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Virginia ranks fifth of 50 states in the number of domestically focused counterterrorism and homeland security organizations, and 12th overall in organizations established or newly involved in counterterrorism since 9/11 (tied with Indiana and Michigan). In dollar amount, the state ranked ninth in fiscal 2009 in federal homeland security spending and 12th in domestic preparedness and antiterrorism programs. Measured per capita, the state ranked second in overall federal government expenditures.

U.S. intelligence and homeland security agencies and the Department of Justice measure the potential terrorist threat to Virginia by analyzing data, including the following: * The state had 34 terrorism-related convictions from Sept. 11, 2001, through March 2010, according to the Justice Department, and ranks fourth in the nation. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District in Alexandria handles many international cases that do not otherwise have a state-based venue. * Virginia has two 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: Richmond and Norfolk. * One major terrorist plot related to Virginia has been thwarted since 9/11: the Virginia Jihad Network (or Northern Virginia "Paintball" Group) plot in Alexandria in 2003, in which 11 men were accused of training for and working with an overseas terrorist group. * The intelligence community ranks Virginia in the top 10 states with the largest Muslim populations, a measure that it applies to potential threats of homegrown terrorist involvement. Virginia can be considered as two states in terms of homeland security: densely populated Northern Virginia and the rest of the state. Northern Virginia is part of the National Capital Region and is itself one of 64 Urban Areas Security Initiative-designated metropolitan areas. Virginia is one of 16 states with more than one fusion center. The state hosts three of its own FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) and is one of 22 states with more than one JTTF. Virginia falls under the FBI's Washington field office, the bureau's largest, and is covered by a profusion of federal, state and local intelligence and fusion centers, as home to agencies such as the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Reconnaissance Office. Thus Virginia has one of the most intimate partnerships with the federal government and the military.

State security snapshot

Organizations working on homeland security and counterterrorism: 146

Organizations that started this work after 9/11: 23

84.2% Pre-9/11

15.8% Post-9/11

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Virginia is divided into seven emergency regions, and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management's regional coordinators maintain offices within each region. Virginia is a member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the National Capital Region as defined in the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The state is located in FEMA Region III; the Defense Coordinating Office responsible for brokering and arranging federal military support for the state is in Philadelphia.

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 119207146


  • Counterterrorism

    Virginia has three Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) -- one in each FBI field office (Richmond and Norfolk) and a JTTF annex in Charlottesville, home of the National Ground Intelligence Center, which maintains the nation's primary priority-target list for terrorists involved in improvised explosive device (IED) networks. The Norfolk JTTF is also known as the Tidewater JTTF. The U.S. attorney chairs Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils (ATACs) in Alexandria (Eastern District), Richmond and Roanoke.

  • Intelligence

    Virginia was one of six states (through the NCR) to initially test the DHS Homeland Security Information System-Intel (HSIN-Intel) pilot, which allows fusion centers to directly share classified information to identify trends and patterns that may represent links to terrorism. Virginia is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), theRegional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) and the Navy-sponsored Law Enforcement Information Exchange (LInX). At the federal level, the FBI operates Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) in Richmond and Norfolk. The FBI's Washington field office FIG covers the National Capital Region and military bases in the D.C. area. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Intelligence Group in Washington has jurisdiction over Virginia. The state hosts two of four designated national counter-drug intelligence centers focused on the drug-terrorism nexus: the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) in Vienna and the CIA Crime and Narcotics Center in Langley.

  • Fusion

    Virginia has two fusion centers and is a participant in all of the D.C. and Maryland fusion centers and efforts focused on the National Capital Region (NCR). Both of the Virginia-based fusion centers are members of the five-state/D.C. NCR Fusion Center Directors Exchange Program, which includes analyst exchanges, regional Suspicious Activity Reporting exchange, Terrorist Screening Center notifications, and exchanges of criminal or border crime data. The Virginia Fusion Center (VFC) (also known as the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center) was established in February 2005 and is operated by the Virginia State Police in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. The mission of the state-designated all-hazards and counterterrorism center is to facilitate information collection, analysis and sharing to deter and prevent criminal and terrorist attacks. A secondary mission is, in support of the Virginia Emergency Operations Center (with which it is co-located), to centralize information and resources in coordinated responses. In 2010, the VFC was designated as one of 12 state agencies to be part of the new Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative. The National Capital Regional Intelligence Center (NCRIC), a component of the Criminal Intelligence Division of the Fairfax County Police Department, is focused on Northern Virginia and the nation's capital.

  • Homeland Security

    The Virginia Office of Commonwealth Preparedness (OCP) in the Office of the Governor coordinates security and preparedness strategy for the state and serves as the liaison between the governor and the federal DHS. The OCP is the state agency charged with identifying, prioritizing, assessing and protecting Virginia's critical infrastructure and key resources. Virginia also supports regional resiliency projects funded by DHS grants and serves on the critical-infrastructure advisory working group for the National Capital Region. To assist in critical-infrastructure protection (CIP), DHS Protective Security Advisors are located in Richmond and Norfolk, and one of nine national DHS CIP Teams is located in Virginia to conduct assessments of selected critical assets. Coast Guard District 5 is headquartered in Portsmouth.

  • Law Enforcement

    The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) consists of a Criminal Intelligence Division, which provides criminal intelligence and technical support to law enforcement agencies, and a General Investigation Section, which investigates crimes such as Class 1, 2, and 3 felonies; economic/cyber crimes; violent crimes; and organized crime. Two Virginia-based FBI field offices have responsibility for most of the state. The Richmond field office has jurisdiction for the state with the exception of the Tidewater area (under the Norfolk field office) and the National Capital Region (which is under the Washington field office). Resident agencies are located in Ashburn, Hampton, Manassas, Newport News, Vienna, Bristol, Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Roanoke and Winchester.

  • Emergency Management

    The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), under the secretary of public safety, is the state agency for coordinating disaster/emergency preparedness. The Virginia Emergency Response Council is chaired by the director of the VDEM. The VDEM Operations Division maintains the well-equipped and staffed Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC) with a 24/7 communications and warning system in the Watch Center.

Sourcing: Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and state government documents.
OrganizationCityStarted since 9/11
Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (HITRAC) x
AFOSI XOQ OL-D (Air Force)Alexandria 
CIDC Field Investigative Unit (U.S. Army)Alexandria 
DSS Information Assurance and Counterintelligence Office (IACI) (Defense Sec.)Alexandria 
Eastern District of Va. ATAC (U.S. Attorney)Alexandriax
Field Investigative Unit (U.S. Army)Alexandria 
Fort Belvoir Resident Office (Military Intel.)Alexandria 
NCIS Resident Agent Office Alexandria (Navy)Alexandria 
USAO Eastern District of Virginia (U.S. Attorney)Alexandria 
USMS Eastern District of Virginia (Marshals)Alexandria 
AFOSI DET 334 (Air Force)Arlington 
AFOSI Det 706 (HQ USAF/XOOS) (Air Force)Arlington 
AFOSI Det 708 (Air Force)Arlington 
AFOSI Region 7 (Air Force)Arlington 
Arlington County Office of Emergency ManagementArlington 
Arlington County Police DepartmentArlington 
Arlington Resident Agency (Defense)Arlington 
Capital Region Office (Defense Sec.)Arlington 
Crystal City Field Office (Defense Sec.)Arlington 
DCIS Mid-Atlantic Field Office (Defense)Arlington 
DHS Office of Investigations Field Office Washington DCArlingtonx
DOJ Investigations Washington Field Office/ Washington Regional Audit Office (Justice)Arlington 
NCIS Field Support (Navy)Arlington 
Ashburn Office (FBI)Ashburn 
District of Columbia IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington DC Field OfficeBaileys Crossroads 
34th Civil Support Team (Nat'l Guard)Blackstonex
Bristol Resident Agency (ATF)Bristol 
Bristol Resident Agency (FBI)Bristol 
Chantilly Field Office (Defense Sec.)Chantilly 
Charlottesville JTTF Annex (FBI)Charlottesvillex
Charlottesville Resident Agency (FBI)Charlottesville 
Charlottesville Satellite Office (ATF)Charlottesville 
NCIS Resident Agency Norfolk Regional Fraud Unit (Navy)Chesapeake 
Va. Region 2: Culpeper (VDEM)Culpeper 
NCIS Resident Unit Dahlgren (Navy)Dahlgren 
AFOSI Force Protection Detachment (Air Force)Dulles 
Digital Evidence (Postal Inspection)Dulles 
FIG Washington DC Office of Intelligence (ICE)Dullesx
SAC District of Columbia (ICE)Dulles 
Washington Field Office/ Office of Investigations and Counterintelligence (Diplomatic Sec.)Dunn Loring 
Fairfax County Police DepartmentFairfaxx
Northern Virginia Regional Intelligence Center / National Capital Region Intelligence CenterFairfaxx
Resident Agent in Charge - Fairfax (ICE)Fairfax 
SAC Washington DC (ICE)Fairfax 
USCIS Washington Field Office (Citizenship)Fairfaxx
Va. Field Office (ICE)Fairfax 
Falls Church Field Office (ATF)Falls Church 
Va. Region 3: Central Virginia (VDEM)Farmville 
Fredericksburg Resident Agency (FBI)Fredericksburg 
701st Military Police Group (CID) (U.S. Army)Ft. Belvoir 
75th Military Police Detachment (CID) (U.S. Army)Ft. Belvoir 
Fort Belvoir Resident Agency (U.S. Army)Ft. Belvoir 
Major Procurement Fraud Unit (U.S. Army)Ft. Belvoir 
Mid Atlantic Fraud Field Office (U.S. Army)Ft. Belvoir 
National Capitol Region Military Intelligence DetachmentFt. Belvoir 
Washington Metro Fraud Resident Agency (U.S. Army)Ft. Belvoir 
12th Military Police Detachment (CID) (U.S. Army)Ft. Eustis 
Fort Eustis Resident Agency (U.S. Army)Ft. Eustis 
Fort Eustis Resident Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Eustis 
Newport News Fraud Resident Agency (U.S. Army)Ft. Eustis 
Fort Lee CID Office (U.S. Army)Ft. Lee 
Fort Lee Resident Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Lee 
Fort Monroe Resident Office (Military Intel.)Ft. Monroe 
Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) (NORTHCOM)Ft. Monroe 
Fort Myer CID Office (U.S. Army)Ft. Myer 
Washington Battalion CID (U.S. Army)Ft. Myer 
Washington D.C. District HQ (U.S. Army)Ft. Myer 
Va. Region 5: Tidewater (VDEM)Gloucester 
Air Forces Northern Command (AFNORTH) (NORTHCOM)Hamptonx
Peninsula Resident Agency (FBI)Hampton 
RAC Harrisonburg (ICE)Harrisonburg 
Fairfax Branch Office (DCMA)Herndon 
AFOSI Det 201 (Air Force)Langley AFB 
AFOSI Region 2 (Air Force)Langley AFB 
AFOSI Region 7 OL-B (HQ ACC/DOTZ) (Air Force)Langley AFB 
Hampton Resident Office (Defense Sec.)Langley AFB 
Lynchburg Resident Agency (FBI)Lynchburg 
N. Va. Corruption/Gov't Fraud Task Force (FBI)Manassas 
Richmond Post of Duty (Defense)Midlothian 
Newport News (FBI)Newport News 
ASAC Norfolk (ICE)Norfolk 
Eastern Region Security Office (Dept. of Commerce)Norfolk 
Fleet Forces Command East / 2nd Fleet (NORTHCOM)Norfolkx
Fleet Forces Command / Naval Forces Northern Command (NORTHCOM)Norfolkx
InfraGard Norfolk Members Alliance (FBI)Norfolk 
NCIS Atlantic Cyber Division (24d4) (Navy)Norfolk 
NCIS Eastern Region (Navy)Norfolk 
NCIS Field Office Norfolk, Va. (Navy)Norfolk 
NCIS Norfolk Field Office (Navy)Norfolk 
NCIS Resident Unit Little Creek (Navy)Norfolk 
NCIS Security Training Assistance and Assessment Team Norfolk (Navy)Norfolk 
NCIS Technical Services Detachment (Navy)Norfolk 
Norfolk Division (FBI)Norfolk 
Norfolk Financial Crimes Task Force (Secret Service)Norfolk 
Norfolk JTTF (Coast Guard, FBI)Norfolkx
Norfolk Police Department Homeland Security DivisionNorfolkx
Norfolk Resident Agency (Defense)Norfolk 
Norfolk Satellite Office/ Industry Operations (ATF)Norfolk 
Protective Security Advisor Norfolk District (DHS)Norfolkx
Tidewater JTTF / Norfolk JTTF (FBI)Norfolk 
USSS Norfolk (Secret Service)Norfolk 
NCIS Resident Unit Portsmouth, Va. Office (Navy)Portsmouth 
NCIS Resident Agency Quantico (Navy)Quantico 
TF East (NORTHCOM)Quanticox
Va. Region 4: Southwest (VDEM)Radford 
Va. Region 6: Roanoke Area (VDEM)Radford 
CBP National Targeting Center (Customs)Restonx
InfraGard Richmond Members Alliance (FBI)Richmond 
Protective Security Advisor Richmond District (DHS)Richmondx
Richmond Field Office (ATF)Richmond 
Richmond Field Office (FBI)Richmond 
Richmond Field Office (Postal Inspection)Richmond 
Richmond JTTF / Va. JTTF (FBI)Richmondx
Richmond Police DepartmentRichmond 
Richmond Resident Office (Drug Enforcement)Richmond 
USSS Richmond (Secret Service)Richmond 
Va. Emergency Operations CenterRichmond 
Va. Fusion Center (State Police)Richmond 
Va. National Guard JFHQRichmondx
Va. Region 1: Richmond (VDEM)Richmond 
Virginia Air National GuardRichmond 
Virginia Army National GuardRichmond 
Virginia Commonwealth Preparedness (Office of the Gov.)Richmond 
Virginia Department of Emergency ManagementRichmond 
Virginia Emergency Response Council (VERC)Richmond 
Virginia State Citizen CorpsRichmondx
Virginia State PoliceRichmond 
ATAC Western District of Va. (U.S. Attorney)Roanokex
Norfolk/Southern Railroad Police DepartmentRoanokex
Roanoke Post of Duty (Defense)Roanoke 
Roanoke Resident Agency (FBI)Roanoke 
Roanoke Resident Office (Drug Enforcement)Roanoke 
Roanoke Satellite Office/ Industry Operations (ATF)Roanoke 
USAO Western District of Virginia (U.S. Attorney)Roanoke 
USMS Western District of Virginia (Marshals)Roanoke 
USSS Roanoke (Secret Service)Roanoke 
Greene County Sheriff's OfficeStanardsville 
ASAC Sterling (ICE)Sterling 
Vienna Office (FBI)Vienna 
NCIS Regional Polygraph Site (Navy)Virginia Beach 
NCIS Resident Unit Oceana (Navy)Virginia Beach 
NCIS Technical Services Detachment Norfolk (Navy)Virginia Beach 
Virginia Beach Field Office (Defense Sec.)Virginia Beach 
Virginia Beach Police DepartmentVirginia Beach 
Winchester Resident Agency (FBI)Winchester 
Va. Region 7: Northern Virginia (VDEM)Woodbridge 

State-Recognized Threats:
Public SafetyFloods; Hurricanes; Thunderstorms; Tornadoes; Winter storms; Extreme cold
Domestic SecurityEarth Liberation Front; Jamaat ul-Fuqra
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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