The world changed on September 11, 2001. The attack on American soil took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent civilians. The role of virtually every federal, state and local law enforcement agency also changed that day.
On September 17, 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft directed that the fight against terrorism and the prevention of future terrorist acts must be law enforcement’s first and overriding priorities. He directed every United States Attorney to establish an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) to serve as a conduit for information sharing about suspected terrorists among federal, state and local law enforcement entities. For details about the ATAC, please click here
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland has designated a senior prosecutor as the ATAC Coordinator to coordinate with representatives from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and other homeland security agencies, to ensure the prompt exchange of anti-terrorism information, urgent alerts, changes to the National Threat Advisory Level, etc. Persons in need of this information span many disciplines in both public and private sectors, including public health, transportation, emergency responders and managers, and law enforcement.
Maryland’s ATAC meets regularly to share information critical to each member’s anti-terrorism efforts and has developed a highly successful training program. The ATAC formed one of the first fusion centers in the United States to combine information sharing and analysis – the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC). To view the MCAC Charter, please click here
. The MCAC Watch Section began 24 hour operation on November 3, 2003 and has continuously disseminated threat and other critical information throughout the state and the United States since that date. MCAC’s Strategic Analysis Section reviews material from around the world and produces and disseminates intelligence products to ATAC members, to other state fusion centers and to national entities. Each training session conducted by the ATAC has attracted 200 to 400 persons from Maryland and many other states as well. The ATAC has conducted at least 4 training seminars each year since its inception.