Announcing the standup of the Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (JCAT) at the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), where public safety professionals—law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire service, intelligence, homeland security, and public health officials—are making a difference in the Counterterrorism Community.
At the NCTC, they recognize the best approach to combat terrorism is to bring all instruments of national power together – especially where intelligence, first responder, and the federal, state, and local jurisdictions intersect. This approach includes the integration of state and local public safety officers into federal intelligence collaboration, analysis, and information sharing. To that end, NCTC established the JCAT as the successor to the Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group (ITACG).
The ITACG was a successful model of interagency cooperation and information sharing lauded by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT for short) homeland security, intelligence, and law enforcement partners nationwide. The cornerstone to ITACG’s success was SLTT homeland security and law enforcement officers detailed to NCTC on one year tours to work side-by-side with federal intelligence analysts.
JCAT differs from its predecessor in subtle, but significant ways. JCAT builds upon and expands beyond the original legislative mandate of its predecessor. JCAT will now partner SLTT participants with Federal analysts for the specific purpose of producing intelligence for the SLTT community. JCAT is an NCTC-led tri-agency activity; NCTC, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) each will share costs, resources, and sponsorship of SLTT participation. This approach allows the Federal government to continue to leverage SLTT expertise while capitalizing on NCTC’s information accesses, analytic cadre, and resources.
The mission of the Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team is to improve information sharing and enhance public safety. In coordination with the FBI and DHS, JCAT will collaborate with other members of the Intelligence Community to research, produce, and disseminate counterterrorism intelligence products for federal, state, local, and tribal government agencies and the private sector; and advocate for the counterterrorism intelligence requirements and needs of these partners throughout the Intelligence Community.
The JCAT Director is appointed by the NCTC Director and is supported by two senior level officers serving as co-deputies; one each from FBI and DHS. NCTC, DHS, and FBI are each contributing one federal analyst to the JCAT for a total of three federal analysts. Further, NCTC, DHS, and FBI have agreed to sponsor three representatives each from the public safety community for a total of nine members representing law enforcement, fire services, public health, intelligence analysis, private sector, and other SLTT components.
JCAT Lines of Effort
JCAT will focus its energy on three primary lines of effort:
(1) Intelligence Review and Collaborative Production
(2) Partner Liaison and Outreach
(3) Intelligence Community Education