I. Introduction and background.
The ability of the United States Government to prevent, deter, defeat and respond decisively to terrorist attacks against our citizens, whether these attacks occur domestically, in international waters or airspace, or on foreign soil, is one of the most challenging priorities facing our nation today. The United States regards all such terrorism as a potential threat to national security, as well as a violent criminal act, and will apply all appropriate means to combat this danger. In doing so, the United States vigorously pursues efforts to deter and preempt these crimes and to apprehend and prosecute directly, or assist other governments in prosecuting, individuals who perpetrate or plan such terrorist attacks.
In 1995, President Clinton signed Presidential Decision Directive 39 (PDD-39), the United States Policy on Counterterrorism. This Presidential Directive built upon previous directives for combating terrorism and further elaborated a strategy and an interagency coordination mechanism and management structure to be undertaken by the Federal government to combat both domestic and international terrorism in all its forms. This authority includes implementing measures to reduce our vulnerabilities, deterring terrorism through a clear public position, responding rapidly and effectively to threats or actual terrorist acts, and giving the highest priority to developing sufficient capabilities to combat and manage the consequences of terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
To ensure this policy is implemented in a coordinated manner, the Concept of Operations Plan, hereafter referred to as the CONPLAN, is designed to provide overall guidance to Federal, State and local agencies concerning how the Federal government would respond to a potential or actual terrorist threat or incident that occurs in the United States, particularly one involving WMD. The CONPLAN outlines an organized and unified capability for a timely, coordinated response by Federal agencies to a terrorist threat or act. It establishes conceptual guidance for assessing and monitoring a developing threat, notifying appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies of the nature of the threat, and deploying the requisite advisory and technical resources to assist the Lead Federal Agency (LFA) in facilitating interagency/interdepartmental coordination of a crisis and consequence management response. Lastly, it defines the relationships between structures under which the Federal government will marshal crisis and consequence management resources to respond to a threatened or actual terrorist incident.
The purpose of this plan is to facilitate an effective Federal, response to all threats or acts of terrorism within the United States that are determined to be of sufficient magnitude to warrant implementation of this plan and the associated policy guidelines established in PDD-39 and PDD-62. To accomplish this, the CONPLAN:
* Establishes a structure for a systematic, coordinated and effective national response to threats or acts of terrorism in the United States;
* Defines procedures for the use of Federal resources to augment and support local and State governments; and
* Encompasses both crisis and consequence management responsibilities, and articulates the coordination relationships between these missions.
The CONPLAN is a strategic document that:
* Applies to all threats or acts of terrorism within the United States;
* Provides planning guidance and outlines operational concepts for the Federal crisis and consequence management response to a threatened or actual terrorist incident within the United States;
* Serves as the foundation for further development of detailed national, regional, State, and local operations plans and procedures;
* Includes guidelines for notification, coordination and leadership of response activities, supporting operations, and coordination of emergency public information across all levels of government;
* Acknowledges the unique nature of each incident, the capabilities of the local jurisdiction, and the activities necessary to prevent or mitigate a specific threat or incident; and
* Illustrates ways in which Federal, State and local agencies can most effectively unify and synchronize their response actions.
D. Primary Federal Agencies
The response to a terrorist threat or incident within the U.S. will entail a highly coordinated, multi-agency local, State, and Federal response. In support of this mission, the following primary Federal agencies will provide the core Federal response:
* Department of Justice (DOJ) / Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) **
* Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ***
* Department of Defense (DOD)
* Department of Energy (DOE)
* Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
* Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
* Lead Agency for Crisis Management
** Lead Agency for Consequence Management
Although not formally designated under the CONPLAN, other Federal departments and agencies may have authorities, resources, capabilities, or expertise required to support response operations. Agencies may be requested to participate in Federal planning and response operations, and may be asked to designate staff to function as liaison officers and provide other support to the LFA.
E. Primary Agency Responsibilities
1. Department of Justice (DOJ)/ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The Attorney General is responsible for ensuring the development and implementation of policies directed at preventing terrorist attacks domestically, and will undertake the criminal prosecution of these acts of terrorism that violate U.S. law. DOJ has charged the FBI with execution of its LFA responsibilities for the management of a Federal response to terrorist threats or incidents that take place within U.S. territory or those occurring in international waters that do not involve the flag vessel of a foreign country. As the lead agency for crisis management, the FBI will implement a Federal crisis management response. As LFA, the FBI will designate a Federal on-scene commander to ensure appropriate coordination of the overall United States Government response with Federal, State and local authorities until such time as the Attorney General transfers the overall LFA role to FEMA. The FBI, with appropriate approval, will form and coordinate the deployment of a Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST) with other agencies, when appropriate, and seek appropriate Federal support based on the nature of the situation.
2. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
As the lead agency for consequence management, FEMA will manage and coordinate any Federal consequence management response in support of State and local governments in accordance with its statutory authorities. Additionally, FEMA will designate appropriate liaison and advisory personnel for the FBI's Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) and deployment with the DEST, the Joint Operations Center (JOC), and the Joint Information Center (JIC).
3. Department of Defense (DOD)
DOD serves as a support agency to the FBI for crisis management functions, including technical operations, and a support agency to FEMA for consequence management. In accordance with DOD Directives 3025.15 and 2000.12 and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff CONPLAN 0300-97, and upon approval by the Secretary of Defense, DOD will provide assistance to the LFA and/or the CONPLAN primary agencies, as appropriate, during all aspects of a terrorist incident, including both crisis and consequence management. DOD assistance includes threat assessment; DEST participation and transportation; technical advice; operational support; tactical support; support for civil disturbances; custody, transportation and disposal of a WMD device; and other capabilities including mitigation of the consequences of a release.
DOD has many unique capabilities for dealing with a WMD and combating terrorism, such as the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Technical Escort Unit, and US Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force. These and other DOD assets may be used in responding to a terrorist incident if requested by the LFA and approved by the Secretary of Defense.
4. Department of Energy (DOE)
DOE serves as a support agency to the FBI for technical operations and a support agency to FEMA for consequence management. DOE provides scientific-technical personnel and equipment in support of the LFA during all aspects of a nuclear/radiological WMD terrorist incident. DOE assistance can support both crisis and consequence management activities with capabilities such as threat assessment, DEST deployment, LFA advisory requirements, technical advice, forecasted modeling predictions, and operational support to include direct support of tactical operations. Deployable DOE scientific technical assistance and support includes capabilities such as search operations; access operations; diagnostic and device assessment; radiological assessment and monitoring; identification of material; development of Federal protective action recommendations; provision of information on the radiological response; render safe operations; hazards assessment; containment, relocation and storage of special nuclear material evidence; post-incident clean-up; and on-site management and radiological assessment to the public, the White House, and members of Congress and foreign governments. All DOE support to a Federal response will be coordinated through a Senior Energy Official.
5. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
EPA serves as a support agency to the FBI for technical operations and a support agency to FEMA for consequence management. EPA provides technical personnel and supporting equipment to the LFA during all aspects of a WMD terrorist incident. EPA assistance may include threat assessment, DEST and regional emergency response team deployment, LFA advisory requirements, technical advice and operational support for chemical, biological, and radiological releases. EPA assistance and advice includes threat assessment, consultation, agent identification, hazard detection and reduction, environmental monitoring; sample and forensic evidence collection/analysis; identification of contaminants; feasibility assessment and clean-up; and on-site safety, protection, prevention, decontamination, and restoration activities. EPA and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) share responsibilities for response to oil discharges into navigable waters and releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants into the environment under the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). EPA provides the predesignated Federal On-Scene Coordinator for inland areas and the USCG for coastal areas to coordinate containment, removal, and disposal efforts and resources during an oil, hazardous substance, or WMD incident.
6. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
HHS serves as a support agency to the FBI for technical operations and a support agency to FEMA for consequence management. HHS provides technical personnel and supporting equipment to the LFA during all aspects of a terrorist incident. HHS can also provide regulatory follow-up when an incident involves a product regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. HHS assistance supports threat assessment, DEST deployment, epidemiological investigation, LFA advisory requirements, and technical advice. Technical assistance to the FBI may include identification of agents, sample collection and analysis, on-site safety and protection activities, and medical management planning. Operational support to FEMA may include mass immunization, mass prophylaxis, mass fatality management, pharmaceutical support operations (National Pharmaceutical Stockpile), contingency medical records, patient tracking, and patient evacuation and definitive medical care provided through the National Disaster Medical System.