Support to the War on Terrorism and Homeland Security

Throughout FY 2003, the Intelligence Community continued its tireless efforts to detect, disrupt, and destroy terrorists and their overseas networks while at the same time protecting the homeland from new terrorist attacks.  More effective collaboration and new partnerships, coupled with new analytic and operational techniques by all Intelligence Community members, led to more focused intelligence products and provided timely and meaningful warning of terrorists' plans and intentions.


Continuing Support to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM

  • Over the course of the year, CIA enhanced intelligence collection capabilities near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and worked closely with host liaison services against key terrorist targets in the region.  Arrests and raids foiled several terrorist plots.
  • The DIA Afghanistan Crisis Cell developed a trend-based analysis methodology for evaluating security in Afghanistan that uses a database tracking all violent incidents in Afghanistan.  Weekly and monthly security briefings are developed through analysis of the data and provided to a number of consumers including the National Security Council, Department of Defense (DoD), and the Joint Staff.
  • NGA continued to provide environmental assessments on troop deployment areas and addressed humanitarian issues regarding the location and movement of refugees and displaced persons within Afghanistan and surrounding countries.

[Top of page]


Countering al-Qa'ida and the Global Terrorist Threat

  • CIA continued to expand critical liaison relationships to counter al-Qa'ida and other terrorist organizations.  The global disruption campaign was intensified and produced several successes, including the capture of key leaders such as Khalid Shaykh Muhammad—senior al-Qa'ida operations planner and mastermind of the 11 September attacks—and Riduan Bin Isomuddin (aka Hambali)—operational leader of Jemmaah Islamiya and head of al-Qa'ida's network in Southeast Asia.
  • CIA disseminated more than 1,000 intelligence reports related to the terrorist threat; published papers that provided policymakers with analysis on command, control, and communications used by al-Qa'ida and other terrorists; and provided customers with previously unseen video and audio statements by al-Qa'ida's Usama Bin Laden and Aiman al-Zawahiri.
  • CIA provided key warnings to the President regarding the status of regional counterterrorism efforts and threats posed by Islamic extremists, particularly prior to his six meetings in the US with Southeast Asian leaders and visits to five Southeast Asian countries in 2003.  CIA worked closely with liaison partners on a "multi-INT" strategic collection management process regarding terrorism in Southeast Asia.
  • CIA implemented long-term programs to inhibit the emergence and development of new global terrorist groups; achieved significant success through expanded efforts to disrupt al-Qa'ida's global financial network; and employed foreign liaison services to assist with interrogation of DoD detainees.
  • NSA provided critical intelligence support that assisted in the apprehension of terrorist operatives.  NSA also provided SIGINT support to US and foreign counterterrorism elements on high interest worldwide events that could be a target for international terrorist organizations.
  • NSA provided numerous leads to allied forces associated with the continued search for former al-Qa'ida leaders and forces.
  • NGA produced 500 airfield aeronautical graphics at the request of the White House Situation Room for Presidential visits, NSA, Department of Homeland Security, and the intelligence arms of all the military services.
  • NGA, in support of DIA and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), provided two prototype products covering Bangkok and Singapore International Airports that address man portable air defense (MANPAD) system threats.  NGA provided commercial imagery of both airports as well as High Resolution Terrain Information data for portions of each runway.   
  • The NIC produced analytic reports on terrorist threats in Africa and the implications for US interests and counterterrorism cooperation in the region.  The Terrorism Science and Technology Working Group of the NIC's Scientific and Technical Intelligence Committee (STIC) published and disseminated several reports assessing potential medium-term terrorist threats that could be indicated by science and technology capabilities and trends.
  • STIC-sponsored Intelligence Community conferences on advanced explosives produced information for DoD policymakers and weapons developers that had immediate payoff for near-term counterterrorism support. 

[Top of page]


Protecting the Homeland

The Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) was established in May 2003 as a way of dramatically improving the integration and analysis of all terrorist threat information available to the US Government.  TTIC's analytic products range from a daily assessment for the President and his senior advisors to tailored reports for the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to share with state and local officials.  During the past year, TTIC:

  • Provided policymakers with intelligence assessments that informed decisions on raising and lowering the threat level.
  • Continued production of the Threat Matrix and began twice daily production of Situation Reports - both of which are shared with wide audiences.
  • Took the lead in supporting the policy community during the "holiday threat" period at the end of 2003.  In addition to providing daily assessments for the President, TTIC produced focused reports that assessed al-Qa'ida's presence and capabilities in the United States and reviewed the group's targeting of critical US infrastructure.
  • Provided analytic support for Presidential visits to Southeast Asia and the United Kingdom.  During the latter trip TTIC deployed an officer to London to provide daily threat briefings to the US Secret Service and to Scotland Yard and other British authorities.
  • Designed and produced the first Strategic Threat and Analysis Report.  This product–which included input from DHS, CIA, and FBI–enables the US Government to better track strategic threats, identify vulnerabilities, and take appropriate corrective action.
  • Disseminated numerous alerts, assessments, and advisories through the TTIC-administered Interagency Intelligence Community for Terrorism.

As a core of the new TTIC operation, the Department of State transferred operational control of its TIPOFF database of known and suspected terrorist identities to TTIC.  Prior to the move to TTIC, the TIPOFF database contained the identities of 115,000 known and suspected terrorists.  Since TIPOFF's inception in the late 1980s some 98,600 records have been exported to the Department of State's Consular Lookout and Support System visa applicant screening database.  TIPOFF further supplied 59,000 records to the legacy Integrated Border Information System used by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Customs Service.  In addition, TIPOFF had exported 58,000 identity records of known or suspected terrorists to Australian authorities and 56,800 records to the Canadian Government before shifting to TTIC.  As of November 2003, TIPOFF had helped to successfully deny some 900 visas and to prevent over 1,000 known or suspect terrorists from entering the United States.

  • TIPOFF's database staff worked with the Intelligence Community's Chief Information Office (IC CIO) to implement a research and development project using TIPOFF and an information technology architecture to systematically and appropriately redact highly classified information to the Sensitive But Unclassified level.  The goal was to make terrorist-related information as widely available as possible, particularly to the law enforcement community.

FBI analysts have taken the lead in assessing terrorist activities inside the United States and play an integral role with the Intelligence Community and TTIC in analyzing threats developing overseas.

  • In January 2003 the FBI produced the first comprehensive assessment of the terrorist threat in the Homeland.  In addition to being disseminated to the White House, senior policymakers, and the Intelligence Community, this assessment was disseminated to state and local law enforcement agencies.
  • The FBI began disseminating its analytic products on the domestic terrorist threat over Intelink and other Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) links to the Intelligence Community.  The FBI disseminated over 1,300 raw intelligence reports over these links.
  • FBI analysts produced a range of assessments of terrorist groups operating in the United States for the policy community and the Intelligence Community.  The FBI produced assessments of current threats and terrorist group modus operandi for the state and local law enforcement on a weekly basis.

NGA provided direct, tailored imagery analysis and geospatial support to law enforcement agencies for potential terrorist activities in the United States.  NGA also provided an integrated multidiscipline team of imagery and geospatial analysts to develop and enhance methodology to help the intelligence and law enforcement communities detect and prevent terrorist activities. Using commercial imagery in an increasing role for homeland security planning, the NGA team supported National Special Security Events (NSSEs) and Special Security Events (SSEs).

  • NGA produced 22 Force Protection Port Graphics using commercial imagery for port vulnerability assessment and general force protection and antiterrorism planning by the US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM).  In addition, NGA analysts developed a new use of the port graphic that incorporated explosive site surveys for safety reviews. Teams were deployed to four US ports to survey and prepare explosive/blast rings for homeland security planning.
  • NGA created a 3D model utilizing commercial imagery and HarborView for maritime safety and intelligence.  NGA analysts used this model to obtain intelligence data and visualizations for port force protection.
NGA Force Protection
  • NGA developed the Palanterra website for NGA's homeland security customers.  This website provides real-time Common Operation Pictures (COP) and situational awareness. NGA analysts employed this tool successfully for numerous domestic special events in 2003.
  • NGA was heavily involved in two US Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) annual homeland security exercises: Unified Defense 2003 and Determined Promise 2003. NGA created mission specific data sets and products for USNORTHCOM intelligence, planning, and operational components requirements, with NGA on-site representatives and by reach-back.
  • NGA produced 49 critical infrastructure site visit graphics for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Information Protection Directorate.  DHS used these products in preparation for visits to various critical infrastructure sites such as the nuclear power plant facility, Rancho Seco, CA.  These imagery and graphics have now become part of the DHS site visit package, covering themes such as military facilities, soft targets, assorted geospatial intelligence products over the areas, and image graphics covering the facility and surroundings.
  • NGA established its first formal Aeronautical Intelligence Program.  Over 300 NGA analysts brought their unique expertise in airfield and airway analysis to support threat analysis and force protection for projects with CIA's Special Activities Air Branch, the FBI, TSA, DHS, and USTRANSCOM.

NSA transitioned its round-the-clock watch desk at the Office of Homeland Security.  The watch desk acts as a mechanism for DHS to receive Intelligence Community products and has a responsibility for the integration of time-sensitive SIGINT and Information Assurance products and services to DHS in response to threat information affecting homeland security.  NSA partnered with the Office of Homeland Security and DHS to design, build, and field a secure video teleconferencing system that permits collaboration on this threat information.

  • NSA provided system security engineering support, unique cryptographic key generation, and the necessary equipment to allow the Federal Government to securely communicate with all 50 states and six territories.
  • NSA has provided cryptologic support to DHS, Transportation Security Administration's Office of National Risk Assessment (ONRA).  ONRA is tasked with developing the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II (CAPPS-II).  NSA has been providing cryptologic products, services, and advice to this important national program. Specific support includes providing system security engineering support to the CAPPS-II design team, and advising on the development of the CAPPS-II architecture. 
  • NSA's Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) established a representative office at the Department of Homeland Security (NCR/DHS) in March 2003.  The NCR/DHS is responsible to the Director, NSA/Chief, CSS for providing, promoting, and maintaining an effective working relationship on all matters pertaining to cryptologic SIGINT, Information Assurance, and Operations Security (OPSEC) to the Secretary of DHS and to his senior staff.  Specifically, the NCR/DHS Office serves as the focal point to ensure that DHS receives timely and actionable SIGINT necessary to accomplish the DHS mission. 
  • As part of the NSA's security and counterintelligence outreach program, terrorist threat briefings were given to 31 Maryland State Police In-Service classes.  These briefings provided an unclassified overview of NSA and explained various terrorism methodologies to the troopers.  NSA expects to continue this initiative, with the goal of eventually providing training to every police trooper in the State of Maryland.
  • In June 2003, the Department of Homeland Security established the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) to serve as the national focal point for addressing cyber security issues in the United States.  In support of the NCSD's mission to identify, analyze, and reduce cyber threats and vulnerabilities, NSA is providing extensive support through its leadership in the development of methodologies that take into account existing best practices and the latest techniques and research.

The NIC analyzed nontraditional threats to the homeland and provided briefings to the House Homeland Security Committee on the biological warfare (BW) threat and the cyber threat to US infrastructures and interests.

  • An analysis of Potential for Biological Warfare Attacks on Municipal Water Systems prepared by the NIC's Science and Technology Intelligence Committee was disseminated throughout the intelligence, counterterrorism, and homeland defense communities.  The assessment served as a major source for a DIA vulnerability assessment.
  • The Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee (JAEIC), at the request of the FBI and the State Department's Verification and Compliance Bureau, prepared a concept of operations for coordinating Intelligence Community assessments of any unattributed nuclear events anywhere in the world with a particular focus on assessing any nuclear events in the United States.  The STIC and Weapons and Space Systems Intelligence Committee subsequently were asked to play comparable roles for any unattributed chemical and biological events worldwide.
  • A conference on Modeling the Spread of Bioterrorism Agents under the auspices of the Science and Technology Expert Partnership (STEP) inspired additional conferences and stimulated efforts to create a National Infectious Disease Outbreak Detection System.
  • The NIC's Foreign Denial and Deception Committee published a study on Terrorist Use of Denial and Deception
  • The Community Intelligence Technology Innovation Center's Knowledge, Discovery and Dissemination program, the Department of Homeland Security, and the national labs partnered to create a test bed and prototype system for terrorist threat information.  The effort will merge technology being developed by these organizations in the areas of data processing analysis tools and biometrics.

CIA implemented expanded CI collection and analysis capabilities and instituted new applicant and contractor vetting procedures to assess potential terrorist threats posed by applicants and new contractors.  CIA is sharing potential threat information resulting from this process with other Intelligence Community members.

  • CIA and the Community Intelligence Technology Innovation Center collaborated with the Center for Disease Control to produce the first complete characterization of more than 40 smallpox strains and identified unique diagnostics and genetic forensic signatures.  This characterization capability and process was used to analyze the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) genome during the 2003 outbreak and has become the standard for characterizing such pathogens as the West Nile virus, monkey pox, and vaccinia.
  • CIA supported state and local governments by delivering the "Small-Scale Production of Chemical and Biological Agents" course to 17 National Guard Civil Support Teams at various locations around the country.

ONI managed a program to identify and stop illicit activities in foreign waters long before such activities reach the US coast.  ONI invested in state-of-the-art equipment allowing operators to spot, identify, and track vessels attempting to elude surveillance.  Over the past year, ONI established numerous, highly beneficial relationships with foreign nations to exchange information on maritime terrorism tactics, suspect maritime activity, and knowledge of maritime activity important to US homeland defense.

  • The USCG implemented a unique geospatial-intelligence production workflow to satisfy a dramatic increase in requests for information on domestic port infrastructure.  USCG produced over 200 unclassified products used by the Captains of the Port for situation awareness, consequence management planning, and port security protection.

[Top of page]


Posted: May 01, 2007 08:51 AM
Last Updated: Jan 03, 2012 12:56 PM