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

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.[1]

The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) is a U.S. intelligence-gathering group created by President Barack Obama in August 2009.[2] Its charter was written in April 2010.[3] It was established to question terrorism suspects soon after their arrests, to quickly obtain information about accomplices and terrorism threats.[3]

The group mainly interrogates people overseas. The Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said in January 2010 that the group would begin interrogating people in the U.S. as well.[4]

The group is made up of intelligence professionals from many branches of the U.S. government including the United States Department of State, 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.[3]

The group's creation shifted power from the CIA and the FBI to the White House.[2][5]

HIG questioned Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square car bomber,[3] Boston Marathon bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,[6] and Benghazi terror suspect Ahmed Abu Khattala.


  1. ^ "Symposium Facilitates Exchange of Research on Lawful Interrogations: Event Sponsored by Government's High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group". FBI. Archived from the original on 2016-01-02. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b Kornblut, Anne E. (August 24, 2009). "Obama Approves New Team to Question Key Terror Suspects". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Kimberly Dozier (June 3, 2010). "WH adviser: Interrogation team questions Shahzad". Associated Press. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Barnes, Ed (May 12, 2010). "Elite High Value Interrogation Unit Is Taking Its First Painful Steps". Fox News.
  6. ^ McKelvey, Tara. "Boston bombings: How to interrogate a suspected terrorist". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 24 April 2013.