that may       be engaged in espionage, foreign intel-
                         ligence gathering, or international     terrorism; individuals who may be a
                         target of a spy or an international     terrorist; or on individuals to deter-
                         mine their suitability or credibility    to assist the FBI in a particular
                         activity or investigation.

                         Generally, investigations are initiated in field offices upon authorization
                         by the Special Agent in Charge. However, according to FBI policy, field
                         offices must obtain FBI headquarters approval before initiating investi-
                         gations that can be characterized as: (1) investigations that could be
                         harmful to U.S. foreign relations; (2) investigations that, if not moni-
                         tored and reviewed at the headquarters level, could potentially have a
                         chilling effect on the exercise of protected rights; and (3) investigations
                         that circumstances indicate could compromise sensitive operations or
                         raise questions of legality or propriety that should be addressed at FBI
                         headquarters level.

                         FBI policy limits the investigative techniques that can be used to deter-
                         mine if a factual basis exists for a more detailed and complete investiga-
                         tion FBI guidelines set forth specific techniques that may be used and
                         limit the extent to which they may be employed. Additionally, other
                         investigative techniques, which otherwise could be lawfully employed,
                         are prohibited by policy during this stage of the investigation. FBI guide-
                         lines set forth field office reporting requirements based on the duration
                         of the investigation. All international terrorism investigations, regard-
                         less of the level of investigative intensity, are to be terminated upon
                         determination that the reason for which they were initiated no longer
                         exists, has been resolved, or because further efforts would not reason-
                         ably resolve the allegation or predication.


OIPR’s Review of         When the subject of the investigation is a U.S. person, copies of sum-
Investigations on U.S.   mary memoranda are to be sent to the Department of Justice’s Office of
                         Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) for review. OIPR, operating with a
Persons                  staff of 11, has oversight responsibility for ensuring that all investiga-
                         tions of U.S. persons are in compliance with the Attorney General’s
                         guidelines. The memoranda are reviewed by OIPR to determine whether
                         the facts, as reported in the memorandum, satisfy the requirements of
                         the Attorney General’s guidelines. If, in OIPR'S opinion, the information
                         does not appear to meet the standards of the guidelines, it would explain
                         to the FBI what information is lacking and might suggest the additional
                         information or clarification that is needed.



                         Page 11                                       GAO/GGD90-112International Terrorism
                      Chapter 1
                      Introductfon




                      According to the Counsel for Intelligence Policy, OIPR, it does not tell the
                      FBI what cases should or should not be investigated. OIPR advises the FBI
                      on whether the information presented in the summaries is sufficient to
                      meet the Attorney General’s guidelines. If the FBI continued an investiga-
                      tion that OIPR believed was not warranted, OIPR could make a recommen-
                      dation to the Attorney General that he direct the FBI to stop the
                      investigation. According to the Counsel, OIPR has never made such a
                      recommendation.


Investigative Files   Information gathered during an international terrorism investigation is
                      to be catalogued in investigative files. The files are to contain all mate-
                      rial, evidence, or documents collected during the investigation. Each
                      piece of correspondence, report, or other document that is placed in the
                      case files is to be sequentially numbered, which the FBI refers to as ser-
                      ials. An international terrorism case may contain any number of files’ of
                      information collected during the investigation. The size of each file may
                      vary from case to case or even within the same case. According to FBI
                      officials, the size of a file is not determined by any set criteria or guide-
                      lines. Therefore, the staff preparing the files determines when to start
                      another.

                      The FBI’S “Records Retention Plan and Disposition Schedule” contains
                      the policy for the destruction of investigative files. The retention guide-
                      lines require that FBI headquarters files and records for criminal-related
                      investigations, such as international terrorism cases, are to be destroyed
                      after having been closed for 20 years and that field offices should
                      destroy criminal-related files after 10 years.


Indexing Guidelines   The guidelines governing the administrative handling of investigations
                      require that the FBI case agent identify certain information and evidence
                      collected during the investigation and enter it into an information
                      system so that it can be retrieved for future reference. This process is
                      known as indexing. The purpose of indexing is to record information
                      relevant and necessary to carry out the purpose of the investigation,
                      such as individual names, organizational names, telephone numbers,
                      addresses, and automobile license plate numbers.

                      Two types of information may be indexed-subject      and reference data.
                      Subject data includes all relevant information about the subject, such as

                      :“l’he FBI refers to files as volumes.



                      Page 12                                    GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
                        Chapter 1
                        Introduction




                        aliases, date of birth, and property (e.g., automobiles and real estate).
                        Reference data includes information that is similar to subject data but is
                        information about individuals or organizations who were not the subject
                        of the investigation.

                        For both subject and reference data, two types of indexing criteria-
                        mandatory and discretionary-are       used. For example, the mandatory
                        indexing criteria require that case title information (e.g., individual
                        names and aliases or organizational names) be indexed as well as the
                        names of persons who have been subpoenaed in an FBI investigation or
                        persons who are targets of electronic surveillance. Discretionary
                        indexing may include (1) individuals suspected of committing crimes,
                        (2) the subject’s close relatives and associates, (3) witnesses or other
                        individuals contacted by the FBI, or (4) property. The indexing guidelines
                        emphasize that discretionary indexing is a very subjective decision-
                        making process.

                        According to the indexing guidelines, not all witnesses or persons inter-
                        viewed or contacted by the FBI are to be routinely indexed. The informa-
                        tion should contain as much related identifying or descriptive data as
                        possible. Identifying data includes such items as birth date, sex, race, or
                        Social Security number. Descriptive data includes such things as height,
                        weight, scars and marks, color of eyes, color of hair, and address.

                        FRI field agents or headquarters personnel mark the documents to indi-
                        cate what information is to be indexed. The agent is responsible for cir-
                        cling or underlining, or instructing clerical staff to circle or underline,
                        any information that is covered by the mandatory indexing criteria. The
                        agent is also responsible for underlining those names or other items
                        appearing in the body of a document that are discretionary but that the
                        agent deemed necessary for future retrieval. FBI headquarters personnel
                        also are responsible for circling or underlining information for indexing
                        on incoming documents that the field office staff have not already iden-
                        tified for indexing. The indexed information is to be retained as long as
                        the investigative file is retained and is to be destroyed when the investi-
                        gative files are destroyed.


                        On February 1, 1988, the Chairman, Subcommittee on Civil and Consti-
Objectives, Scope,and   tutional Rights, House Judiciary Committee, asked us to review the FBI’s
Methodology             international terrorism program. The Chairman was concerned that the
                        FBI’S investigation of CISPESwas overly broad and not properly focused.
                        Accordingly, he wanted us to determine if the FBI collected and reported


                        Page 13                                   GAO/GGD-SO-112 International   Terrorism
    Chapter 1
    Introduction




    information on First Amendment-type activities, as in the CISPESinvesti-
    gation. To address the Chairman’s concern, we agreed to determine

. the basis on which the FBI was initiating international terrorism
  investigations;
. the scope and results of the investigations;
l whether the FBI had been monitoring First Amendment activities (such
  as demonstrations, meetings, speeches) during the investigations; and
l the reasons investigations were closed.

    After our June 22, 1989, testimony4 about the progress and preliminary
    results of our review, in a July 27, 1989, letter, the Chairman requested
    that we address some additional specific questions during our analyses.
    The Chairman’s primary concern in his July 1989 letter was that the FBI
    opened cases on the basis of information that indicated that the subjects
    of the investigations had only been associated with or linked to a ter-
    rorist group. His questions generally asked for additional information
    about cases of this type that we had reviewed; for example, how many
    involved monitoring of First Amendment activities, and how many were
    on U.S. persons. Responses to the Chairman’s specific questions, which
    are not part of the information detailed in chapter 2 of this report, are in
    appendix IV.

    We did our work at the FBI’S headquarters office in Washington, D.C. We
    interviewed agency officials about the international terrorism program
    and reviewed policy documents related to this program. In addition, we
    reviewed a sample of closed international terrorism cases. The sampling
    process involved a questionnaire, which was completed by FBI personnel,
    to obtain profile information about all closed international terrorism
    cases. We sampled 1,100 randomly selected closed international ter-
    rorism cases from about 19,500 international terrorism investigations
    closed between January 1, 1982, and June 30, 1988.” We used the results
    from our questionnaire to identify and select 160 cases for a detailed
    case file review.”


    ~‘International Terrorism: Status of GAO’s Review of the FBI’s International Terrorism Program
    (GAO/T-GGD-89-31, June 22,1989).
    “Subsequent to our selecting a random sample, our review of the data provided by the FBI showed
    that some of the cases on the computer print-outs were closed after June 30, 1988. The number of
    these cases actually selected, however, was only 2.1 percent and we chose not to modify our esti-
    mates because the effect was not material.
    “Ibcause we were denied accessto some cases, we reviewed edited files for only 158 cases. See
    appendix II for further explanation about this matter.



    Page 14                                                 GAO/GGDSO-112 International      Terrorism
Chapter 1
Introduction




We used the questionnaire to obtain general profile data about interna-
tional terrorism cases (such as type of case and subject, number of files,
dates opened and closed, reasons opened and closed) and to identify
cases that involved monitoring of First Amendment-type activities. Our
questionnaire was designed to yield an expected sampling error of plus
or minus 5 percent at a 95 percent confidence level for all closed investi-
gations. The results are statistically generalizable to an adjusted uni-
verse of 18,144 closed international terrorism cases based on a response
rate of 91 percent.

Our detailed review of the 158 cases sampled focused on (1) the reasons
the cases were opened, (2) investigative techniques used during the
investigation, (3) any First Amendment activities that were monitored
by the FBI, and (4) the reasons the cases were closed. Before giving us a
copy of the case files, however, the FBI redacted information (removed
or blacked-out data) from the files. They redacted information that they
believed would or could potentially identify informants, ongoing investi-
gations, and sensitive investigative techniques. They also removed infor-
mation they had received from other agencies, We did not try to
evaluate the strength or validity of the information in the case files.

A detailed description of our objectives, scope, and methodology is con-
tained in appendix II. We requested written FBI comments on the report,
but it did not provide them. However, we discussed the report with FBI
officials who generally agreed with the facts. We incorporated other
views of the officials where appropriate. We did our work between
March 1988 and February 1990. Except for the data access and verifica-
tion limitations discussed above, our work was done in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards. The report has been
revised to eliminate material that the FBI identified as classified
information.




Page16                                    GAO/GGD-90-112International   Terrorism
Chapter 2

Results of International
Terrorism Investigations

                     Between January 1982 and June 1988, the FBI closed about 19,500 inter-
                     national terrorism investigations. Our questionnaire results are general-
                     izable to an adjusted universe of 18,144 of these cases. Of these 18,144
                     cases, we estimate that

                 l 52.4 percent were opened on individuals and groups because the FBI had
                   obtained information alleging that they were involved in international
                   terrorism activities;
                 . 11.5 percent of the cases were opened because the individuals were
                   affiliated with foreign countries that sponsored terrorism;
                 l 18.0 percent were opened for other reasons, such as an individual may
                   have been engaged in espionage or may have had information about pos-
                   sible terrorist activities; and
                 l 18.1 percent were opened for a combination of these reasons.

                     Of the 18,144 cases, US. persons were the subjects in 38.0 percent of the
                     investigations; non-U.S. persons were the subjects in 51.2 percent of the
                     cases; and for the remaining 10.8 percent of the cases, the subjects were
                     classified as other (e.g., groups, organizations, or unidentified). As part
                     of the investigations, the FBI monitored First Amendment-type activities
                     in 11.5 percent of the 18,144 cases. The FBI indexed individuals other
                     than the subjects of the investigations in 47.8 percent of the 18,144
                     cases, and in about 38.7 percent of these cases the individual indexed
                     was a U.S. person. The FBI closed 67.5 percent of its international ter-
                     rorism investigations because no evidence indicating involvement in ter-
                     rorist activities was found.


                     On the basis of our questionnaire, we estimate that U.S. persons (US.
Subjects of          citizens or permanent resident aliens) were the subjects in about 38.0
International        percent of the FBI’S terrorist investigations, and non-U.S. persons were
Terrorism            the subjects in about 51.2 percent of the investigations (see fig. 2.1).
                     Table 2.1 shows the type of subjects being investigated by case type,
Investigations       projected to an adjusted universe of 18,144 closed cases.




                     Page 16                                   GAO/GGD-99-112International   Terrorism
                                            Chapter 2
                                            Reeulta of International
                                            Terrorism Inveetigatione




Figure 2.1: Subjects of FBI International
Terrorism lnveatigations

                                                                                                    Other




                                                                                                    U.S. Persons




                                                                                                    Non-U.S. Persons

                                            N=18,144


Table 2.1: Estimated Number of Cases
by Subjects                                 Subject type                                                                    Total         Percent
                                            U.S. person
                                            ~-                                                                              6,895             38.0
                                            Non-US person                                                                   9.297             51.2
                                            OtheP                                                                           1,952      _____- 10.8
                                            Total                                                                          18,144          100.0
                                            “Other includes those cases in which the subject of investigation was a group or organization, was
                                            unidentified, or in which the person filling out the questionnaire did not know the subject type.



                                            Table 2.2 shows the reasons cases were opened by subject type pro-
ReasonsCasesWere                            jetted to the adjusted universe. The reasons for opening the cases were
Opened                                       listed on our questionnaires, which were completed by FBI employees. In
                                             about 52.4 percent of the cases, the FBI investigated persons or groups it
                                            suspected of engaging in or planning international terrorism. In about
                                             11.5 percent of the cases, the FBI investigated individuals who were
                                            bound by citizenship or loyalty to a foreign country that sponsored
                                            terrorism.




                                            Page 17                                                   GAO/GGD-90-112 International       Terrorism
                                                   Chapter 2
                                                   Results of International
                                                   Terrorism Investigations




Table 2.2: Estimated Number of Cases bv Reasons Cases Ooened and Subiect Tvoe

                                                                                            Non-U.S.
Reason for opening case                                           U.S. person
                                                                  ~--                        person              Other               Total          Percent
Engaged In or planning international terrorist activities                 4,458                 3,774          ---I ,275             9,507                52.4
lndlvldual affiliated with countries that support
   terrorism                                                                      a             1,778                      a         2,081                11.5
                                          --~-~--  ..-...
Engaged in espionage, sabotage, or intelligence
   gathenng                                                                 571                   667                      a         1,271                 7.0
Combmations”                                                                                                               a         3,283                18.1
                                                                          . 904-.-.--           2,028
Other’reasonsC                                      l_l~    ,,.^““. __..-
                                                                       “.. . ...__
                                                                                688            1,050                       a----     2,002 ~___.----      11,d
Total                                                                      6.695               9.297              1.952            16.144                100.0
                                                   ‘IThe sampling errors for these numbers were too large to make a meanrngful estfmate
                                                   “Agents filling out the questionnarres    indicated more than one reason for the cases being opened

                                                   “Other reasons include such things as a subject has or may be about to furnrsh sensrtive informatron to
                                                   an unauthorized person, subject may have information about possible terrorist activities, and a criminal
                                                   statute was violated.




Reasonsfor Opening the                             On the basis of our questionnaire, two categories-subjects were
158 CasesReviewed                                  believed to be engaged in or planning international terrorism activities
                                                   and subjects were individuals affiliated with foreign countries that
                                                   sponsor terrorism-accounted     for 63.9 percent of the cases being
                                                   opened. To be more descriptive of the reasons cases were opened, we
                                                   reviewed the 158 sampled cases. We developed the following categories:

                                                   (1) The information indicated that the subject (or group) committed,
                                                   planned, or was otherwise involved in a terrorist act. Examples would
                                                   include the subject (1) was involved in an assassination, a bombing, or
                                                   an arson; or (2) provided materials and/or funding for such activities.

                                                   (2) The information indicated that the subject was a leader or member
                                                   of a terrorist group. Examples would include (1) information from an
                                                   informant that the subject “is a member or leader” or (2) the subject’s
                                                   name was listed on a group’s official membership roster.

                                                   (3) The information indicated that the subject may be associated with or
                                                   have some connection with a terrorist group but that the membership in
                                                   or link to a terrorist group was less than definite. Examples would
                                                   include information that the (1) subject attended one or more group
                                                   meetings, (2) subject’s name was included in the personal address book




                                                   Page 18                                                      GAO/GGD-90-112 International      Terrorism
                                                            Chapter 2
                                                            Results of International
                                                            Terrorism Investigations




                                                            of a group member, or (3) subject was in contact with a known terrorist
                                                            group leader or member.

                                                            (4) No basis to judge. Examples would include (1) cases transferred to
                                                            another office and the information on why a case was opened in the first
                                                            FBI field office was not clear from the files of the second office or (2) the
                                                            information was redacted by the FBI during its review process before the
                                                            files were given to us.

                                                            Our analysis of the 158 cases shows that 46 percent involved U.S. per-
                                                            sons. Forty-four percent of the cases were opened because it was alleged
                                                            that the subject was associated with a terrorist group. Another 30 per-
                                                            cent were opened because it was alleged that the person was a leader or
                                                            member of a terrorist group. Table 2.3 shows the basis for opening the
                                                            158 cases we reviewed.


Table 2.3: Reasons for Ooenina the 158 Cases Reviewed
                                                                                                               Subject type
                                                                                                 Non-U.S.          Group or                                    Total
Reason
    .-__.for opening
          . .__..       case .~..... ..~ .~~._...
               -_ ..~.-.--.-_-                ..--- . -                   U.S. person             person              organ.              Other           (percent)O
(1) Committed     or planned    terrorrst-type   activity                              9                6                   4                 0                     19

         -         _. .. ..._.--_. _ -~- ..--.-.-- ---._- _~_~-._--_        ___--..                                                                                (1.3
(2) Leader    or member
                    ^__. member
                             ..__.._. of-._.
                                          a terrorist group
                                                ~_...__.._ ~.___.             --.-    19                 25                   1                 2                   47
                      -.-- _...-.- .~--.~. -----.~-..--.- _.__- .~~--*.-_----                                                                                      (30)
(3) Assocrated     with or linked to a terrorist group
                               .--. . ..-... ~----..~_-.~---___-.-__.____             37                 26                  -3                 4                   70
         ,..._ - ..--. _                                                                                                                                           (44)
(4) No ._
        basis .lo ..-
                   fudge
                     -_ fudge
                           . -- ..~reason    for openning case
                                    -.-. ~---.____-.--_-           _.__-. -__-         8                 13                   1                 0                   22
                                                                                                                                                                   m
Tbials                                                                                73                 70                   9                 6                 158
(Percent),’                                                                           (46)              (44)                 (6)               (4)                (100)
                                                            “These percents are only applicable to this sample of 158 cases and are not representative of what may
                                                            have been found in the universe of all closed international terrorism cases. See appendix II for a discus-
                                                            sion of how these cases were selected.


                                                            We did not try to evaluate the strength or validity of the information or
                                                            allegation that served as the reasons for opening cases. Examples
                                                            describing the reasons for opening cases, some of the activities occurring
                                                            during the investigations, and the reasons for closing cases are shown in
                                                            appendix III.




                                                            Page 19                                                    GAO/GGD90-112 International         Terrorism
                       Chapter 2
                       Resulta of International
                       Terrorism Investigations




                       Monitoring of individuals’ and groups’ participation in First Amend-
Monitoring of First    ment-type activities is an investigative technique that the FBI uses in
Amendment Activities   conducting international terrorism investigations. In monitoring, the FBI
                       gathers information by directly observing or obtaining information from
                       others (e.g., informants and other law enforcement agencies) about the
                       subjects’ participation in such activities. First Amendment-type activi-
                       ties include, but are not limited to, such activities as attending meetings,
                       participating in a demonstration, appearing on radio or television broad-
                       casts, or giving a speech.

                       The questionnaire and case file data did not contain sufficient informa-
                       tion for us to draw conclusions about the FBI monitoring activities,
                       including possible infringement of First Amendment rights. The ques-
                       tionnaire was not designed to provide specific information about the
                       monitoring activity itself; it was designed to indicate only whether or
                       not the FBI monitored First Amendment-type activities during the
                       investigation.

                       Among the purposes of our review of the 158 cases was to try to deter-
                       mine the types of First Amendment activities that the FBI monitored and
                       the techniques used to monitor the activities. The case files contained
                       narrative, descriptive information, such as the summary memoranda;
                       interview write-ups; results of records reviewed; information provided
                       by informants; photographs of individuals; and copies of documents
                       (e.g., pamphlets and newspaper articles). The files generally did not con-
                       tain conclusions, except when the reason for closing the investigation
                       was given (e.g., no information was found to indicate that the subject
                       was involved in terrorist activities). In addition, the FBI redacted infor-
                       mation it considered sensitive (for example, informants’ names and sen-
                       sitive investigative techniques) or that it had received from other
                       agencies. Had the FBI not imposed these limitations, we may have been
                       able to make conclusions about the FBI monitoring of First Amendment-
                       type activities. (Informants’ names were not of interest to us, but inves-
                       tigative techniques were.)

                       On the basis of the questionnaire results, we estimate that First Amend-
                       ment-type activities were monitored in 2,080 (11.5 percent) of the
                       18,144 cases (see fig. 2.2). Of these 2,080 cases, 951 (45.7 percent)
                       involved U.S. persons. Table 2.4 shows the number of cases with moni-
                       toring activity by subject type.




                       Page 20                                    GAO/GGD-90-112International Terrorism
                                       Chapter 2
                                       Reaulta of International
                                       Terrorism Investigations




M&itorlng   Activity




                                                    88.5%     l                       -           No




                                       N=18,144


Table 2.4: Estimated Number of Cases
by Monitorlng of First Amendment                                                                          Subject type
Activities and Subject Type’           Monitoring of First                                             Non-U.S.
                                       Amendment activities                  U.S. person                person         Other             Total
                                                                                                                                b
                                       Yes                                                951                751                         2.080
                                       No                                           5,944                  8,546          1,574         16,064
                                       Total                                        6,895                  9,297          1,952         18,144
                                       aFirst Amendment rights are afforded to non-U.S. persons as well as to U.S. persons and organizations
                                       in the United States.

                                       bThe sampling error for this number was too large to make a meaningful estimate.




Examples of Monitoring                 The following are examples of monitoring activities that we identified
Activities                             during our detailed review of 168 cases. We judgmentally selected these
                                       examples to present a variety of what activities were monitored and
                                       how they were monitored. We are not identifying the individuals and
                                       groups associated with these investigations because the FBI determined
                                       that this information was classified.


CaseOne                                The FBI opened an investigation in July 1984 on an individual believed to
                                       be a member of a group that, according to the FBI’S investigative file,
                                       advocates terrorism as a vehicle for obtaining its goals. An informant




                                       Page 21                                                         GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism




                                                                                          ’ ,      ““p
                                                                                             ‘9
            Chapter 2
            Results of International
            Terrorism Investigations




            provided information to the FBI that was obtained through his attend-
            ance at a meeting sponsored by the group. The FBI also noted the license
            plate numbers of vehicles of individuals attending the meeting. The
            license numbers and names of the registered owners of the vehicles were
            indexed. The FBI closed the case in July 1986 because the subject was no
            longer associated with the group.


CaseTwo      The FBI opened an investigation in November 1983 on an individual
             believed to be a leader of a mosque, and his profile fit that of a partic-
            ular terrorist group. An informant provided information on meetings
             held by a local chapter of the group to which the subject belonged. The
             information received indicated that the meetings were typical ones with
            prayers, readings, and distribution of publications from a country that
            supports terrorism. The religious meetings were usually followed by
            political discussions about current conditions in a country that supports
            terrorism. The FBI closed the case in November 1986 because the sub-
            ject’s activities were limited to handling religious functions at the
            mosque.


CaseThree   The FBI opened an investigation in August 1983 on the basis of informa-
            tion that the subject individual was a member of an international ter-
            rorist group. The case was closed in November 1983 because the subject
            moved to another city. According to the FBI, the case was reopened in
            February 1984 to determine if the subject of an investigation in another
            field office was the same individual as the subject of this case. The case
            was closed in March 1984 when it was determined that the subjects
            were not the same person. The case was again reopened in March 1987.
            According to the FBI, this case was reopened in 1987 because the FBI had
            information about an upcoming fund raiser sponsored by the terrorist
            group and that the subject, who had returned to the area, was a “hard
            core” activist for the group. In March 1987, the FBI and an informant
            monitored the fund raiser, which was held at a local church, to deter-
            mine if terrorist group leaders were attending the event. The FBI, along
            with local police and sheriffs’ offices, observed and recorded license
            numbers of vehicles parked in the neighborhood during the fund raiser.
            The informant also provided the FBI with leaflets, publications, and
            other items distributed during the event. The FBI closed the case in
            October 1987 because the subject and his activities were fully identified
            and the subject was not in a leadership role in the group.




            Page 22                                   GAO/GGD-90-112International Terrorism
                       Chapter 2
                       Results of International
                       Terrorism Investigations




CaseFour               The FBI opened an investigation in July 1985 on a mosque that was being
                       run by an organization in the United States known to be involved in
                       intelligence-gathering activities on behalf of a country that supports ter-
                       rorism. An informant attended meetings at the mosque, where he
                       observed individuals participating in the reading of the Koran, prayers,
                       and lectures. He told of pro-Khomeini meetings being held at the mosque
                       and provided information about individuals attending the mosque. The
                       FI31closed the case in February 1988 when the group moved to another
                       mosque.


CaseFive               The E’BIopened an investigation in November 1986 on an individual
                       whose name was listed in an article in a foreign newspaper. An
                       informant provided the FBI with a copy of the publication, which identi-
                       fied the subject and others as contacts for known or suspected ter-
                       rorists The FBI closed the case in September 1987 because no
                       information was developed indicating the subject was involved in ter-
                       rorist activities.


                       Information that has been collected during an investigation may be
Indexing of Names in   indexed into an FBI database for future retrieval. Indexing is an author-
Terrorism              ized investigative procedure. Figure 2.3 shows our estimate of the
Investigations         number of cases with indexing of (1) individuals and groups and (2) US.
                       persons. Indexing of individuals other than the subjects of the investiga-
                       tions occurred in 47.8 percent of the 18,144 investigations, and indexing
                       of groups not the subject of the investigation occurred in 11.6 percent of
                       the 18,144 investigations. The FBI indexed U.S. persons when they were
                       not the subjects of investigations in 38.7 percent of the cases. In addi-
                       tion, the FBI indexed groups that were not the subjects of investigations
                       and that had U.S. persons as members in 43.4 percent of the cases.




                       Page 23                                   GAO/GGD-SO-112 International   Terrorism
                                             Chapter 2
                                             Results of International
                                             Terrorism Investigations




Figure 2.3: Indexing of Individuals and Qroups Not Subjects of Investigatloy




                                 Indexing of U.S. Persons
                                                                                                 No          *-+,w
                   I

                   I
        Cases With Individuals                                                               Unknownb
       Indexed* (8,671-47.8%)
                                                                            k




         Cases With Groups
      Indexed* (2,105-l 1.6%)




                          Indexing of Groups With U.S. Persons
                   b                                                                             ~0          ‘-dE




                                             N = 18,144
                                                                            k--              Unknownb




                                             %‘idexing of both individuals and groups, neither of which are the subjects of the investigations,   may
                                             occur in any given case. Thus, there is an overlap of cases with indexing in these categories.

                                             bKnowledge about the “Unknown”       could substantially   change the percentages   of the “Yes” and “No”
                                             categories.




                                             Page 24                                                       GAO/GGDw)-112 International        Terrorism
                                       Chapter 2
                                       Results of International
                                       Terroriam Investigations




Indexing of Information                On the questionnaire, we also asked if any indexing had been done as a
Becauseof Monitoring                   result of the monitoring activity that had occurred during investiga-
                                       tions. Of the 2,080 cases estimated to have had monitoring of First
First Amendment                        Amendment-type activities (see table 2.4), we estimate that 534 cases
Activities                             (25.7 percent) had indexing of information because of the monitoring
                                       activity. For 901 of the 2,080 cases (43.3 percent), no indexing was done
                                       as a result of the monitoring activity. For the remaining 645 cases (31 .O
                                       percent), however, the person completing the questionnaire indicated
                                       that he or she did not know if any indexing had been done as a result of
                                       the monitoring activity (see fig. 2.4).



Figure 2.4: Percentage of Cases With
Monitoring Activity by Whether
Information Was Indexed                                                                           Unknown if information was indexed
                                                 1                                                (Note a)




                                                                                                  Information was indexed




                                        \                   43.3% -                    -         Information was not indexed




                                       N=2,080

                                       “Knowledge    about the “Unknown”   could substantially   change the percentages   of the “Yes” and “No”
                                       categories.



                                       As shown in table 2.5, on the basis of our questionnaire, the reason cited
ReasonsCasesWere                       for closing 67.5 percent of the cases was that no evidence was found
Closed                                 linking the subject to international terrorism or terrorist acts. In 22.1
                                       percent of the cases the FBI closed its investigations because the subject
                    ”                  moved, left the United States, or could not be located.




                                       Page 25                                                      GAO/GGD-90-112 International       Terrorism
                                                          Chapter 2
                                                          Results of International
                                                          Terrorism Investigations




Table 2.5: Estimated Number of Cases by Reasons Cases Closed and Subject Type
                                                                                                              Subject type
                                                                                                 Non-U.S.
Rea8on for closing cases
                    .- ..- - .._~-_-- -._.                                U.S. person             person                 Other             Total            Percent
Could not lrnk the subiect    to terrorist   activities                           5.788               5.309              1.143            12.240                67.5
Subject   r&v&    or-not located                                                   ‘519               2,947                      a         4,015                22.1
                                                            -~--
Other reasonsr’                                                                      588              1,041                      a         1,889                 10.4
Totai                                                                            6,696               9,297               1,952           16,144                100.0
                                                          ‘The sampling errors for these numbers were too large to make a meaningful estimate.
                                                          “Other reasons include subject died, never entered the United States or the field office’s territory, was
                                                          not identified; case was transferred to another FBI field office; or unable to determine from the files.



                                                          Our analyses of the questionnaire responses and the 158 cases showed
Conclusions                                               that the FHI did monitor First Amendment-type activities. The FBI moni-
                                                          tored First Amendment-type activities in 2,080 (11.5 percent) of the
                                                          closed cases, according to our questionnaire results. Of these 2,080
                                                          cases, the FBI indexed information as a result of monitoring the activities
                                                          in at least 534 cases (25.7 percent).

                                                          We were not able to determine if the FBI abused individuals’ First
                                                          Amendment rights when monitoring these activities or if the FBI had a
                                                          reasonable basis to monitor such activities. We could not make such
                                                          determinations because the FBI did not give us complete access to the
                                                          information in closed cases. Further, the case file information was
                                                          mainly descriptive and generally did not contain explanations about
                                                          (1) why the investigative steps, such as monitoring First Amendment-
                                                          type activities, were taken; or (2) how the information was used.




                                                          Page 26                                                     GAO/GGD-90-112 International        Terrorism
Page 27   GAO/GGDW-112 International   Terrorbm
 Ppc

“TGr;“BI’s Investigation of CISPIB


                        At the request of the Department of Justice, the FBI initiated a criminal
                        investigation in September 1981 under the Foreign Agents Registration
                        Act of 1938 to determine whether CISPESwas required to register under
                        the act. The investigation did not find a violation of the act but pointed
                        out that CISPESdid verbally support the opposition movement. The FBI
                        closed the case in February 1982. However, the FBI continued to receive
                        information about CISPES activities.

                        The FBI opened an international terrorism investigation on CISPESin
                        March 1983 on the basis of information gathered during the first investi-
                        gation and information obtained from an informant. The informant said
                        that CISPESwas (1) being directed by the Farabundo Marti Front for
                        National Liberation/Democratic Revolutionary Front, an organization
                        identified as a terrorist organization; (2) providing financial support to
                        that organization; and (3) preparing for terrorist activities in the United
                        States. The investigation continued until June 1986, when the Office of
                        Intelligence Policy and Review, after reviewing a summary of the inves-
                        tigation, concluded that “CISPES appears to be involved in political activi-
                        ties involving First Amendment activities but not international
                        terrorism.” On the basis of that statement, FBI headquarters ordered the
                        CISPESinvestigation closed on June 18, 1985.

                        In January 1988, the Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York based
                        lawyers group, publicly released 60 of about 1,200 pages of material it
                        had received under the Freedom of Information Act from the 14 volume
                        FBI headquarters files on CISPES.CISPEScharged that the investigation
                        violated individuals’ and organizations’ First Amendment and constitu-
                        tional rights.


FBI’s Internal CISPES   On February 2, 1988, the FBI Director, at the direction of the President,
Report                  ordered an independent inquiry of the FBI'S handling of the CISPESinves-
                        tigation. In doing the inquiry, senior FBI investigators and inspectors
                        examined the FBI'S investigation of CISPFSto determine, among other
                        things, if the FBI had broken any laws; violated Attorney General Guide-
                        lines or FBI rules, regulations, or policy; or used poor judgment in the
                        exercise of the investigation. The inquiry also addressed, among other
                        things, whether the investigation was initiated on a sound basis;
                        whether the length of the investigation was justified; the oversight by
                        the Department of Justice; the scope of the investigation; the reliability
                        of the informant; and whether indexing was proper.




                        Page28                                    GAO/GGD-90-112International   Terrorism
.



    Appendix I
    The FBI’s Investigation   of CISPES




    The FBI’S report on its CISPES investigation, dated May 27, 1988, con-
    cluded that the FBI properly conducted an investigation of CISPES as a
    criminal matter from September 1981 until February 1982. On the basis
    of information received during the 1981 investigation as well as infor-
    mation from an informant, the FBI properly opened the international ter-
    rorism investigation; however, the objectives were overly broad. The
    objectives were to determine the extent of direction and control fur-
    nished to CISPES leaders by terrorist groups in El Salvador and the extent
    and nature of CISPES’ involvement in organizing and supporting terrorist
    activities in the United States. The report concluded that additional
    investigation would not have been warranted without the informant’s
    information.

    The report further concluded that the scope of the investigation was
    substantially and unnecessarily broadened when FBI headquarters
    directed all offices to treat each of the estimated 180 CISPES chapters as
    the subject of an investigation. According to the report, the primary and
    secondary thrust of the investigation should have been directed at the
    CISPES National Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the approxi-
    mately 10 regional offices. Even though FBI headquarters cautioned that
    the purpose of the investigation was not to investigate the exercise of
    First Amendment rights of CISPES members, investigations were author-
    ized on any CISPES chapter as a part of the national organization.

    The inquiry also found that inadequate supervision of the CISPES caSe
    occurred at FBI headquarters and the Dallas Field Office, which was the
    field office with primary responsibility for the investigation. Both field
    and headquarters agents failed to adequately conduct a background
    check in establishing the informant’s creditability and failed to continu-
    ally ensure the informant’s reliability and accuracy. Further, they failed
    to provide adequate supervision and direction to the informant.

    The inquiry further determined that 31 instances of potential violations
    of the Attorney General guidelines occurred, such as (1) conducting
    inquiries beyond what is permitted without opening an investigation,
    (2) receiving information about individuals’ mail without having
    obtained proper authority to get such information, and (3) initiating
    investigations without an adequate basis for opening them. According to
    the report, most of the instances were minimal and there was no indica-
    tion that the noncompliance was anything other than inadvertent.

    Finally, the inquiry identified problems noted in earlier FBI reviews and
    inspections that still existed and contributed to the errors made during


    Page 29                                  GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terroriem
                       Amendix I
                       The FBI’s Investigation   of CISPES




                       the CISPESinvestigation. A June 1982 internal audit report-“Terrorism
                       Program Evaluation” -by the Office of Program Evaluations and
                       Audits (OPEA) noted problems similar to those found by the CISPES
                       inquiry. For example:

                   . Terrorism investigations were being conducted without a widely under-
                     stood philosophical underpinning for the program.
                   . Insufficient articulation of policy had contributed to a degree of confu-
                     sion and uncertainty, a vagueness of purpose, and a lack of uniformity
                     in handling investigative and administrative matters.
                   l Training had not received sufficient attention, and increased training is
                     needed in the field and at FBI headquarters in the development and han-
                     dling of informants.

                       OPEA’S June 1983 report-“     Study of Informant Development and Opera-
                       tions”-found     that even with the importance given to the role of infor-
                       mants in obtaining and bringing criminal investigations to successful
                       conclusions, training agents to oversee informants is practically nonexis-
                       tent in the FBI.


FBI CISPESReport       The FBI’S CISPESreport resulted in the FBI Director issuing a directive out-
Recommendations        lining 33 policy and procedural changes to be made regarding such
                       investigations. As of February 14, 1990, all of the 33 recommendations
                       had been fully implemented, according to the Assistant Director, Inspec-
                       tion Division.

                       One recommendation resulted in the formation of a joint Department of
                       Justice and FBI working group to make recommendations to the Attorney
                       General concerning modification of the Attorney General’s Foreign
                       Counterintelligence Guidelines in such areas as (1) the extent to which
                       the FBI can investigate members of a group when the group to which
                       they belong is under investigation and (2) changes to the guidelines to
                       address more specifically international terrorism investigations.

                       In September 1989, revisions to the Foreign Counterintelligence manual
                       pertaining to international terrorism investigations became effective.
                       The revised guidelines provide field offices more specificity in terms of
                       reporting requirements for international terrorism investigations, par-
                       ticularly as they relate to investigations of organizations.




                       Page 30                                   GAO/GGD-SO-112 International   Terrorism
        .

Appendix II

Objectives, Scope,and Methodology


                  In a February 1, 1988, letter, the Chairman, Subcommittee on Civil and
                  Constitutional Rights, House Judiciary Committee, asked us to review
                  the FBI'S international terrorism program. The Chairman was concerned
                  that the FBI'S investigation of CISPESwas overly broad and not properly
                  focused. The Chairman wanted us to determine if the FBI collected and
                  reported information on First Amendment activities, as in the CISPES
                  investigation. As agreed with the Subcommittee, we obtained informa-
                  tion on

              . the basis on which the FBI was initiating international terrorism
                investigations;
              . the scope and results of the investigations;
              . whether the FBI had been monitoring First Amendment activities (such
                as demonstrations, meetings, speeches) during the investigations; and
              l the reasons investigations were closed.

                  By letter dated July 27, 1989, the Chairman requested that we address
                  some additional specific questions during our analyses of all cases (see
                  app. IV). The Chairman’s primary concern in his July 1989 letter was
                  about cases the FBI opened on the basis of information that indicated
                  that the subjects of the investigations had only been associated with or
                  linked to a terrorist group.

                  We agreed with the Subcommittee to limit this review to closed cases
                  only. We did our work at the FBI'S headquarters office in Washington,
                  DC. To obtain information about the FBI'S international terrorism pro-
                  gram, we interviewed agency officials and reviewed policy documents
                  related to this program.

                  We obtained an initial listing of all closed FBI international terrorism
                  cases from January 1, 1982, to June 30, 1988, generated from the FBI's
                  Terrorist Information System (~1s). We requested that only “office of
                  origin” cases be listed. According to the FBI, the office of origin is the
                  particular FBI field office primarily responsible for the investigation.
                  Other field offices that assist in the investigation are known as “auxil-
                  iary offices.” Based on the TIS information, the universe of international
                  terrorism cases closed between January 1, 1982, and June 30, 1988, was
                  19,446 cases.

                  We used a two stage sampling process in order to develop a profile of
                  closed international terrorism cases and to select cases for more detailed
                  case review. The first stage was used to identify international terrorism
                  cases of interest and to develop a profile of activities associated with


                  Page 31                                  GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
Appendix II
Objectivee, Scope, and Methodology




these cases. For this stage, we randomly selected 1,100 international ter-
rorism investigations stratified by case type from the initial universe of
19,446 closed international terrorism cases.

Subsequent to our selecting a random sample of cases, we determined
that the computer print-outs provided by the FBI were not accurate.
About 650 cases listed on the computer print-outs had closing dates
after June 30, 1988. Further, the closing dates listed on the computer
print-outs were not always consistent with the dates completed on the
questionnaires. Only 21 of these 650 cases, however, were included in
our analyses of 1,003 questionnaires. Because these 21 cases repre-
sented only 2 percent of the cases in our analyses, we chose not to adjust
the results of our analyses to exclude this small number of cases.

In order to give us current information, the FBI had each field office
update its case information in the TEL Because of the time the FBI needed
to update its database of closed international terrorism cases, we
decided to proceed by drawing a stratified random sample based on case
type in a two-phase process. Using standard statistical techniques, we
drew the first-phase sample on the basis of cases identified for 42 of the
FBI’S 59 field offices.7 We selected the first-phase sample from these 42
field offices because they were the first ones to have completed
updating the database of closed international terrorism cases. We drew a
second-phase sample in a similar manner upon receipt of the case listing
from the remaining field offices.

We designed a questionnaire to develop a profile of closed international
terrorism cases. We asked questions about such things as type of cases,
type of subject, number of files, reason for opening the investigation,
length of investigation, indexing activity, and monitoring of First
Amendment activities. Each case represented one subject (i.e., person or
group) under investigation; cases could be opened and closed several
times on the basis of updated information or activity, yet they were still
considered one case for our analysis purposes.

All information and the flow of information was directed through FBI
officials in the Terrorist Research and Analytical Center (TRAC), a unit
within FBI’S Counterterrorism Section. We gave a copy of the question-
naire to TRAC along with the list of sampled cases. TRAC distributed copies
of the questionnaire to each of the field offices for completion on their

‘The FBI currently has only 56 field offices. Since we began this review, the FBI closed its field
offices at Alexandria, Virginia; Butte, Montana; and Savannah, Georgia.



Page 32                                                    GAO/GGD-90-112 International       Terrorism
Appendix II
Objectlves, Scope, and Methodology




cases. FBI field office personnel completed these questionnaires; the com-
pleted questionnaires were returned to TRAC, which forwarded them to
GAO.

Of the 1,100 questionnaires distributed, 1,003 usable questionnaires (9 1
percent) were obtained. Figure II. 1 shows the reasons why the other 97
questionnaires were not included in our analyses.




Page 33                                  GAO/GGD-90-112 International    Terrorism


                                                                        ..-..   . ---   _....
                                              Appendix II
                                              Objectivets, Scope, and Methodology




Flgure 11.1:Qu~atlonnalrer   Included In Our Analyww


                                        1,003 Usable

                                1      Questionnaires




                                                                                                          -I     24 Open Cases




                                                                          35 Questionnaires
                                                                           Not Completed          +




                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                               47 Field Office Not
                                                                                                               the Office of Origin




                                                                                                                  1 Questionnaire     m
                                                                                                                Returned Because
                                                                                                                 of Sensitive Data



                                              ‘FBI headquarters officials did not want to complete the questionnaires on these three cases because
                                              they believed the field offices were in the best position to know about the investigations.

                                              bThese questionnaires were incomplete because the files were administrative-type   files and did not
                                              contain data about investigations.




                                              Page 34                                                   GAO/GGD-90-112 International       Terrorism
Appendix II
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




Because this screening sample was selected from the total universe of
closed international terrorism cases, the results obtained are subject to
some uncertainty, or sampling error, when projected to the total uni-
verse of interest. This is typical when any sampling is done. We chose
the sample sizes for each phase so that the sampling error would not be
greater than 5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. This sampling
error was generally achieved for the total estimates. We generalized our
sample results to an adjusted universe of 18,144 closed international ter-
rorism cases using standard weighting methods.

In our second sampling stage, we grouped the 1,003 cases according to
questionnaire responses about the monitoring of First Amendment activ-
ities and randomly selected cases for more detailed case file review on
the basis of the responses to the questionnaires. This selection process
involved focusing on those cases where there was monitoring activity,
because we perceived that these cases would have a higher probability
of potential infringement of First Amendment rights.

Of the 1,003 usable questionnaire returns agents completed, the survey
indicated that some monitoring activity was involved in 229 cases. Of
these cases, we randomly selected 120 cases for detailed record review.
As a validity check, we randomly selected and reviewed 30 cases where
the agents had reported that no monitoring activity took place. Thus, we
checked the agents’ perception regarding both the presence and absence
of this activity. In addition, the House Judiciary Committee, Subcom-
mittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, asked us to review an addi-
tional 10 cases not selected randomly that consisted of 6 or more files.

Thus, we initially identified 160 closed cases for review. We reviewed
 158 cases. Of the 160 cases initially selected, 13 turned out to be still
open and therefore had to be excluded. We selected 11 replacement
cases. We could not select replacement cases for the other two cases
because they contained six or more files and no other cases with six or
more files existed. In addition to the 13 cases, the FBI classified another
6 cases from the original 160 as sensitive. We were told that almost all
of the information from these sensitive cases would have been removed
before the I%I would have given us the files. We selected five replace-
ment cases. Had we kept these sensitive cases in our sample, the FBI
would have withheld or extensively redacted almost all of the informa-
tion in these files because a sensitive investigative technique or informa-
tion source would have been identified.




Page 36                                   GAO/GGD90-112 International   Terrorism
Appendix II
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




Similar to the questionnaire, the cases sampled for the detailed case file
review were also controlled through TRAC. We submitted our sample list
of cases for review to TRAC personnel, who requested that the actual
case files be sent to headquarters. The FBI’S Legal Counsel Division’s
Civil Discovery Unit redacted the case files. Since we did not have
access to the actual case file prior to redaction, we are unaware of what
may have been screened out. Accordingly, we had material available for
our review only after the redaction process.

We developed a case file review sheet for coding the 158 closed interna-
tional terrorism cases selected. The primary activities reviewed concen-
trated on the following: (1) the basis for initiating the case,
(2) investigative techniques used during the investigation, (3) any First
Amendment activities that were monitored and/or observed either by
the FBI or a secondary source, and (4) the reason the case was closed.
Information about the 158 cases represents only these 158 cases, and we
are not projecting the results to the universe.




Page 36                                   GAO/GGJMO-112International   Terrorism
Afipendix III

Summ~ of !SelectedCasesReviewed


                The following case summaries are from the 158 cases we reviewed.
                These examples were judgmentally selected to describe a variety of
                cases showing the reasons the cases were opened, some of the First
                Amendment-type activities that were monitored during the investiga-
                tions, and the reasons the cases were closed. The case files did not
                always explain why membership in a specific group warranted an inves-
                tigation We are not identifying the individuals and groups associated
                with these investigations because the FEHdetermined that this informa-
                tion was classified.


CaseOne         The FBI opened a case in March 1982 on a group on the basis of informa-
                tion that it was working in concert with members of a terrorist organiza-
                tion, which reportedly had engaged in terrorist acts. The information
                also indicated that it directed and controlled the terrorist organization.
                According to a March 1982 memorandum from FBI headquarters, the

                “investigation of the [group] and its chapters should include identification of. . . [its]
                chapters throughout the United States, organizational structure, leading members,
                and support from foreign based terrorist organizations.”

                Various investigative techniques were used during this investigation,
                including interviewing individuals, using informants to obtain informa-
                tion, obtaining various publications, and physical and photographic sur-
                veillance. For example, a January 1983 memorandum from the field
                office to FBI headquarters indicated that publications were obtained and
                photographs were taken during a recent demonstration. According to
                the FBI, the photographs were then used to identify leaders of a known
                terrorist group. Another January 1983 memorandum indicated that
                information about a large meeting (about 400 members) was obtained
                through an FBI information source. The FBI closed this case in December
                1988 because the investigative objective had been met. The objective,
                according to the September 1988 closing memorandum from FBI head-
                quarters, had been to identify those group members who were directly
                supporting or directing the terrorist operations of the other group and
                thereafter initiate separate investigations on those individuals.


CaseTwo         The FBI opened a case in November 1981 on the basis of information that
                a group was preparing to assassinate high level U.S. officials. The case
                was closed in June 1982. From the information in the files, we could not
                determine why the case was closed. The closing memorandum from the



                Page 37                                           GAO/GGD90-112 International   Terrorism
              Appendix III
              Summary of Selected Cases Revlewed




              field office simply stated that no further investigation was being con-
              ducted at that time. The case was reopened in October 1983, apparently
              in connection with the bombing of the US. Marines headquarters
              building in Beirut, Lebanon. The case was again closed in August 1984
              because the FBI could not develop any evidence indicating that the group
              was engaging in terrorist-type activities. This case was then reopened in
              March 1986 on the basis of information giving reason to believe that the
              group was, or may have been, engaged in international terrorism or
              activities in preparation thereof, or knowingly aiding or abetting a
              person in the conduct of these activities. Instances of monitoring of First
              Amendment activities during the investigation included FBI sources pro-
              viding numerous publications and information about the events occur-
              ring at meetings and demonstrations. One source provided a video
              cassette of a meeting held at a local mosque. Another source told the FBI
              about a movie being shown at a local theater that depicted Israeli
              attacks on Lebanon and said that the group’s supporters had attended
              the showings and held meetings there. A February 1988 memorandum
              from FBI headquarters questioned continuing the investigation. The
              memo stated in part:

              “A review of FBI [headquarters] files regarding above captioned group. . reveals
              the majority to be involved in the following activities: 1) Fundraising, allegedly for
              the purpose of providing humanitarian assistance to ‘victims’ of the civil war in
              Lebanon.

              “Subsequent to this review of information at [FBI headquarters], it does not appear
              that further investigation is warranted. Consideration is particularly given to the
              lack of any terrorist acts committed by captioned group or one in which this group
              claimed credit.”

              In response to FBI headquarters’ February 1988 memorandum, the field
              office closed the case in March 1988 because it could not develop spe-
              cific and articulable facts that the group was involved in international
              terrorism as defined by the Attorney General’s guidelines. In its closing
              memorandum, the field office wrote:
              .I
                   .will advise appropriate Field Offices to discontinue investigation of the [group]
                       .   .


              and related [cases] whose sole criteria for investigation is their association with the
              [group] or contact by leading elements within the [group].”



CaseThree ”   The FBI opened a case in January 1984 on an individual on the basis of
              an informant’s allegation that the subject was a self-described advisor to
              one terrorist organization and a member of another. The Department of


              Page 38                                          GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
           Appendix III
           Snmmary of &lected Cases Reviewed




           Justice’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR) reviewed a sum-
           mary memorandum for this case and, in December 1985, FBI headquar-
           ters informed the field office that it was OIPR’S opinion that the report
           lacked information regarding terrorist activities, or support of terrorist
           activities, on the part of the subject. In response to the memorandum,
           the field office closed the case in December 1985 because it could find no
           evidence that the subject had participated in terrorist activities or acted
           in concert with alleged members of a terrorist group.


CaseFour   The FBI opened a case in May 1986 on an organization because it was
           named in a brochure distributed by another group affiliated with a
           country that supports terrorism, which was the subject of another FBI
           investigation. The brochure was obtained by the FBI during a physical
           surveillance of a gathering or meeting. The field office closed the case in
           August 1986, indicating that all logical investigation had been completed
           with negative results.


CaseFive   The FBI opened an investigation in September 1985 on an individual to
           determine his affiliation with a particular organization. According to the
           case files, the objective of the organization is to overthrow the govern-
           ment of a foreign country, and a branch of the organization was respon-
           sible for a number of terrorist incidents. The subject of another FBI
           investigation had a driver’s license with this subject’s address. The field
           office, in its opening memorandum, stated that it was opening the case
           on this subject, along with three other individuals, to develop additional
           background information and to establish their possible relationship with
           the organization. During the investigation, an informant provided the FBI
           with information about conferences that were held by Islamic groups.
           Further, copies of the publication “Martyrdom” were obtained and
           reviewed as part of the investigation. Moreover, a list of U.S. and for-
           eign Islamic organizations was provided to the FBI by another U.S. fed-
           eral agency and was made part of the files. The investigation was closed
           in June 1988 because the subject had moved in August 1987 and con-
           tinued investigation failed to locate the subject.


CaseSix    The FBI opened an investigation in December      1981 on an individual iden-
           tified as having been married to the daughter     of a high level foreign
           official of a country that supports terrorism.   In its opening memo-
           randum, the field office indicated that it was   opening the investigation



           Page 39                                   GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
            Appendix III
            Summary of Selected Cases l&viewed




            to determine if the subject was involved with the governments of coun-
            tries that sponsored terrorism in furtherance of some terrorist activity.
            We did not see any indications of monitoring activities when we
            reviewed the files. According to the field office’s closing memorandum,
            the case was closed in January 1983 because the investigation failed to
            develop any information that the subject was involved in any illegal or
            terrorist activities. The case was reopened in November 1984 on the
            basis of an informant stating that the subject was a trusted and well-
            regarded agent of a country that supports terrorism and that the subject
            also worked with an individual to get arms for that country. In its
            opening memorandum, the field office cited that it had closed its pre-
            vious investigation of the subject because of the lack of evidence con-
            necting the subject to terrorist activities. The memorandum also cited
            that the previous investigation revealed strong circumstantial evidence
            of a case of marriage fraud. The field office also stated in this
            memorandum:

            “[The field office] feels strongly that [subject] is an important [foreign] agent,
            although it is doubtful that investigation will be able to document this or result in a
            successful prosecution of [subject].”

            The case was closed in February 1986, again because the investigation
            failed to develop any information concerning the subject’s participation
            in terrorist activities.


CaseSeven   The FBI opened an investigation in January 1984 on the basis of infor-
            mation that the FBI observed the subject at a lecture by a supporter of a
            terrorist organization. The subject was identified as someone organizing
            a support group and who had collected money for the terrorist organiza-
            tion Other than the FBI observing the lecture at which the subject was
            identified, we saw no other indication of monitoring activities when we
            reviewed the case file. The case was closed in July 1984 because the
            subject had been fully identified, was known to local sources, and no
            information had been developed to show that the subject was forming a
            support group for the terrorist organization.




            Page 40                                          GAO/GGDBO-112 International   Terrorism
Apfiendix IV

Responseto Specific Questionsin the
Chairman’s July 27,1989, Letter

               As indicated in chapter 2, we selected 158 cases for detailed case file
               review. In his July 27, 1989, letter, the Chairman asked that we address
               the following questions on the basis of our review of these 158 cases.
               The information presented below reflects the circumstances found in
               only the 158 cases we reviewed. The percentages reported in each ques-
               tion represents only these 158 cases and can not be generalized to the
               universe. (See app. II, pp. 35 and 36, regarding how these 158 cases
               were selected.)

               Ql . What percentage of the case files you reviewed on subjects associ-
               ated with or linked to terrorism involved the monitoring of First Amend-
               ment activity?

               Al. Of the 158 cases reviewed, 70 cases were opened on subjects associ-
               ated with or linked to terrorism. Of these 70 cases, 50 cases (70 percent)
               were on individuals that involved the monitoring of First Amendment
               activity, and 3 cases (4 percent) on groups or organizations that
               involved the monitoring of First Amendment activity.

               Q2. What percentage of the case files you reviewed with more than two
               volumes involved (a) subjects associated with or linked to terrorism, (b)
               U.S. persons, and (c) monitoring of First Amendment activity?

               A2. There were 43 of the 158 cases we reviewed that had more than 2
               volumes. Of these 43 cases, (a) 16 cases (37 percent) were opened on the
               basis of information that the subject was associated with or linked to a
               terrorist group, (b) 21 cases (49 percent) were opened on subjects who
               were U.S. persons, and (c) 36 cases (84 percent) had monitoring of First
               Amendment activity during the investigation.

               Q3. What percentage of case files you reviewed on subjects associated
               with or linked to terrorism involved indexing of names other than the
               name of the subject?

               A3. Of the 70 cases on subjects associated with or linked to terrorism, 64
               cases (91 percent) involved indexing of individuals other than the sub-
               ject, and 2 cases (3 percent) involved indexing of groups or
               organizations.

               Q4. What percentage of case files you reviewed on subjects associated
               with or linked to terrorism provided information leading to an arrest?




               Page 41                                   GAO/GGD-SO-112 International   Terrorism
Appendix IV
Respotwe to Specific Questions in the
Chairman’s July 27,1989, Letter




A4. Of the 70 cases reviewed on subjects associated with or linked to
terrorism, 2 cases (3 percent) led to an arrest. The subjects of these two
cases were not groups or organizations.

Q5. How many open international terrorism cases are there?

A5. As of June 30,1989, the FBI had about 1,500 to 1,700 open interna-
tional terrorism investigations.

Q6. How many closed cases had more than two volumes of files and
what was the range?

A6. Of the 158 closed cases we reviewed, the number of files per case
ranged from 1 to 24 files. Forty-three of the 158 cases had more than 2
files.

Q7. What is the range and average number of serials (documents) per
file volume?

A7. Of the 158 cases reviewed, the average number of serials per file
was 55 and ranged from 1 to 170 serials.

QS. For the case files of one or two volumes, provide some examples of
how many names of groups or individuals (other than the subject’s
name) were indexed per case?

A8. We asked the FBI to provide us with print-outs from the headquar-
ters Automated Records Management System (ARMS) and the Field Office
Information Management System (FOIMS) for 25 of the 158 cases we
reviewed. ARMS is an integrated computerized system used within FBI
headquarters to support the information needs of the FBI’S Records Man-
agement Division. EQIMS is an automated system developed to assist FBI
field offices in the collection, collation, analysis, coordination, and dis-
semination of information on criminal and intelligence investigations.
Information is indexed into both systems.

We asked the FBI to provide us with a list of the indexing done for 25
selected cases and to show only once any names that had been indexed
in a variety of ways. For example, if Jane W. Doe had been indexed in a
case in several different ways (i.e., Jane W. Doe, J. W. Doe, Jane Doe),
we wanted the list to count that indexing as only one entry. FBI officials
said that they could minimize the repetitions, but that there might still
be some names that would show up more than once because of how they


Page 42                                   GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
                                                         Appendix Iv
                                                         Response to Specific Queetions in the
                                                         Chairman’s July 27,1989, Letter




-
                                                         were indexed. We did not attempt to verify the information provided by
                                                         the FBI.

                                                         We selected 25 cases that had only 1 or 2 files to trace the amount of
                                                         indexing that was done during these investigations. The cases were
                                                         selected because these were the only ones of the 158 cases we reviewed
                                                         that (1) had only 1 or 2 files and (2) were opened after (or just shortly
                                                         before) FOIMS had been implemented. The results of our review of the
                                                         ARMS and FOIMS indexing are summarized in tables IV.1 and IV.2,
                                                         respectively.


Table IV.1: Results of lndexina in ARMS ?OP25 Selected Cases
                                                      Subjects                                          Other indexed items
Case                                               Names       Misc.                       Names          Organ.      Tel.no.         OtheP               Total
1                                                                          1         0             8            3               2              2 __.._~        16
2                                       -   -..~-.--.-                     1         0            26            3               3     .--...-- 0               33
3                                                                          1         0            37            4              10              0               52
4                            -~ -      ~__-. ____         ___-             1         0             4            1               0              0
                                                                                                                                      _________----~            6
5                                                                          1         0             6            0               0              0                7
6                                                                          1         0             3            0               0              0 _-___---       4
7                                                                          1         0            23            7              12              1
                                                                                                                                              -__     --_..-   44
8                                                                          0         0             0            0               0              0                0
9                                                                          1         0              1           0               1              0 -___~-.        3
10                                                                         1         0             0            0               0              0                1
11                                                                         0
                                                                         --.-        0             0            0               0              0        ---~__  0
12                                              ___-                       1         0            34            5               1              0
                                                                                                                                      ___-...- .___-_          41_
13                                                                         1         0             3            1               1              0                6
14                                                                         1         0            34            0               3              0               38
15                                                               --        1         0            13            3               0              0
                                                                                                                                              .-~              17
16                                            --.            -- .____      1         0            18            3               0              0               22
17                                                                         1         0             5            0               0              0                6
18                                                                      -- 1         0             3            1               0
                                                                                                                              ___~-       -. .~0      -_-~      5
19                                                  __-....-.              0..-      0             0            0     _----.-.- 0     _.--.-~  0                0
20                                                          --.--..-       0         0             0            0               0              0                0
21                                                       - ---.-           2         0             0            0               0              0                2
22                                                                         0         0             0            0               0              0                0
23                                                                         1
                                                                        ___-         0            36            3               1
                                                                                                                                --~            0               41
24                                                                         1         0             3            1
                                                                                                               -~--             0              0                5
25              ._          .~ ..-..- _...-- ----- _^___
                                                       ---                 1         0              1           0               0              0                2
Tota,                ~.I.                                               21           0           258           35             34               3             351
                                                         aOtherincludes such items as addresses and license plate numbers




                                                         Page 43                                                GAO/GGD-90-112 International        Terrorism
                                                     Appendix Iv
                                                     Reeponae to Spedflc Queetlons ln the
                                                     Chalrman’e July 27,1989, Letter




Table IV.2: Results of Indexing in FOIMS for 25 Selected Cases
                                                        Subjects                                 Other indexed items
Case                                                Names        Misc.                Names        Organ.      Tel.no         OtheP           Total
1                                                                  3            0           49             2              0        0             54
2                                                                  0            0            6             3              2        0             11
3                                                                  4            0           46             7             26        0             83
4                                                                  7            0            0             0              0        0              7
5                                                     --           6            0           27             0              1        0             34
6                                                                  2            1            4             0              0        0              7
7                                                                  3            0           48             2             13        9             75
8                                                                  3            1            4             0              0        2             10
9                                                                  4            0            7             0              2        2             15
10                                            ___-                 8            0           17             3              9       11             48
il                                                                 1            0            1             0              0        0              2
12                                                                 3            0           70             5              0        1             79
13                                                                 0            0            0             0              0        0              0
14                                     -..-                        1 .-         0            6             0              0        0              7
15                                                                 1            0           75            18              2       0              95
16                                                         ____    3            0           40            11             22       5              81
17                                                                 1            1           19             1             10       2              34
18                                                                 1            0            0             0              0       0               1
19                                                                 2            0           14             1              1       0              18
20         ---~                 .--..----                          1            0            0             0              0       0               1
21        '--                                                      2        -   0            0             0     -        0       0                   2
22                                                                 0            0            4             0              0       0                   4
23                                                                  6           0           32            3              11       4              55
24                                                                  0           0            0            0               0       0               0
25              -'~                                                0            0            0            0               0       0               0
Total                                                             82            3          489           58              99      35             725
                                                     aOtherincludes suchitemsasaddresses    and license plate numbers.

                                                     In 18 of the 25 cases, more items were indexed into the FOIMS than were
                                                     indexed into ARMS. For six cases, more items were indexed into ARMS
                                                     than into BUMS. For the remaining case, the same number of items (two)
                                                     were indexed into both systems.

                                                     Q9. What reports or analyses compiling information from two or more
                                                     international terrorism cases did the FBIprepare during the period Jan-
                                                     uary 1, 1982, through June 30,1988? How did the FBI decide what
                                                     reports or analyses to prepare, and what data did it use?




                                                     Page 44                                               GAO/GGD-90-112 International   Terrorism
Appendix Iv
Responseto Speclflc Questions in the
Chairman’s July 27,1QSQ,Letter




A9. We obtained an overview from agency officials about TRAC’S role in
supporting international terrorism investigations. We were not allowed
to interview TRAC analytical staff. However, we did receive a written
response to questions we asked regarding TRK’S analytical capabilities,
the types of analytical assistance (reports/analyses) TRAC provides to
the operational units and field offices in support of their international
terrorism investigations, and how these reports/analyses are used. The
following information was provided by the FBI in response to our
questions.

In 1980, TRAC was established at FBI headquarters to (1) automate and
analyze information collected on known terrorists and terrorists groups
active in the United States, (2) make assessments of the information,
and (3) publish various reports and forecasts of potential terrorist
threats. The Terrorist Information System (TIS), a database established
in 1985, is an on-line computer system that TRAC maintains to support
the counterterrorism program and its investigations.

FBI officials said that TRAC does not routinely prepare reports that show
actual or potential relations among subjects of investigations or groups.
TIW conducts research on terrorist groups that have planned or have
been engaged in violent or intelligence-gathering activities. ‘rmc-pre-
pared reports and analyses are done at the request of FBI headquarters
or field supervisors, with the approval from FBI headquarters before
their preparation and dissemination. When preparing these documents,
TRK personnel conduct research by reviewing FBI investigative files,
public source documents, and information received from other compo-
nents of the U.S. intelligence community. The FBI considers the reports
as educational in nature and intended to improve the effectiveness of
the FBI’S investigative agents.

TIUC disseminates FBI analytical studies and other terrorist-related infor-
mation to FBI personnel; appropriate agencies of the U.S. government;
and occasionally to foreign or domestic law enforcement agencies,
depending upon the subject of the investigations and the intended
targets-for  example, a head of state.

We asked for a list of reports and analyses generated by TRAC since Jan-
uary 1987. FBI officials said that TRAC maintains a list of reports and
analyses dating back only one calendar year. However, the FBI provided
a sampling of the types of reports and analyses generated by TRAC
during calendar years 1988 and 1989 (see table IV.3). FBI officials said



Page 45                                   GAO/GGD-90-112International Terrorism
                                       Appendix IV
                                       Response to Specific Questions in the
                                       Chairman’s July 27,1989, Letter




                                       they could not provide us with a complete list because it would include
                                       information about ongoing investigations.

Table IV.3: Examples of TRAC Reports
(Calendar Years 1988-1989)
                                       Research
                                       _---____ projects:               - Domestic right-wing neo-Nazi Groups
                                                                        . Far East-an investigation case analysis
                                       General  projects:
                                       ~-~-_-____                         Terrorists threat assessment for the White House
                                                                                 _____.
                                                                        - Input to the 1988 TRAC publication entitled “Terrorism in -
                                                                            the United States”


                                       In addition to the examples of reports generated by TRAC shown above,
                                       the FBI also responded to various congressional inquiries, did research
                                       for speeches, and responded to other miscellaneous questions.




                                       Page 46                                             GAO/GGD-90-112 International    Terrorism
Appendix V

Major Contributors to This Report


                        James M. Blume, Assistant Director, Administration     of Justice Issues
General Government      Tim Outlaw, Evaluator-in-Charge
Division, Washington,   Linda Elmore, Senior Evaluator
nr                      William R. Chatlos, Technical Advisor




(184417)                Page 47                                  GAO/GGD-SO-112 International   Terrorbm
                   II”_   “l”.l.--_-_l_.-l   .-...   _   ..-..   1   -.--.   I”   -.....   -   .----.-   ll.-ll-“-._.-l      -.-__.   ~__---..-        .---   --l-l.._.   -_--l--.---.-l--.ll-l--~              ..-.   -..-_---_-^----..--~-




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