Terrorist Screening Center

National Security Branch > Terrorist Screening Center > Vision & Mission

Terrorist Screening Center seal
Vision & Mission

The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) was established by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (PDF) which directed that a center be established to consolidate the government’s approach to terrorism screening and to provide for the appropriate and lawful use of terrorist information in screening processes. The TSC began operations on December 1, 2003.

Vision

To be the global authority for watchlisting and identifying known and suspected terrorists.

Mission

To consolidate and coordinate the U.S. Government's approach to terrorism screening and facilitate the sharing of terrorism information that protects the Nation and our foreign partners while safeguarding civil liberties.

What We Do

Maintain the U.S. Government's Consolidated Terrorist Watchlist

The Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) maintains a consolidated database of the names and other identifying information for all known or suspected terrorists, known as the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). Pursuant to HSPD-6, a known or suspected terrorist is an individual “known or reasonably suspected to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism.” The TSDB contains information on known or suspected terrorists only; it does not contain information on persons who are not reasonably suspected of terrorism.

Support Agencies that Screen for Terrorists

The TSC supports federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforcement agencies and some foreign governments that conduct terrorist screening by making the TSDB information available to them for screening purposes. TSC’s 24-hour call center also supports agencies’ terrorist screening processes by determining whether the person being screened is an identity match to the TSDB. TSC supports terrorism screening at agencies like the State Department (passport and visa applications), the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (border crossings and international flights), the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (immigration and citizenship applications), and the Transportation Security Administration (domestic flights). The TSC has also made Terrorist Identities Information accessible through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system to law enforcement officers, including 870,000 state and local officers nationwide, adding those resources to the fight against terrorism.

Why We Do It

It's a very simple answer: to protect against future terrorist attacks in the United States and its allies.