The Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (JCAT)


The mission of the Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team is to improve information sharing and enhance public safety. In coordination with the FBI and DHS, JCAT collaborates with other members of the Intelligence Community to research, produce, and disseminate counterterrorism intelligence products for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies and the private sector and advocates for the counterterrorism intelligence requirements and needs of these partners throughout the Intelligence Community.

JCAT Fellows work at the National Counterterrorism Center under NCTC leadership alongside NCTC, FBI, and DHS analysts and support staff.

  •  Produce clear, relevant federally-coordinated threat information on significant international terrorism or terrorism-related events that have the potential to impact local or regional public safety conditions in the United States.
  •  Ensure terrorism-related information intended for state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) entities is presented in a usable format that is, to the extent possible, unclassified, to facilitate further dissemination.
  •  Advise and make recommendations to the Intelligence Community on how to tailor its products to satisfy the needs of SLTT consumers of intelligence.
  •  Conduct outreach to the Intelligence Community and strengthen partnerships with SLTT partners to further enhance the awareness and understanding of the SLTT role in counterterrorism.
  •  Maintain a working knowledge of relevant terrorism, homeland security, and weapons of mass destruction issues.

2015 Intelligence Guide For First Responders

The Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (JCAT) would like to introduce the 2015 Intelligence Guide for First Responders.  This guide is an update to the 2011 edition, and was produced by first responders for first responders, to improve information sharing among state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions and the federal government. This reference aid will accomplish the following:

  • Highlight your role and responsibility as a consumer of intelligence information
  • Demonstrate how to handle this information and why it must be protected
  • Show you where to find this information and how to gain access to Internet-based U.S. Government systems
  • Help you understand and participate in the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative
  • Provide an overview of the Intelligence Community, the intelligence cycle, and the products available to you
  • Identify existing federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partnerships that you can use to carry out your duties and responsibilities

The guide is comprised of three sections. 


  • Handling Sensitive But Unclassified Information
  • Gaining Access to Intelligence Community Information
  • Understanding Estimative Language
  • Reporting Suspicious Activity with a Nexus to Terrorism


  • What Is Intelligence?
  • What Intelligence Can and Cannot Do
  • The Intelligence Community
  • The Intelligence Cycle
  • Categories of Finished Intelligence
  • Intelligence Products Typically Available to First Responders
  • Joint Partnerships


  • Terminology
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations

JCAT consists of state, local, tribal, and territorial first responders and public safety professionals from around the country, working side by side with federal intelligence analysts from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to research, produce, and disseminate counterterrorism intelligence. We offer federal fellowship opportunities to public safety professionals—law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire service, intelligence, homeland security, and public health officials—from state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies.

Intelligence Guide for First Responders_web.pdf