A new federal law designed to bolster the FBI’s efforts to track and track down terrorists has taken aim at the agency’s Fusion Centers, which are run by local, state and federal agencies that are often tasked with helping the bureau fight the threat posed by foreign terrorists.
Fusion centers are a crucial part of the bureau’s efforts, and have been under scrutiny for years because of concerns about their role in helping agents investigate suspects.
FBI Director James Comey and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are among the lawmakers who have voiced concerns about Fusion centers, but they have been largely absent from the law’s introduction.
The new law would force Fusion centers to notify the FBI of their location within 24 hours, as well as how many employees they employ and the types of technology they use.
But the bill also does not require Fusion centers in states where they exist to notify Congress of their presence.
And it does not include specific language for the centers in other states, leaving it to the states to define their own rules for Fusion centers.
“The bill does not go far enough to address the problem of a bureau that is so out of control, it’s become a criminal enterprise,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement on Thursday.
“It’s important that our country’s national security is not at risk by these agencies failing to protect the American people.”
Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, called the law “a significant step forward in our fight against the radicalization of American Muslims.”
Reporters at the scene in the parking lot of the FBI building in New York City on Monday, March 6, 2017.
A law would make it easier for local and state law enforcement agencies to work with federal law enforcement to identify and track radicalized Muslims.
The Fusion Centers were first used by the FBI in 2013 as a way to target and stop individuals who are involved in violent crimes and terrorism.
In 2017, the FBI made them available to help agents investigate suspected domestic terrorism cases.
Fusion Centers are run primarily by state and local law enforcement, who work with local law-enforcement agencies and the FBI on specific investigations.
In 2016, the Department of Homeland Security gave the FBI more authority to use Fusion Centers in its counterterrorism efforts.
In addition to the Fusion Centers bill, the bill would also require the FBI to submit annual reports on its efforts to detect and disrupt foreign terrorist organizations.
Congress is scheduled to consider a new bill later this month that would expand the bureau to include more types of foreign terrorist threats.