FBI Looking For New Advanced Methods of Intelligence Interviewing and Interrogation

Is this a little creepy or is it just me?

The FBI have posted a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to advance the science and practice of intelligence interviewing and interrogation. This is a Presolicitation notice (A summary of the forthcoming solicitation for a requirement for government business)

The part of the FBI that is requesting the new research is the High-Value Interrogation Group. (HIG) HIG was set up in 2009 by the President of the United States. It’s charter was drawn up in 2010 with a goal to question terrorism suspects as soon as possible after their arrest in order to quickly extract information from them to head off any plots that might be about to unfold, and track down anyone who may have assisted the suspect.

The group, initially interrogating overseas targets, extend its area of oversight to domestic targets in 2010 after the Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair gave the go ahead.

HIG is made up of intelligence professionals from many branches of the U.S. government including the United States Department of State (runs Special Activities Division), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and United States Department of Defense, is housed within the FBI, and run under the auspices of the National Security Council.

The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) National Clandestine Service (NCS) responsible for covert operations known as “special activities”. SAD comprises of two separate sections which are SAD and SOG. SOG (Special Operations Group) is the element within SAD responsible for paramilitary operations. The SAD/SOG is generally considered the most secretive special operations force in the United States. The group selects operatives from Delta ForceDEVGRU24th STS and other special operations forces from within the U.S. military.

The PDF version of the original HIG BAA (Final).doc is embedded below.

Objectives: (page 4)

The purpose of research supported by the HIG is to advance the science and practice of intelligence interviewing and interrogation.  Offerors will conduct research for the HIG in their facilities.  The HIG has defined several areas for long-range study and advisory support.  These research areas include but are not limited to:

  • Field observations of military and strategic interrogators, intelligence interviewers and debriefers in order to document strategies, methods and outcomes;
  • Surveys and structured interviews of interrogators, intelligence interviewers and debriefers specified by the Government in order to document what these operational personnel think works and does not work and the development of operationally-based best practices which may be later investigated via laboratory or field studies;
  • Development, testing and evaluation of metrics for assessing the efficacies of interrogations, intelligence interviews and debriefs and of the use of particular interrogation, intelligence interview and debrief strategies and methods;
  • Field quasi-experimental studies to evaluate the efficacy of new evidence-based interrogation, intelligence interview and debrief strategies and methods;
  • Laboratory studies to test and/or discover new interrogation, intelligence interview and debrief methods;
  • Laboratory or field studies to assess the validity of evidence-based interviewing, deception detection, and other relevant principles and/or methods across non-U.S. populations both with and without the use of interpreters;
  • Laboratory or field studies on fundamental psychological processes (to include but not be limited to decision-making, emotion, motivation, memory, persuasion, social identities and social development) as these are relevant to interrogations, intelligence interviews and debriefs;
  • Laboratory or field studies of interpersonal processes (e.g., social influence, persuasion, negotiation, conflict resolution and management), with particular attention to cultural and intercultural issues; and
  • Topics considered out of scope for this BAA include the development of technologies for credibility assessment or other performance support aids, methods relying exclusively on case studies, and language training.
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