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Kentucky ranks 25th of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations, and 26th overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11 (tied with South Carolina). In dollar amount, the state ranked 11th in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 22nd in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked 12th in overall federal government expenditures.

U.S. intelligence and homeland security agencies and the Department of Justice measure the potential terrorist threat to Kentucky by analyzing data, including the following: • Kentucky is one of 13 states or territories where U.S. attorneys secured one terrorism-related conviction from Sept. 11, 2001, through March 2010, according to the Justice Department. • Louisville 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. • Kentucky has the ninth-largest and fastest-growing immigrant population in the nation, a measure that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI associate with potential threats. Kentucky has three FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), and is one of 22 states with more than one JTTF.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 52

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 14

73.1% Pre-9/11

26.9% Post-9/11

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Kentucky 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 3813152


  • Counterterrorism

    The Kentucky Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is located in Louisville, with JTTF annexes in Covington and Lexington. The U.S. attorney chairs Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils (ATACs) in Lexington and Louisville.

  • Intelligence

    The Technical Division of the Kentucky State Police operates an intelligence branch. Kentucky is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC). The state is also a member of Southern Shield, a consortium of homeland security and law enforcement officials from 14 Southeastern states and territories. At the federal level, the FBI operates a Field Intelligence Group (FIG) in Louisville. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in Chicago has jurisdiction over Kentucky. The Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in London performs criminal intelligence analysis for parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

  • Fusion

    The Kentucky Intelligence Fusion Center (KIFC), established in 2006, is a component of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and is the state-designated fusion center.

  • Homeland Security

    The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security is responsible for all aspects of state counterterrorism, critical-infrastructure protection and the Kentucky Law Enforcement Protection Program, and has administrative oversight of the Kentucky Intelligence Fusion Center. To assist in critical infrastructure protection, a DHS Protective Security Advisor is located in Louisville.

  • Law Enforcement

    The Kentucky State Police is the statewide law enforcement agency and includes a Special Enforcement Troop that directs investigations of special cases -- such as narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and white-collar, electronic and governmental incidents -- and the analysis and dissemination of related intelligence. Kentucky's Statistical Analysis Center is part of the state's Justice and Public Safety Cabinet and is responsible for criminal data and information. The FBI's Louisville field office operates resident agencies and satellite offices in Ashland, Bowling Green, Covington, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Hopkinsville, Lexington, London, Owensboro, Paducah and Pikeville.

  • Emergency Management

    The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management is the state agency for coordinating disaster/emergency preparedness.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
Ashland Resident Agency (FBI)Ashland 
Ashland Satellite Office (ATF)Ashland 
Bowling Green Resident Agency (FBI)Bowling Green 
Bowling Green Satellite Office (ATF)Bowling Green 
RAC Bowling Green (ICE)Bowling Green 
Elizabethtown Resident Agency (FBI)Elizabethtown 
Frankfort Resident Agency (FBI)Frankfort 
Kentucky Adjutant General (TAG)Frankfort 
Kentucky Air National GuardFrankfort 
Kentucky Army National GuardFrankfort 
Kentucky Citizen Corps Working GroupFrankfortx
Kentucky Department of CorrectionsFrankfortx
Kentucky Department of Military AffairsFrankfortx
Kentucky State PoliceFrankfortx
Kentucky Transportation CabinetFrankfortx
Ky. Department of Homeland Security (Office of the Gov.)Frankfortx
Ky. Emergency ManagementFrankfort 
Ky. Intelligence Fusion Center (Ky. Office of Homeland Sec.)Frankfortx
31st Military Police Detachment (CID) (U.S. Army)Ft. Campbell 
Fort Campbell Resident Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Campbell 
280th Military Police Detachment (CID) (U.S. Army)Ft. Knox 
Fort Knox Resident Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Knox 
Covington JTTF (FBI)Ft. Mitchellx
Covington Resident Agency (FBI)Ft. Mitchell 
Hopkinsville Resident Agency (FBI)Hopkinsville 
USAO Eastern District of Kentucky (U.S. Attorney)lexington 
Eastern District of Ky. ATAC (U.S. Attorney)Lexingtonx
Lexington Division of PoliceLexingtonx
Lexington Field Office (ATF)Lexington 
Lexington JTTF Annex (FBI)Lexingtonx
Lexington Resident Agency (FBI)Lexington 
USMS Eastern District of Kentucky (Marshals)Lexington 
USSS Lexington (Secret Service)Lexington 
Appalachia HIDTA (Nat'l Drug Control)London 
London Resident Agency (FBI)London 
London Resident Office (Drug Enforcement)London 
London Satellite Office (ATF)London 
41st Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Louisvillex
Ky. Electronic Crimes Task Force (Secret Service)Louisville 
Louisville Field Division (ATF)Louisville 
Louisville Field Office (FBI)Louisville 
Louisville JTTF / Ky. JTTF (FBI)Louisvillex
Louisville Metro Police DepartmentLouisville 
Louisville Resident Office (Drug Enforcement)Louisville 
Protective Security Advisor Louisville District (DHS)Louisvillex
RAC Louisville (ICE)Louisville 
USAO Western District of Kentucky (U.S. Attorney)Louisville 
USMS Western District of Ky. (Marshals)Louisville 
USSS Louisville (Secret Service)Louisville 
Owensboro Resident Agency (FBI)Owensboro 
Paducah Resident Agency (FBI)Paducah 
Pikeville Resident Agency (FBI)Pikesville 

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyFloods; Landslide and debris flow; Thunderstorms; Tornadoes; Winter storms; Extreme cold
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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