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Sharing Information at the Federal Level

Today’s ISE consists of multiple sharing environments designed to serve five communities: intelligence, law enforcement, defense, homeland security, and foreign affairs. Our objective is to establish a framework for Federal agencies in the fulfillment of their individual roles and responsibilities and forge a coordinated and trusted interagency partnership and process across all five communities. This collaborative approach at the Federal level will in turn drive the manner in which terrorism-related information is shared with non-Federal partners. Those efforts support and build upon the success of ongoing initiatives at each level of government, offer practical guidance for addressing challenges that emerge, and provide the multi-agency perspective necessary to achieve the objectives of information sharing. In addition, as our information sharing efforts mature, policy and technology will lead to the introduction of additional information sources not currently included or available within those Federal communities.

NCTC has the primary responsibility within the Federal Government for analysis of all intelligence and information pertaining to terrorism, and supports the Department of Justice (DOJ), DHS, and other appropriate agencies in the fulfillment of their responsibilities to disseminate terrorism-related information. To carry out this responsibility, NCTC is staffed by personnel from many Federal departments and agencies, thus allowing the development of coordinated and integrated assessments of terrorist threats, plans, intentions, and capabilities.

NCTC also serves as the central and shared knowledge bank on known and suspected terrorists and international terror groups and ensures that agencies have access to and receive all-source intelligence support needed to execute their counterterrorism plans or perform independent, alternative and mission-oriented analysis. Authorized agencies may request information from NCTC to assist in the agency’s activities, consistent with applicable law and guidelines governing access to intelligence. NCTC enables the sharing of a wide spectrum of terrorism intelligence and related information among thousands of users in the Federal counterterrorism community through its production of comprehensive, "federally coordinated," analytical products and its secure web site, NCTC Online.

All Federal departments and agencies that possess or acquire terrorism-related intelligence and information provide access to such information to NCTC for analysis and integration unless prohibited by law or otherwise directed by the President. As the "Federal Fusion Center" responsible "for analyzing and integrating all intelligence pertaining to terrorism and counterterrorism," NCTC works with appropriate Federal departments and agencies to enable the development of "federally coordinated," terrorism-related information products tailored to the needs of Federal entities. Within the NCTC, the new Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group will facilitate the production of "federally coordinated" terrorism-related information products intended for dissemination to State, local, and tribal officials and private sector partners.

Our efforts to improve the sharing of information related to terrorism acknowledge the interdependent and—in some respects—overlapping responsibilities of the elements of government charged with combating terrorism, securing the homeland, and enforcing laws. We will leverage the strength of each and challenge them to collaborate to build an informed, composite understanding of the nature of the threat, strengthening the United States’ posture and making us a more productive and effective partner in the effort to combat terrorism.