The Terror Threat Integration Center (TTIC) was created in 2003 by George W Bush and was first headed by John Brennan. In August 2004, and at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, TTIC was incorporated into the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) by Executive Order (EO) 13354. [LINK]
Friday evening Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard “Ric” Grenell announces some modifications to the NCTC to streamline activity and avoid redundancy.
On the surface the ODNI announcement appears to be a bureaucratic realignment of priorities:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell today announced several organizational changes to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which is part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
Based on the recommendations of career Intelligence Community (IC) officers, the reforms will increase efficiency by avoiding duplication of effort, strengthen support to and burden-sharing with NCTC’s IC partners on counterterrorism issues, and enhance NCTC’s integration within the broader ODNI organization.
NCTC Acting Director Lora Shiao said the changes will allow NCTC to focus its mission to better address evolving national security needs. (read more)
It has been suspected for several years the activities of the NCTC were part of the system alignment that allowed Obama-era intelligence actors to weaponize the NSA database.
Essentially behind the writing of the FISA court review (footnote 69), there appeared to be a clouding of intelligence distinctions between the CIA (foreign) and FBI (domestic), through the use of counterintelligence and the NCTC.
Knowing the scale of intelligence weaponization for political purposes that we are now aware of; and accepting a nefarious intention on behalf of federal actors looking for unique ways to skirt laws, rules and regulations on domestic surveillance; the morphing of the “sister” agencies to exploit intelligence gathering makes sense.
One approach of this nefarious intent would be “reverse targeting”, which is similar to the Flynn-Kislyak call issues. Target a foreign person’s communication as an end-around to avoid the necessary warrant for the American on the other end of the contact. In practice this would look like this:
The FBI (counterintelligence division) knows an American contacted a foreign person. The FBI wants to know what the contact was about, but doesn’t have evidence to cut through the legal privacy protections. So the FBI asks their ‘sister’ the CIA, to extract the foreign person’s information from the NSA intercepts (FBI gives specific date and time). The CIA then extracts the result and the NCTC is used as the hub where the resulting intelligence information is stored, then shared.
Obviously we have no idea whether today’s realignment of NCTC priorities has any bearing on the system structure used to carry out prior corrupt intelligence exploits; but it’s possible this issue is a part of the underlying change.