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defending the homeland
Analysis on whether we're winning the war on terror at home, and profiles of the new intelligence agencies set up after Sept. 11

Are We Winning the Domestic War on Terror?

President Bush has given the U.S. government the mandate that protecting America against another terrorist attack is now its number one priority. Since Sept. 11, there has not been an attack on U.S. soil. Now, some Bush administration critics have argued that the threat is being hyped for political reasons -- especially with an upcoming presidential election in 2004. Here, FRONTLINE asks Dale Watson, former FBI assistant director for counterterrorism; Alice Fisher; former deputy U.S. attorney general; and Tom Ridge, secretary of homeland security to comment on the extent of the threat and whether the U.S. is winning the war on terror here at home.

Chart: The U.S. Intelligence Community

A flow chart showing the U.S. intelligence agencies and to which department each reports.

Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC)

Announced in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech, the new Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) is designed to remedy the intelligence-gathering problems exposed by the Sept. 11 attacks, and act as the U.S. government's hub for terrorist-related analysis.

Terrorist Screening Center (TSC)

The new Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), which opened in December 2003, consolidates all U.S. agency terrorist watch lists into one unified database that will be available to everyone from local police forces to U.S. embassies overseas that grant visas to foreign visitors and immigrants.

Chart: The Flow of Intelligence

How TTIC, TSC and other government agencies share intelligence.

Improving Intelligence: The Experts' Views

Both before and after Sept. 11, experts weighed in on the nation's homeland security preparedness and the U.S. intelligence community's ability to anticipate terrorist attacks. Recommendations ranged from upgrading the FBI's computers to creating a separate agency that would specialize in the collection of domestic counterterrorism intelligence. Here is a summary of reports on this topic from some the more prominent commissions.

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posted october 16, 2003

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