National Security Branch

National Security Branch image.

The FBI created the National Security Branch (NSB) in September 2005 in response to a presidential directive to establish a “National Security Service” that combines the missions, capabilities, and resources of the FBI’s counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and intelligence elements under the leadership of a senior FBI official. Executive Assistant Director Carl Ghattas has been leading the NSB since February 2017.

Mission: Detect, deter, and disrupt national security threats to the United States and its interests.

Vision: Develop and implement a strategic approach to protecting the United States’ national security interests.

Structure of the NSB 

The traditional distinction between national security and criminal matters is increasingly blurred as terrorists commit crimes to finance their activities and computer hackers create vulnerabilities that can be exploited.The integration of intelligence and investigations makes the FBI uniquely situated to address these threats and vulnerabilities across programs. We draw on both intelligence and law enforcement tools to determine strategically where and when to disrupt threats, and the NSB’s five components work together to accomplish the Branch’s overarching national security mission.

Related Policy Matters 

This page contains information about national security-related policy matters for the FBI on such topics as the safeguarding of personal information and national security letters.