Counterterrorism Unit of UNYRIC
Protecting America from Terrorist Attacks
Law Enforcement Partnerships are “Force Multipliers”
On May 26, the FBI joined New York Governor Pataki, Vermont Governor Douglas, and a host of law enforcement heads from New York and Vermont to celebrate the opening of a highly specialized Counter-Terrorism Unit in their Upstate New York Regional Intelligence Center (UNYRIC).
What’s so special about UNYRIC? In Director Mueller’s words, “we believe it offers a model that may guide information-sharing initiatives in states across the country.”
Because that’s the point: “information-sharing initiatives” are the true key to preventing terrorist attacks in American communities. For instance—a sheriff in a small town spots suspicious activity that is the missing piece in identifying a terrorist plot...but that piece of information is uselessunless it gets to the right person for analysis and action.
That’s what UNYRIC is all about. It’s a one-stop place where 70,000 officers in the New York/Vermont areas bring information they have collected on their beats—information on terrorist, drug, financial, and violent crime threats—and share it seamlessly with each other, with their state and local colleagues, and with federal agencies like us. It’s also a place where those 70,000 officers get information and training from us and other agencies on what criminal and terrorist suspects and behaviors they should be looking for, based on intelligence gleaned from international, national, and regional sources.
How will the Counter-Terrorism Unit operate? Well, 24/7, for one—and at the “secret” level of classification. Beyond that, it’s designed to:
- coordinate real-time info sharing among state and local law enforcement and the three New York state FBI Joint Terrorist Task Forces (JTTFs);
- share FBI intelligence and suggested strategies to police officers who are not members of a JTTF;
- immediately forward leads from those 70,000 state and local “eyes and ears” to FBI intelligence analysts for processing; and
- sharpen the ability of officers on the street to recognize possible terrorist surveillance, rehearsal, fundraising, or training.
What will CTU’s impact be? Better investigative and reporting judgments in the field. A reliable pipeline for intelligence to flow–both ways. A more complete analysis of patterns and trends. In other words, better protection for American communities against terrorist attack.