The FBI's overriding priority is to protect America from terrorist attack. Our mission is to identify and disrupt potential terrorist plots by individuals or terror cells—freezing terrorist finances, sharing information with law enforcement and intelligence partners worldwide, and providing strategic and operational threat analysis to the wider intelligence community. Over the past decade, we have dramatically strengthened our ability to combat terrorism.

Shift in Resources

  • We have realigned resources, shifting some agents from criminal programs to counterterrorism matters.
  • The number of intelligence analysts has doubled, and the number of linguists has tripled.
  • Threat-based fusion cells have been created to address the FBI’s top counterterrorism priorities and to ensure that the collection of intelligence is focused against priority threats, providing critical information to the Counterterrorism Division’s operational sections and FBI field offices so terrorist threats, subjects, and groups can be effectively targeted, disrupted, and dismantled.
  • We have dedicated resources to address the emerging threat resulting from the increasing use of the Internet by terrorists.

Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs)

  • The number of FBI-led multi-agency JTTFs has increased from 35 to 104.
  • The number of JTTF personnel has increased from approximately 1,000 to nearly 4,500.
  • The number of agents and police officers on JTTFs has grown from less than 1,000 to nearly 4,000.
  • Thousands of clearances have been granted for state/local JTTF officers.
  • The National JTTF was created at FBI Headquarters, consisting of approximately 41 member agencies.

FBI Participation in Joint Centers

  • The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) integrates intelligence related to terrorism; conducts strategic operational planning; serves as a central repository for terrorism intelligence; provides government-wide intelligence support; and allows connectivity and access to IT systems/databases of participating agencies. In this milestone of information sharing, the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Capitol Police, and the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, and Health and Human Services sit together and work as one team. NCTC also operates a secure website—NCTC Online—which serves as the primary dissemination system for terrorism information produced by NCTC and other counterterrorism mission partners, including international partners.
  • The Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force—comprised of personnel from the FBI, the CIA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Defense—provides information that helps keep foreign terrorists and their supporters out of the U.S. or leads to their removal, location, detention, surveillance, or prosecution.
  • Created in 2003, the Terrorist Screening Center maintains the U.S. government’s consolidated terrorist watchlist—a single database of identifying information about those known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activity.

Operational Response and Support

  • CT Watch—the FBI's 24/7 "threat central" for counterterrorism threat information—was established. CT Watch is located within the Strategic Information and Operations Center at FBI Headquarters and is the primary point of notification for all potential terrorist threats.
  • Fly teams were created to respond to terrorism incidents or threats around the world. Fly teams have assisted investigations in places like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan, England, and Spain.

Terrorism Financing

  • The Terrorism Financing Operations Section (TFOS) was established to centralize efforts to track and shut down terrorist financing and to exploit financial information in an effort to identify previously unknown terrorist cells and recognize potential activity/planning. TFOS builds on the FBI's expertise in conducting complex criminal financial investigations and benefits from long-established relationships with the financial services sector. Tremendous progress has been made in tracking and freezing terrorists' assets.

August 2011


How We've Changed
- Just the Facts: Overview of a Changed Organization
- Investigative Accomplishments: Terrorism | More
- Telling the Story
- Reference Materials


Inside the Investigation
- Response and Recovery
- By The Numbers
- The Flights
- FBI Heroes


The Day Everything Changed