print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > January 2003

For Immediate Release
January 28, 2003

Fact Sheet: Strengthening Intelligence to Better Protect America

Today’s Presidential Action

  • In his State of the Union Address, President Bush announced a new initiative to better protect America by continuing to close the “seam” between analysis of foreign and domestic intelligence on terrorism.
  • The President announced that he has instructed the Director of Central Intelligence, the Director of the FBI, working with the Attorney General, and the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense to develop the Nation’s first unified Terrorist Threat Integration Center. This new center will merge and analyze terrorist-related information collected domestically and abroad in order to form the most comprehensive possible threat picture.
  • Since September 11, 2001, our government has been working together and sharing information like never before. The creation of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center is the next phase in the dramatic enhancement of the government’s counterterrorism effort. The President has now directed his senior advisors to take the next step in ensuring that intelligence information from all sources is shared, integrated, and analyzed seamlessly -- and then acted upon quickly.
  • The Administration will ensure that this program is carried out consistently with the rights of Americans.

    The New Terrorist Threat Integration Center

  • Elements of the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, the DCI’s Counterterrorist Center, and the Department of Defense will form a Terrorist Threat Integration Center to fuse and analyze all-source information related to terrorism.
  • The Terrorist Threat Integration Center will continue to close the “seam” between analysis of foreign and domestic intelligence on terrorism.
  • Specifically, it will:
    • Optimize use of terrorist threat-related information, expertise, and capabilities to conduct threat analysis and inform collection strategies.
    • Create a structure that ensures information sharing across agency lines.
    • Integrate terrorist-related information collected domestically and abroad in order to form the most comprehensive possible threat picture.
    • Be responsible and accountable for providing terrorist threat assessments for our national leadership.
  • The Terrorist Threat Integration Center 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, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security. [A1]
  • The Terrorist Threat Integration Center will play a lead role in overseeing a national counterterrorism tasking and requirements system and for maintaining shared databases.
  • The Terrorist Threat Integration Center will also maintain an up-to-date database of known and suspected terrorists that will be accessible to federal and non-federal officials and entities, as appropriate.
  • In order to carry out its responsibilities effectively, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center will have access to all intelligence information—from raw reports to finished analytic assessments—available to the U.S. Government.
  • A senior multiagency team will finalize the details, design, and implementation strategy for the stand-up of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center.[A2]

    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.
    • Established 66 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 Offices 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 revolutionary 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.

    Enhancing CIA’s Counterterrorism Capabilities

  • Counterterrorism is a long-standing priority of the CIA and the CIA has been pivotal to the major successes in America’s War on Terror. The CIA has:
    • Disrupted dozens of planned terrorist attacks around the world.
    • Continued to expand our insight into terrorist organizations and plans.
    • Greatly enhanced its working relationships with foreign partners.
  • Since September 11, 2001, the Director of Central Intelligence has dramatically redeployed analysts and operatives against the terrorist target. He has:
  • Doubled the size of the Counterterrorist Center.
  • Quadrupled the number of personnel engaged in counterterrorism analysis.
  • Detailed 25 experienced analysts to work side by side with their counterparts at FBI.
  • The DCI created the position of Associate Director of Central Intelligence for Homeland Security to ensure timely, effective and secure flow of intelligence to agencies engaged in Homeland Security.

    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’s Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate will:
    • Perform comprehensive vulnerability assessments of the Nation’s critical infrastructure and key assets.
    • Receive and analyze terrorism-related information from the Terrorism Threat Integration Center, as well as open sources, the public, private industry, state and local law enforcement, and the entire federal family.
    • Map the threats against our vulnerabilities, in order to develop a comprehensive picture of the terrorist threat and our ability to withstand it.
    • Take and facilitate action to protect against identified threats, remedy vulnerabilities, and preempt and disrupt terrorist threats, as consistent with the operational authorities of the Department’s constituent agencies.
    • Set national priorities for infrastructure protection, strategically designed to maximize the return on the investment
    • Take a lead role in issuing warnings, threat advisories, and recommended response measures to America’s public safety agencies, elected officials, industry, and the public.
  • The Department will be a full partner in the Terrorist Threat Integration Center.
  • The Terrorist Threat Integration Center will help the Department perform its critical missions. It will provide the Department with a full and comprehensive picture of the terrorist threat that will inform the actions of the Department.
  • Some of the Department’s functions are expected to be performed at the new facility housing the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. ü The integration of elements of the Department into the Terrorist Threat Integration Center will ensure an unimpeded two-way flow of terrorist threat information.
  • The Department of Homeland Security, 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.

    Contributions of the Department of Defense

  • The Department of Defense has been a key player in the global war on terrorism, including prosecuting the war on terrorism overseas. Intelligence elements of the Department, including the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, continue to make crucial contributions to our terrorism intelligence collection overseas.
  • Appropriate DOD intelligence elements will participate fully in the TTIC, providing information, receiving information, and contributing to analytic efforts, under their own current authorities.
  • DOD will have no new operational authority or responsibility under the President's announced program. The TTIC does not involve new activities by DOD; rather, it seeks to maximize and "fuse" the efforts of all of our counterterrorism intelligence efforts, as has been called for by many experts on both sides of the aisle.

    For more information on the President’s initiatives, please visit