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THE NATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER
Bringing Down the Walls of Information-Sharing...Literally

08/29/05

Photo of National Counterrorism CenterThink about it: how do you integrate the counterterrorism efforts of more than two dozen U.S. federal agencies that have a broad range of expertise in intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, diplomacy, and national defense—not to mention specialized experience in fields like energy, finance, agriculture, and transportation—all with their own computer system, sources of information, and points of view?

Answer: By creating a national hub for intelligence—under the leadership of the Director of National Intelligence—where executives and experts from these agencies work side-by-side under the same roof to instantly pool their information...to analyze that data and draw understandings and conclusions from it...then to plan, coordinate, and direct national counterterrorism operations in response.

The hub is now fully operational in the Washington, D.C., area...and it's called the National Counterterrorism Center, or NCTC. Its new Director is Vice Admiral John Redd, who reports to John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence.

What value is the NCTC already bringing to the nation's campaign to prevent attacks and dismantle terrorist networks? Quite a bit, including:

  • New capabilities, such as unprecedented access to terrorism information across the intelligence community.
  • New and better products, including a new knowledge bank on terrorists and terrorist groups, a comprehensive report on major terrorist incidents in 2004, and a searchable tracking system of worldwide terrorist incidents.
  • A new state-of-the-art operations center to help manage our nation's response to potential terrorist attacks on this country and to monitor incidents worldwide.
  • New authority that enables the NCTC to better synthesize ideas and information into threat assessments and briefings for policymakers.

What's the FBI's role at the center? We're right there...sharing information gleaned by our agents and analysts in the field and working directly with our partners to make sense of it, to fit it into the big picture, and to draw conclusions and map strategies based on it.

As the President said during his visit to the Center on 6/10: “September the 11th showed that protecting America requires that we remove walls between agencies. Here at the NCTC, men and women from different agencies, of different backgrounds, work side-by-side to share information, to analyze information, and to integrate information.”

Resources: FBI Counterterrorism and Intelligence