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TALON is the acronym for Threat and Local Observation Notice.

"To track domestic terrorist threats against the military, the Pentagon is creating a new database that will contain 'raw, non-validated' reports of 'anomalous activities' within the United States," Brian McWilliams reported June 25, 2003, in Wired News. "According to a Department of Defense memorandum, the system, known as Talon, will provide a mechanism to collect and rapidly share reports 'by concerned citizens and military members regarding suspicious incidents.'"

In 2002, because TALON had proven so successful, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz "designated it as the DoD standard for reporting suspicious activity. The Department of Homeland Security uses TALON as a template within the emerging Protect America homeland defense information sharing system." [1]

TALON terminated?

The following is according to the DoD IG's June 27, 2007, "The Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) Report Program":[1]

"In April 2007, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence requested that the Secretary of Defense terminate the TALON program because the results of the last year do not merit continuing the program as currently constituted, particularly in light of its image in the Congress and the media."


"Talon reports grew out of a program called Eagle Eyes, an anti-terrorist program established by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations that 'enlists the eyes and ears of Air Force members and citizens in the war on terror,' according to the program's Web site. A Pentagon spokesman recently described Eagle Eyes as a 'neighborhood watch' program for military bases. The Air Force inspector general newsletter in 2003 said program informants include 'Air Force family members, contractors, off-base merchants, community organizations and neighborhoods'," Walter Pincus reported in the December 11, 2005, Washington Post.

"In the period after Sept. 11, 2001, an intelligence and security panel working under sponsorship of the Joint Staff adopted Talon to be the Defense Department reporting system 'to assemble, process and analyze suspicious activity reports to identify possible terrorist pre-attack activities,' according to the background paper," Pincus wrote.

"Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA, a three-year-old Pentagon agency whose size and budget remain classified ... which was created in February 2002, was given responsibility for analyzing the Talon reports. CIFA was originally asked to coordinate policy and oversee the counterintelligence activities of the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Defense agencies such as the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. CIFA's initial role also included the establishment of the common standards for training and collection of data.

"Since that time, under its director, David A. Burtt II, CIFA has rapidly expanded its mandate inside the United States as the Pentagon's domestic intelligence activities have grown since Sept. 11," Pincus wrote.

Resources and articles


  1. "The Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) Report Program," Office of the Inspector General for Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, June 27, 2007. See "Management Actions" in the "Executive Summary".

Related SourceWatch articles

External articles







Intelligence Office CIFA created after 9/11 Closed The Pentagon said yesterday it is closing an intelligence office that had prompted concerns about domestic spying by the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. CIFA also had the authority to detect and 'neutralize' espionage against the Pentagon and, as such, carried law enforcement powers. Those powers will not transfer to the new center. The TALON database collected information about antiwar protesters and Quakers! The Washington Post - A2 Tuesday, August 5, 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/04/AR2008080401770.html