High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group

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High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyUnited States
Operations jurisdictionUnited States
General nature
Operational structure
Parent agencyFBI
  • Eli Miranda
  • Frazier R. Thompson
  • George Piro
  • Andrew G. McCabe
FBI Director James Comey addresses the fifth HIG conference on 2015-10-27.[2]

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) is a U.S. three-agency intelligence-gathering entity that brings together intelligence professionals from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the United States Department of Defense (DoD).[3][2] The HIG was created by President Barack Obama in August 2009 with its charter written in April 2010.[4][5] It was established to question terrorism suspects soon after their arrests, to quickly obtain information about accomplices and terrorism threats.[5]

The group was to be responsible for interrogations overseas.[6] In January 2010, the Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said that the group would begin interrogating people in the U.S. as well.[6] The HIG claims to use authorized, lawful, non-coercive techniques and conducts research on the effectiveness of interrogation techniques and provides training for their interrogators, other U.S. Intelligence Community and law enforcement partners and allies abroad.[2]

The HIG is administered by the FBI.[3] The Director of the HIG is an FBI representative with two deputies, one from the DoD and the other from the CIA.[3] The HIG is subject to oversight by the National Security Council, the Department of Justice, and by Congress.[3][5]

The group's creation stopped a bureaucratic war between the CIA and the FBI over who had responsibility for interrogations.[4][7]

HIG questioned Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American citizen responsible for the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt,[5] Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,[8] and Benghazi terror suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala.


  1. ^ https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/05/elite-terrorist-interrogation-trump-279930[bare URL]
  2. ^ a b c "Symposium Facilitates Exchange of Research on Lawful Interrogations: Event Sponsored by Government's High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group". FBI. 27 October 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-01-02.
  3. ^ a b c d "High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group". FBI. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b Kornblut, Anne E. (August 24, 2009). "Obama Approves New Team to Question Key Terror Suspects". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d Kimberly Dozier (June 3, 2010). "WH adviser: Interrogation team questions Shahzad". Associated Press. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Hsu, Spencer S.; Agiesta, Jennifer (January 21, 2010). "Intelligence Chief says FBI was Too Hasty in Handling of Attempted Bombing". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  7. ^ Barnes, Ed (May 12, 2010). "Elite High Value Interrogation Unit Is Taking Its First Painful Steps". Fox News.
  8. ^ McKelvey, Tara. "Boston bombings: How to interrogate a suspected terrorist". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 24 April 2013.