National Counterterrorism Center

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The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was established August 27, 2004, by Executive Order ([EO 13354]) by President George W. Bush.


On June 10, 2005, President Bush named Retired Vice Adm. John Scott Redd to lead the National Counterterrorism Center. "Redd formerly was executive director of the Silberman-Robb presidential commission on intelligence. Redd was confirmed by the Senate on July 28, 2005, replacing John O. Brennan, the center's interim chief. [1][2]

Chain of Command

"Besides naming a new director for the center, Bush was being asked to clear up a possible kink in the chain of command. The director of the center reports to the president on non-intelligence joint counterterrorism operations." The center director is under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, "on the spy community flow chart." [3]

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

"The president also named members of an oversight board being created to make sure the government's counterterror investigations and arrests do not trample privacy rights and civil liberties." [4]

Executive Order 13354

See Executive Order 13354.

Section 1. Policy

According to the EO:

  • (a) To the maximum extent consistent with applicable law, agencies shall give the highest priority to
  • (i) the detection, prevention, disruption, preemption, and mitigation of the effects of transnational terrorist activities against the territory, people, and interests of the United States of America,
  • (ii) the interchange of terrorism information among agencies,
  • (iii) the interchange of terrorism information between agencies and appropriate authorities of States and local governments, and
  • (iv) the protection of the ability of agencies to acquire additional such information.
  • (b) Agencies shall protect the freedom, information privacy, and other legal rights of Americans in the conduct of activities implementing section 1(a) of this order.

Section 2. Establishment of National Counterterrorism Center

The Director of the Center "shall be appointed by the Director of Central Intelligence with the approval of the President" and the "Director of Central Intelligence shall have authority, direction, and control over the Center and the Director of the Center."

Section 3. Functions of the Center

  • (a) serve as the primary organization in the United States Government for analyzing and integrating all intelligence possessed or acquired by the United States Government pertaining to terrorism and counterterrorism, excepting purely domestic counterterrorism information. The Center may, consistent with applicable law, receive, retain, and disseminate information from any Federal, State, or local government, or other source necessary to fulfill its responsibilities concerning the policy set forth in section 1 of this order; and agencies authorized to conduct counterterrorism activities may query Center data for any information to assist in their respective responsibilities;
  • (b) conduct strategic operational planning for counterterrorism activities, integrating all instruments of national power, including diplomatic, financial, military, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement activities within and among agencies;
  • (c) assign operational responsibilities to lead agencies for counterterrorism activities that are consistent with applicable law and that support strategic plans to counter terrorism. The Center shall ensure that agencies have access to and receive intelligence needed to accomplish their assigned activities. The Center shall not direct the execution of operations. Agencies shall inform the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council of any objections to designations and assignments made by the Center in the planning and coordination of counterterrorism activities;
  • (d) serve as the central and shared knowledge bank on known and suspected terrorists and international terror groups, as well as their goals, strategies, capabilities, and networks of contacts and support; and
  • (e) ensure that agencies, as appropriate, have access to and receive all-source intelligence support needed to execute their counterterrorism plans or perform independent, alternative analysis.

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