Title: DEA – the “Other” Warfighter
Release Date: 2014-05-19
Document Date: 2004-04-20
Description: This 20 April 2004 memo, originally published in the internal NSA newsletter SIDToday and written by the agency’s DEA Account Manager”, discusses NSA cooperaiton with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): see the Intercept article Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas, 19 May 2014.s
Document: (U) DEA - The "Other" Warfighter
DEA Account Manager (S112)
Run Date: 04/20/2004
(U//FOUO) When you think about our top national security threats, chances are that terrorism and
military conflict come quickly to mind - and for good reason. But how many of us list illegal
narcotics among the top threats to our society? Our national leadership recognized the seriousness
this problem poses and declared a war on drugs two decades ago. This "war" has all the risks,
excitement, and dangers of conventional warfare, and the stakes are equally high.
(U//FOUO) We are all aware that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is leading our
nation's counternarcotics (CN) efforts. But many are not aware that from the start NS A has been at
the forefront of Intelligence Community (IC) support to this seemingly unconventional DOD
mission. The novel collection and analysis techniques NSA developed and refined against these
criminal hard targets have not only resulted in major successes in the war on drugs, but they have
also proven invaluable to other critical SIGINT missions, particularly counterterrorism, sometimes
blurring the lines between the two missions.
(C) DEA has close relationships with foreign government counterparts and vetted foreign partners.
The results of this team approach regularly make the headlines in the form of major drug busts and
arrests. Less known is die critical supporting role diat NSA continues to play in key DEA operations
to disrupt the flow of narcotics to our country and thwart other, related crimes. DEA, however,
recognizes the unique access and sole source information NSA provides and coordinates major
cases with die S2F/ICN Product Line.
(C) As a result, both agencies enjoy a vibrant two-way information sharing relationship diat
enhances dieir common mission. Processes have been carefully established to exchange lead
(foreign intelligence) information while protecting NSA equities. The Customer Relationships
Directorate (SI), the Data Acquisition Directorate (S3), and MRSOC work with the S2F/ICN office
as an integrated team to realize these mission successes.
(S//SI) One of those successes: Based on SCS (US-966L) intercept, S2F/ICN issued an OPS
IMMEDIATE report on 30 March 2004 on the exact whereabouts of Colombian narcotics trafficker
Gonzalo Hinojosa, an evasive and brutal international fugitive wanted for murder, drug trafficking,
and money laundering. S2F had the foresight to include a tearline to share the actionable^^^
intelligence with Panamanian partners. With a short window for action, NSA's^^^^^^^^
worked through the Joint Interagency Task Force (JITF) - South to immediately forward the
information to DEA/Panama. DEA/Panama in turn alerted the Panamanian authorities who quickly
located and apprehended Hinojosa, without knowing the information came from NSA SIGINT. As
Chief noted, this is an excellent example of "outcome- oriented collaboration."
(U//FOUO) To learn more about NSA support to the "other" warfighter, DEA, visit the International
Crime and Narcotics (S2F) website.
"(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet without
die consent of S0121 (DL sid conims)."
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