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America's Terrorist Screening Center

America's Terrorist Screening Center
Protecting America from Terrorist Attack

08/01/05

Terrorist Screening Center logo

It's a place of anxious, serious faces—like you see at NASA's Mission Control right before a launch. People from different agencies and companies man the phones and computers 24/7 as queries come in from checkpoints across the country and world—all with one question: do I have a known or appropriately suspected terrorist on my hands?

Three scenarios:
1. Officer Jones from Atlanta in a patrol car says she got a suspected terrorist match on a name of a man she stopped for speeding—now she's looking for a physical description that will tell her if he’s the same person.
2. A Customs and Border Protection inspector calls from a Dallas airport about a person on an incoming international flight manifest—“give me more information: should I let this person into the country?”
3. A consular officer in Manila cables a list of visa applicants: should each one be granted a visa to visit the U.S.?

That's precisely what the TSC can tell them. TSC Director Donna Bucella, a former federal prosecutor, puts it this way: "We're here to get information to the people who can stop dangerous types from entering the U.S...and who can identify dangerous types who are already on our streets and arrest them. The TSC’s role," she adds, "places it squarely at the intersection of local law enforcement and the intelligence community, bridging the gap between national security, homeland defense, and the police officer on patrol.”

Want to learn more? We are posting information about the center on an inside page for your convenience. To date, we have included how it came into being; its mission; what it does; and why it does it. And don't miss its FAQs; they will tell you everything you wanted to know and then some:

  • Who is included in TSC's database: domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh? U.S. citizens? You?
  • Are people ever removed from the database?
  • If you have security issues when you cross into the U.S., or if you've been told that you're on an airline terrorist watchlist—does that mean you're in the database?
  • How is the Center prevented from encroaching on the civil liberties of Americans?

Stay tuned for more information. We will be adding more to the TSC site as it becomes available.

Links: FBI Counterterrorism website | More counterterrorism stories