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Montana ranks 36th of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations (tied with Connecticut and West Virginia), and is one of four states that rank 45th overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11. In dollar amount, the state ranked 45th in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 46th in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked 16th in overall federal government expenditures.

U.S. intelligence and homeland security agencies and the Department of Justice measure the potential terrorist threat to Montana by analyzing data, including the following: * Montana is one of 13 states or territories where U.S. attorneys secured one terrorism conviction from Sept. 11, 2001, through March 2010, according to the Justice Department. * The state contains no urban metropolitan areas that have been designated by the federal government as "high-threat, high-density" with regard to acts of terrorism. The Montana Homeland Security Task Force was established on Oct. 18, 2001.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 39

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 7

82.1% Pre-9/11

17.9% Post-9/11

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Montana is located in FEMA Region VIII; the Defense Coordinating Office responsible for brokering and arranging federal military support for the state is in Denver.

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 2811039


  • Counterterrorism

    The Helena Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) annex is subordinate to the FBI's Salt Lake City field office. Montana is a member of the Inland Northwest Regional Terrorism Task Force (with Idaho and Washington). The U.S. attorney also chairs an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) in Billings.

  • Intelligence

    Montana is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN). The Montana Department of Corrections operates a Security Threat Group Task Force that is highly regarded for its gang intelligence analysis. At the federal level, the FBI Salt Lake City Field Intelligence Group (FIG) covers Montana. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in Denver has jurisdiction over Montana.

  • Fusion

    The Montana All Threat Intelligence Center (MATIC), a component of the state Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation, was established in 2003 and is designated the state's all-crimes fusion center. The MATIC is co-located with the FBI's Montana JTTF.

  • Homeland Security

    The Montana Homeland Security Task Force is led by the Division of Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) within the Department of Military Affairs (DES). To assist in critical infrastructure protection, a DHS Protective Security Advisor in Denver has jurisdiction over Montana.

  • Law Enforcement

    The Montana Department of Justice is the statewide law enforcement agency and includes a Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Montana falls under the jurisdiction of the FBI's Salt Lake City field office. Resident agencies are located in Billings, Bozeman, Browning, Glasgow, Great Falls, Havre, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula.

  • Emergency Management

    The Montana Division of Disaster and Emergency Services, under the Department of Military Affairs, is the state agency for coordinating disaster/emergency preparedness and was designated the lead agency to support the Montana Homeland Security Task Force.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
Billings Resident Agency (FBI)Billings 
Billings Resident Office (Drug Enforcement)Billings 
Billings Satellite Office (ATF)Billings 
Montana ATAC (U.S. Attorney)Billingsx
RA Billings (ICE)Billings 
USAO District of Montana (U.S. Attorney)Billings 
USMS District of Montana (Marshals)Billings 
Bozeman Resident Agency (FBI)Bozeman 
Browning Resident Agency (FBI)Browning 
83rd Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Fort Harrisonx
Montana Air National GuardFort Harrison 
Montana Army National GuardFort Harrison 
Montana Department of Military AffairsFort Harrison 
Mont. National Guard JFHQ-MTFort Harrisonx
Glasgow Resident Agency (FBI)Glasgow 
Great Falls Air and Marine Branch (Customs)Great Fallsx
Great Falls Aviation Operations (Customs)Great Falls 
Great Falls Resident Agency (FBI)Great Falls 
RAC Great Falls (ICE)Great Falls 
USSS Great Falls (Secret Service)Great Falls 
Havre Aviation Operations (Customs)Havre 
Havre Resident Agency (FBI)Havre 
Havre Sector, Mont. (Border Patrol)Havre 
Helena JTTF Annex (FBI)Helenax
Helena Resident Agency (FBI)Helena 
Helena Satellite Office/Industry Operations (ATF)Helena 
Montana All Threat Intelligence Center (MATIC)Helenax
Montana Department of JusticeHelena 
Montana Highway PatrolHelena 
Montana State Citizen Corps CouncilHelenax
Mont. Division of Criminal InvestigationHelena 
Mont. Division of Disaster and Emergency ServicesHelena 
RAC Helena (ICE)Helena 
Kalispell Resident Agency (FBI)Kalispell 
RAC Kalispell (ICE)Kalispell 
AFOSI Det 806 (Air Force)Malmstrom AFB 
Missoula Resident Agency (FBI)Missoula 
Missoula Satellite Office (ATF)Missoula 
Whitefish Station (Border Patrol)Whitefish 

The most dangerous variants of terrorism, nuclear, biological, or chemical violence, could affect Montana. The probability remains low. At present, the most likely form of nuclear, biological or chemical terrorism may be threat or hoax involving a nuclear device or sabotage. ... It is impossible to assess Montana's vulnerability to international terrorism. Although extremist groups exist within our state, it is unlikely that any terrorist act perpetrated by these groups would be of disastrous proportions statewide. Authorities on terrorism generally agree that terrorism cannot be wiped entirely. For the present, they see it as a problem to be managed, not solved.”

Source: Is Montana at Risk? Identified Hazards for the State of Montana,

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyFloods; Landslide and debris flow; Thunderstorms; 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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