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Georgia ranks sixth of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations, and sixth overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11 (tied with Alabama). In dollar amount, the state ranked 19th in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 14th in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked 48th in overall federal government expenditures.

U.S. intelligence and homeland security agencies and the Department of Justice measure the potential terrorist threat to Georgia by analyzing data, including the following: * Georgia had three terrorism-related convictions from Sept. 11, 2001, through March 2010, according to the Justice Department. * Atlanta is one of the 64 urban metropolitan areas that have been designated by the federal government as "high-threat, high-density" with regard to acts of terrorism. * Georgia has the second-largest and fastest-growing immigrant population in the nation, a measure that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI associate with potential threats. In 2009, according to the DHS, Georgia ranked sixth in unauthorized immigrant population, with an estimated 480,000 unauthorized immigrants residing in the state. The Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC), the state's fusion center and one of the first state-level centers created after 9/11, was organized simultaneously with the Georgia Homeland Security Task Force in October 2001. In 2003, the GISAC established Southern Shield, a 14-state initiative to share terrorism-related intelligence. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) were merged in 2007, creating GEMA-OHS.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 143

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 32

77.6% Pre-9/11

22.4% Post-9/11

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Georgia is divided into eight emergency management regions, and GEMA-OHS regional field coordinators maintain offices to serve as a base of operations for local support. The state is located in FEMA Region IV; the Defense Coordinating Office responsible for brokering and arranging federal military support for the state is in Atlanta.

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 873224143


  • Counterterrorism

    The Georgia Joint Terrorism Task Force (known as the Atlanta JTTF) is located in Atlanta. The U.S. attorney chairs Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils (ATACs) in Atlanta, Macon and Savannah.

  • Intelligence

    Georgia is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) and the Navy-sponsored Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX). At the state level, the Georgia Terrorism Intelligence Project (GTIP) is an intelligence-sharing project between state and local law enforcement agencies and the state fusion center. Established in 2004, the GTIP has grown from eight original partner agencies to more than 20, covering well over 60 percent of the state's population.

    At the federal level, the FBI Atlanta Field Intelligence Group has jurisdiction over Georgia and leads the intelligence effort. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in Atlanta has jurisdiction over Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area performs criminal intelligence analysis.

  • Fusion

    The Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC), the state's fusion center, was established in October 2001 and was one of the first statewide terrorism fusion centers. It started as a component of the new Georgia Office of Homeland Security (OHS), but after the OHS merged with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency in 2007, the GISAC came to be operated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), reporting to GEMA-OHS. The GISAC is co-located with the FBI-run Atlanta Joint Terrorism Task Force and was the first state fusion center to be co-located with a local FBI office. In 2003, the GISAC was the driving force for establishing the Southern Shield initiative with neighboring states' homeland security officials to exchange best practices, share terrorism-related intelligence and monitor regional terrorism threats. Today 14 Southern states participate.

  • Homeland Security

    The Georgia Homeland Security Task Force (HSTF) was created on Oct. 25, 2001, to advise on issues related to terrorism and homeland security. In 2007 the governor merged the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Office of Homeland Security (OHS), creating GEMA-OHS. Its Homeland Security Directorate and Terrorism Emergency Response and Preparedness Division (TERP) are responsible for intelligence gathering and analysis, homeland security grant services and training. TERP partners with the HSTF, the Georgia Counter Terrorism Task Force and the GISAC, the state's fusion center, in its homeland security and critical infrastructure protection (CIP) functions. To assist in CIP, the DHS Protective Security Advisor is located in Atlanta, and one of nine national DHS CIP Teams is located in Georgia to conduct assessments of selected critical assets. Federal Protective Service (FPS) Region 4 headquarters is also located in Atlanta.

  • Law Enforcement

    The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is an independent, statewide agency that includes the Georgia Crime Information Center. The FBI's Atlanta field office operates resident agencies and satellite offices in Albany, Athens, Augusta, Brunswick, Columbus, Dublin, Gainesville, Macon, Rome, Rossville, Savannah, Statesboro, Thomasville and Valdosta.

  • Emergency Management

    The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), a component of GEMA-OHS, is the lead state agency for the coordination of planning and response to events that require multiagency support. The Georgia State Operations Center (SOC) is operated by GEMA.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
Albany Police DepartmentAlbany 
Albany Resident Agency (FBI)Albany 
NCIS Resident Unit Albany (Navy)Albany 
RAC Albany (ICE)Albany 
USSS Albany (Secret Service)Albany 
Athens-Clarke County Police DepartmentAthens 
Athens Resident Agency (FBI)Athens 
University of Georgia Police DepartmentAthens 
AFOSI Det 352 OL-A (Air Force)Atlanta 
ATAC Northern District of Ga. (U.S. Attorney)Atlantax
Atlanta Division (FBI)Atlanta 
Atlanta Division (Postal Inspection)Atlanta 
Atlanta Electronic Crimes Task Force (Secret Service)Atlanta 
Atlanta Field Division (ATF)Atlanta 
Atlanta Field Division (Drug Enforcement)Atlanta 
Atlanta Field OfficeAtlanta 
Atlanta Field Office (ATF)Atlanta 
Atlanta Field Office (ICE)Atlanta 
Atlanta HIDTA (Nat'l Drug Control)Atlanta 
Atlanta JTTF 308th Military Intelligence Battalion LiaisonAtlantax
Atlanta JTTF (FBI)Atlantax
Atlanta Police DepartmentAtlantax
Atlanta Resident Agency (Defense)Atlanta 
Atlanta Resident Office (Diplomatic Sec.)Atlanta 
Atlanta Resident Office (Military Intel.)Atlanta 
DCIS Southeast Field Office (Defense)Atlanta 
Defense Coordinating Officer/Element FEMA Region IV (NORTHCOM)Atlantax
DHS Office of Investigations Field Office AtlantaAtlantax
FEMA Region IVAtlanta 
FIG Atlanta Office of Intelligence(ICE)Atlantax
FPS Region 4-Atlanta, Georgia (Fed. Protective Service)Atlanta 
Fulton County Emergency Services DepartmentAtlanta 
Fulton County Police DepartmentAtlantax
Ga. Department of Corrections (GDC)Atlantax
Ga. Department of Human ServicesAtlanta 
Ga. Department of Natural Resources (DNR)Atlanta 
Ga. Emergency Management Agency headquartersAtlanta 
Ga. Homeland Security Task ForceAtlantax
Ga. Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC)Atlantax
Ga. Office of Homeland SecurityAtlantax
Ga. Terrorism Intelligence Project (GTIP)Atlantax
Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs (GAFC)Atlanta 
Georgia Department of Public SafetyAtlanta 
Georgia IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field OfficeAtlanta 
Georgia State PatrolAtlanta 
MARTA Police DepartmentAtlantax
Protective Security Advisor Atlanta District (DHS)Atlantax
RAC Hartsfield Airport (ICE)Atlanta 
SAC Atlanta (ICE)Atlanta 
State of Georgia Citizen CorpsAtlantax
USAO Northern District of Georgia (U.S. Attorney)Atlanta 
USMS Northern District of Georgia (Marshals)Atlanta 
USSS Atlanta (Secret Service)Atlanta 
Augusta Resident Agency (FBI)Augusta 
Augusta Satellite Office (ATF)Augusta 
Richmond County Sheriff’s OfficeAugusta 
Brunswick Resident Agency (FBI)Brunswick 
Cherokee County Sheriff’s OfficeCanton 
Ga. Emergency Management Agency Region Six - Northwest GeorgiaCedartown 
S. Atlantic Customs Management CenterCollege Park 
Columbus Police DepartmentColumbus 
Columbus Resident Agency (FBI)Columbus 
Columbus Satellite Office (ATF)Columbus 
Ga. Emergency Management Agency Region Four - West Central GeorgiaCordele 
Ga. Emergency Management Agency Region Two - Southwest GeorgiaCordele 
RAC Dalton (ICE)Dalton 
Whitfield County Sheriff’s OfficeDalton 
Ga. Crime Information CenterDecatur 
Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI)Decatur 
4th Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Dobbins AFBx
AFOSI Det 325 OL-G (Air Force)Dobbins AFB 
Ga. National Guard JFHQDobbins ARBx
Doraville Police DepartmentDoravillex
Dublin Resident Agency (FBI)Dublin 
Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP)Duluth 
3rd Military Police Group (CID) (U.S. Army)Forest Park 
Atlanta Fraud Resident Agency (U.S. Army)Forest Park 
Forest Park Police DepartmentForest Parkx
Southeastern Fraud Field Office (U.S. Army)Forest Park 
Ga. Emergency Management AgencyForsyth 
86th Military Police Det (CID) (U.S. Army)Ft. Benning 
Fort Benning CID Office (U.S. Army)Ft. Benning 
Fort Benning Resident Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Benning 
Fort Gillem Field Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Gillem 
Fort Gordon CID Office (U.S. Army)Ft. Gordon 
Fort Gordon Resident Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Gordon 
Army Operations Activity Detachment Fort McPherson (Military Intel.)Ft. McPhersonx
ARNORTH Civil Support Training Group - East (NORTHCOM)Ft. McPhersonx
Fort McPherson CID Office (U.S. Army)Ft. McPherson 
Fort Stewart CID Office (U.S. Army)Ft. Stewart 
Gainesville Resident Agency (FBI)Gainesville 
Hall County Sheriff’s OfficeGainesville 
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (DHS)Glyncox
NCIS Contingency Response Field Office (NCIS-CRFO) (Navy)Glynco 
Ga. Emergency Management Agency Region One - Northeast GeorgiaHartwell 
Hunter Army Airfield CID Office (U.S. Army)Hunter Army Airfield 
Ga. Emergency Management Agency Region Five - Coastal GeorgiaJesup 
Clayton County Police DepartmentJonesboro 
NCIS Resident Agency Kings Bay (Navy)Kings Bay 
Gwinnett County Police DepartmentLawrencevillex
ATAC Middle District of Ga. (U.S. Attorney)Maconx
Bibb County Sheriff’s OfficeMacon 
Macon Resident Agency (FBI)Macon 
Macon Satellite Office/Industry Operations (ATF)Macon 
USAO Middle District of Georgia (U.S. Attorney)Macon 
USMS Middle District of Georgia (Marshals)Macon 
AFOSI Det 702 OL-A (Air Force)Marietta 
Cobb County Police DepartmentMariettax
Ga. Department of DefenseMariettax
Ga. Emergency Management Agency Region Seven - Metro-AtlantaMarietta 
Georgia Adjutant General (TAG)Marietta 
Georgia Air National GuardMarietta 
Georgia Army National GuardMarietta 
Joint Task Force 781st CBRNE (Nat'l Guard)Mariettax
Henry County Police DepartmentMcDonoughx
AFOSI Det 211 (Air Force)Moody AFB 
AFOSI Det 105 (Air Force)Robins AFB 
AFOSI Det 325 (Air Force)Robins AFB 
Rome Resident Agency (FBI)Rome 
Rossville Resident Agency (FBI)Rossville 
ATAC Southern District of Ga. (U.S. Attorney)Savannahx
RAC Savannah (ICE)Savannah 
Savannah/Chatham County Police DepartmentSavannah 
Savannah Resident Agency (FBI)Savannah 
Savannah Resident Office (Drug Enforcement)Savannah 
Savannah Satellite Office (ATF)Savannah 
USAO Southern District of Georgia (U.S. Attorney)Savannah 
USMS Southern District of Georgia (Marshals)Savannah 
USSS Savannah (Secret Service)Savannah 
Southeast Region (Dept. of Energy)Savannah River 
AFOSI Det 117 (Air Force)Smyrna 
Smyrna Field Office (Defense Sec.)Smyrna 
Ga. Emergency Management Agency Region Three - East Central GeorgiaStatesboro 
Statesboro Resident Agency (FBI)Statesboro 
Georgia Sheriff’s Association (GSA)Stockbridge 
DeKalb County Homeland SecurityStone Mountainx
FEMA Region IV MERSThomasville 
Thomasville Resident Agency (FBI)Thomasville 
Dekalb County Police DepartmentTuckerx
Lowndes County Sheriff’s OfficeValdosta 
Valdosta Resident Agency (FBI)Valdosta 
Houston County Sheriff’s OfficeWarner Robins 
Ga. Emergency Management Agency Region Eight - South Central GeorgiaWaycross 

The State of Georgia is not immune from acts of terrorism, whether by domestic, international or transnational terror groups. In 1997 Georgia earned the distinction of becoming the first U.S. State to experience a terrorist incident in which a secondary explosive device was employed against first responders. Within the state lie hundreds of facilities, structures or businesses that could at any given time be considered as a high value targets for terrorist organizations.”

Source: Georgia Emergency Operations Plan, 2010

Historically, Georgia has learned first hand of the effects of domestic terrorism from insidious and deliberate attacks at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and bombings targeting first responders. All of these apparently unrelated events punctuate our state and nation's vulnerability to both international and domestic terrorism, and highlight Georgia's risk of similar attack against its public officials, private and multi-national corporations, public infrastructure, and government facilities. Georgia is affected by two in-state nuclear power plants and three out-of-state nuclear facilities, is home to a nuclear submarine base, and has the headquarters or offices of 357 of the Fortune 500 companies. Georgia ports are responsible for national and international imports and exports and critical military load-outs. The Atlanta metropolitan area is home to the nations second busiest airport, is the third largest convention center in the United States, hosts CNN, a global news source, and contains numerous, vital military installations, and military contractors as well as the headquarters for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There is no question that Georgia is at risk from terrorism.”

Source: Georgia Emergency Operations Plan, 2008

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyExtreme heat; Floods; Hurricanes; Thunderstorms; Tornadoes
Domestic SecurityJamaat ul-Fuqra; Sovereign Citizens Movement
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.
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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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