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North Dakota

North Dakota ranks 43rd of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations, and is one of four states that ranks 45th overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11. In dollar amount, the state ranked 39th in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 47th in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked sixth in overall federal government expenditures.

North Dakota is one of 15 states and territories that the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. intelligence assess as having no specific foreign or domestic terrorism threat; is one of 15 states that have had no terrorism convictions since Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Justice Department; and is one of 18 states that has no metropolitan area that has been designated by the federal government as "high-threat, high-density" with regard to acts of terrorism. In December 2008, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) began flying Predator reconnaissance drones from Grand Forks Air Force Base along the Canadian border. CBP also flies unmanned drones from Arizona and Texas.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 33

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 7

78.8% Pre-9/11

21.2% Post-9/11

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North Dakota 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 2211033


  • Counterterrorism

    The North Dakota Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) annex in Fargo is subordinate to the FBI's Minneapolis field office. The U.S. attorney chairs an Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council (ATAC) in Fargo.

  • Intelligence

    South Dakota is a member of the Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center (MOCIC), the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the Intelligence Communications Enterprise for Information Sharing and Exchange (ICEFISHX), a terrorism-related information-sharing partnership between Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota law enforcement agencies that is used to collect information about suspicious activity relating to criminal activity and infrastructure protection. At the federal level, the FBI's Minneapolis Field Intelligence Group (FIG) covers South Dakota. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in St. Paul, Minn., has jurisdiction for North Dakota.

  • Fusion

    The North Dakota State and Local Intelligence Center (NDSLIC) (also known as the North Dakota Fusion Center), a component of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES), was established in 2003. Today, it is a joint effort of the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the North Dakota Highway Patrol, the North Dakota Homeland Security Program and the North Dakota National Guard. The state-designated fusion center takes an all-crimes and all-hazards approach to terrorism.

  • Homeland Security

    The Homeland Security Program of the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services has responsibility for those aspects of emergency preparedness relating to homeland security, particularly the provision of federal grants to the state. To assist in critical infrastructure protection, a DHS Protective Security Advisor in Omaha has jurisdiction over North Dakota.

  • Law Enforcement

    The North Dakota Highway Patrol is the statewide law enforcement agency. North Dakota falls under the jurisdiction of the FBI's Minneapolis field office, which has resident agencies in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot.

  • Emergency Management

    The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) is the state agency for coordinating disaster/emergency preparedness.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
81st Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Bismarckx
Bismarck Office (Drug Enforcement)Bismarck 
Bismarck Resident Agency (FBI)Bismarck 
N.D. Department of Emergency ServicesBismarck 
N.D. Division of Homeland SecurityBismarckx
N.D. Emergency Management DivisionBismarck 
N.D. Fusion Center (N.D. Bur. of Investigations)Bismarckx
North Dakota Air National GuardBismarck 
North Dakota Army National GuardBismarck 
North Dakota Bureau of Criminal InvestigationBismarck 
North Dakota Citizen Corps CouncilBismarckx
North Dakota Highway PatrolBismarck 
North Dakota National Guard JFHQBismarck 
ATAC District of N.D. (U.S. Attorney)Fargox
Fargo Office (Drug Enforcement)Fargo 
Fargo Resident Agency (FBI)Fargo 
Fargo Satellite Office/Industry Operations (ATF)Fargo 
N.D. JTTF (FBI)Fargox
RA Fargo (ICE)Fargo 
USAO District of North Dakota (U.S. Attorney)Fargo 
USMS District of North Dakota (Marshals)Fargo 
USSS Fargo (Secret Service)Fargo 
Grand Forks Air and Marine Branch (Customs)Grand Forksx
Grand Forks Aviation Operations (Customs)Grand Forks 
Grand Forks Resident Agency (FBI)Grand Forks 
Grand Forks Riverine Site (Customs)Grand Forks 
Grand Forks Sector (Border Patrol)Grand Forks 
RAC Grand Forks (ICE)Grand Forks 
AFOSI Det 320 (Air Force)Grand Forks AFB 
Minot Resident Agency (FBI)Minot 
RAC Minot (ICE)Minot 
AFOSI Det 228 (Air Force)Minot AFB 
RAC Pembina (ICE)Pembina 

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyThunderstorms; 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.
"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 »


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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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