CIA Opens Weapons Intelligence Center

Agency's new Counterproliferation Center brings together two existing organizations in an effort to thwart nuclear, biological, and other weapons of mass destruction.
The CIA has opened a new center aimed at providing operational and analytical support to help fight weapons of mass destruction.

The Counterproliferation Center (CPC) will bolster intelligence efforts already in place to combat the spread of nuclear, biological, chemical, and other dangerous weapons and technology.

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The new organization combines the current Counterproliferation Division of the National Clandestine Service and elements of the Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation & Arms Control Center, which is part of the Directorate of Intelligence. The Directorate of Intelligence and National Clandestine Service will work together in the center to provide analytical support to intelligence operations, the agency said.

The CPC is based on the model of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. The idea is to allow agents to work across CIA directorates and areas of expertise to provide the best defense against weapons and technology that can wreak mass havoc, according to a statement by CIA Director Leon Panetta.

“Our greatest achievements as an agency are the product of close collaboration among operations officers, analysts, targeters, technical specialists, and support officers,” he said.

An undercover CIA officer will lead the CPC, overseeing deputies for operations and analysis. The CIA is still shaping up the logistics of the center and its organizational structure, but its fundamental mission is to be goal-oriented, Panetta said.

“More important than the movement of people or desks, though, are the results we seek: the strongest, most effective counterproliferation operations and analysis in our agency’s history,” he said.

The move comes amid concerns that Al Qaeda is pursuing the development and use of WMDs. The CPC will be at the forefront of fighting such threats.

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