Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the FBI started to develop an innovative digital information sharing system based on a report by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, an independent investigation body, which pointed to its limited capacity to share information both internally and externally.

Although there were fragments of information that could have helped prevent the attacks — including on the movements of people who could have been watchlisted and suspected terrorists who obtained flight training — the FBI failed to piece them together, share them and take effective action as an organization, something that was hampered by its inadequate information system and paper-based case files.

Based on the lessons learned, the FBI developed Sentinel, a system to share case data electronically.