ABSTRACT

Combating Terrorism: Issues to Be Resolved to Improve Counterterrorism Operations, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 128KB]

"Terrorist attacks against U.S. personnel and interests domestically and abroad highlight the need for effective U.S. efforts to combat terrorism. As requested, we prepared this unclassified summary of our February 1999 classified report to you on interagency counterterrorist operations. Specifically, we examined how agencies worked together in counterterrorist operations and special events; strengths and weaknesses of international and domestic counterterrorist exercises; and agency and interagency processes to capture and share lessons learned. In the last 3 years, federal agencies have conducted several successful interagency operations overseas, including some in which suspected terrorists have been returned to the United States to stand trial. In addition, federal agencies have deployed personnel and equipment to prepare for many special events such as the Atlanta Olympic Games. However, federal agencies have not completed interagency guidance and resolved command and control issues. Proposed interagency Domestic Guidelines have not been completed, nor coordinated with all federal agencies with domestic counterterrorism roles. For example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has not coordinated the proposed Domestic Guidelines with the Department of the Treasury even though it could have a significant role in an actual terrorist incident. Furthermore, approval of proposed interagency International Guidelines has been delayed because the Department of State, the Department of Justice, and the FBI have not reached agreement on the level of State participation in highly sensitive missions to arrest suspected terrorists overseas. In addition, some interagency and intergovernmental command and control issues regarding domestic counterterrorist operations have not been fully resolved."

Report Number:
GAO/NSIAD-99-135
Publisher:
Date:
1999-05
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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