DENVER, Colo. – Increasing information-sharing and communication between government agencies is a key tool in the War on Terror (search).
The hope is that by 2007, each state will have a fusion center (search) — a central building where local law enforcement and federal agents share counterterrorism information.
Officials say the United States is safer because of these centers, which have sprouted up in a number of states, including Massachusetts, Kansas, Arizona, New York, Illinois and Georgia, Pennsylvania, California and Iowa.
Click in the video box to the right for a complete report by FOX News' Carol McKinley.
At Colorado's brand new Information Analysis Center, state and FBI agents collect, digest and disseminate information to the state's 600 local agents. Facilities like this will analyze local and federal intelligence in an effort to determine if one individual criminal activity could lead to something bigger.
Homeland security officials used the Sept. 11 commission (search) report to help improve upon mistakes made leading up to the attacks that occurred because of a lack of communication.
The Department of Homeland Security has identified a dozen possible terrorist attacks that could happen on American soil — from the potential detonation of a nuclear device, infecting cattle with foot and mouth disease, to blowing up a sports stadium or train station.
The Colorado center's first real test came in July during the London train bombings. International terror information was relayed quickly to first responders and emergency managers in Denver. Bomb-sniffing dogs swept transit systems throughout the state.
"We are finding a very sophisticated enemy and it's our job to anticipate that if they're bombing in London, why wouldn't they want to bomb somewhere in the United States," said Mike Beasley, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
Civil rights groups and privacy experts are concerned that so much information sharing could be harmful if some of it turns out not be inaccurate and innocent civilians are caught in the middle. They suggest an oversight committee to oversee activities at the fusion centers.