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Hawaii ranks 31st of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations, and is one of seven states that ranks 37th overall in the number of agencies established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11. In dollar amount, the state ranked 40th in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 39th in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked third in overall federal government expenditures.

Hawaii 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 is one of 15 states that have had no terrorism-related convictions since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Justice Department. Honolulu 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. Hawaii falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) and is dominated by a long-standing federal military presence. The federal government operates three significant intelligence-analysis centers in Hawaii: the PACOM Joint Intelligence Operations Center (JIOC), the Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF West) and the Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD). In 2006, a new U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Intelligence Fusion Center was opened at Fort Shafter. The Joint Task Force Homeland Defense (JTF-HD), established in 2004, is responsible for homeland security and military support to Hawaii and Pacific Islands agencies. The task force is formally charged with Hawaii ground-based homeland defense, while the Navy's Pacific Fleet and the Air Force's Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) cover the maritime and air-and-space domains.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 45

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 9

80% Pre-9/11

20% Post-9/11

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For homeland security, Hawaii falls under Task Force Hawaii, a contingency unit of the U.S. Army Pacific and a subordinate task force to the Hawaii-based Joint Task Force-Homeland Defense, which has Pacific-wide responsibilities for the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM). Hawaii is located in FEMA Region IX; the Defense Coordinating Office responsible for brokering and arranging federal military support for the state is in Oakland, Calif.

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 3311145


  • Counterterrorism

    The Honolulu Joint Terrorism Task Force, also known as the Pacific JTTF, is located in the FBI's Honolulu field office. It began through a partnership with the Defense Department, which allocated a DOD analysis team from the Army, Navy and Pacific Command to state-level counterterrorism missions. The U.S. attorney for the district of Hawaii heads an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) that links with the FBI, military law enforcement components, the Hawaii Executive Preparedness Executive Committee (HEPEC) and Hawaii county (island) police intelligence units.

  • Intelligence

    Hawaii is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), the Western States Information Network (WSIN) and the Navy-sponsored Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX). The County of Maui Criminal Intelligence Unit provides intelligence, mostly on organized crime.

    The military's Pacific Command Joint Intelligence Operations Center, located at Camp H.M. Smith in Honolulu, dominates all other intelligence players on the islands, supplemented by the large Joint Interagency Task Force West (JIATF-W), which handles all aspects of the drug threat. At the federal level, the FBI's Honolulu Field Intelligence Group focuses intelligence efforts on the state, as does the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in Honolulu, which has jurisdiction over Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. The Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in Honolulu also performs criminal intelligence analysis.

  • Fusion

    Hawaii is one of the last states to field a fully functional fusion center, perhaps because the federal-level intelligence and fusion capabilities in the state are so robust. The state-level Pacific Regional Intelligence Clearinghouse, also known as the Hawaii Intelligence Fusion Center, will be a component of Hawaii State Civil Defense when it is fully operational.

  • Homeland Security

    Hawaii State Civil Defense is responsible for emergency management and homeland security, and is an agency of the state Department of Defense. To assist in critical infrastructure protection, a DHS Protective Security Advisor is located in Honolulu. Coast Guard District 14, one of four districts in the Pacific (and only one of two state-level districts), is headquartered in Honolulu.

  • Law Enforcement

    The state Department of the Attorney General's Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division is the statewide law enforcement agency and includes the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. The FBI field office in Honolulu has responsibility for Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, including American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. The field office operates resident agencies and satellite offices in Kona and Maui.

  • Emergency Management

    Hawaii State Civil Defense is the state agency for coordinating disaster/emergency preparedness. The Emergency Operations Center for Hawaii is located in Diamond Head Crater. Responsibility for disasters or major crises in the state -- given its geography -- really rests at the county (island) level. Each county has a Civil Defense Agency, and these are coordinated with State Civil Defense. The city and county of Honolulu operates its own Department of Emergency Management.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
Hawaii ATAC (U.S. Attorney) x
Hawaii County Satellite Office (ATF)  
Hilo Office (Drug Enforcement)  
USAO District of Hawaii (U.S. Attorney)  
Hawaii Resident Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Shafter 
AFOSI Det 601 (Air Force)Hickam AFB 
AFOSI Region 6 (Air Force)Hickam AFB 
AFOSI Region 6 OL-D PAST (Air Force)Hickam AFB 
93rd Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Honolulux
DSS Resident Office (Defense Sec.)Honolulu 
FIG Honolulu Office of Intelligence(ICE)Honolulux
Hawaii Adjutant General (TAG)Honolulu 
Hawaii Air National GuardHonolulu 
Hawaii Army National GuardHonolulu 
Hawaii Department of Accounting and General ServicesHonolulux
Hawaii Department of DefenseHonolulu 
Hawaii Department of the Attorney General Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance DivisionHonolulu 
Hawaii Fusion Center (Hawaii Civil Defense)Honolulux
Hawaii HIDTA (Nat'l Drug Control)Honolulu 
Hawaii National Guard JFHQHonolulux
Hawaii Post of Duty (Defense)Honolulu 
Hawaii State Blue Water Citizen Corps CouncilHonolulux
Hawaii State Civil DefenseHonolulu 
Honolulu District Office (Drug Enforcement)Honolulu 
Honolulu Division (FBI)Honolulu 
Honolulu JTTF (Coast Guard, FBI)Honolulu 
Honolulu JTTF / Pacific JTTF (FBI)Honolulux
Honolulu Police DepartmentHonolulu 
Honolulu Resident Office (Diplomatic Sec.)Honolulu 
Honolulu Satellite Office/ Industry Operations (ATF)Honolulu 
Joint Interagency Task Force-WHonolulu 
Protective Security Advisor Honolulu District (DHS)Honolulux
SAC Honolulu (ICE)Honolulu 
USMS District of Hawaii (Marshals)Honolulu 
USSS Honolulu (Secret Service)Honolulu 
Kona Resident Agency (FBI)Kailua-Kona 
NCIS Resident Agency (NCISRA) Kaneohe Bay (Navy)Kaneohe Bay 
Maui Office (Drug Enforcement)Maui 
Detachment 16 (Military Intel.)Pearl Harbor 
NCIS Hawaii Field Office (Navy)Pearl Harbor 
NCIS Regional Polygraph Site Pacific (Navy)Pearl Harbor 
NCIS Technical Services Det & Consolidated Evidence Facility (CEF) Hawaii (Navy)Pearl Harbor 
102nd Military Police Det (CID) (U.S. Army)Schofield Barracks 
Hawaii Field Office (U.S. Army)Schofield Barracks 
Maui Resident Agency (FBI)Wailuku 

Hawaii is exceptionally vulnerable to terrorist attacks because it is a world famous international and domestic tourist destination while also being the closest and first point of entry into the United States from known centers of terrorism.”

Source: State of Hawaii Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan, 2007

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyEarthquakes; Floods; Hurricanes; Landslide and debris flow; Thunderstorms; Tsunamis; Volcanoes
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.
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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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