- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2003

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) — The White House said Tuesday that the nation's first unified Terrorist Threat Integration Center, proposed by President George W. Bush in his State of the Union message, will bring together intelligence gathered at home and abroad by a variety of agencies.

Among them are the CIA, which will appoint its director, the FBI, the Department of Defense and others.

"Since Sept. 11, our intelligence and law enforcement agencies have worked more closely than ever to track and disrupt terrorists," Bush said in his address. "And tonight, I am instructing the leaders of the FBI, Central Intelligence, Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat Integration Center.

"Our government must have the very best information possible, and we will use it to make sure the right people are in the right places to protect our citizens."

The center will "close the seam between the analysis of intelligence by creating a structure that insures information sharing takes place across agency lines," the White House said in a fact sheet.

It would also play a lead role in overseeing national counter-terrorism systems and for maintaining shared databases of known and suspected terrorists.

The center would have access to raw intelligence as well as finished analytic assessments, it said.

The White House said a multi-agency team would finalize details on putting the center together, and said the administration would ensure "this program is carried out consistently with the rights of Americans."

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