Clamour for aborting P. Chidambaram's anti-terror hub grows!Chief Ministers of non-Congress and BJP-ruled states and a Congress ally had raised a banner of revolt against the Centre's proposal to set up an apex counter-terror agency, saying it struck at the federalism and usurped states' powers.
Why is Centre not sharing vital information with states, asks Naveen
WITH the Centre's plan to set up an overarching anti-terror body now earning her ire, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today mounted pressure by skipping the inauguration of an NSG hub near Kolkata, where Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was present.
BJP demands Inter-State Council meeting to discuss NCTC
Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, chapter 744
Clamour for aborting P. Chidambaram's anti-terror hub grows!
The government has said it would set up on March 1, 2012 a powerful anti-terror agency that will integrate and analyse inputs on terror threats in India and will have legal authority to make arrests and conduct search operations.
The order comes after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on January 11, 2012 approved the creation of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), an agency to maintain data of terror modules, terrorists, their associates, friends, families and supporters.
It said the NCTC will derive powers from the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), which allows central government agencies to make arrests or searches in terror-related cases while keeping state police concerned into the loop.
"The officers of the NCTC shall have the power to arrest and the power to search under the UAPA," said the order.
The NCTC will also have the power to seek information, including documents, reports, transcripts, and cyber information from any agency, including from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency, NATGRID, National Technical Research Organization, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and all seven central armed police forces including the National Security Guard (NSG).
The agency has worked out on the model of the US' similar body aimed at combating terrorism by collecting and analysing threats, sharing the inputs and information with other agencies and converting these into actionable data.
The counter-terrorism agency will be a separate body located in the Intelligence Bureau under the control of the home ministry.
It will "draw up plans and coordinate actions for counter terrorism" and will "integrate intelligence pertaining to terrorism, analyse the same", according to the government order to come into effect from March 1, 2012.
The head of the NCTC will be called director and will be an officer in the rank of additional director IB.
Other officials of the agency will be deputed from other organisations like the Research and Analysis Wing, IB and other intelligence and investigation agencies.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on 06.02.2012 approved the Home Ministry's ambitious plan to set up the National Counter-Terrorism Centre.
After the CCS' nod, the NCTC will be the nodal agency for all counter-terrorism activities and intelligence agencies such as Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing
(RAW), Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) and state intelligence agencies.
These agencies will report to it on matters related to terrorism. The NCTC will then streamline terror-related intelligence, analyse and provide them for action to concerned agencies, official sources said.
It will coordinate with all intelligence agencies and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will act as the investigation wing.
The NCTC will connect Multi Agency Centre (MAC), which would be subsumed into NCTC, and all agencies reporting to it, in Delhi and state capitals.
Between the Centre, where almost two dozen agencies coordinate with MAC, and states almost 500 stakeholders are involved in counter-terror activities.
The NCTC will not have any foot-soldier to collect information, but will depend on other agencies.
The head of the body, an additional Director General level police officer, will report to the Union Home Secretary.
The government on Saturday said it had no intention to encroach upon the rights of the states while fighting terrorism. But the assurance didn't calm down voices against a proposed anti-terror intelligence hub, claiming its provisions threatened federalism.
In the midst of trenchant criticism from several state governments including its petulant ally, TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee over the Centre's proposed National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday reminded his detractors that 'security of the country is shared by the Centre and state governments."
Article 355 of the Constitution, he said, bestows upon the Union government a duty, and that "national security, internal security is a shared responsibility." Significantly, Banerjee, who has charged the Centre with infringing the federal structure and state rights, on Saturday was absent from the National Security Guard (NSG) hub near Kolkata which was inaugurated by Chidambaram.
n fact, Banerjee has made common cause with other NDA-ruled states, namely Orissa's Naveen Patnaik, Gujarat's CM Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Himachal Pradesh CM Prem Kumar Dhumal as well as Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh. Tamil Nadu's Jayalalitha has also opposed the setting up of NCTC. The fact that Banerjee, a significant UPA ally, has joined in the Opposition chorus has miffed the government.
However, MoS in the PMO V Narayanasamy, speaking to Business Standard, said, "We will ensure that all states are on board and we will carry every one along."
The NCTC was scheduled to be operational from March 1. Home ministry sources say the government intends to keep NCTC on track despite opposition from states, which is being viewed as essentially "politically motivated."
On February 14, Banerjee had written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "review and withdraw" the proposal for NCTC. "It is difficult for the state government to accept such arbitrary exercise of power by the central government/central agency, which have a bearing on the rights and privilege of the states as enshrined in the Constitution of India," she said.
About the National Counterterrorism Center
| *The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was established by Presidential Executive Order 13354 in August 2004, and codified by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA). NCTC implements a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission: "Breaking the older mold of national government organizations, this NCTC should be a center for joint operational planning and joint intelligence, staffed by personnel from the various agencies."1 See Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, at p. 403. |
The Director of NCTC is a Deputy Secretary-equivalent with a unique, dual line of reporting: (1) to the President regarding Executive branch-wide counterterrorism planning, and (2) to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) regarding intelligence matters. NCTC follows the policy direction of the President, and National and Homeland Security Councils.
NCTC is staffed by more than 500 personnel from more than 16 departments and agencies (approximately 60 percent of whom are detailed to NCTC). NCTC is organizationally part of the ODNI.
NCTC's core missions are derived primarily from IRTPA, as supplemented by other statutes, Executive Orders, and Intelligence Community Directives.2 NCTC's mission statement succinctly summarizes its key responsibilities and value-added contributions: "Lead our nation's effort to combat terrorism at home and abroad by analyzing the threat, sharing that information with our partners, and integrating all instruments of national power to ensure unity of effort."
"Analyzing the Threat"
By law, NCTC serves as the primary organization in the United States Government (USG) for integrating and analyzing all intelligence pertaining to counterterrorism (except for information pertaining exclusively to domestic terrorism).
NCTC integrates foreign and domestic analysis from across the Intelligence Community (IC) and produces a wide-range of detailed assessments designed to support senior policymakers and other members of the policy, intelligence, law enforcement, defense, homeland security, and foreign affairs communities. Prime examples of NCTC analytic products include items for the President's Daily Brief (PDB) and the daily National Terrorism Bulletin (NTB). NCTC is also the central player in the ODNI's Homeland Threat Task Force, which orchestrates interagency collaboration and keeps senior policymakers informed about threats to the Homeland via a weekly update.
NCTC leads the IC in providing expertise and analysis of key terrorism-related issues, with immediate and far-reaching impact. For example, NCTC's Radicalization and Extremist Messaging Group leads the IC's efforts on radicalization issues. NCTC's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Counterterrorism Group pools scarce analytical, subject matter, and scientific expertise from NCTC and CIA on these critical issues.
NCTC also evaluates the quality of CT analytic production, the training of analysts working CT, and the strengths and weaknesses of the CT analytic workforce. NCTC created the Analytic Framework for Counterterrorism, aimed at reducing redundancy of effort by delineating the roles of the IC's various CT analytic components. NCTC also created a working group for alternative analysis to help improve the overall rigor and quality of CT analysis.
"Sharing that Information"
By law, NCTC serves as the USG's central and shared knowledge bank on known and suspected terrorists and international terror groups. NCTC also provides USG agencies with the terrorism intelligence analysis and other information they need to fulfill their missions. NCTC collocates more than 30 intelligence, military, law enforcement and homeland security networks under one roof to facilitate robust information sharing. NCTC is a model of interagency information sharing.
Through the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE), NCTC maintains a consolidated repository of information on international terrorist identities and provides the authoritative database supporting the Terrorist Screening Center and the USG's watchlisting system. The Center also produces NCTC Online (NOL) and NCTC Online CURRENT, classified websites that make CT products and articles available to users across approximately 75 USG agencies, departments, military services and major commands. NCTC's Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group (ITACG) facilitates information sharing between the IC and State, Local, Tribal, and Private partners – in coordination with DHS, FBI, and other members of the ITACG Advisory Council.
NCTC also provides the CT community with 24/7 situational awareness, terrorism threat reporting, and incident information tracking. NCTC hosts three daily secure video teleconferences (SVTC) and maintains constant voice and electronic contact with major Intelligence and CT Community players and foreign partners.
"Integrating All Instruments of National Power"
By law, NCTC conducts strategic operational planning for CT activities across the USG, integrating all instruments of national power, including diplomatic, financial, military, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement to ensure unity of effort. NCTC ensures effective integration of CT plans and synchronization of operations across more than 20 government departments and agencies engaged in the War on Terror, through a single and truly joint planning process.
NCTC's planning efforts include broad, strategic plans such as the landmark National Implementation Plan for the War on Terror (NIP). First approved by the President in June 2006 and then again in September 2008, the NIP is the USG's comprehensive and evolving strategic plan to implement national CT priorities into concerted interagency action.
NCTC also prepares far more granular, targeted action plans to ensure integration, coordination, and synchronization on key issues, such as countering violent extremism, terrorist use of the internet, terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction, and counter-options (after an attack). NCTC also leads Interagency Task Forces designed to analyze, monitor, and disrupt potential terrorist attacks.
NCTC assigns roles and responsibilities to departments and agencies as part of its strategic planning duties, but NCTC does not direct the execution of any resulting operations.
NCTC monitors the alignment of all CT resources against the NIP and provides advice and recommendations to policy officials to enhance mission success.
The Director of NCTC is also the CT Mission Manager for the IC, per DNI directive3. Thus implementing a key recommendation of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. In that role, NCTC leads the CT community in identifying critical intelligence problems, key knowledge gaps, and major resource constraints. NCTC also created the CT Intelligence Plan (CTIP) to translate the NIP and the National Intelligence Strategy into a common set of priority activities for the IC, and to establish procedures for assessing how the IC is performing against those objectives.
NCTC, in partnership with NSC and HSC, is leading reform of CT policy architecture to streamline policymaking and clarify missions.
Featured NCTC Websites
Featured NCTC Links
Going by the reports, the NCTC, which is meant to co-ordinate intelligence collection, analysis and assessment and follow-up action in matters relating to terrorism, will differ from the NCTC set up in the US after 9/11 in two important respects.
In the US, the NCTC is an independent institution functioning under the supervision of the Director, National Intelligence. It co-ordinates the functioning of the counter-terrorism divisions of the various agencies of the intelligence community. The chiefs of the various intelligence agencies having any role in counter-terrorism do not have any powers of supervision over it. The idea of making it independent was to ensure that it would take an objective view of the functioning of the counter-terrorism divisions of different agencies and ensure proper-coordination. The expectation was that being an independent agency, its functioning will not be affected by inter-agency clashes and egos.
As per the media reports, the NCTC being set up in India will not be an independent institution. It will be part of the IB and director, IB, will supervise its functioning. This could come in the way of an independent audit and supervision of the functioning of the counter-terrorism division of the IB. Whatever deficiencies are there presently in the exercise of the counter-terrorism functions of the IB will get duplicated and magnified instead of being identified and rectified.
The post-9/11 creation of the NCTC in the US was meant to strengthen the preventive capability by improving the collection, analysis and assessment of terrorism-related intelligence and effective follow-up action. The 9/11 terrorist strikes in the US were attributed to inadequate intelligence and unsatisfactory follow-up action even on the intelligence that was available. The same was the case in India in respect of 26/11.
The NCTC in the US has no powers of arrest, interrogation, investigation and prosecution. The responsibility in these matters continues to be that of the FBI. In India, if media reports are to be believed, the NCTC has been given the powers to arrest and carry out searches under Section 43 (A) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Till now, in India, these powers belong to only the National Investigation Agency and the Central Bureau of Investigation at the Centre and the police in the states. By giving these powers to the NCTC too, we are going to create confusion in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism-related cases.
Moreover, the IB does not have such powers. It is a clandestine organisation for the secret collection of intelligence. In all genuinely democratic countries, intelligence agencies are not given powers of arrest, searches and interrogation due to fears that such powers may be misused under pressure from the political leadership against political opponents. Only in authoritarian countries do intelligence agencies have powers of arrest and searches.
In India, the IB informally associates itself with all terrorism-related interrogation, but the arrests and searches are made either by the police or by the NIA or the CBI. By creating a multiplicity of organisations having such powers and by giving these powers to the NCTC which will work under the director, IB, we will be taking an unwise step which could further politicise our handling of counter-terrorism.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was the latest to join his counterparts from other states, including West Bengal, in strongly opposing the just approved National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), a brainchild of Home Minister P. Chidambaram, which has the powers to set up inter-state intelligence support teams.
Union home minister PChidambaram's dream project for a super anti-terror intelligence agency, the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), for which he managed to get the cabinet nod after much trouble from his colleagues, is again in the eye of storm.
This time, the opposition has come on a larger scale: from chief ministers of six states, including keyUPA constituent Mamata Banerjee, and on a much serious note — saying the move is against federalism as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Referring to the hue and cry raised over the Central government's decision for constituting NCTC, RJDchief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday suggested that the Central government should consult the Chief Ministers of all the states on the issue.
"Several Chief Ministers have raised a hue and cry opposing the NCTCdecision," Prasad told reporters here.
He suggested that the Central government should hold consultations with the states and the respective Chief Ministers about its plan.
Disapproving of the Centre's plan to set up a National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), CPI on Saturday said it will oppose any government attempt to usurp powers of the state and warned that such moves will only create tensions and affect the country's federal polity.
In a statement, the party said it vehemently opposes such tendency and urged all democratic forces to stand up in defence of federalism" in India.
"This (the move to set up NCTC) is justifiably objected to by several Chief Ministers as it goes against the federal structure and the spirit of Constitution and transgresses into the powers of state governments.
"It is highly authoritarian on the part of Home Ministry to initiate the establishment of a new powerful National Centre without proper debate and discussion with the Chief Ministers of states. It is also necessary to discuss it in Parliament which will be meeting in the second week of March as it involves the centre-state relations," it said.
The party rejected the explanation given by the Home Ministry that NCTC is being formed for better co-ordination among agencies to fight terror.
"Because this will lead to a situation that the NCTC will get sweeping powers. There is danger of politicising the powers vested in it," the CPI said.
"There is a growing tendency of usurping powers of states on one pretext or other by the Centre in the recent period which will create tensions and unhealthy atmosphere and affect the federal polity of the country," it said.
Alleging that the NCTC is not on the lines promised by the UPAgovernment in the wake of 26/11, theBJP on Saturday demanded that a meeting of the Inter-State Council be called to discuss the matter instead of forming it through an executive order.
The opposition party also asserted that since law and order is a state subject, the government should keep the states in the loop in the functioning of NCTC.
Not doing so- as envisaged in the proposed NCTC- is a breach of the federal structure, it alleged.
"In November 2009, Home Minister P Chidambaram had said NCTC would be an over-arching body bringing better coordination, synergy and dynamism among the various agencies such as RAW, IB, NIA and NSG. Presently, as things stand the NCTC is reduced to be yet another agency under IB," BJP spokesperson Jagat Prakash Nadda said.
Seven Chief Ministers, including West Bengal's Mamta Banerjee and her Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa, have opposed NCTC on the grounds that it is against federalism.
"In setting up NCTC without consultation, usurping what is necessarily in the states' domain, the UPA has clearly attacked the basic federal structure of our Constitution. No wonder the states are standing up against it," Naddasaid.
The BJP demanded that a meeting of the Inter-State Council be called to discuss this matter immediately.
The opposition accused the UPA of playing votebank politics by arrogating powers to itself without any concern for the states.
"On the one hand, they are not facilitating state governments in their fight against terrorism. Gujarat government's GUJCOC (Bill for prevention of Organised Crime) is for years awaiting central clearance while Maharashtrahas a comparable law now for years," Nadda said.
BJP alleged that the Congress-led UPA government was arrogant and had taken decisions on several critical matters with hardly any consultation with the states.
"The way in which the NCTC is being set up by an executive order without even consulting the states is now being objected to by even UPA's own allies such as the Trinamool Congress," Nadda said.
He insisted that the Teesta water agreement with Bangladesh, FDI in multi brand retail and communal violence bill are recent examples of how the central government has "bulldozed" its agenda under the garb of "right to do so".
The party alleged that NTRO, which was formed as a surveillance agency, is more in news for surveillance of political opponents.
Moreover, the UPA is running a campaign "to colour code terror rather than fighting it," the BJP said.
The main opposition also clarified that it had made its stand on NCTC clear in Parliament earlier.
"Speaking in Parliament in August 2011, Leader of Opposition in RajyaSabha Arun Jaitley reminded the government that the NIA has failed to live up to the expectations of the nation," Nadda said.
He maintained that the BJP strongly believes that on matters of national security and fight against terrorism there are no compromises to be made.
"The three years in which the NIA has investigated the Mumbai case for such a major conspiracy which would have involved hundreds of conspirators both within and outside, only one man stands convicted,"Nadda said, quoting Jaitley's speech in Parliament.
As the day wore off, Naveen Patnaik of Odisha, Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, J Jayalalithaa of Tamil Nadu, Nitish Kumar of Bihar and NarendraModi of Gujarat had made it clear that their states would not tolerate theNCTC, which is an infringement on their bona fide rights.
Banerjee, Patnaik, Jayalalithaa and Kumar have already written to prime minister Manmohan Singh expressing their angst for not even being consulted on this important matter that interferes directly with their domain. They have sought an explanation on Chidambaram's "high-handed" approach and a review of the decision.
While Chidambaram chose to keep mum despite a query by DNA, Union home secretary RK Singh said the government is not passing any new law and there was no need to consult the states prior to notifying the NCTC.
"NCTC has been formed under existing sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) which has been in force for several years and we all have been operating under the Act," Singh said.
A key point of disagreement is that for the first time, an intelligence/counter terrorism agency has been given powers to make arrests. Moreover, the law and order is strictly a state subject, which Chidambaram himself has pointed out several times.
The first to come on record on Friday was Patnaik who said he was shocked by the "new authoritarian notification with draconian overtones" about law and order, etc.
"A few days ago I wrote to Dr Manmohan Singh on this matter also drew the attention of my colleagues Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalithaa and also spoke to TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu," Patnaik said.
In her letter, Banerjee asked the PM to "review and withdraw" the decision.Meanwhile,Jayalalithaa said the proposed body has provisions that tantamount to usurping the rights of the states.
With Chief Ministers of non-Congress ruled states raising a banner of revolt against the Centre's proposal to set up an apex counter-terror organisation, the National Conference on Saturday said nothing should be done that would infringe on the country's federal structure.
"In that (matters related to security of the country) nothing should be done which will infringe on the federal structure," NC President and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah told reporters in Jammu.
He was replying to a volley of questions on the Centre's move to create a National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and his party's stand on the matter.
"I think the Union Home Minister has to explain his position (on NCTC) to the Chief Ministers. Let us wait till this happens," said the chief of the NC, a partner in the UPA government at the Centre.
"Let me be very frank. This is a federal strucutre. In a federal structure, the Central government and the states have certain priorities relating to certain laws," he said.
However, Abdullah, whose NC is a dominant partner in the Jammu and Kashmir government, said "the Centre and the states must cooperateparticuarly in matters related to security of the country."
Several Chief Ministers of non-Congress ruled states have steadfastly opposed the Centre's plan to create NCTC saying such a move would violate the federal provisions of the Constitution and was intended to usurp rights of the states.
The Union government had rejected all criticism and expressed its determination to go ahead with setting up of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre, a brain-child of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Amid escalating row over the Centre's proposal for NCTC, Congress on Saturday struck a conciliatory note saying the government will definitely try to address concerns raised by UPA allyMamata Banerjee and Chief Ministers of non-UPA states on the issue.
"If so many Chief Ministers have expressed their concerns, the central government will talk to them, will certainly try to resolve their concerns and allay their apprehensions," party spokesperson Manish Tewari said.
The assertion by the party, an apparently softening from yesterday'saggresive posturing, comes as anti-NCTC clamour has become louder with more non-Congress Chief Ministers joining Banerjee on the issue.
Tewari also downplayed questions on whether it was an embarrasment for the party that an UPA ally is attacking the government in this manner.
Central government and state governments can have different perceptions. Even the Chief Minister of an UPA ally can have a different view.
"If a Chief Minister of any state even from UPA writes a letter to the Prime Minister or expresses his or her views on any issue under the impression that the measure relates to interests of a state, it is not wrong and this should not be given a political colour," Tewari said.
He was responding to questions on whether Banerjee's opposition to the Centre on a number of issues was an indication of political realignments.
The party's response came close on the heels of Home Minister PChidambaram reaching out to the states on the issue saying security of the country is a shared responsibility and without coordination among the states the war against terror cannot be won.
The protest was initiated by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who wrote to his counterparts in West Bengal (Mamata Banerjee), Bihar (NitishKumar) and Tamil Nadu (J Jayalalitha) and to TDP chief and former AndhraPradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
First to respond was Banerjee who wrote a letter to Prime MinisterManmohan Singh urging him to review and withdraw the decision.
Responding to Banerjee's criticism of the measure, Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhary had yesterday sought to turn the table on Trinamool Congress and others on NCTC issue pointing out that some of them were part of NDA which had passed the controversial POTA in 2002.
However, the course correction in the party today appeared after arealization that allowing the anti-NCTC move to acquire wider political contours will not be beneficial for the party.
A senior party leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, accepted the budget session is beginning next month and allowing consoldiation of non-Congress parties with a recalcitrant ally is not an ideal situation.
Tewari said there is no contradiction or inner conflict in the alliance owing toBanerjee's postion on NCTC.
"If there are certain differences, a way forward always comes out through talks and coordination. A solution will definitely be found. The communication between the Centre and the states and UPA and its allies goes on regularly," he said.
"Without discussing and taking opinion of the state governments, setting up of such anti-insurgency hub is against the federal structure of the Indian constitution," Sarkar told reporters, demanding the withdrawal of the executive order on the NCTC.
As the clamour over the setting up of NCTC grew louder, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said the matter should not be "politicised" because the agency was key to pre-empting terror strikes in India.
Soni reiterated that the NCTC proposal didn't talk about making amendments in any existing law but would derive powers from the anti-terror legislation already passed by parliament.
"In my understanding, it (setting up of NCTC) is an administrative decision. And I don't think that the central government in any way wants to interfere in the federal system or weaken it. I think the chief ministers also know that Manmohan Singh's government would not want to do this."
Amid the confrontation, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is the second largest constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), skipped a security event in Kolkata that was presided by Chidambaram.
Apparently unhappy with the home minister's move, Banerjee gave a last minute miss to Chidambaram's inauguration of the National Security Guard (NSG) hub in Kolkata.
But the home minister defended his stand on NCTC. "Internal security is a responsibility that is shared by the central and state governments," the home minister said.
He stressed that while the constitution has assigned law and order and police to the state governments, it has also given the responsibility to the central government for protecting every part of India from external aggression or internal disturbance.
Striking a conciliatory note, the home minister showered praise on the Mamata Banerjee-led government and said the central government was "very happy" to work with West Bengal.
"Under this government, Maoist activity has been substantially controlled. In some time, we hope to put down the problem and rid West Bengal of the menace. It is good that the state accepted our advice and conducted joint operations against the rebels."
The home minister's remarks come a day after Banerjee joined other state governments to express resistance over the powers given to the anti-terror agency that is being set up March 1.
WITH the Centre's plan to set up an overarching anti-terror body now earning her ire, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today mounted pressure by skipping the inauguration of an NSG hub near Kolkata, where Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was present. Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, who had come to meet her to resolve the Teesta imbroglio, also went back with a whole new list of "reservations" expressed by the Chief Minister over the enclave exchange protocol signed between India and Bangladesh.Reports Indian Express.
In the midst of opposition to NCTC from non-Congress chief ministers, home secretary RK Singh on Saturday said the Centre has the duty to fight those who wage war against the nation and this war can't be won if states start working independently.
Chief Ministers of non-Congress and BJP-ruled states and a Congress ally had raised a banner of revolt against the Centre's proposal to set up an apex counter-terror agency, saying it struck at the federalism and usurped states' powers.
The protest was lodged by several chief ministers, including Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), Mamata Banerjee ( West Bengal), J Jayalalitha ( Tamil Nadu), Narendra Modi (Gujarat) and Shivraj Singh Chauhan ( Madhya Pradesh).
Meanwhile,Hitting out at Union home minister P Chidambaram over the issue of setting up anti-terror body NCTC, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today accused the Centre of not sharing information on its constitution, functioning and powers with state governments.
Referring to Chidambaram's statement earlier in the day at Badu in West Bengal, Patnaik said, "If security is the shared responsibility of the Centre and the state, then I am surprised that they (home ministry) are not sharing vital information with state governments.
"They have not shared information regarding the constitution of NCTC, its functioning and powers."
Stating that Union Home Ministry sent huge bills for deployment of CRPF and BSF in states, including Odisha affected by Maoist activities, terrorism and extremism, Patnaik said, "It is a matter of surprise that they can send heavy bills, but not the important notification issued on February 3.
"We are not informed about the new anti-terrorism body to be operational on March 1. It seems very peculiar. "Security of the country is shared by the Centre and state governments. The Constitution of India assigns law and order to the state government and also assigns the Centre to protect the country against external aggression or internal disturbance," Chidambaram said in West Bengal.
Chief Ministers of Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh andHimachal Pradesh, have opposed the Centre's February 3 order which empowered the NCTC to arrest and search without informing the concerned state authorities.
The chief ministers have written to the Prime Minister voicing their opposition to the Home Ministry's notification without consulting them.
"It is the duty of the Central government to deal with terrorists and to coordinate with the states to tackle the terrorists. If all states work independently and if there is no coordination, can we win this fight ?," he told reporters when asked to comment on the opposition to NCTC.
Singh said dealing with someone waging war was the responsibility of the Central government.
"It is the Central government's responsibility to tackle someone who wages war against the nation. That is in the Union List (in the Constitution). We can't fight terrorism in this manner," he said.
The Home Secretary said the law that has been referred to (by the chief ministers) has been in the statute book since 1967.
"There were some amendment in 2004 and again in 2008. The section that has been talked about, all these were part of that law (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) since 2004. It has been there for last eight years," he said.
Mamata indicated a hardening of stance -- ahead of the crucial Budget Session of Parliament -- even as Chidambaram as well as the Congress made conciliatory noises over the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today joined the list of non-Congress chief ministers, including Mamata, opposing the single-point centre for anti-terror measures.
Inaugurating the NSG hub in Badu, about 50 km from Kolkata, Chidambaram said while the Constitution assigns law and order to states, it authorises the Centre to protect the country against external aggression and internal disturbance. "I have a responsibility to work with the states to quell terror, any militancy or rebellion," he said.
The Home Minister said the founding fathers of the Constitution were wise for including Article 355. "That is why they made national security, internal security a shared responsibility."
In Delhi, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the apprehensions about "infringement" of state rights would be taken into account. "If so many chief ministers have expressed their concerns, the Central government will talk to them, will certainly try to resolve the same."
On the other hand,Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the NCTC issue asking him to direct the Home Ministry to adopt an approach based on consultation and consensus and not a "blatantly arbitrary action" without taking the state governments into confidence. Strongly opposing the move of the Union Government, Dhumal said nobody could deny that the menace of terrorism needed to be dealt in the sternest manner, and for this purpose no state would deny support to any or all measures that may be initiated by the central government. "However, what was required was to adopt an approach based on consultation and consensus, and not a blatant arbitrary action without taking the state governments into confidence," he said. Law and order was a state subject and no effort in the direction of maintenance thereof or combating terrorism could be expected to succeed fully unless backed willingly and wholeheartedly by all the state governments, he said. Unfortunately, this vital fact seemed to have been ignored by the Union Government while notifying the ational Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) unilaterally, he said.
Dhumal alleged certain provisions appeared to be directly and brazenly infringing on the sphere of authority of the state governments as established by the Constitution of India (Article-246).
The proposed move notifying NCTC, especially without consulting the state governments or taking them into confidence, was nothing less than a terrible blow to the federal principles and structure, Dhumal said, adding, his view was shared by many states across the country. He said in recent years the Union Government had "adopted a tendency to brazenly and unilaterally encroach upon the authority and responsibility of the state governments and had tried to make them ineffective or helpless in shouldering their constitutionally assigned responsibilities".
Agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and CBI were being allowed to expand their area of operation unilaterally despite failure to bring out any spectacular results in their work in the past, he alleged.
The chief minister said that it was not the action per se but the manner in which it was proposed or decided to be taken for which he had strong objection.
Sometimes, a move with good intentions can also result in failing to achieve anything useful or fruitful simply because in its anxiety to push through such action, the people at the helm of affairs tend to ignore the constitutional federal and democratic realities, Dhumal said.
The war of nerves between the Centre and the Bengal government over the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre(NCTC) found an expression during the inauguration programme of the National Security Guard (NSG) hub in Kolkata with chief minister Mamata Banerjee giving it a miss at the last moment. Union home minister P Chidambaram, however, defended the Centre's stand while inaugurating the hub on Saturday.Times of india reports.
"Internal security is a complex issue and responsibility has to be shared. The Constitution does say that law and order and the police are state subjects. At the same time, the Constitution holds that Centre must provide necessary protection to everybody," Chidambaram said.
Though not opposed to setting up of the NSG hub, Mamata Banerjee stayed away from the programme sending two of her colleagues Union minister of state for shipping Mukul Roy and state food and supplies minister Jyotipriya Mullick to the programme. It didn't take long for Chidambaram to realise that Mamata may have stayed away as a mark of protest over the NCTC. He did his best to clarify his position, without naming the issue though.
"We don't distinguish between political parties when it comes to fighting crime. Most of the Naxalite-affected states are non-Congress ruled yet we are taking on the menace jointly. We are working with all these states. We are very happy to work with the new government in West Bengal. Under this government, Maoist activity has been substantially controlled. In some time, we hope to put down the problem and rid West Bengal of the menace. It is good that the state accepted our advice and conducted joint operations against the rebels," the Union home minister said.
The Union home minister said this in response to the Mamata Banerjee government's displeasure over aspects of the powers at the disposal of the anti-terror agency - the NCTC - that the Centre is setting up by March 1.
The NCTC will derive powers from the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), which allows it to make arrests or searches in terror-related cases.
While the state police concerned is supposed to be kept in the loop when such searches are conducted or arrests made, the state government is apparently not confident that this will be the case when it comes to actual operations or arrests.
The NCTC will integrate and analyse inputs on terror threats throughout the country and will have the legal power to make arrests and conduct search operations. Mamata has by her side other chief ministers namely Jayalalithaa (Tamil Nadu), Naveen Patnaik (Odisha), Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Prem Kumar Dhuma ( Himachal Pradesh), Parkash Singh Badal (Punjab) and Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh).
Even as the NSG hub inaugurated at Badu Road has no direct links with the NCTC, Mamata Banerjee's absence has assumed political dimensions.
After the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the Centre decided to set up NSG hubs at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad. For the first two year, the hub in Kolkata was located within the Salt Lake Stadium premises. It has now shifted to the Badu Road, about two km from Madhyamgram. Efforts are also on to acquire some more land in Rajarhat for a larger compound. Though much of the essential infrastructure has come up inside the NSG Complex on Badu Road at a cost of nearly Rs 38.21 crore, there are some problems outside.
"Normally, it is the states who demand things from the Centre but here I would demand something from West Bengal. The roads inside the hub are all-weather concrete ones. The three km approach road outside must be widened and concretised. Now, the time taken to reach the airport is anything between 13 and 17 minutes. If the road condition is improved, the travel time can be cut down by 2/3 minutes. This may seem a small difference but in the NSG's nature of work every minute is crucial," Chidambaram said.
NCTC will create a KGB in India. It must be reviewed.Feb 18, 2012
By B Raman
Of all the chief ministers who have protested against the proposed creation of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) without consulting the state governments, only Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has got it right.
She has made it clear that her objection is not to the creation of the NCTC to strengthen our counter-terrorism capability. Nor is her objection based on fears of dilution of the principle of federalism.
Her objections are to two features of the proposed NCTC mechanism: the powers of arrests and searches sought to be given to the NCTC, which will be a division of the IB, a clandestine intelligence organisation, and the provision for the setting-up of inter-State intelligence teams by the NCTC.
The practice of giving powers of arrest to the intelligence agencies was started by Lenin and Stalin when they set up the KGB, the all-powerful Soviet intelligence agency. AFPShe has reportedly described these provisions as highly objectionable and said that the powers of arrest and searches given to the IB through the mechanism of the NCTC under Section 2 (e) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967 "can be misused to suit ends that are motivated by reasons other than fighting terrorism. Moreover, setting up of inter-state intelligence teams by the NCTC is tantamount to usurping the legitimate rights of the States."
I would not agree with her fears regarding the proposed inter-State intelligence teams. Such teams may be necessary to deal with pan-Indian terrorist groups such as the Indian Mujahideen which have their sleeper cells right across India in many States.
But I do share her fears about the possible misuse of the powers of arrest and searches by the NCTC Division of the IB against political opponents by branding them as associated with terrorism. During the Emergency of 1975-77, Indira Gandhi had many of her political opponents arrested by having them branded as threats to national security.
In the future, a government with authoritarian reflexes may be tempted to misuse the powers of arrest given to the IB through the NCTC and have political opponents arrested by having them branded as associated with terrorism.
The IB is a secret intelligence organisation. It has no accountability to Parliament in respect of its work. We do not have a system of parliamentary intelligence oversight committees. We depend on the executive without any checks and balances to ensure that the IB functions according to the law of the land.
The British, during their colonial rule, did not consider it necessary or wise to give the powers of arrest and searches to the IB for any purpose. They observed the sacred principle that a clandestine intelligence collection agency should not have the powers of arrest. None of the governments that had held office in New Delhi since our independence had considered it necessary or wise to give such powers to the IB.
The practice of giving powers of arrest to the intelligence agencies was started by Lenin and Stalin when they set up the KGB, the all-powerful Soviet intelligence agency, in order to enable it to deal with so-called counter-revolutionaries. Many other authoritarian countries have since given these powers to their intelligence agencies.
The IB has till now not had these powers. In spite of that, during the Emergency there were serious allegations of misuse of the IB and the CBI by the Indira Gandhi Government to harass opponents of the Emergency. Instances of such misuse were documented by the Shah Commission and the LP Singh Committee set up by the Morarji Desai Government to enquire into them.
If there could be such gross misdeeds when the IB did not have any powers of arrest, imagine how much more could there be when a clandestine organisation, not accountable to Parliament, is given such powers on the ground that those powers would be required to deal with terrorism.
Congress spokesmen who are defending the NCTC mechanism have sought to ridicule those criticising the objectionable provisions of the NCTC as being opposed to strengthening our counter-terrorism capability. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The opposition is not to the NCTC as such, but to some objectionable features of it.
Instead of standing on false prestige, the central government should have a relook at some of the worrisome features of the NCTC mechanism in consultation with other political parties and State governments. It is not just a question of respecting the principles of federalism. It is a question of adhering to the principles of a genuine democracy.
B Raman is Additional Secretary (Retired) in the Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India. He is currently Director of the Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai; and Associate of the Chennai Centre for China Studies. Republished with permission from the Chennai Centre for China Studies.
What is NCTC? & Why Chief Ministers oppose NCTC?Saturday, February 18, 2012, 11:09 [IST]
The UPA government which is already reeling under various charges and controversies, found itself in the midst of a fresh trouble on Friday, Feb 17. ManyChief Ministers across the nation have protested the decision of setting up NCTC in their respective states.
WB Chief Minister and key ally of UPA government, Mamata Banerjee, grabbed the majority of attentions by demonstrating against NCTC scheme.
But why these many CMs protest this system that can purportedly be an effective way to check terrorism, which is on raise in the country?
Are these CMs undermining national security interest just to protest UPA's decision or as they say it does compromise on rights of the state? Read on to find answers for yourselves.
What is NCTC?
The National Counter-terrorism Center (NCTC) was established in 2004 by Presidential Executive Order. Basically, a top anti-terror body under Intelligence bureau. The formation of this counter-terror body defy the old format of national government agencies, to make it more effective and a distinguished organisation, following the key recommendations of 9/11 commission.
It has been inducted to become a centre for joint operational planning and joint intelligence to counter terrorism that holds the staff of distinguished personnel from various government agencies.
Now, why the states oppose the NCTC concept?
As many as nine Chief Ministers of different states have ridiculed the Centre's decision to instill NCTC across the states in India. And many have already dashed off their dissent note to PM Manmohan Singh, as well.
Mamata Banerjee is also among the rebellion state heads, as these CMs presume that this prime anti-terrorists agency may clamp down the rights of their respective states.
NCTC will set up small offices across the state to gather the real-time information. It will be headed by an Intelligence bureau official and report to Home Ministry.
NCTC officers can carry out raids without a prior permission of respective states. And the officers can arrest anyone over terrorism related cases. The state's other government authorities are bound to share details to the NCTC if required, no matter how confidential it is. Thus the anti-terror body will gather all real-time intelligence, exactly what IB is now lacking, and distribute information to other agencies, in order to have an effective system in place to tackle terrorism.
Meanwhile, it has the right to take assistance of any special force in the country including National Security Guard (NSG)
A group of nine dissent-CMs see it as "a fringe on the rights of states", Centre's "authoritarian" and "draconian", they have also suggested PM to re-look into the Centre's decision.
Killing the NCTC: Why India sucks at counter-terrorismVenky Vembu Feb 17, 2012
Four Chief Ministers – Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalithaa , Naveen Patnaik and Nitish Kumar – have come out against the National Counter Terrorism Centre , which was intended as a nodal counter-terrorism agency and was to be operationalised from 1 March. Gujarat Chief Minister too is believed to have opposed the proposal. Non-Congress opposition parties and leaders have similarly criticised the proposal.
The criticism against the NCTC has been made principally on the ground that it will erode the rights of the States. Banerjee noted in a letter to the Prime Minister that under the terms of the order, the NCTC would have extensive powers, including the power to arrest and the powers to search under various provisions of the law. Additionally, state governments functionaries would be required to provide information/documents to the NCTC..Banerjee said it was difficult for the state government to accept "such arbitrary exercise of power by the central government/central agency, which have a bearing on the rights and privilege of the states as enshrined in the Constitution of India."
Federalism gone wild
At first glance, this appears to be a case of federalism gone wild. AFPAt first glance, this appears to be a case of federalism gone wild. Just as with the Lokpal Bill, where the bogey of States' rights was invoked to effectively spike the already weakened anti-corruption Bill that the Congress brought before Parliament, so too now the proposed NCTC faces the high hurdle of opposition from State governments, including at least one headed by a key ally of the ruling Congress.
What is it about the hyperpartisan Indian political system that it cannot even evolve a consensus on so important a matter as the need for a nodal counter-terrorism agency? Why is it that even the matter of national security – and the countless lives we lose every year to terrorist attacks – does not persuade parties to take a larger national perspective? And why does not the proposed agency, the brainchild of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram (who saw it as his "unfinished agenda"), inspire confidence among State Chief Ministers?
Much of the problem arises from the way governments at the Centre and in the States, for all their claims to rising above politics, view terrorism through a partisan prism.
When Chidambaram first unveiled the NCTC idea, in a landmark speech in December 2009, barely a year after the November 2008 Mumbai attack, he had actually visualised it as a much more all-encompassing agency. (Read his speech here.) Strikingly, it appeared then that Chidambaram was unveiling a major policy in a public speech, without so much as securing Cabinet clearance for the proposal.
Chidambaram envisaged the NCTC as a nodal agency to deal with terrorism – that is, prevent a terror attack, contain it (if an attack did take place), and thirdly, "inflict pain upon the perpetrators". With that mandate, he saw the NCTC performing functions relating to intelligence, investigation and operations.
To that end, he felt that the NCTC would result in the transfer of oversight responsibilities over existing intelligence agencies to the proposed agency. And although he said it was his "fervent plea"" that this "should not result in turf wars", to observers it reeked of an effort to whittle down the powers of the then National Security Adviser MK Narayanan – who was subsequently eased out of office.
In such inauspicious circumstances was the NCTC conceived.
Even members of the intelligence community cautioned against building up a "super-agency." Vikram Sood, former head of the Research and Analysis Wing (India's external intelligence agency), argued that it would be wrong for the NCTC to aspire to become a "super-intelligence organisation and … take over the operational aspects of intelligence organisations."
Since then, the mandate of the NCTC has been eroded substantially. It was once envisaged as an overarching counter-terrorism agency with various other existing agencies – the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), the Multi Agency Centre of the Intelligence Bureau , the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the National Security Guards – reporting to it. But when the NCTC was eventually cleared by Cabinet, it was placed under the Intelligence Bureau.
Curiously, even the whittling of the NCTC's authority – thanks to turf battles within the intelligence community – hasn't convinced its detractors of the merits of the agency. For far too long have ruling parties at the Centre misused and abused intelligence sleuths for partisan political ends. Narendra Modi noted a while ago that the Congress was using all the investigating agencies and intelligence agencies in a vain attempt to ensnare him politically.
"Had the energy used by them against Gujarat … been directed towards Pakistan, half of the problem of terrorism would have been solved," Modi said.
Heck, it isn't just Opposition chief ministers; even one of Chidambaram's senior ministerial colleagues has complained of "snooping devices" in his Ministerial office.
Additionally, the excessive preoccupation of Congress leaders like Digivijaya Singh with "saffron terror", while willfully ignoring the rather more widespread roots of terror elsewhere, also shows up a mala fide intent to use anti-terrorism provisions to selectively target political opponents. (That's not to say right-wing groups aren't guilty of terrorist attacks, but the disproportionate emphasis on so-called "saffron terror" points to a more insidious attempt at playing communal politics even when it comes to terrorism.)
In fact, some State-level leaders have a rather better record when it comes to counter terrorism. Jayalalithaa, for instance, has an exemplary record of tackling terrorist groups who operated in Tamil Nadu: in the wake of the 1991 assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, she leveraged the widespread disenchantment with Sri Lankan Tamil extremism to uproot the militant groups that had a free run in earlier times.
It is in this context that the opposition from the four State chief ministers begins to make sense. While nobody can argue with the compelling need to counter terrorism, and for better coordination among intelligence agencies, the bona fides of the UPA government in this area aren't entirely above reproach.
So, while Chidambaram's vision of the NCTC as a nodal agency has much to commend, in the end the proposal fell flat owing to the UPA government's – and Chidambaram's – inability to convince the political spectrum of the earnestness of its efforts to counter terrorism and of its readiness to rise above political pettiness.
It's also a measure of why India truly sucks at genuine counter-terrorism.
National Counterterrorism CenterFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
National Counterterrorism Center
Matthew G. Olsen, Director
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is a United States government organization responsible for national and international counterterrorism efforts. It is based in a modern complex in McLean, Virginia called Liberty Crossing, near Tysons Corner. NCTC advises the United States on terrorism.
The center is part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and draws experts from the CIA, FBI, the Pentagon, and other agencies who try to ensure that clues about potential attacks are not missed.
HistoryThe precursor organization of NCTC, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), established on May 1, 2003, was created by President George W. Bush by Executive Order 13354. President Bush announced the creation of TTIC in his 2003 State of the Union Address. TTIC was established in response to recommendations by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) that investigated the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Among other things, the 9/11 Commission concluded that "none of the measures adopted by the U.S. government before 9/11 disturbed or even delayed the progress of the al Qaeda plot."
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 renamed TTIC to NCTC and placed it under the United States Director of National Intelligence. It has access to various databases, including those from the NSA and the CIA, and is in charge of the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database. It also operates the publicly-accessible Worldwide Incidents Tracking System database.
ActivitiesThe center analyzes terrorism intelligence (except purely domestic terrorism); stores terrorism information; supports U.S. counterterrorismactivities using information technology (IT); and plans counter-terrorism activities as directed by the President of the United States, theNational Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council.
GoalsIts goals include providing terrorism information to the intelligence community; provide detailed lists of terrorists, terrorist groups, and worldwide terrorist incidents; support the response to terrorist incidents in the U.S. and worldwide; write assessments and briefings for policymakers.
After the Christmas 2009 terrorist attempt on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, the NCTC was tasked with  creating a process to "thoroughly and exhaustively" prioritize terrorism threat threads; identify follow-up action by intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security; and enhance the "Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment" database, to add names to watchlists.
- John O. Brennan (Acting) (2004–05)
- Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Scott Redd (2005–07)
- Michael E. Leiter (Acting) (2007–08)
- Michael E. Leiter (2008–2011)
- Matthew G. Olsen (2011 - present)
Principal Deputy Directors
- Arthur M. Cummings (2004–05)
- Kevin R. Brock (2005–07)
- Michael E. Leiter (2007–08)
- Geoff O'Connell (2008–2011)
- Andrew Liepman (2011- present)
Coordinates: 38.933°N 77.205°W
- Director of Central Intelligence Directive
- Counterterrorist Center
- Photos of the NCTC and TTIC
- Information Sharing Environment
- ^ "A hidden world, growing beyond control". The Washington Post.
- ^ Elliot, Phillip, "Obama says al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen apparently responsible for airliner bombing plot," Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 2, 2010, accessed January 2, 1010
- ^ "Public Statement Release of 9/11 Commission Report The Hon. Thomas H. Kean and the Hon. Lee H. Hamilton". July 22, 2004. Retrieved 22 Feb 2010.
- ^ Karen DeYoung, After attempted airline bombing, effectiveness of intelligence reforms questioned, Washington Post, January 7, 2010
- ^ Pelofsky, Jeremy (January 7, 2010). "Factbox: Actions Obama ordered after December 25 bomb plot". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: National Counterterrorism Center
- NCTC Website
- Office of the Director of National Intelligence Website
- NCTC News Story on Appointment of Michael Leiter and retirement of Kevin Brock
- News about new NCTC on FBI website
- BBC News article with internal photograph
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