For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
The White House
February 14, 2003
Fact Sheet: Strengthening Intelligence to Better Protect America
Today's Presidential Action
The President spoke today at FBI Headquarters to federal, state, and local employees on the front lines of the war on terror about plans for the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) announced in the State of the Union Address.
To better protect America by strengthening counterterrorism intelligence, TTIC will continue to minimize any seams between analysis of terrorism intelligence collected overseas and inside the United States. Today, the President announced that TTIC will begin its work by May 1, 2003.
As an important next step in this effort, the President today announced that the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, the Director of Central Intelligence's Counterterrorist Center, and TTIC will relocate, as soon as possible, to a single new facility in order to improve collaboration and enhance the government's ability to thwart terrorist attacks and bring terrorists to justice.
The New Terrorist Threat Integration Center
As directed by the President in his State of the Union address, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Director of the FBI, working with the Attorney General, and the Secretaries of Homeland Security, Defense, and State have developed plans for the Nation's first unified Terrorist Threat Integration Center. TTIC will have unfettered access to all terrorist threat intelligence information--from raw reports to finished analytic assessments--available to the U.S. Government.
- Make full use of all of our terrorist threat information, expertise, and capabilities to conduct threat analysis and inform collection strategies, though TTIC will not conduct collection operations.
- Create a structure to institutionalize sharing across agency lines of all terrorist threat intelligence, whether collected overseas or inside the United States in order to form the most comprehensive possible threat picture.
- Provide comprehensive terrorist threat assessments to our national leadership.
TTIC will be headed by a senior U.S. Government official, who will report to the Director of Central Intelligence. This individual will be appointed by the Director of Central Intelligence, in consultation with the Director of the FBI and the Attorney General, and the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense.
TTIC will play a lead role in overseeing a national counterterrorism tasking and requirements system and in maintaining an up-to-date database of known and suspected terrorists accessible to appropriate officials at all levels of government.
The Administration will ensure that this program is carried out consistent with our Constitutional liberties and our national security requirements. Current privacy and other legal protections will apply to TTIC.
- TTIC participants will continue to be bound by all applicable privacy statutes, Executive Orders, and other relevant legal authorities for protecting privacy and our Constitutional liberties.
- Information technology and information handling procedures will be designed consistent with the protection of our Constitutional liberties, and participants will continue to be answerable both to internal agency oversight and Congressional oversight.
TTIC is a joint venture of its participating agencies. A legal review has concluded that TTIC will require no new statutory authority.
- TTIC will have no independent authority to conduct intelligence collection or other operations.
- The Director of Central Intelligence, as statutory head of the U.S. Intelligence Community, has authority to oversee the activities of TTIC.
- As TTIC and our ongoing war on terrorism evolve, the Administration will continue to consult with Congress and seek new statutory authorities if needed in the future.
TTIC will be implemented in 3 phases:
- In its initial stage, TTIC will be primarily focused on the production of integrated terrorist threat analysis for the senior national leadership. TTIC will have a 24/7 watch center at its inception. Total staffing will be approximately 60 U.S. Government employees with additional contractor capability. This phase will begin by May 1, 2003. At this initial stage, TTIC will occupy secure facilities at CIA Headquarters, as do several other independent Intelligence Community entities.
- In the second phase of TTIC implementation, TTIC will be the principal gateway for policymaker requests for analysis of potential terrorist threats to U.S. interests and will maintain a database of known and suspected terrorists. Total staffing at this stage will be approximately 120 U.S. Government employees with additional contractor capability.
- In its final stage, TTIC will serve as the U.S. Government hub for all terrorist threat-related analytic work, with between 250-300 U.S. Government employees staffing TTIC. TTIC, along with the co-located FBI Counterterrorism Division and CIA Counterterrorist Center, will be located in a facility separate from CIA and FBI Headquarters.
Better Integrating Counterterrorist Efforts of the FBI and CIA
The FBI's Counterterrorism Division and the Director of Central Intelligence's Counterterrorist Center will relocate, as soon as possible, to a single new facility with TTIC in order to improve collaboration and enhance the government's ability to thwart terrorist attacks and bring terrorists to justice. Appropriate sites for TTIC and Counterterrorism Division/Counterterrorist Center co-location are under consideration.
Operational elements of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division and the Director of Central Intelligence's Counterterrorist Center will retain their distinctive operational responsibilities and authorities and will continue to report through their respective chains of command.
Co-location of the CIA's and FBI's counterterrorism operational elements will:
- Speed the creation of compatible information infrastructure with enhanced capabilities, expanded and more accessible databases, and greater network sharing on counterterrorism issues.
- Enhance interaction, information sharing, and synergy among U.S. officials involved in the war against terrorism.
- Maximize resources dedicated to the counterterrorism mission by reducing overhead and redundant capabilities.
- Further enhance the ability of comprehensive, all-source analysis to guide our collection strategies.
Co-location will afford greater opportunity for the FBI and the Intelligence Community to enhance the coordination of operations against terrorist targets inside and outside the United States.
A Key Role for the Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security will add critical new capabilities in the area of information analysis and infrastructure protection. The Department -- a key participant in TTIC -- will receive and analyze terrorism-related information; map the threats against our vulnerabilities; take and facilitate action to protect against identified threats and remedy vulnerabilities; and set national priorities for infrastructure protection.
The Department will be a full partner in TTIC. TTIC will provide the Department with a full and comprehensive picture of the terrorist threat that will inform the actions of the Department. And, DHS, working hand in hand with the FBI, will be responsible for ensuring that threat information, including information produced by the Center, is disseminated quickly to the public, private industry, and state and local governments as appropriate.
Transforming the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Immediately after September 11, the President directed the FBI and the Attorney General to make preventing future terrorist attacks against the homeland their top priority -- and they have responded.
The FBI has:
- Disrupted terrorist plots on U.S. soil.
- Expanded from 35 to 66 the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces across America, with full participation from, and enhanced communications with, multiple federal, state, and local agencies.
- Created a National Joint Terrorism Task Force at FBI Headquarters.
- Established a 24-7 Counterterrorism Watch center.
- Created new counterterrorism "Flying Squads" to deploy into the field at a moment's notice.
- Created Intelligence Reports Officers to facilitate the vital flow of information.
- Trained new analysts for the Counterterrorism Division, using a curriculum developed with assistance from the CIA.
The FBI is establishing an intelligence program to ensure that the collection and dissemination of intelligence is given the same institutional priority as the collection of evidence for prosecution. A new Executive Assistant Director for Intelligence will have direct authority and responsibility for the FBI's national intelligence program. The FBI is establishing intelligence units in all of its Field Offices.
The FBI is implementing a new data management system to ensure that it shares all the FBI's terrorism-related information internally and with the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, and other appropriate agencies.
Last year, by enacting the USA PATRIOT Act, the President and Congress took an important step to enhance the ability of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute terrorism, and to share information with other government agencies.
For more information on the President's initiatives, please visit www.whitehouse.gov.