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American Samoa

American Samoa is one of 15 states and territories that the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. intelligence agencies assess as having no specific foreign or domestic terrorism threat. It contains no metropolitan areas that have been designated by the federal government as "high-threat, high-density" with regard to acts of terrorism, has had no terrorism arrests since Sept. 11, 2001, and is one of 20 states and territories that have had no terrorism convictions since 9/11, according to the Justice Department.

The American Samoa Government Department of Homeland Security, established by executive order in 2007, was codified in the Civil Defense Act of 2008. The territory was devastated in 2009 by an earthquake and tsunami and received $92 million in FEMA assistance. In November 2010, the DHS Inspector General’s Office labeled American Samoa a high-risk recipient because the aid was used to make up shortfalls in local revenue, instead of being applied to disaster recovery, which was seen as vital to local security.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 5

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 2

60% Pre-9/11

40% Post-9/11

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American Samoa is the responsibility of Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD), a part of the U.S. Pacific Command, headquartered in Hawaii.

Law Enforcement
Law Enforcement
Includes organizations at the federal, state and local levels that have the police powers to make arrests and investigate criminal matters.
Emergency Management
Emergency Management
Organizations tasked with responding to natural disasters, attacks using weapons of mass destruction and other emergencies.
Homeland Security
Homeland Security
Organizations responsible for activities -- such as infrastructure protection, border control and planning for the aftermath of terrorist attacks -- handled mainly by the Department of Homeland Security.
Organizations, such as the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces, that work exclusively on terrorism cases.
Joint Terrorism Task Force
A multiagency task force, run by the FBI, that has the lead in investigating terrorism within the United States.
Intelligence and Fusion
Organizations that collect, analyze and share information about domestic threats.
Fusion Centers
Fusion Center
A place where information from multiple agencies in a state or region is sent to be analyzed.
Totals 1405


  • Counterterrorism

  • Intelligence

    American Samoa is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the Western States Information Network (WSIN). An American Samoa intelligence and enforcement program to develop linkages with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force for intelligence and information sharing was first funded by the DHS in 2006.

  • Fusion

    American Samoa does not have a fusion center.

  • Homeland Security

    The American Samoa Government Department of Homeland Security deals with emergency management, counterterrorism, criminal intelligence and critical infrastructure protection.

  • Law Enforcement

    The American Samoa Department of Public Safety is the territory's law enforcement agency. The FBI American Samoa resident agency is part of the Honolulu field office.

  • Emergency Management

    The American Samoa Territorial Emergency Management Coordinating Office (TEMCO) is the agency for coordinating disaster/emergency planning.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
American Samoa Department of Homeland SecurityPago Pagox
American Samoa Department of Public SafetyPago Pago 
American Samoa Resident Agency (FBI)Pago Pago 
American Samoa Territorial Emergency Management Coordination (TEMCO)Pago Pago 
American Samoa Citizen CorpsUtuleix

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyEarthquakes; Floods; Hurricanes; Landslide and debris flow; Tsunamis
Domestic SecurityNone identified
Sourcing: Natural hazards are taken from DHS documents and State Emergency Operations Plans. Domestic terrorist threats are based upon U.S. government intelligence documents and actual attacks undertaken since 2001.

This project was last updated in September 2010. Data is accurate as of that date.
"Top Secret America" is a project nearly two years in the making that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. | Read More »

More than a dozen Washington Post journalists spent two years developing Top Secret America. | See the details »


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The reporters

Dana Priest

Investigative reporter Dana Priest has been The Washington Post's intelligence, Pentagon and health-care reporter. She has won numerous awards, including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for public service for "The Other Walter Reed" and the 2006 Pulitzer for beat reporting for her work on CIA secret prisons and counterterrorism operations overseas. She is author of the 2003 book, "The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military, (W.W. Norton).

William M. Arkin

William M. Arkin has been a columnist and reporter with The Washington Post and since 1998. He has worked on the subject of government secrecy and national security affairs for more than 30 years. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books about the U.S. military and national security.

Project Credits

Stephanie Clark, Ben de la Cruz, Kat Downs, Dan Drinkard, Anne Ferguson-Rohrer, Justin Ferrell, David Finkel, Jennifer Jenkins, Robert Kaiser, Laris Karklis, Jacqueline Kazil, Lauren Keane, Todd Lindeman, Greg Manifold, Jennifer Morehead, Bonnie Jo Mount, Larry Nista, Ryan O’Neil, Sarah Sampsel, Whitney Shefte, Laura Stanton, Julie Tate, Doris Truong, Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso, Michael Williamson, Karen Yourish, Amanda Zamora.

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