Domestic Terrorism Information
Cathy Bussewitz is a student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a freelance reporter based in Berkeley.
The chart below illustrates how data on suspected terrorists is collected at the federal level and disseminated to local police. Cops can access the information via mobile data terminals in their squad cars. If a police officer encounters a suspect whose name matches that of a suspected terrorist, he or she can notify the federal agencies directly to confirm the match, get further instructions and relay new intelligence on the suspect back up the chain.
Click on the boxes below to read more about each step in the process.
The TSDB is the consolidated terrorist watch list for federal government, maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC).
National Crime Information Center
Consular Lookout and Support System
During a traffic stop, a police officer checks the motorist's name using the mobile date terminal in his squad car. If there is a "hit" against the terrorist watch list, the officre gets the message: "Warning. Approach with caution. Please contact the TSC"
Over the phone, the officer works with TSC to determine whether the suspect is in fact the one on watch list, ruling out a false positive.
The TSC connects the officer to the Terrorist Screening Operations Unit at the FBI. TSOU then directs the officer to arrest the individual, hold him/her for questioning, or gather more information.
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