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1/29/2003
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Bush Outlines Plans To Share Terrorist Information

Goal of Terrorist Threat Integration Center is to help agencies "connect the dots" to detect terrorist activity.

In his State of the Union speech, President George W. Bush outlined a plan to create the Terrorist Threat Integration Center for combining and analyzing terrorist-related information. The goal is to help intelligence agencies "connect the dots" using information collected in the United States and abroad to detect terrorist activity, something they failed to do before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Bush's instructions in Tuesday night's speech were directed at the directors of the FBI and CIA, the secretary of the newly-created Department of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Defense. But it's not clear whether the new center will be part of any of those organizations or a separate entity.

The new center will "permanently eliminate the seam between foreign and domestic intelligence on terrorism," according to the White House. It will create a structure for sharing information across agency lines, providing intelligence and law-enforcement agencies with the most comprehensive possible picture of terrorist threats. In the past, the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, and other intelligence and law-enforcement organizations have faced technical, cultural, and regulatory hurdles to sharing information. While the Terrorist Threat Integration Center should help eliminate those hurdles, details about how the center will operate and the technology it will utilize aren't yet available.

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