National Counterterrorism Center
The NCTC is an ODNI-led coordinating structure that leads the Nation’s efforts to combat terrorism by analyzing the threat and facilitating information sharing with local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal partners. The NCTC is the primary organization for the analysis and integration of all intelligence pertaining to terrorism and counterterrorism, except with regard to solely domestic threats with no foreign nexus. The NCTC also conducts strategic and operational planning for integrated counterterrorism activities.17 Intelligence and information sharing is accomplished via a collaborative report of finished intelligence that updates the President’s Daily Brief and daily National Terrorism Bulletin. The NCTC maintains oversight of the repository of information on international terrorist identities and provides an authoritative database supporting the TSC and the
U.S. Government watch listing system. The NCTC also provides expertise and analysis of key terrorism-related issues.
Core Capabilities: Intelligence and Information Sharing; Screening, Search, and Detection; Forensics and Attribution; Planning.
National Operations and Coordination Centers
National operations and coordination centers facilitate time-sensitive incident management coordination, situational awareness, and the sharing of critical intelligence and information. These centers provide valuable support in the prevention of terrorism and may be composed of representatives from local, state, tribal, territorial, and/or Federal entities. Examples include the FBI SIOC, DOD NMCC, NCTC Counterterrorism Watch, and DHS NOC,18 the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC), and the NCCIC. Pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Section 515, the NOC is the principal operations center for DHS and shall (1) provide situational awareness and a common operating picture for the entire Federal Government, and for local, state, and tribal governments as appropriate, in the event of a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other manmade disaster; and (2) ensure that critical terrorism and disaster-related information reaches government decision makers. The SIOC acts as the FBI’s worldwide emergency operations center (EOC) by maintaining situational awareness of criminal or terrorist threats, critical incidents, and crises; providing command, control, communications connectivity, and the FBI’s common operating picture for managing operational responses; establishing the headquarters command post and developing connectivity to JOCs; and sharing information and intelligence with other EOCs at all levels of government, to include the DHS NOC. The SIOC ensures effective coordination and liaison with partner agencies, strategic communications, and coordination and information sharing with other leaders, as appropriate and in accordance with classification and legal requirements, to manage the threat.
17 National Security Act of 1947 Section 119 (50 USC § 404o) and Quadrennial Homeland Security Report (p. A3).
18 Several departments and agencies also maintain Operations and Coordination Centers for specific threat domains such as, but not limited to, aviation, cyber, and maritime.
Core Capabilities: Intelligence and Information Sharing; Public Information and Warning; Operational Coordination.
National Joint Terrorism Task Force
The FBI NJTTF provides program oversight and support to the FBI JTTFs throughout the United States; coordinates the efforts of all FBI JTTFs; and facilitates the coordination of local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal agencies acting as an integrated force to combat terrorism on a national and international scale. The FBI NJTTF exchanges information, analyzes data, and plans counterterrorism strategies. The FBI NJTTF conducts its mission in close coordination with the NCTC.
Core Capabilities: Intelligence and Information Sharing; Operational Coordination.
Terrorist Screening Center
The TSC’s primary responsibility is to maintain and operate the Federal Government’s consolidated database of identity information about individuals known or reasonably suspected to be, or to have been, engaged in terrorism or terrorist activities. The TSC’s Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) is the Federal Government’s consolidated database containing the identity information of known or suspected terrorists. The TSC shares, as appropriate, information from the TSDB with government agencies that conduct counterterrorism screening and serves as a bridge between the law enforcement, homeland security, and the intelligence communities, as well as select international partners. The TSC’s 24-hour operations center supports terrorist screening processes by determining whether a person being screened is an identity match to the TSDB. In addition to supporting Federal terrorism screening efforts, the TSC has also made terrorist identity information accessible through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system to law enforcement officers—including local, state, tribal, and territorial officers nationwide—adding those resources to the fight against terrorism. The TSC is dedicated to ensuring that data is maintained in a manner consistent with protecting privacy and safeguarding civil liberties.
Core Capabilities: Operation Coordination; Intelligence and Information Sharing; Screening, Search, and Detection.
Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative
The NSI is a collaborative effort led jointly by DHS and the FBI, in partnership with local, state, tribal, territorial, and Federal law enforcement and homeland security partners. The NSI provides these partners with another tool to help prevent terrorism and other related criminal activity by establishing a national capacity for identifying, gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing SAR information. The NSI establishes a standardized process—which includes stakeholder outreach, privacy and civil liberties protections, training, and enabling technology—to identify and report suspicious activity in jurisdictions across the country, and serves as the unified focal point for sharing SAR information. SAR data, shared via the SAR Data Repository (SDR), allows FBI JTTFs and fusion centers to seamlessly access and share SAR information. The NSI also includes comprehensive training for chief executives, analysts, front line officers, and public safety partners on SAR awareness, as well as how to identify and report pre-incident terrorism indicators, while ensuring protection of privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
Core Capabilities: Intelligence and Information Sharing; Public Information and Warning.
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