Data volume slows CIA operations in Iraq

The volume of foreign intelligence data collected each day in Iraq by the CIA has put the agency in a bottleneck: The information is good, but the time it takes to extract it from the heap of files has slowed operations.

Deputy CIO Bobby W. Brady said the agency 'has a lot of data sitting around today that probably has a lot of [information] on terrorists.' But it takes time to retrieve the data because it's lodged in several sources, Brady said.

'This is a major deal for this agency,' Brady told a group of vendors today at a breakfast presented by Input, a Chantilly, Va., research company. 'We will be spending a lot of money dealing with this particular issue'standardizing how we do our work.'

The agency expects to see some results when the Terrorist Threat Integration Center starts operating next Thursday, Brady said. TTIC, which was mandated by the White House, will serve as the central hub in the United States for foreign and domestic terrorist threat information.

The center will wrestle with the problems of data collection and data sharing that continue to plague the CIA and other intelligence agencies nearly two years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Brady said.

'TTIC will break down a lot of barriers,' Brady said. 'The organizations dealing with TTIC have to be on the same page when dealing with data.'

John Brennan, the CIA's deputy executive director, has been named director of TTIC.

The center, which will be housed at the CIA compound, will mesh terrorism intelligence gathered by the CIA, FBI, NSA, NIMA and Homeland Security Department, among other agencies, into one data source.

Brady also used today's keynote address to ask vendors to help the CIA move towards centralizing servers in foreign embassies and in developing language translation technologies.

Agents all over the world are collecting information in several languages, Brady said, and that information needs to be more quickly translated and disseminated.

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