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Massachusetts ranks 21st of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations (tied with Oklahoma), and 31st overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11 (tied with Nebraska and Nevada). In dollar amount, the state ranked 20th in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 13th in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked seventh in overall federal government expenditures.

U.S. intelligence and homeland security agencies and the Department of Justice measure the potential terrorist threat to Massachusetts by analyzing data, including the following: * Massachusetts had four terrorism-related convictions from Sept. 11, 2001, through March 2010, according to the Justice Department. * Boston 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. * One major alleged terrorist plot has been thwarted relating to Massachusetts since 2001: an alleged shopping mall bombing plot involving U.S. citizen Tarek Mehanna in 2009. Massachusetts is one of 22 states with more than one Joint Terrorism Task Force; it is also one of 16 states with more than one fusion center. Massachusetts is the state and federal hub of counterterrorism for most of New England, generally covering Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 65

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 11

83.1% Pre-9/11

16.9% Post-9/11

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Massachusetts is divided into five homeland security planning regions -- Northeast, Southeast, Central, West and the Boston metropolitan area -- each with a regional homeland security advisory council. The state is located in FEMA Region I; the Defense Coordinating Office responsible for brokering and arranging federal military support for the state is in Boston.

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 5113165


  • Counterterrorism

    The New England Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is located in Boston, with a JTTF annex (the Pioneer Valley JTTF) in Springfield. The U.S. attorney chairs an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) in Boston.

  • Intelligence

    Massachusetts is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the New England State Police Information Network (NESPIN). The Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Intelligence Center in Franklin, part of the NESPIN, covers Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. In 2010, the Boston 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 a Field Intelligence Group (FIG) in Boston that covers most of New England. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in Boston has jurisdiction over Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in Methuen performs criminal intelligence analysis for parts of Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.

  • Fusion

    Massachusetts operates two fusion centers: The Commonwealth Fusion Center in Framingham, operational in 2005, is a component of the Massachusetts State Police. The center collects and analyzes all crime and counterterrorism information to produce and disseminate intelligence in order to disrupt domestic and international terrorism. The Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), a component of the Boston Police Department, is an all-hazards fusion center and is a collaboration of local, state and federal partners that works to enhance the analysis and sharing of information to fight crime and prevent acts of terrorism. It was established in 2005. Since 2010, BRIC has been participating in the pilot Nationwide SAR Initiative.

  • Homeland Security

    The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) coordinates and oversees homeland security, public safety and emergency management functions for the state. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency serving metropolitan Boston, operates the Northeast Homeland Security Regional Advisory Council (NERAC). The EOPSS has formalized the Commonwealth Critical Infrastructure Program (CCIP) to enable local, regional and state partners to identify, assess and protect critical assets. To assist in critical-infrastructure protection, a DHS Protective Security Advisor is located in Boston. Federal Protective Service (FPS) Region 1 headquarters is also located in Boston, as is Coast Guard District 1. The Coast Guard oversees the Massachusetts Regional Maritime Security Strategy Working Group. In July 2010, it was decided that Massachusetts would host the new FEMA Region 1 Homeland Response Force (HRF).

  • Law Enforcement

    The Massachusetts State Police is the statewide law enforcement agency. The FBI has a field office in Boston and operates resident agencies and satellite offices across the state.

  • Emergency Management

    The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency for coordinating disaster/emergency preparedness for "all hazards." It uniquely has a Nuclear Preparedness Department (NPD) responsible for overseeing planning, training, equipment and exercises to support a radiological emergency response for the populations within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zones (EPZs) around the state's nuclear power stations.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
Boston Fraud Resident Agency (U.S. Army)Ayer 
Northeastern Fraud Field Office (U.S. Army)Ayer 
Boston Division (Postal Inspection)Boston 
Boston Field Division (ATF)Boston 
Boston Field Division (Drug Enforcement)Boston 
Boston Field Office (ATF)Boston 
Boston Field Office (Defense Sec.)Boston 
Boston Field Office (Diplomatic Sec.)Boston 
Boston Field Office (FBI)Boston 
Boston JTTF (Coast Guard, FBI)Boston 
Boston Mayor's Office of Homeland SecurityBostonx
Boston Regional Intelligence CenterBoston 
Boston Resident Agency (Defense)Boston 
Defense Coordinating Officer/Element FEMA Region I (NORTHCOM)Bostonx
DHS Office of Investigations Field Office BostonBostonx
FEMA Region IBoston 
FIG Boston Office of Intelligence(ICE)Bostonx
FPS Region 1-Boston, Massachusetts (Fed. Protective Service)Boston 
Massachusetts ATAC (U.S. Attorney)Bostonx
Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) Transit Police DepartmentBoston 
Massachusetts Executive Office of Public SafetyBoston 
Mass. Office of the Attorney GeneralBoston 
N. Atlantic Customs Management CenterBoston 
New England Electronic Crimes Task Force (Secret Service)Boston 
New England HIDTA Regional Intelligence CenterBoston 
New England JTTF / Boston JTTF 308th Military Intelligence Battalion LiaisonBoston 
New England JTTF / Boston JTTF (FBI)Boston 
Northern Regional Office (Defense Sec.)Boston 
Protective Security Advisor Boston District (DHS)Bostonx
SAC Boston (ICE)Boston 
USAO District of Massachusetts (U.S. Attorney)Boston 
USMS District of Massachusetts (Marshals)Boston 
USSS Boston (Secret Service)Boston 
Burlington Field Office (ICE)Burlington 
Boston Field OfficeChelsea 
62nd Military Police Detachment (CID) (U.S. Army)Devens 
Fort Devens Resident Office (Military Intel.)Devens 
Massachusetts Citizen CorpsFraminghamx
Massachusetts State PoliceFramingham 
Mass. Emergency Management AgencyFramingham 
New England State Police Information Network® (NESPIN)Franklin 
AFOSI Det 102 (Air Force)Hanscom AFB 
AFOSI Det 704 (Air Force)Hanscom AFB 
Hudson Resident Agency (FBI)Hudson 
Lakeville Resident Agency (FBI)Lakeville 
Lowell Resident Agency (FBI)Lowell 
Commonwealth Fusion Center (State Police)Maynard 
FEMA Region 1, MERSMaynard 
New England HIDTA (Nat'l Drug Control)Methuen 
Massachusetts Adjutant General (TAG)Milford 
Massachusetts Air National GuardMilford 
Massachusetts Army National GuardMilford 
Mass. National Guard JFHQMilfordx
RAC Springfield (ICE)Springfield 
Springfield Field OfficeSpringfield 
Springfield JTTF Annex / Pioneer Valley JTTF (FBI)Springfieldx
Springfield Resident Agency (FBI)Springfield 
Springfield Satellite Office (ATF)Springfield 
Boston Field Office (IRS)Stoneham 
1st Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Wellesleyx
AFOSI Det 325 OL-B (Air Force)Westover AFB 
AMTRAK Police DepartmentWestwoodx
Wilmington Field Office (DSS)Wilmington 
Worcester Field Office (ATF)Worcester 
Worcester Satellite Office (ATF)Worcester 

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyExtreme heat; Floods; Hurricanes; Thunderstorms; 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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