Multiple Threat Alert Center
United States Department of the Navy's Multiple Threat Alert Center (MTAC) provides indications and warning for a wide range of threats to Navy and Marine Corps personnel and assets around the world.
The MTAC is at the NCIS HQ's located Russell-Knox Building, 27130 Telegraph Road Quantico, VA 22134.
Operated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the MTAC utilizes NCIS' worldwide presence and combination of law enforcement, counterintelligence, intelligence and security capabilities to identify all available threat indicators. Analysts, special agents, and military personnel work in the MTAC around the clock to produce indications and warning of possible terrorist activity, foreign intelligence threats and criminal threats that may affect naval operations.
The MTAC is an outgrowth of the Navy Antiterrorist Alert Center (ATAC). The ATAC was established in December 1983 to address the terrorist threat after the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, and the murders of Navy officers in Greece by the Revolutionary Organization 17 November and in El Salvador by the FMLN. As the first 24-hour terrorism watch center in the U.S. Intelligence Community, the ATAC successfully supported the Navy and Marine Corps team for nearly two decades.
The MTAC epitomizes the multi-faceted nature of the NCIS mission by linking terrorism, counterintelligence, intelligence, cyber, criminal, and security information. The MTAC is a unique platform in that it merges intelligence from other agencies with information from NCIS source networks and law enforcement activities worldwide to provide the most relevant operational support to Navy and Marine Corps commanders.
Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst at the ATAC from June 1984 until his arrest in November 1985. Retired Naval Investigative Service/NCIS Special Agent Ron Olive outlines Pollard's espionage activities in the 2006 book Capturing Jonathan Pollard.
USS Cole incident
A growing appreciation of the changing threat facing the Department of the Navy in the 21st century, culminating with the terrorist attacks against the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen, and September 11, 2001, led NCIS to transform the ATAC into the MTAC in 2002.
In popular culture
A version of the Multiple Threat Alert Center is featured on the hit drama television show, NCIS. However, within the series, it is called the "Multiple Threat Assessment Center."
- "Multiple Threat Alert Center (MTAC)". Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- "Terrorism Timeline from 1989 - 1980". Timeline of Terrorism. United States Army. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Olive, Ronald J. (2006). Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How One of the Most Notorious Spies in American History Was Brought to Justice. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-652-6. LCCN 2006-015639. OCLC 68799835. Retrieved 2009-11-02.