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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism > Releases > Remarks > 2004

9/11 Commission Recommendations: Counterterrorism Analysis and Collection - The Requirement for Imagination and Creativity

Ambassador Cofer Black, Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Testimony Before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Washington, DC
August 4, 2004

(As prepared for delivery)

Chairman Goss, Ms. Harman, Distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission to reorganize the national security institutions of the U.S. Government to better combat terrorism. In light of the extensive testimony you will hear from my co-panelists and other witnesses, I will keep my remarks brief.

Following the September 11 attacks, the Administration developed the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, which outlined the policy framework for coordinated actions to prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, its citizens, its interests, and its friends around the world. The National Strategy will ultimately create an international environment inhospitable to terrorists and all those who support them. We have implemented this strategy to act simultaneously on four fronts:

  • Defeat terrorist organizations of global reach by attacking their sanctuaries, leadership, finances, and command, control and communications;

  • Deny further sponsorship, support, and sanctuary to terrorists by cooperating with other states to take action against these international threats;

  • Diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit by enlisting the international community to focus its efforts and resources on the areas most at risk; and

  • Defend the United States, its citizens, and interests at home and abroad.

Todayís hearing offers an opportunity to examine the 9/11 Commissionís recommendations. I welcome the invitation to contribute to this important national debate on how to better protect American citizens at home and abroad. The National Strategy for Combating Terrorism is premised on sustained, steadfast, and systematic application of all key elements of national security -- diplomatic, financial, law enforcement, military, and, as we will discuss today, intelligence. Each of the four fronts in the National Strategy has a significant intelligence component, whether through defeating terrorist organizations in the manner that I oversaw in my previous role as Director of the CIAís Counterterrorist Center, or by denying terrorists sanctuary, as was recommended in Chapter 12 of the Commissionís report.

When discussing ways to improve imagination and creativity in the collection and analysis of intelligence for counterterrorism, it is important to first understand the foundation upon which we must build. I can speak directly to the process in place at the Department of State. The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) is the Departmentís liaison with the Intelligence Community at large. My office works closely with INR and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis to assess the current intelligence information related to terrorist threats both overseas and at home. The Departmentís Bureau of Consular Affairs has worked with other offices to develop technologies that facilitate legitimate travel while maintaining the integrity and security of our borders

My office also coordinates with the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) on a variety of activities in support of counterterrorism purposes. As a participant in the National Security Councilís Counterterrorism Security Group, I have frequent and direct interactions with senior officials from the Departments of Defense, Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, and other interagency officials who shape and direct the counterterrorism policies of the U.S. Government. Through these relationships, we have ample opportunities to provide input to the U.S. Governmentís process for collecting and analyzing intelligence for counterterrorism purposes.

As the President indicated on Monday, this administration supports the key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, to establish a National Intelligence Director and a National Counterterrorism Center. Given the substantial foreign policy implications of this planning, the Department of State will play a crucial role in the Presidentís plan to implement reforms that will make Americans safer at home and abroad. I personally look forward to the role that the Department and my office will play in this process, through the intra- and inter-departmental relationships briefly outlined in my testimony today.

With this background and experience in mind, I will conclude my formal testimony. Thank you again for the opportunity to appear before the Committee. I would be happy to take your questions.

Released on August 24, 2004

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