- Larry Mefford
- Executive Assistant Director, Counterterrorism/Counterintelligence Division
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Before a Joint Hearing
- Washington DC
- July 22, 2003
Good afternoon Chairman Sensenbrenner and Chairman Cox, I am honored to appear at what may be a very historic hearing. I cannot recall when a witness from the FBI has testified before a combined panel that encompasses over 80 distinguished Members of the House of Representatives.
It is also an honor to share this table with several of our partners in this very important initiative - the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC). During a speech at FBI Headquarters, President Bush emphasized that the "FBI has no greater priority than preventing terrorist acts against America." I want to ensure that everyone clearly understands that TTIC is crucially important to the success of our mission in the FBI, and it will take us to the next level in being able to prevent another terrorist attack on our nation.
TTIC’s mission is to enable full integration of the terrorist threat related information and analysis and ensure that this threat product is disseminated expeditiously and appropriately. TTIC will have no new or independent authority to engage in the collection of intelligence. TTIC will access, integrate and analyze available threat information, collected domestically and abroad, to provide a comprehensive threat picture. TTIC members will continue to be bound by all applicable privacy statutes, Executive Orders, and other relevant legal authorities for protecting privacy and our Constitutional liberties. Information technology and handling procedures are consistent with the protection of our Constitutional liberties.
The FBI views TTIC as an important resource - an all-source vehicle to provide integrated threat analysis to the FBI, DHS, and other federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies, which in turn, can quickly share that analysis with state and local law enforcement who are essential partners in the fight against terrorism. TTIC analytical products will be shared with dozens of FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the country which include our state and local counterparts. The FBI is committed to working with DHS to push this vital information into the hands of those who need it most.
By September of next year, the FBI hopes to complete the planned co-location of our counterterrorism operational elements into a facility that will also house TTIC. Co-location is essential in ensuring that the cooperation, which is so necessary for our success, not only continues but grows in the years ahead between the FBI, CIA, DHS and TTIC. The attacks of September 11th demonstrated that terrorism knows no boundaries - neither should the agencies participating in TTIC - who when working together greatly enhance the government's ability to stop future acts and bring terrorists to justice.
In closing, on behalf of the men and women of the FBI, I would like to thank each one of you for the tremendous support you have given us. You have provided us with many new and vital tools and with TTIC, I am confident that we can carry out our mission to protect America. I again thank you for this historic opportunity to appear at this joint hearing and I will be happy to respond to your questions.