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Illinois ranks 12th of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations, and 20th overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11 (tied with Oklahoma). In dollar amount, the state ranked eighth in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and fifth in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked 44th in overall federal government expenditures.

U.S. intelligence and homeland security agencies and the Department of Justice measure the potential terrorist threat to Illinois by analyzing data, including the following: * Illinois had seven terrorism-related convictions from Sept. 11, 2001, through March 2010, according to the Justice Department. * Chicago 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. * Two major alleged terrorist plots relating to Illinois have been thwarted since 2001: an alleged 2009 bomb plot involving Michael C. Finton, and an alleged Harakat-ul-Jihad-I-Islami (Pakistani) plot in 2010 involving U.S. citizen and Chicago resident David C. Headley, who has pleaded guilty to helping plan the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. Springfield was one of the U.S. cities targeted (along with Dallas, New York and Denver) in a rash of plots uncovered and thwarted in September 2009. * Illinois is one of five states with the largest immigrant populations in the nation, a measure that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI associate with potential threats. In 2009, according to the DHS, Illinois ranked fifth in unauthorized immigrant population, with an estimated 540,000 unauthorized immigrants residing in the state. * The intelligence community ranks Illinois in the top 10 states with the largest Muslim populations, a measure that it applies to potential threats of homegrown terrorist involvement. Illinois has three FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) and is one of 22 states with more than one JTTF. Illinois is also one of 16 states with more than one fusion center.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 91

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 18

80.2% Pre-9/11

19.8% Post-9/11

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Illinois is located in FEMA Region V; the Defense Coordinating Office responsible for brokering and arranging federal military support for the state is in Chicago.

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 7514291


  • Counterterrorism

    Illinois has three Joint Terrorism Task Forces: the Chicago Terrorism Task Force (CTTF); the Quad Cities JTTF, located in Moline; and the Springfield JTTF. The U.S. attorney chairs Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils (ATACs) in Fairview Heights, Rockford, Springfield and Chicago.

  • Intelligence

    Illinois was one of six states to initially test the DHS Homeland Security Information System-Intel (HSIN-Intel) pilot, which allows fusion centers to directly share classified information to identify trends and patterns that may represent links to terrorism. Illinois is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center (MOCIC). In 2010, the Chicago Police Department was designated as one of 12 state agencies to participate in the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) initiative.

    At the federal level, the FBI operates Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) in Chicago and Springfield. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in Chicago has jurisdiction for Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas. The Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area also performs criminal intelligence analysis.

  • Fusion

    Illinois has two operational fusion centers:
    • The Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC), a component of the State Police, was first operational in the spring of 2003 and is a cooperative effort with the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF). The STIC collects, analyzes and disseminates information about terrorism threats and events. Its Infrastructure Security Awareness Program (ISA), initiated in September 2004, shares restricted critical-infrastructure protection guidance and intelligence with with the private sector.
    • The Chicago Police Department's Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC), established in April 2007, focuses on all crimes and counterterrorism and is staffed by the CPD and the Cook County Sheriff's office, with liaison personnel from federal agencies.

  • Homeland Security

    The Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF), established in 2000, was originally created to further disaster-preparation efforts to specifically address a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) event. Today, the ITTF is responsible for developing and helping implement the state's domestic preparedness and counterterrorism strategy and numbers some 60 agencies, associations and organizations inside and outside of government. The Illinois Infrastructure Security Awareness Program (ISA) is a forum for sharing information about critical-infrastructure protection; it relies on corporate security for the detection and prevention of suspicious activities associated with terrorism and other criminal activities. The restricted membership includes private-sector security directors and managers involved in the operation of critical infrastructure or commercial enterprises. To assist in critical-infrastructure protection, a DHS Protective Security Advisor is located in Chicago. The Federal Protective Service (FPS) Region 5 headquarters is in Chicago.

  • Law Enforcement

    The Illinois State Police is the statewide law enforcement agency and maintains the Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center (STIC). The Chicago Police Department is the second-largest police department in the United States, with more than 13,000 sworn members. The FBI's Chicago and Springfield field offices operate resident agencies and satellite offices in Lisle, Orland Park, Rockford, Rolling Meadows, Champaign, Decatur, Effingham, Fairview Heights, Marion, Peoria and the Quad Cities (Moline).

  • Emergency Management

    The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is the state agency for coordinating disaster/emergency preparedness. The IEMA, through the Illinois Terrorism Task Force (ITTF), develops and implements the state's homeland security strategy and administers federal preparedness funding. The Illinois Private Sector Alliance Project (PSAP) was launched in 2007 to integrate the business and nongovernmental sectors with government efforts in preventing, responding to and recovering from catastrophic events. The PSAP exists under the auspices of the ITTF and consists of two programs: the Infrastructure Security Awareness (ISA) Program and the Mutual Aid Response and Resource Network (MAR2N).

    In April 2002, Chicago's Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) expanded into the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), which oversees emergency operations in the city.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
Office of Counterintelligence (Dept. of Energy)Argonne 
Carbondale Office (Drug Enforcement)Carbondale 
Champaign Resident Agency (FBI)Champaign 
ATAC Northern District Eastern Division of Illinois (U.S. Attorney)Chicagox
Chicago Crime Prevention and Information Center (CPIC)Chicago 
Chicago Division (FBI)Chicago 
Chicago Division (Postal Inspection)Chicago 
Chicago Electronic Crimes Task Force (CECTF) (Secret Service)Chicago 
Chicago Field Division (ATF)Chicago 
Chicago Field Division (Drug Enforcement)Chicago 
Chicago Field OfficeChicago 
Chicago Field Office (Diplomatic Sec.)Chicago 
Chicago Field Office (ICE)Chicago 
Chicago Financial Crimes Task Force (Secret Service)Chicago 
Chicago HIDTA (Nat'l Drug Control)Chicago 
Chicago JTTF (Coast Guard, FBI)Chicago 
Chicago JTTF (FBI)Chicago 
Chicago Office of Emergency Management and CommunicationsChicago 
Chicago Resident Office (Defense Sec.)Chicago 
Cook County Office of Emergency ManagementChicago 
Criminal Investigations Service Center (Postal Inspection)Chicago 
Defense Coordinating Officer/Element FEMA Region V (NORTHCOM)Chicagox
DHS Office of Investigations Field Office ChicagoChicagox
FEMA Region VChicago 
FIG Chicago Office of Intelligence(ICE)Chicagox
FPS Region 5-Chicago, Illinois (Fed. Protective Service)Chicago 
Illinois IRS Criminal Investigation, Chicago Field OfficeChicago 
Mid America Customs Management CenterChicago 
Protective Security Advisor Chicago District (DHS)Chicagox
RAC Chicago O'Hare (ICE)Chicago 
SAC Chicago (ICE)Chicago 
USAO Northern District of Illinois (U.S. Attorney)Chicago 
USMS Northern District of Illinois (Marshals)Chicago 
USSS Chicago (Secret Service)Chicago 
Decatur Resident Agency (FBI)Decatur 
Chicago Resident Agency (Defense)Des Plaines 
Downers Grove Satellite Office (ATF)Downers Grove 
USMS Southern District of Illinois (Marshals)East St. Louis 
Effingham Resident Agency (FBI)Effingham 
ATAC Southern District of Ill. (U.S. Attorney)Fairview Heightsx
Fairview Heights Office (Drug Enforcement)Fairview Heights 
Fairview Heights Resident Agency (FBI)Fairview Heights 
Fairview Heights Satellite Office (ATF)Fairview Heights 
USAO Southern District of Illinois (U.S. Attorney)Fairview Heights 
Fort Sheridan Field Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Sheridan 
NCIS Resident Agency Great Lakes (Navy)Great Lakes 
West Resident Agency (FBI)Lisle 
Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive InstituteMacombx
Marion Resident Agency (FBI)Marion 
Quad Cities JTTF (FBI)Molinex
Quad Cities Resident Agency (FBI)Moline 
SAC Chicago (ICE)Oakbrook Terrace 
FBI Resident Agency (FBI)Orland Park 
Peoria Resident Agency (FBI)Peoria 
Peoria Satellite Office - Industry Operations (ATF)Peoria 
ATAC Northern District Western Division of Ill. (U.S. Attorney)Rockfordx
Rockford Office (Drug Enforcement)Rockford 
Rockford Resident Agency (FBI)Rockford 
Rockford Satellite Office (ATF)Rockford 
Quad City Office (Drug Enforcement)Rock Island 
Rock Island Satellite Office (ATF)Rock Island 
Rock Island Resident Agency (U.S. Army)Rock Island Arsenal 
Rock Island Resident Office (Military Intel.)Rock Island Arsenal 
North Resident Agency (FBI)Rolling Meadows 
Associate SAC - Chicago (ICE)Rosemont 
AFOSI Det 301 (Air Force)Scott AFB 
AFOSI Region 3 (Air Force)Scott AFB 
AFOSI Region 7 OL-A (Air Force)Scott AFB 
5th Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Springfieldx
Central District of Ill. ATAC (U.S. Attorney)Springfieldx
Ill. Emergency Management AgencySpringfield 
Illinois Adjutant General (TAG)Springfield 
Illinois Air National GuardSpringfield 
Illinois Army National GuardSpringfield 
Illinois Citizen Corps CouncilSpringfieldx
Illinois Department of Military AffairsSpringfield 
Illinois State PoliceSpringfield 
Ill. National Guard JFHQSpringfieldx
Ill. StatewideTerrorism Intelligence Center (State Police)Springfieldx
Ill. Terrorism Task ForceSpringfieldx
Protective Security Advisor Springfield District (DHS)Springfieldx
RAC Springfield (ICE)Springfield 
Springfield Division (FBI)Springfield 
Springfield JTTF (FBI)Springfieldx
Springfield Office (FBI)Springfield 
Springfield Resident Office (Drug Enforcement)Springfield 
Springfield Satellite Office (ATF)Springfield 
USAO Central District of Illinois (U.S. Attorney)Springfield 
USMS Central District of Illinois (Marshals)Springfield 
USSS Springfield (Secret Service)Springfield 
DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency ManagementWheatonx

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyExtreme heat; Floods; Thunderstorms; Tornadoes; Winter storms; Extreme cold
Domestic SecurityHomegrown Islamic terrorists; White supremacists
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 »


Top Secret America on Frontline

A short video from PBS’s FRONTLINE on The Post’s two-year investigation. An hour-long documentary film is forthcoming. Watch the trailer »

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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