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Nevada ranks 32nd of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations, and 31st overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11 (tied with Massachusetts and Nebraska). In dollar amount, the state ranked 37th in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 31st in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked 50th in overall federal government expenditures.

U.S. intelligence and homeland security agencies and the Department of Justice measure the potential terrorist threat to Nevada by analyzing data, including the following: * Nevada is one of 15 states that have had no terrorism convictions since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Justice Department. * Las Vegas 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. * Nevada has the third-largest and fastest-growing immigrant population in the nation, a measure that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI associate with potential threats. In 2009, according to the DHS, Nevada ranked 10th in the nation in unauthorized immigrant population, with an estimated 260,000 unauthorized immigrants residing in the state. Nevada is one of 16 states with more than one fusion center and one of six with three centers.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 41

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 10

75.6% Pre-9/11

24.4% Post-9/11

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Nevada is located in FEMA Region IX; the Defense Coordinating Office responsible for brokering and arranging federal military support for the state is in Oakland, Calif.

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 2513341


  • Counterterrorism

    The Las Vegas Joint Terrorism Task Force covers the entire state. The U.S. attorney chairs an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) in Las Vegas. In 2010, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was designated as one of 12 state agencies to participate in the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative.

  • Intelligence

    Nevada is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the Rocky Mountain Information Network (RMIN). At the federal level, the FBI operates a Field Intelligence Group (FIG) in Las Vegas. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Field Intelligence Group (FIG) in San Francisco has jurisdiction over northern Nevada, while the ICE's FIG in Los Angeles has jurisdiction for the Las Vegas area. The Nevada High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area in Las Vegas performs criminal intelligence analysis.

  • Fusion

    Nevada has three fusion centers: The Nevada Threat Analysis Center (NTAC) in Carson City was established in 2008 as an entity within the Nevada Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Investigation Division. It has been designated the state's all-threats, all-crimes fusion center and has responsibility for 15 of the state's 17 counties (excluding Washoe and Clark).

    The Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center (SNVCTC) in Las Vegas, opened in 2007, is a component of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and has responsibility for Clark County. The fusion center works closely with the casino security industry, taking advantage of its capacity to generate intelligence to protect critical infrastructure and key resources. Since 2010, the Las Vegas center has been a participant in the pilot Nationwide SAR Initiative.

    The Northern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center in Reno, a component of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, was established to collaborate in the collection, analysis and dissemination of meaningful actionable, strategic and tactical intelligence. The center has responsibility for Washoe County.

  • Homeland Security

    The Governor's Office of Homeland Security (OHS) acts as the Cabinet-level office for the prevention of and preparation for a potential terrorist event. The OHS directs and coordinates a counterterrorism and all-threats, all-hazards approach. Silver Shield, Nevada's Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Program, conducts physical security assessments of critical-infrastructure/key asset sites and identifies, prioritizes and assesses risks regarding infrastructure, assets, systems, networks and functions critical to public health and safety. To assist in CIP, a DHS Protective Security Advisor is located in Las Vegas, and one of nine national DHS CIP Teams is located in Nevada to conduct assessments of selected critical assets. On Jan. 1, 2008, the state Interoperable Communication Coordinator was also placed under the OHS.

  • Law Enforcement

    The Nevada Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the statewide law enforcement agency and includes the Capitol Police, Emergency Management, the Highway Patrol and an Investigation Division. The FBI's Las Vegas field office operates resident agencies and satellite offices in Elko and Reno.

  • Emergency Management

    The Nevada Division of Emergency Management, within the Department of Public Safety, is the state agency for coordinating disaster/emergency preparedness.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
Nevada Adjutant General (TAG)Carson City 
Nevada Air National GuardCarson City 
Nevada Army National GuardCarson City 
Nevada Attorney General's OfficeCarson City 
Nevada Department of Public SafetyCarson City 
Nevada Highway PatrolCarson City 
Nev. Division of Emergency ManagementCarson City 
Nev. Office of Homeland SecurityCarson Cityx
Nev. Threat Analysis Center (NTAC)Carson Cityx
State of Nevada Citizen Corps Council (SNCTC)Carson Cityx
Elko Resident Agency (FBI)Elko 
NCIS Resident Unit Fallon, Nev. (Navy)Fallon 
92nd Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Las Vegasx
AFOSI Det 701 (Air Force)Las Vegas 
AFOSI Det 708 OL-A (Air Force)Las Vegas 
ASAC Las Vegas (ICE)Las Vegas 
Las Vegas District Office (Drug Enforcement)Las Vegas 
Las Vegas Electronic Crimes Task Force (Secret Service)Las Vegas 
Las Vegas Field OfficeLas Vegas 
Las Vegas Field Office (ATF)Las Vegas 
Las Vegas Field Office (FBI)Las Vegas 
Las Vegas Financial Crimes Task Force (Secret Service)Las Vegas 
Las Vegas JTTF (FBI)Las Vegasx
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police DepartmentLas Vegas 
Nevada ATAC (U.S. Attorney)Las Vegasx
Nev. HIDTA (Nat'l Drug Control)Las Vegas 
Protective Security Advisor Las Vegas, NV District (DHS)Las Vegasx
Southern Nev. Counterterrorism CenterLas Vegasx
USAO District of Nevada (U.S. Attorney)Las Vegas 
USMS District of Nevada (Marshals)Las Vegas 
USSS Las Vegas (Secret Service)Las Vegas 
AFOSI Det 206 (Air Force)Nellis AFB 
Las Vegas Post of Duty (Defense)Nellis AFB 
Northern Nev. Counter-Terrorism Center (NNCTC)Renox
RAC Reno (ICE)Reno 
Reno Field Office/Industry Operations (ATF)Reno 
Reno Office (Drug Enforcement)Reno 
Reno Police DepartmentReno 
Reno Resident Agency (FBI)Reno 
USSS Reno (Secret Service)Reno 
Washoe County Sheriff’s OfficeRenox

The first category is national security threats posed by international terrorism, domestic terrorism and criminal acts. On the international front, these groups include most notably, Al Qaida and its affiliates. The domestic groups falling into this category include, The Aryan Nation, the Ku Klux Klan, as well as constitutionalist groups such as Posse Comitatus.”

Source: Nevada Vulnerability Assessment Unclassified Summary and Recommendations, March 2006

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