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Iowa ranks 41st of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations, and 34th overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11 (tied with Kansas and Mississippi). In dollar amount, the state ranked sixth in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 33rd in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked 29th in overall federal government expenditures.

U.S. intelligence and homeland security agencies and the Department of Justice measure the potential terrorist threat to Iowa by analyzing data, including the following: * Iowa is one of 13 states or territories where U.S. attorneys secured one terrorism-related conviction from 9/11 through March 2010, according to the Justice Department. * Iowa is one of 18 states that have no metropolitan area that has been designated by the federal government as "high-threat, high-density" with regard to acts of terrorism.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 36

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 9

75% Pre-9/11

25% Post-9/11

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Iowa is located in FEMA Region VII; the Defense Coordinating Office responsible for brokering and arranging federal military support for the state is in Kansas City.

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 2412036


  • Counterterrorism

    The Des Moines Joint Terrorism Task Force annex is subordinate to the FBI's Omaha field office. The U.S. attorney chairs Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils (ATACs) in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.

  • Intelligence

    Iowa is a member of the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center (MOCIC) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC).

    At the federal level, the FBI Omaha Field Intelligence Group (FIG) covers threats to Iowa. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in St. Paul, Minn., has jurisdiction over Iowa.

  • Fusion

    Iowa has two operational fusion centers:
    • The Iowa Intelligence Fusion Center (formerly the Iowa Fusion Center), established in 2003, is a component of the Iowa Department of Public Safety and is the state-designated fusion center. • The Region 5 Fusion Center in Des Moines, a component of the Des Moines Police Department, includes the counties of Adair, Appanoose, Boone, Clarke, Dallas, Decatur, Greene, Guthrie, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Polk, Ringgold, Story, Union, Warren and Wayne.

  • Homeland Security

    The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD), under the Iowa Department of Public Defense and located at Camp Dodge, coordinates the state's emergency management and homeland security efforts. To assist in critical infrastructure protection, a DHS Protective Security Advisor is located in Des Moines.

  • Law Enforcement

    The Iowa Department of Public Safety is the statewide law enforcement agency and includes the State Patrol and the Division of Criminal Investigation. Iowa falls under the jurisdiction of the FBI's Omaha field office, which has resident agencies in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Sioux City and Waterloo.

  • Emergency Management

    The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD), created after 9/11, has been working on emergency preparedness and management since it began as the State Civil Defense Agency in 1965.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
USAO Northern District of Iowa (U.S. Attorney)  
USAO Southern District of Iowa (U.S. Attorney)  
ATAC Northern District of Iowa (U.S. Attorney)Cedar Rapidsx
Cedar Rapids Office (Drug Enforcement)Cedar Rapids 
Cedar Rapids Resident Agency (FBI)Cedar Rapids 
Cedar Rapids Satellite Office (ATF)Cedar Rapids 
RAC Cedar Rapids (ICE)Cedar Rapids 
USMS Northern District of Iowa (Marshals)Cedar Rapids 
Davenport Satellite Office (ATF)Davenport 
ATAC Southern District of Iowa (U.S. Attorney)Des Moinesx
Des Moines Field Office (Military Intel)Des Moines 
Des Moines Resident Office (Drug Enforcement)Des Moines 
Des Moines Satellite Office (ATF)Des Moines 
Iowa Department of Public SafetyDes Moines 
Iowa Division of Criminal InvestigationDes Moines 
Iowa Division of Narcotics EnforcementDes Moines 
Iowa Homeland Security AdvisorDes Moinesx
Iowa Intelligence Fusion CenterDes Moines 
Iowa Region 5 Fusion Center (Des Moines Police Dept.)Des Moines 
Protective Security Advisor Des Moines District (DHS)Des Moinesx
RAC Des Moines (ICE)Des Moines 
USMS Southern District of Iowa (Marshals)Des Moines 
USSS Des Moines (Secret Service)Des Moines 
71st Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Johnstonx
Iowa Air National GuardJohnston 
Iowa Army National GuardJohnston 
Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management DivisionJohnstonx
Iowa National Guard JFHQJohnstonx
Iowa State Citizen Corps Readiness/Response BureauJohnstonx
RAC Sioux City (ICE)Sioux City 
Sioux City Office(Drug Enforcement)Sioux City 
Sioux City Resident Agency (FBI)Sioux City 
Sioux City Satellite Office (ATF)Sioux City 
Waterloo Resident Agency (FBI)Waterloo 
Des Moines JTTF Annex (FBI)West Des Moinesx
Des Moines Resident Agency (FBI)West Des Moines 

While the likelihood of a terrorist act being committed in Iowa is unknown, we will continue to be affected by floods, tornadoes, plane crashes, and other natural and human-caused disasters.”

Source: Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division Web site

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyFloods; Thunderstorms; Tornadoes; Winter storms; Extreme cold
Domestic SecurityWhite 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.
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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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