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National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)

2010 - 2012

Materials arranged chronologically.

DeYoung, Karen. "After Attempted Airline Bombing, Effectiveness of Intelligence Reforms Questioned." Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2010, A1. []

"The failure of U.S. authorities to detect a plot to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day has reignited long-simmering concerns that intelligence reforms implemented five years ago remain inadequate to prevent terrorist attacks.... [S]ome intelligence officials have suggested that the reforms were the cause of such lapses and not the solution to them.... [T]he most intense scrutiny has been directed toward the centerpiece of the 2004 intelligence reorganization: the National Counterterrorism Center."

Schmitt. Eric. "New Teams Connect Dots of Terror Plots." New York Times, 30 Jan. 2010. []

Intelligence officials said on 29 January 2010 that the National Counterterrorism Center "is creating new teams of specialists to pursue clues of emerging terrorist plots as part of a rapid buildup that will sharply increase its analyst corps, perhaps by hundreds of people over the next year."

Schmitt, Eric, and Thom Shanker. "Hurdles Hinder Counterterrorism Center." New York Times, 22 Feb. 2010. []

According to a new congressionally financed study by the nonpartisan Project on National Security Reform, the National Counterterrorism Center "is struggling because of flawed staffing and internal cultural clashes." The result "is a lack of coordination and communication among the agencies that are supposed to take the lead in planning the fight against terrorism, including the C.I.A. and the State Department." The report "found that the center's planning arm did not have enough authority to do its main job of coordinating the White House's counterterrorism priorities."

The study called on President Obama "to issue an executive order to define the nation's counterterrorism architecture in order to address some of the problems and improve coordination. It also recommended giving the center's director,... a say in the choice of counterterrorism officials at other federal agencies, a step the 9/11 Commission had recommended but was not adopted."

Miller, Greg. "Spy Agencies Faulted for Missing Christmas Day Bomb Attempt, Senate Panel Finds." Washington Post, 19 May 2010, A2. []

An SSCI report on the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009 concluded "the government had enough information to block the suspect from boarding the flight, but was hobbled by breakdowns that included human error as well as computer glitches at agencies such as the State Department, the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center.... In addition to faulting the State Department for not revoking Abdulmutallab's U.S. visa" the report asserts that the NCTC "failed at its fundamental mission of serving as the government's nerve center for terrorist-related threats."

Miller, Greg. "Leiter to Resign as Chief of National Counterterrorism Center." Washington Post, 9 Jun. 2011. []

White House officials announced on 9 June 2011 that NCTC Director Michael E. Leiter "plans to resign next month.... Andrew M. Liepman, who was recently appointed deputy director of the NCTC, will serve as acting chief until a replacement is named."

Finn, Peter. "Olsen Nominated to Lead National Counterterrorism Center." Washington Post, 1 Jul. 2011. []

The White House announced on 1 July 2011 that President Obama will nominate Matthew G. Olsen, NSA general counsel and previously a Justice Department official, to be director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Sullivan, Eileen. "Govt to Keep Info on Americans with No Terror Ties." Associated Press, 22 Mar. 2012. []

Under new administration guidelines, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) "will now be able to store information about Americans with no ties to terrorism for up to five years." Previously, the NCTC "had to immediately destroy information about Americans that was already stored in other government databases when there were no clear ties to terrorism."

Miller, Greg. "Counterterrorism Expert Sees Much to Be Done." Washington Post, 17 May 2012. []

Andrew Liepman is stepping down on 18 Mat 2012 as deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Liepman "is being replaced by Nicholas Rasmussen, a senior counterterrorism adviser to President Obama who has played a leading role in shaping policies, including the escalating drone campaign against al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen."

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