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ITAC Backgrounder

November 23, 2011

The Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC)

R: 23 November 2011

ITAC

In response to the events of September 11, 2001, and in recognition of the growing complexity of the threats facing the nation, the Government of Canada released its first national security policy entitled Securing an Open Society: Canada’s National Security Policy in April 2004.

The policy called for the creation of the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre (ITAC) to ensure that all threat-related information is effectively compiled and analyzed, and that resultant assessments reach all who need it in a timely and effective manner. ITAC is based on an integrated model for sharing and analyzing information and intelligence relating to the threat of terrorism. The Centre draws from the diverse expertise of the Canadian security and intelligence community in order to maintain a heightened awareness of the terrorist threat to Canada’s public safety and national security.

In June 2011, ITAC was renamed the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre in order to emphasize its primary focus on the threats to Canadians and Canadian interests from international terrorism.

ITAC’s Role

ITAC’s primary objective is to produce integrated, comprehensive and timely assessments of the terrorist threat to Canadian interests, both domestically and internationally. ITAC’s threat assessments are distributed within the intelligence community, law enforcement and other first responders, and critical infrastructure stakeholders in the private sector. Since it became operational in October 2004, ITAC’s threat coverage has been expanded to include threats to special events, all sectors of Canada’s critical infrastructure, and the threat of serious violence from domestic extremism. 

Resources

ITAC is a community-wide resource housed within the National Headquarters of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in Ottawa.

The Director of ITAC is appointed by the Director of CSIS, and is selected from candidates identified by ITAC’s partner agencies. The Centre’s production staff consists primarily of analysts seconded to ITAC from its partner agencies. These analysts bring the information and expertise of their respective organizations to the Centre. As required, ITAC can also draw upon the specialized knowledge of other federal government departments and agencies.

ITAC also maintains close working relationships with key provincial partners including the Ontario Provincial Police and the Sûreté du Québec.

ITAC’s corporate staff, which handles client liaison, product dissemination, and corporate requirements, is composed of CSIS personnel either seconded or permanently deployed to ITAC.

ITAC Governance

ITAC receives its strategic direction, guidance and advice on requirements and priorities from the Deputy Minister Security and Intelligence Committee, an interdepartmental committee of Deputy Ministers from departments and agencies which form Canada’s security and intelligence community. The Committee is chaired by the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister.

International Cooperation

In an effort to counter the global threat posed by terrorism and contribute to international security, ITAC works closely with allied integrated threat assessment centres, including the National Counterterrorism Center in the United States, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre in Britain, the National Threat Assessment Centre in Australia and the Combined Threat Assessment Group in New Zealand. ITAC also liaises with other international partners to facilitate information-sharing on threat-related issues of common interest.

Conclusion

As an essential component of the Government of Canada’s efforts to build an integrated national security system, ITAC facilitates increased information-sharing and integrated intelligence analysis. The Centre’s comprehensive threat assessments provide Canada’s security and intelligence community with the information needed to make decisions and take actions that contribute to the safety and security of all Canadians.