HMLS 414: Advanced Application of Intelligence in Homeland Security Academic Paper

Political science

Advanced Application of Intelligence in Homeland Security Essay Prompt The National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) was created based on the recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, in the wake of the terrorist attacks in September 2001, in an effort to eliminate duplication and create a more effective way to organize and evaluate terrorism-related intelligence. According to the […]

Advanced Application of Intelligence in Homeland Security

Local Law Enforcement and Intelligence Fusion Centers

The National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) is authorized to access all data linked to terrorism as held by the U.S. government. The sole authority of the institution efficiently bridges the divide between domestic and foreign intelligence. Subsequently, this empowers the organization to bring a whole-of-government tactic to each mission area. Thus, it provides information about terrorists’ networks of support and contacts, capabilities, tactics, and objectives. The analysis provided by the institution is coordinated throughout the intelligence community, supporting foreign affairs, senior policymakers, homeland security, law enforcement, and defense (Bowie, 2017). Therefore, based on the exceptional authority of the National Counter-Terrorism Center to access global and local terrorism information, the establishment is uniquely situated within the intelligence community to make independent judgments and evaluations concerning issues relating to terrorism.

NCTC Function within the USIC

Regarding intelligence in Homeland security, the National Counter-Terrorism Center carries out five fundamental functions within the U.S Intelligence Community (USIC) to support the country’s counterterrorism efforts. First, it serves as the central institution responsible for assessing and incorporating all intelligence acquired or possessed by the state apart from those relating entirely to domestic terrorism. Secondly, the organization serves as the collective and central bank of suspected and recognized terrorists and global terror groups. Thirdly, the National Counter-Terrorism Center ascertains that other units with counterterrorism missions receive and have access to the intelligence required to accomplish given operations (Oliver et al., 2019). Fourthly, the agency must carry out operational planning for counterterrorism activities nationwide. The arrangement efforts, in this regard, involve specific and tactical action strategies to maximize coordination on crucial issues. Lastly, the National Counter-Terrorism Center’s role entails incorporating counterterrorism missions across intelligence activities, disciplines, and functions to attain unity of effect and effort.

How will National Counter-Terrorism Center integrate this Threat Report into the USIC?

Through strategic, operational planning, the NCTC will integrate the threat report of the terrorist traveling from New York City to Lahore, Pakistan. In this role, the institution would strive to connect the interagency strategy and policy to tactical operations. After getting this intercontinental terrorism information, National Counter-Terrorism Center would amalgamate it into the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE). Subsequently, NCTC would use the information in the TIDE to support screening operations in the country. In the current case, concerning other suspected terrorists, the individual traveled to meet in Pakistan. The agency draws on intelligence resources by allocating requirements to the agencies with the capabilities and assets to address them (Oliver et al., 2019). Therefore, in the present circumstance, NCTC offers organizations, departments, and agencies responsible for arbitrating travel submissions, such as non-immigrant visas, with extremism data connected to the petitioner or applicant.

The Process by which NCTC would Plan and Coordinate Joint Intelligence Operations

The National Counter-Terrorism Center, through the joint operations center, provides the government agencies in the country with intelligence analysis concerning terrorism and other situational awareness on establishing events and issues related to terrorism. The institution houses more than 30 intelligence, homeland security, law enforcement, and military databases under one roof to facilitate information-sharing (Bowie, 2017). Nonetheless, NCTC ensures unity effort by playing a significant role in synchronizing operations and incorporating counterterrorism plans across more than 20 government agencies and departments involved in terrorism through a joint and single planning process. The National Counter-Terrorism Center does not direct counterterrorism operations. On the whole, the institution assigns responsibilities and roles to other USIC departments as part of its strategic planning duties.

Law Enforcement and Intelligence Partner

The NCTC would plan and coordinate with two law enforcement and intelligence partner organizations to resolve the threat posed by the terrorist who traveled from New York to Lahore. The first one is the counterterrorism division of the FBI. In this regard, the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate component will help disrupt and identify likely terrorist-related threats and operations using mass destruction weapons facing the U.S. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2016). The Terrorism Financing Operation Section of the FBI will help in tracking the financing of terrorists. Such statistics, when conceivable, can be employed to locate previously unidentified terrorist cells. Secondly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would assist in affording intelligence associated with homeland security threats. In brief, in DHS, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis would ensure the enactment of an additional role of partnering with local and state fusion centers, which offer counterterrorism-related situational awareness.

NCTC’s Role in Leading Strategic Analysis

The NCTC plays a significant role in developing assessment and warning, pooling all intelligence sources, and strategic analysis through Strategic Operational Planning (SOP). In essence, SOP entails a broad spectrum of planning operations. It bridges the gap between coordinated interagency strategy and policy and tactical operations by agencies and departments to execute that strategy (Oliver et al., 2019). In this role, National Counter-Terrorism Center leads an interagency effort of planning that brings all components of the national authority to bear in the war on terror. On the whole, this entails the total weight of the country’s homeland security, intelligence, military, financial, diplomatic, and law enforcement activities.

How will the NCTC Utilize this Information to Provide Warnings and Prevent Future Threats to U.S.?

The NCTC should use this data to provide warning and prevent future threats to U.S. national security by working closely with the FBI and DHS through support to counterterrorism programs and daily engagements. For example, the institution should lead secure daily seminars to deliberate on the current threats. Such regular cooperation should persist with formal and informal analytic exchanges that facilitate the formation of intelligence products, such as those primarily tailored for the private sector and local and state actors. The organization should further incorporate the FBI and DHS officers into their operations. In brief, such a colocation of information, resources, and people would ensure continuous and robust cooperation, communication, and interaction would lead to terrorism-related intelligence production.


In summary, the case of the terrorist traveling from New York to Lahore has demonstrated that NCTC must continue working with the FBI and DHS to provide private sector, territorial, and state partnerships with accurate and timely information on terrorism. The reason herein is that such collaborations play a critical and unique role in national security efforts, often serving as the frontline in tackling threats of terrorism. The efficient sharing of information between these parties enhances their capability to effectively respond to and recognize violent extremists and radical groups while preserving civil liberty and safeguarding citizens’ privacy. Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and DHS, have an essential need for the assistance and information provided by the NCTC to tackle and understand the threat in the nation. In brief, National Counter-Terrorism Center is exceptionally positioned to augment information sharing and integrate intelligence with these partners.


Bowie, N. G. (2017). Terrorism events data: An inventory of databases and data sets, 1968-2017. Perspectives on terrorism11(4), 50–72.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016). 2016: The Fbi story. FBI Office of Public Affairs.

Oliver, W. M., Marion, N. E., & Hill, J. B. (2019). Introduction to homeland security: Policy, organization, and administration. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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