The Inspector General: CITF: Criminal Investigation Task Force

CITF: Criminal Investigation Task Force – OSI

Eric Patterson

It has been over a year and a half since the secretary of defense, via the secretary of the Army, directed the Army Criminal Investigations Command (CIDC), Fort Belvoir, Va., to exercise overall responsibility within the Department of Defense for all matters pertaining to the investigation of alleged war crimes and acts of terrorism committed against U.S. interests. The CIDC then requested OSI and Naval Criminal Investigative Service provide special agents to assist in this critical mission. In January 2002, the Military Criminal Investigative Organizations started providing agents into the mix, and the DoD Criminal Investigation Task Force (CITF) was officially activated Feb. 1, 2002. Since that time, our agents have helped blaze new trails in the fusion of law enforcement and intelligence techniques in the fight in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Recently, the president of the United States approved CITF reporting, clearing the way for potential military commission trials for a number of captured terrorists.

The CITF is a extremely unique unit with an equally distinctive mission. Currently having a work force of approximately 150 personnel from all four services, as well as personnel from the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, DoD Counterintelligence Field Activity, National Security Agency and U.S. Army Intelligence Command, CITF is headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va. CITF’s primary mission is to investigate non-U.S. citizen detainees captured during the GWOT and suspected of illegal activities in conjunction with their affiliation to al Qaida and other enemies of the state. The objective is to either refer the cases to the DoD Office of Military Commissions for criminal prosecution or identify detainees who should be released to and/or transferred to the custody of their respective countries of origin. Information obtained as the result of these investigations is also provided to the U.S. intelligence community. A robust joint-forces team of investigators, intelligence analysts, lawyers and support personnel conduct these investigations primarily in three countries: Afghanistan, Cuba and the United States. Recently, CITF has begun operations in Iraq in the aftermath of Operation Iraqi Freedom. CITF’s investigations have also led to CITF agents working with foreign counterparts in such countries as Canada, Bosnia, England, Italy and Germany.

OSI currently has a combination of 14 officer, enlisted and civilian special agent positions with the CITE Two agents hold positions on the CITF command stale one as investigations division chief and the other as the CITF senior enlisted agent and advisor. Eight more are assigned as case agents and investigators at Fort Belvoir, and four are assigned as interrogators in Cuba. The CITF has requested five additional agents in the near future. The agents assigned to Fort Belvoir have, to this point, all come from our headquarters or the 33rd Field Investigations Squadron at Andrews AFB, Md., and are detailed for at least 365 days. The agents in Cuba have primarily come from OSI field units and perform TDY for 90 days. The feedback I’ve received from these agents has been extremely positive, and I see this as our opportunity not only to contribute to an exciting mission but also as a chance to build a cadre of experts that will serve to benefit the command and our customers for years to come. In fact, one of our agents, after serving at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was selected to participate in the John Walker-Lindh debriefings–a career highlight for this sharp agent.

CITF has provided rare opportunities for our agents to participate in cases that receive the direct attention of the secretary of defense and the president of the United States. It is not often that our agents get the chance to work with such a diverse group of enlisted personnel, officers and civilians from so many organizations and agencies in a joint environment. The scope of these investigations involves, among other things, interrogation of detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and Afghanistan, interviewing witnesses in high-profile federal cases such as John Walker-Lindh and the Buffalo Six, seizure of evidence captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan, integration of all forms of strategic and tactical intelligence, as well as collaboration with interagency and foreign counterparts. The nature of these investigations offers our agents a greater understanding of the language, culture and geography of some the most prominent adversaries in the GWOT, as well as getting hands-on experience learning and defining terrorist methodology and ideology.

This mission is critical to ensuring the security of future generations of Americans. I’m very proud of the 30-plus OSI agents who we have thus far cycled through the CITE I am also confident that we will continue to respond immediately to any leads or other requests that come to us from the CITE I encourage you all to talk with CITF alumni and consider taking advantage of the opportunity to serve with the CITF.

Brig. Gen. Eric Patterson

OSI Commander

COPYRIGHT 2003 Air Force Inspector General

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group