NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION
The mission of the National Security Division (NSD) of the Department of Justice is to carry out the Department’s highest priority: to combat terrorism and other threats to national security. The NSD, which consolidates the Department’s primary national security elements within a single Division, currently consists of the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review; the Counterterrorism and Counterespionage Sections, formerly part of the Criminal Division; and a new Law and Policy Office. This organizational structure ensures greater coordination and unity of purpose between prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, on the one hand, and intelligence attorneys and the Intelligence Community, on the other, thus strengthening the effectiveness of the Department’s national security efforts.
The Division is led by an Assistant Attorney General and supported by three Deputy Assistant Attorneys General, who oversee the Division’s three components.
The Division’s major responsibilities include:
Intelligence Operations and Coordination:
- Represent the United States before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain authorization under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) for the United States government to conduct intelligence surveillance activities, such as electronic surveillance, physical searches, and pen registers and trap and trace devices;
- Obtain Attorney General authorization for the United States government to conduct intelligence activities in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order No. 12333, the Executive Order governing the intelligence activities of the United States;
- Coordinate and oversee intelligence-related litigation matters, including evaluating and reviewing requests to use information collected under FISA in criminal and non-criminal proceedings and to disseminate FISA information; and
- Serve, through the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, as the Departmentís primary liaison to the Director of National Intelligence.
- Promote and oversee a coordinated national counterterrorism enforcement program, including the investigation and prosecution of international and domestic terrorism cases;
- Share information and trouble-shoot issues with prosecutors nationwide on terrorism matters, cases, and threat information, and establish and maintain an essential communication network between the Department of Justice and United States Attorneysí Offices for the rapid transmission of information on terrorism threats and investigative activity;
- Share information and trouble-shoot issues with international prosecutors, agents, and investigating magistrates to assist in addressing international threat information and litigation initiatives;
- Provide training to prosecutors and investigators on cutting-edge tactics, substantive law, and relevant policies and procedures; and
- Ensure that the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against American citizens overseas remain a high priority within the Department of Justice.
- Supervise the investigation and prosecution of cases involving national security, foreign relations, and the export of military and strategic commodities and technology;
- Coordinate cases involving the application of the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA); and
- Enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) and related disclosure statutes.
- Oversee foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities to ensure rigorous obedience to the Constitution of the United States and the vigorous protection of individual privacy and civil liberties;
- Monitor the intelligence and counterintelligence activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to ensure conformity with applicable laws and regulations, FISA Court orders, and Department procedures, including the Attorney Generalís National Security Investigative Guidelines;
- Oversee national security-related activities to determine their consistency with relevant policies and law; and
- Prepare reports on domestic and foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities, and that relate to trends or changes in these activities.
Law and Policy:
- Oversee the development, coordination, and implementation, in conjunction with other components of the Department as appropriate, of policies with regard to intelligence, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, and national security matters;
- Provide legal assistance and advice, in coordination with the Office of Legal Counsel as appropriate, to Government agencies on matters of national security law and policy;
- Provide advice regarding classification of national security information;
- Perform prepublication classification review of materials proposed to be published by present and former Department employees;
- Produce monographs and other guidance on the interpretation and application of new terrorism statutes, regulations, and policies;
- Serve as the Departmentís representative on interdepartmental boards, committees, and other groups dealing with issues related to national security; and
- Advise the Attorney General, Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House on all areas of national security law.
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