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Attorney General Lockyer and Governor Davis Announce Historic Partnership to Battle Terrorism
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Gov. Gray Davis today announced the California Department of Justice's terrorism intelligence unit has been tapped by the Defense Intelligence Agency to participate in a historic federal, state and local collaboration to battle terrorism.
The novel concept partners the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center (CATIC) with the New York Police Department's Counter Terrorism Division and the Defense Intelligence Agency to share information and intelligence about suspected terrorist activities. The program may prove to be the model for a national homeland intelligence-sharing program.
"This partnership will enable law enforcement officers to identify potential terrorists and share information, coast-to-coast," Lockyer said. "Working with agencies across the country, we will be able to compare criminal cases and activities, establish links to suspected terrorists, follow the money derived by illegal means and disrupt its flow into the hands of terrorists. This will help us prevent future attacks on American soil."
"The California Anti-Terrorism Information Center, which began operating within a month of September 11th attacks, supports the federal mission of fighting terrorism by collecting, analyzing and sharing information from approximately 100,000 law enforcement officers in California," Davis said. "We look forward to working with other law enforcement agencies in a productive and proactive manner."
Under the agreement, the three agencies are sharing information about suspected terrorists' activities, cases and arrests using established secure law enforcement databases and systems. At the Homeland Defense Summit held last week in Ontario, DIA representatives told California law enforcement officials that they were impressed with the speed in which both CATIC and NYPD's Counter Terrorism Division reacted to new terrorism challenges in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
CATIC was established by a Memorandum of Understanding signed September 25, 2001, by Lockyer and Davis. The center is the state's clearinghouse for all terrorist-related activities and investigations. CATIC collects, analyzes, develops and disseminates terrorism-related intelligence to California law enforcement agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In addition, members of CATIC are assigned to six of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces in California.
There are more than 100 agents, investigators, and analysts from the Department of Justice and 28 local, state and federal agencies assigned to CATIC's Sacramento headquarters and eight regional task forces, located in San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Ana and Redding.
CATIC also provides training and assistance to local law enforcement agencies, whose officers are the most likely to come into contact with or receive information about terrorist groups. The center assists local agencies in evaluating crimes from financial fraud, identify theft and counterfeiting to theft of weapons, drug trafficking or possession of explosive chemicals to determine if those crimes are related to funding or carrying out terrorism-related activities.
Currently, CATIC is working with law enforcement agencies on 443 open cases believed to be terrorist-related. Another 87 cases have been closed. More than 3,400 inquiries have been made into CATIC's databases by officers working cases, and 376 have resulted in "hits," meaning an agent or officer sought information about an individual or activity that is the subject of an investigation by another agent or officer.
Since its establishment, CATIC has issued 224 terrorist threat advisories and 37 intelligence bulletins. It also compiles on a daily basis public information on international, national and state news and developments related to terrorism. Those midday reports are read by more than 1,000 law enforcement officers in 10 states and two countries.