The National Security Division (NSD) was created in March 2006 by the USA PATRIOT Reauthorization and Improvement Act (Pub. L. No. 109-177). The creation of the NSD consolidated the Justice Department's primary national security operations: the former Office of Intelligence Policy and Review and the Counterterrorism and Counterespionage Sections of the Criminal Division. The new Office of Law and Policy and the Executive Office, as well as the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (which previously operated out of the Criminal Division) complete the NSD. The NSD commenced operations in September 2006 upon the swearing in of the first Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
The mission of the National Security Division is to carry out the Department's highest priority: to combat terrorism and other threats to national security. The NSD's organizational structure is designed to ensure 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 federal government's national security efforts.