European Approaches to Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

CRS Report for Congress
European Approaches to
Homeland Security
and Counterterrorism
July 24, 2006
Kristin Archick, Coordinator;
Carl Ek, Paul Gallis, Francis T. Miko, and Steven Woehrel
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

European Approaches to
Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and the
subsequent attacks on European countries such as the United Kingdom and Spain
have prompted both sides of the Atlantic to reinvigorate their respective efforts to
ensure homeland security and combat terrorism. However, U.S. and European
approaches to these issues differ. While the United States has embarked on a
wholesale reorganization of its domestic security and border protection institutions,
European countries have largely preferred to work within their existing institutional
architectures to combat terrorism and respond to other security challenges and
disasters, both natural and man-made.
This report examines homeland security and counterterrorist measures in six
selected European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United
Kingdom. None of these European countries currently has a single ministry or
department equivalent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In most of
these countries, responsibility for different aspects of homeland security and
counterterrorism is scattered across several ministries or different levels of
Different countries maintain different priorities in spending for homeland
security, but most have devoted increased funds over the last several years to
intelligence and law enforcement efforts against terrorism. Funding for measures to
strengthen transport security, improve emergency preparedness and response, counter
chem-bio incidents, and protect critical national infrastructure are more difficult to
determine and compare among the countries, given that responsibility for these
various issues is often spread among the budgets of different government ministries.
Some critics suggest that the Europeans have been slow to bolster domestic
protection efforts beyond the law enforcement angle. Others contend that European
governments have sought to integrate counterterrorism and preparedness programs
into existing emergency management efforts, thereby providing greater flexibility to
respond to a wide range of security challenges with often limited personnel and
financial resources.
Some U.S. policymakers and Members of Congress are taking an increasing
interest in how European countries are managing homeland security issues and
emergency preparedness and response, in light of both recent terrorist activity and
Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast in August 2005. In seeking
to protect U.S. interests at home and abroad, many U.S. officials recognize that the
actions or inaction of the European allies can affect U.S. domestic security, especially
given the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals of many European
states to travel to the United States without a visa or other checks on their identities.
Some experts suggest that greater U.S.-European cooperation in the field of
homeland security is necessary in order to better guarantee security on both sides of
the Atlantic. This report will not be updated. For more information, also see CRS
Report RL31612, European Counterterrorist Efforts: Political Will and Diverse
Responses in the First Year After September 11, coordinated by Paul Gallis.

In troduction ......................................................1
Belgium .........................................................3
Belgian Homeland Security/Counterterrorism Efforts: Background......3
Policies, Budget, and Institutional Structure.........................4
Belgium’s Homeland Security Functions and Agencies................5
Civil Defense.............................................5
Federal Police.............................................6
Intelligence ...............................................7
Counterterrorism ..........................................7
France ...........................................................8
Background ..................................................8
The French Response to Terrorism................................9
Institutions and Structures for Domestic Crisis Management............9
Protection of Infrastructure; Chemical/Biological/Radiological Threats...12
France and the European Union..................................13
Civil Liberties...............................................14
Funding for Homeland Security..................................14
Germany ........................................................16
In troduction .................................................16
Germany’s Organization for “Homeland Security” ..................16
Intelligence and Law Enforcement...........................16
Civil Protection and Emergency Response.....................18
Anti-Terrorism Measures.......................................19
Funding ....................................................22
Italy ...........................................................23
In troduction .................................................23
Italian Domestic Security Institutions and Structures.................24
Italy’s Inter-Governmental Approach and Lead Ministries.........24
Law Enforcement and Intelligence...........................25
Funding ....................................................27
Changes in Italy’s Security Policies Since September 11..............28
Enhancing Law Enforcement and Intelligence Capabilities........28
Strengthening Border Controls and Transport Security............29
Countering CBRN Threats and Protecting the Critical
National Infrastructure.................................30
Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response...............31
Spain ..........................................................32
Background .................................................32
Spain’s Security Structures.....................................32
Changes in Spain’s Security Policies Since 3/11.....................34

United Kingdom..................................................36
The UK’s Approach to Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.......36
UK Domestic Security Institutions and Structures...................38
The UK Cabinet and Ministerial Committee System.............38
Government Ministries and Other Departments.................39
Law Enforcement and Intelligence...........................40
Role of the Military.......................................41
Funding ....................................................41
Key UK Security Measures and Challenges........................43
Enhancing Law Enforcement and Intelligence Capabilities........43
Strengthening Border Controls and Transport Security............44
Countering CBRN Threats and Protecting the Critical
National Infrastructure.................................45
Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response...............46
The information in this report, in the form of memoranda, was previously
provided to the House Committee on Homeland Security, and is being made
available to Congress as a whole with the Committee’s permission.

European Approaches to
Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and the
subsequent attacks on European countries such as the United Kingdom and Spain
have prompted both sides of the Atlantic to reinvigorate their respective efforts to
ensure homeland security and combat terrorism. However, U.S. and European
approaches to these issues differ. While the United States has embarked on a
wholesale reorganization of its domestic security and border protection institutions,
European countries have largely preferred to work within their existing institutional
architectures to combat terrorism and respond to other security challenges and
disasters, both natural and man-made.
This report examines homeland security and counterterrorist measures in six
selected European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United
Kingdom. None of these European countries currently has a single ministry or
department equivalent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In most of
these countries, responsibility for different aspects of homeland security and
counterterrorism is scattered across several ministries, and inter-governmental
cooperation plays a key role in addressing threats and challenges to domestic
security. In some countries, such as the UK, Germany, and Belgium, responsibility
for homeland security affairs is also split among federal and regional or state
The approaches of many European countries to protecting their publics and
infrastructure have grown out of decades of experience in dealing with domestic
terrorist groups, such as the IRA in the UK, the Basque terrorist movement ETA in
Spain, or the anarchist Red Army Faction in Germany. Even after the terrorist
attacks of the last few years, European countries have continued to view combating
terrorism primarily as a task for law enforcement and intelligence authorities. Some
critics suggest that many European countries have been slow to bolster domestic
protection efforts, reduce societal vulnerabilities, strengthen border controls and
transport security, and push the defense of European territory as far out as possible.
Others contend that European governments have sought to integrate counterterrorism
and preparedness programs into existing emergency management efforts, thereby
providing greater flexibility to respond to a wide range of security challenges with
often limited personnel and financial resources.
European parliamentary systems influence government decisions regarding
homeland security policy and budgetary priorities. In the UK, for example, the
government has a parliamentary majority and as a result, the government’s proposed

budgetary levels are not usually contested in the same way as they often are in the
United States. A strong executive in France largely directs homeland security efforts
with minimal parliamentary oversight. Spending priorities in the different countries
vary, but most have devoted increased funds over the last several years to intelligence
and law enforcement efforts against terrorism. Funding for measures to strengthen
transport security, improve emergency preparedness and response, counter chem-bio
incidents, and protect critical national infrastructure are more difficult to determine
and compare among the countries, given that responsibility for these various issues
is often spread among the budgets of different government ministries.
All of the countries discussed in this report are members of the European Union
(EU), which in the years since September 11 has sought to boost police and judicial
cooperation among its 25 member states, bolster external border controls, and
harmonize immigration and asylum policies. Some analysts believe, however, that
the EU should take a more active role in ensuring European homeland security, given
the EU’s largely open borders and the accession of central European countries that
border less stable regions such as the Balkans. They also argue that more extensive
EU efforts to coordinate homeland security affairs would help bring order and greater
coherence to the myriad of government institutions engaged in protecting domestic
security within each EU member state, and encourage common security and
budgetary priorities among all members. Some have proposed that the EU should
establish at a minimum a “homeland security czar” similar to its recently appointed
counterterrorism coordinator. Other experts are skeptical that member states would
be willing to cede greater sovereignty to the Union in the area of domestic security,
which is central to national authority.
Similar to the United States, European countries are also struggling to find the
appropriate balance between measures to improve security and respect civil liberties.
In the UK, there has been vigorous debate on such issues. Germany, Spain, and Italy
have traditionally guarded civil liberties strongly in light of their histories with
authoritarian regimes, but recent terrorist activity has prompted greater discussion of
strengthening measures to ensure domestic security. While France has long
championed civil liberties such as free speech and freedom of religion, French
society also emphasizes the need for public order and has taken steps to enhance
security since September 11.
Some U.S. policymakers and Members of Congress are taking an increasing
interest in how European countries are organizing and managing homeland security
issues and emergency preparedness and response, in light of both recent terrorist
activity and Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast in August
2005. In seeking to protect U.S. interests at home and abroad, many U.S. officials
recognize that the actions or inaction of the European allies can affect U.S. domestic
security, especially given the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows nationals of
many European states to travel to the United States without a visa or other checks on
their identities. Some experts suggest that greater U.S.-European cooperation in the
field of homeland security is necessary in order to better guarantee security on both
sides of the Atlantic.

Belgian Homeland Security/Counterterrorism Efforts:
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, an American official characterized Belgium’s
political will to cooperate in the global war on terrorism as “fairly strong,” chiefly
because it is linked to Belgium’s self-interest: the Belgians do not want any terrorist
activity to occur on their territory.2 Because the European Union (EU) and NATO
are headquartered in their country, the Belgians are sensitized to the terrorist threat
but they are said to be anxious over whether they have sufficient resources to protect
personnel at the two institutions.
Some analysts believe that the Belgians’ ability to deliver on their promises is
at times somewhat challenged, and that any type of domestic “coordination” is
problematic in Belgium’s federated system of government, in which policies must
navigate the shoals of several levels of government and three official languages. In
addition, Belgium’s domestic political dynamics act as something of a constraint on
cooperation; the ethnic mistrust between the Dutch-speaking Flemings and the
French-speaking Walloons complicates matters. Finally, some observers believe that
Brussels tends to place a great deal of emphasis on process, and, as a result, the
government is slow and bureaucratic.
Belgium showed early leadership in coordinating international counterterrorist
activities. At the time of the September 11 attacks, Belgium held the revolving
presidency of the European Union. Shortly thereafter, police and anti-terrorist
officials from Germany, the Netherlands, and France met with their Belgian
counterparts in Brussels to discuss efforts to share information and coordinate
counterterrorist strategy. In addition, Belgium pushed within the Union for
acceptance of EU-wide fast-track extradition procedures for serious crimes. Like
other EU countries, however, Belgium has refused to deport suspected terrorists to
countries where they might face the death penalty. In 1987, Belgium and the United
States signed a bilateral extradition treaty. A mutual legal assistance treaty signed
the following year expedites communications by permitting requests to bypass
standard diplomatic channels and be made directly between the U.S. Department of
Justice and the Belgian Ministry of Justice. Extraditions may now be sought using
a “provisional arrest request pending extradition,” and are conducted in accordance
with a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed in January 2004.3
In June 2002, the U.S. and Belgian governments initialed an agreement
permitting U.S. Customs agents to be stationed in the seaport of Antwerp, where they

1 Prepared by Carl Ek, Specialist in International Relations, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and
Trade Division.
2 For additional information on Belgium’s post — 9/11 response, see CRS Report RL31612,
European Counterterrorist Efforts: Political Will and Diverse Responses in the First Year
After September 11, coordinated by Paul Gallis.
3 Information provided by an official of the Belgian embassy. March 2006.

work with Belgian officials to screen freight containers to be loaded on vessels bound
for the United States. The accord is part of the Bush Administration’s Container
Security Initiative (CSI), under which foreign ports are checked to prevent shipment
to the United States of weapons of mass destruction.
However, Belgium’s laws on security-related matters have proved controversial
in the past. For example, the two suicide bombers who assassinated former Afghan
Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud on September 9, 2001, were found
to be carrying Belgian passports. Until 1998, Belgian passports were issued by
municipal officials, and an estimated 3,500 passports were stolen annually from
poorly-guarded city halls. After the United States applied pressure, even indicating
that it might begin requiring visas for Belgians, the country centralized its passport
issuance process.4 In 2004, Belgium became the first country to introduce biometric-
based electronic passports; the new travel documents are compliant with both U.S.
and EU requirements.5
In addition, in 2001, an article in the Wall Street Journal criticized Belgium for
having “some of the weakest antiterrorism laws in the European Union[,] ... making
it popular among terrorists as a place to hide out and plan attacks.” Citing Belgian
sources, the article maintained that, because Belgium had not suffered directly from
terrorist acts in the recent past, Brussels had largely relegated the terrorism issue to
a back burner in the 1980s. In an editorial, the newspaper singled out Belgium as
“simply the only country whose elected officials have failed to ensure that the
bureaucracy does not provide an obstruction to broader interests.”6 Belgium has
since taken steps to address some of these issues. In 2003, the legislature passed the
Terrorist Offence Act, which amended the criminal code by introducing definitions
relating to terrorism, and spelling out punishment for belonging to or aiding terrorist
groups. In 2004, Belgium passed a law addressing the financing of terrorism, and the
following year approved legislation creating the legal framework for special anti-
terrorist investigations.7
Policies, Budget, and Institutional Structure8
Belgium’s approach to homeland security is less unified than that which was
adopted after 9/11 by the United States; it has no counterpart to the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security. Individual components of homeland security, counter-
terrorist, and emergency management responsibilities are spread throughout the
government; different agencies look at various issues; for example, one group

4 “Not Only Masood Killers Had Stolen Belgian Passport.” Reuters. September 17, 2001.
5 Testimony of Rudi Veerstraeten, Director General for Consular Affairs, Belgium Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, before the House Judiciary Committee. April 20, 2005.
6 “‘Back Office’ For Terrorism? Belgium Scrambles To Close Loopholes In Security
Laws,” by Dan Bilefsky and Philip Shishkin. Wall Street Journal. October 9, 2001.
“Belgium’s War Effort.” Editorial. Wall Street Journal. October 8, 2001.
7 Based on communication from State Department official. March 2006.
8 Background for this and other sections of the memorandum is based in part on information
provided by officials of the U.S. embassy in Brussels.

handles threat assessment, while another one is responsible for intelligence gathering,
and border control and financial questions are handled by two other ministries.
Belgium’s prime minister has the main responsibility for the country’s
antiterrorism policy. The Council of Ministers handles the development of strategic
policy toward counterterrorism; any differences of opinion are ironed out by the
Ministerial Committee on Intelligence and Security; in which various ministries
participate. The Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister. In all its law
enforcement activities, Belgium places a strong emphasis on civil rights.
Government ministers propose policy priorities for their own departments, subject
to the final approval of the Council of Ministers.
As noted earlier, the attacks of 9/11 made counterterrorism and emergency
preparedness a priority in Belgium; the subsequent terrorist bombings in Madrid and
London heightened Belgium’s sense of vulnerability and reinforced the need for
greater homeland security. Nonetheless, in terms of priorities, terrorism is placed on
a par with drug and human trafficking and other criminal activities. Accordingly,
actions to counter terrorism are regarded as the responsibility of the police.
Most homeland security policy implementation is coordinated out of two
ministries: the Ministry of the Interior, and, to a lesser extent, the Ministry of Justice.
Investigations are conducted either by the police, or by a federal magistrate.
Budgetary resources and funding policy priorities for various homeland security-
related activities are determined by the relevant government ministries, in
consultation with the parliament and the Finance and Budget Ministries.9 The
Ministries’ funding levels are also subject to the approval of the Council of
Ministers. Like all government activities, funding for homeland security-related
functions are negotiated among a four-party governing coalition of mixed ethnicity
(French/Flemish) and ideology. In 2002, Belgium spent a total of 4,109 million euros
— an estimated 1.6% of GDP — on public order and safety functions.10 Spending
on counter-terrorism activities has expanded in recent years to cover funding for a
new intelligence and policing agency (OCAM/CODA — see below) and the addition
of seven magistrates who will conduct investigations related to counterterrorism.
Belgium’s Homeland Security Functions and Agencies
Civil Defense. The lead Belgian agency for emergency response is the
General Directorate of Civil Defense. It was created by royal decree in 1954 as an
agency to manage emergencies in wartime. However, as the threat of war

9 Belgium: General Directorate of Civil Defence. International Civil Defence Directory.
Website of International Civil Defence Organisation: [
10 Protecting the European Homeland: The CBR Dimension. Chaillot Paper No. 60. By
Gustav Lindstrom. EU Institute for Security Studies. July, 2004. p. 64. This aggregate
figure includes spending on “police services, fire-protection services, law courts, prisons,
R&D for public order and safety, and other expenditure categories not already included.”

diminished, the directorate was modified and strengthened in subsequent legislation
and decrees to account for specific activities in a number of areas, including disaster
relief assistance, fire fighting, and protection against nuclear radiation. The
Directorate is part of the federal Ministry of the Interior, and is headquartered in
Brussels. The Directorate coordinates activities among federal ministries and among
the various levels of government — down to the municipal level. It also develops
plans for dealing with federal emergencies and sets training and operational
standards. The Directorate of Civil Defense does not have direct responsibility for
countering terrorism. In the event of a major act of terrorism, the Directorate, along
with the Crisis Center (see below), would be responsible for emergency response and
communications with the populace.11
In 1988, the Governmental Coordination and Crisis Center was created to gather
and analyze information about and provide continuous monitoring of accidents and
other emergencies. It is one of five divisions of the Interior Ministry. Its total
staffing is 770, including 120 in Brussels and 650 spread among six operational units
around the country; it can also draw from a pool of 1500 volunteers as needed. When
either a man-made or natural disaster occurs, the Center coordinates the response of
government agencies at all levels. Depending upon the scope of the disaster, the
Center provides federal assistance to mayors (if it is a relatively minor event), and to
governors (if the disaster is confined to a single province). The Crisis Center also is
the Belgian government’s main agency for responding to a terrorist event.
Professional and volunteer civil defense staff receive training at the Royal
School of Civil Defense in Grez-Doiceau, in the centrally-located province of
Walloon Brabant. Training centers for firefighting are located in each of Belgium’s
ten provinces.
Federal Police. Belgium’s national police force is part of the Ministry of the
Interior. One author has noted that, after World War II, many European countries
deliberately chose not to strengthen their police forces, and that “[i]n Belgium,
policing was divided between two types of law enforcement institutions, one
Walloon in orientation and the other Flemish, with neither being considered
especially capable, or able to exercise control over all parts of the country.”12
In recent years — particularly since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 — efforts have
been made to consolidate and improve Belgium’s federal police force. Today,
Belgium has one integrated police force, but no gendarmerie. The force is divided
into five sections, which are responsible for administrative, judicial, and operational
support, as well as human resource and materiel matters. The administrative police
handle border controls and transportation security. The judicial police cover
economic and organized crime, forensics, and other activities. The office of the
operational support police is the national contact point for international liaison
(including Interpol) and special units (e.g., SWAT teams). There are approximately

11 Protecting the European Homeland: The CBR Dimension. p. 79. And: International
Civil Defence Directory. pp. 2-3.
12 Transatlantic Homeland Security. Anja Dalgaard-Nielsen and Daniel Hamilton. Eds.
Routledge. New York. 2006. p. 110.

15,000 officers serving in the federal force, and about 28,000 employed by nearly 200
police departments at the local level.13
In 1994, Belgium created a cadre of international liaison officers of the federal
police. Stationed in more than a dozen foreign capitals (including Washington,
D.C.), the liaison officers cooperate with foreign governments on both law
enforcement and judicial matters. For example, they share information relating to
cases of terrorism, and facilitate extradition procedures.
Intelligence. Anti-terrorist and homeland security intelligence is handled by
the civilian intelligence agency — the State Security and General Intelligence Service
under the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Defense’s intelligence service may
only be called into play when there is a military aspect to a certain case. The two
agencies have a protocol agreement on the exchange of information.
Threat analysis is performed by a new agency, the OCAM/CODA (Organe de
coordination pour l’analyse de la menace/Coördinatieorgaan voor de
dreigingsanalyse). This organization, which is expected to be fully operational in a
year, is an umbrella group that coordinates intelligence and policing efforts from
around the government. It replaces a similar agency, but has wider scope and a larger
budget. It facilitates information sharing among all government agencies tasked with
combating terrorism. It collects information from various organizations (including
state security, intelligence and police services, customs, the transportation office, the
treasury, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and conducts threat analyses based on
this information.
Belgium has also demonstrated an interest in wider sharing of intelligence
within Europe. After the March 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid, Belgium joined
Austria in proposing the establishment of a European intelligence agency, but other
EU members opposed this initiative on national sovereignty grounds.14
Counterterrorism. A 2002 RAND study15 identified four agencies that work
in the counterterrorism field: 1) the Department of Terrorism and Sects of the
Federal Police, responsible mainly for coordinating activities relating to the Turkish
Kurd issue, terrorism, and religious sects; 2) the mixed anti-terrorist group, a small
group, supervised by the Justice and Interior Ministries, that collects and analyzes
information for the development of policy and legislation (this group has since been
replaced by the OCAM/CODA); 3) State Security, which handles intelligence and
security matters in several areas, including terrorism, proliferation, and organized
crime; and 4) the Terrorism and Public Order Service of the Federal Police, a
deliberately low-profile group of about 40 field staff with wide-ranging
responsibilities. In addition, the Customs and Excise Department is responsible for

13 Information provided by an official of the Belgian embassy. March 2006.
14 “EU Nations Vow To Step Up Fight Against Terrorism, But Stay Away From an EU
CIA.” Associated Press. March 19, 2004.
15 Quick Scan of Post 9/11 National Counter-Terrorism Policymaking and Implementation
in Selected European Countries. RAND Europe. MR-1590. May 2002.

the prevention of arms trafficking. The Crisis Center, as mentioned above, is the
principal agency for monitoring and responding to a terrorist event.
Two organizations are responsible for investigating and preventing the financing
of terrorism. The Financial Information Processing Unit, an independent agency
supervised by the Finance and Justice Ministries, collects and analyzes financial data
about possible terrorist linkages. The Treasury, part of the Federal Public Finance
Department, is responsible for freezing assets belonging to terrorists. In addition,
Belgium is a member of the international Financial Action Task Force on Money
Laundering, a 31-country organization formed by the G-7 in 1989 to combat money
The Federal Police and the Customs office (an agency of the Finance
Department) are responsible for border security, while the Ministry of Transportation
is tasked with handling the technical side of transportation security.
Potential chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats from
abroad — by governments or non-state actors — are assessed by the Ministries of
Defense and Foreign Affairs. OCAM/CODA, State Security, and the federal police
are charged with CBRN threat analysis and prevention. Nuclear power plant security
is split between the Interior Ministry and the Sub-directorate for Energy of the
Ministry for Economics.
France does not have a department of homeland security. Instead, France relies
upon institutional practices in several ministries that have evolved over many years
as a response to terrorist attacks.
The French response to terrorism contrasts to that of the United States. While
the United States has undertaken military action around the world to counter the
terrorist threat, France, with other EU governments, has concentrated on a response
grounded in law enforcement. In France, institutional flexibility and enhancement
of judicial and police authority are the core of this effort. Long periods of political
instability have also led to an emphasis on public order over civil liberties. Coupled
with the emphasis on public order is a highly centralized governmental system,
inherited from the monarchical and Napoleonic eras, in which authority lies primarily
in the hands of the president and the prime minister.
France lacks the resources to undertake homeland security efforts comparable
to those of the United States. France also has competing budget priorities, such as
social welfare, that traditionally receive more attention in France than in the United
States. In part to compensate for this relative lack of resources, the French

16 Prepared by Paul Gallis, Specialist in European Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and
Trade Division.

government increasingly coordinates its anti-terror efforts with its EU partners,
especially in border control. Discernible funding levels marked for anti-terrorism are
modest. France also has a budget system that largely lacks line items; instead,
executive authority may move funding around to respond to needs, with minimal
parliamentary oversight. For this reason, even general budget figures for the
country’s anti-terror effort cannot be described.
The French Response to Terrorism
Violent radical groups have been active in France for many decades, and strong
state action has been used in response. The greatest challenge from terrorists came
in the 1960s, when extremists carried out assassination attempts and bombings
against institutional, governmental, and private targets. Many of these terrorists were
of domestic origin; some were members of or had connections to the French armed
services. They were seeking to maintain Algeria as a colony, and to overthrow the
government of President de Gaulle, then in the process of dismantling France’s
colonial empire. Others were Algerian nationalists seeking to hasten the end of
French rule and expunge French influence in northern Africa.
Since the 1960s, terrorists have repeatedly struck French targets. Separatist
Basque and Corsican terrorists have been active since that period. In 1994, French
police thwarted a hijacking at the Marseille airport; terrorists had reportedly intended
to crash the plane into the Eiffel Tower. In 1995, an Algerian terrorist organization,
the Armed Islamic Group (GIA), carried out bombings in the Paris subway that killed
a number of French citizens. Al Qaeda has carried out at least one successful attack
against France. In 2002, Al Qaeda operatives exploded a car bomb in Karachi that
killed 11 French naval personnel assisting with the transfer of French submarines to
Pakistan. Today, France regards Al Qaeda and related radical Islamist groups as the
country’s greatest terrorist threat.17
Institutions and Structures for Domestic Crisis Management
The Ministry of Interior (MOI) and Ministry of Defense (MOD) play key roles
in managing crises in France. France has also created intelligence agencies and
specialized judicial entities and police forces to combat terrorism. As noted earlier,
France does not have a governmental entity comparable to the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security.
The Ministry of Interior is responsible for civil protection, and in most instances
would manage a response to a terrorist threat or attack. In the event of a threat or an
attack, the Council for Internal Security (Le Conseil de sécurité intérieure, or CSI),
created in 2002, largely in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United
States, would define overall policy and determine a priority of measures. The CSI
has a permanent staff, but the president would convene and lead it. Its permanent

17 “The Military Role in Countering Terrorism at Home and Abroad,” synopsis of
conference, French American Foundation, Nov. 20-22, 2003, p. 1-2; CRS Report RL31612,
European Counterterrorist Efforts: Political Will and Diverse Responses in the First Year
After September 11, coordinated by Paul Gallis.

members are the prime minister, the Ministers of the Interior, Justice, Defense,
Economy and Finance. Other officials may be added as needed. Its current leader
is Philippe Massoni, a longtime public official and a former prefect. MOI’s
Directorate of Defense and Public Safety (DDSC) is charged with preparing a
national response structure. That structure includes a domestic intelligence agency
that answers to the MOI and to the president and prime minister; an inter-ministerial
operations center (COGIC, discussed below) that coordinates different ministries’
responses (such as the Ministry of Health in the event of a chemical or biological
attack); and regional and local government structures that carry out orders from
France has 90 départements, or administrative regions, each led by a prefect
who is an official of the central government in Paris. France does not have governors
or local assemblies that control regional affairs. Instead, the prefect, acting for the
president and prime minister, coordinates such groups as firefighters, national police
for riot control (Les Compagnies Républicaines de la Sécurité, or CRS), local police,
and the Gendarmerie, which is a police and investigative force. France has
approximately 240,000 firefighters and rescue personnel, 130,000 local police, and
97,000 gendarmes. In addition, unlike the United States, France uses the military
domestically in extreme emergencies, such as during major floods or in the event of
a terrorist attack. The military would remain under the command of the MOD, and
not the MOI, in such situations.19
In 1986, a French law created special judicial and police authorities to respond
to terrorism. In France, a magistrate performs multiple roles: he is an investigator
and a prosecutor. He may also issue warrants, a power that provides him broad
authority. Under the 1986 law, if a magistrate finds evidence against an individual
or a group, he may direct the police to gather further evidence and make arrests. He
may also use the Directorate for the Surveillance of the Territory (DST), France’s
domestic intelligence service, to gather evidence. The DST may coordinate its work
with the General Directorate for External Surveillance (DGSE), France’s foreign
intelligence service, and, for example, exchange information when there appears to
be a link between citizens and foreigners involved in terrorism or other crimes.20
France has a special senior anti-terror magistrate, Jean-Louis Bruguière, who
oversees the effort to find and arrest terrorists. His prosecutors have greater authority
than other French prosecutors to order wiretaps and surveillance, and they may order
preventive detention of suspects for up to six days without filing a charge. Under the

1986 anti-terror law, there are special judicial panels that try cases without juries.

18 Interview with the Deputy Director of the CSI, Feb. 14, 2006; “Le Conseil de sécurité,”
Ministry of the Interior, Nov. 11, 2005.
19 Gustav Lindstrom, Protecting the European Homeland: the CBR Dimension, Chaillot
Paper, No. 69, July 2004, p. 91-92.
20 Jeremy Shapiro and Bénédicte Suzan, “The French Experience of Counter-Terrorism,”
Survival, Spring 2003, p. 83-84.

Today, France has “a pool of specialized judges and investigators adept at
dismantling and prosecuting terrorist networks.”21
France has a system, Vigipirate, used at moments of danger to the country.
Instituted in 1978, Vigipirate has two levels, which can be activated by the president
without legislative consent. The first level, “simple,” is activated when a threat
appears imminent. The government may call up reserve police and rescue personnel,
and will deploy police to sensitive sites such as embassies, the subway, train stations
and airports, and fuel infrastructure, including nuclear plants (approximately 50% of
France’s electricity is derived from nuclear power). The government activated this
first level at the outset of the first Gulf War in 1991. It remained in effect until the
day after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, when France
activated the second level, “reinforced.” At this level, President Chirac exercised his
authority to direct the armed forces to deploy internally to ensure security. He put an
additional 5400 police, gendarmes, and soldiers on the streets of Paris at strategic
points; four thousand police were initially assigned to the Paris subway system alone.
The government also enhanced the country’s air defense system. In all, 35,000
members of the police and military were called up. The system remained at this level
until December 31, 2003.22
In 2003, as a result of a dramatic loss of life during a heat wave, the government
developed a new plan to respond to disasters, whether natural or man-made. The
plan (Plan Canicule, “Heat Wave Plan”) has four steps.23 In the first step, the
government maintains vigilance by having technological systems in place that may
signal a potential disaster, such as a heat wave or a radiological attack. For example,
equipment for detection of radiation might be deployed in the event of a nuclear plant
accident, or a radiological attack. In the second step, the government goes to an
“alert” status. In this step, the Ministry of Health works with the Ministry of the
Interior and directs the prefects to take specific measures to prepare for a disaster.
Officials might alert hospitals, begin to mobilize regional health care professionals
and rescue workers, and enhance their communications network.
The third step is “intervention.” In this step, the Ministries concentrate available
information in fewer hands and direct the prefects to intensify their efforts in the
départements. The prime minister decides that a body similar to a U.S. interagency
group must be convened. This body, the Interministerial Committee for the
Management of Crises (COGIC), has an ad hoc existence, and would be comprised
of senior officials from the necessary agencies. The Gendarmerie might also be
called upon to ensure public order and to assist in other ways, such as the movement
of large numbers of people, supervision of traffic flow, and provision of transport.

21 Marc Perelman, “How the French Fight Terror,” Foreign Policy, January 2006, p. 2;
interviews of French officials, Oct. 2005-Feb. 2006.
22 Interviews with French officials, Sept.-Oct. 2001; “Quick Scan of Post 9/11 National
Counter-terrorism Policymaking and Implementation in Selected European Countries,”
Netherlands Ministry of Justice, 2002, p. 50-52.
23 Plan Canicule, Ministry of Health, Paris, May 5, 2004, p. 4-6.

The fourth step is “requisition.” In this step, the prime minister directs COGIC
to use existing authority to seize all necessary transport (trains, planes, automobiles),
and to direct the media to broadcast information to the population. The armed forces
may be directed to engage in security operations. Through the prefects, the
government can direct local officials, such as mayors, to provide needed information
and resources.
In 2003, the government took another step to build its capacity to combat threats
to domestic security. It began to create a unit of 1,000-5,000 soldiers, directed by the
Ministry of Defense, to respond in the event of a large-scale terrorist attack or a
“natural or technological catastrophe,” such as damage to a nuclear power plant.24
Protection of Infrastructure;
Chemical/Biological/Radiological Threats
Protection of key infrastructure is an issue that has long attracted attention in
France. As noted above, a special military unit is being prepared to aid in this effort.
The government has installed radar near nuclear power installations to detect low-
flying aircraft that may approach too closely. When radioactive materials that may
pose a threat to the population are transported, it is the Ministry of Economy and
Finance that moves them. Under the Vigipirate system, security forces deploy at key
sites, such as bridges and tunnels. France has long placed air marshals on selected
flights to counter an attempted hijacking.25 Security in French airports is often
extremely tight; while passengers boarding aircraft in France have their baggage
examined, many who arrive in France also have their baggage subjected to a careful
France and the United States reached an agreement in 2002 over container
security in ports. Under the agreement, U.S. Customs inspectors have joined French
counterparts in Le Havre and Marseille to examine sea cargo containers for the
possible presence of weapons of mass destruction and illicit smuggling or trafficking
activity intended for shipment to U.S. ports.
Some French officials express special concern about a possible terrorist attempt
to spread biological agents among the population. In 2002, the government began
to allocate funding for the purchase of stockpiles of antibiotics in the event of such
an attack. The government also has a “biotox” plan to secure biological agents in
laboratories; supervise the transport of such agents; intervene quickly in a crisis to
reinforce care units with sufficient supplies and medical personnel; and develop
vaccines and antidotes in anticipation of an attack. Since 2004, the government has
also carried out a number of large-scale exercises to test its response to a chemical26

or biological attack.
24 2003-2008 Military Programme: Bill of Law, Ministry of Defense, Paris, 2002, p. 19.
25 Lindstrom, op. cit., p. 91; “Quick Scan...,” Netherlands Ministry of Justice, op. cit., p. 58-


26 Interviews of French officials, Feb. 2006; Lindstrom, op. cit., p. 92.

France and the European Union
The European Union plays an important role in the effort to counter terrorism
in Europe.27 From the 1950s France has placed the EU at the center of its efforts to
build a stable society and strong economy. Increasingly, France and other EU
members have shared elements of their sovereignty in a range of areas, including
border control and general security.
The EU members have taken a number of specific steps in police and judicial
cooperation. In 2001, they established a common definition of terrorism, and agreed
to common penalties for terrorist crimes. France and its EU partners maintain a
common list of terrorists and terrorist organizations. One part of the list is directed
against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The EU has adopted U.N. Security Council
sanctions against these groups. Another part of the list names terrorists and terrorist
organizations in Europe and elsewhere. All EU members have agreed to freeze the
assets of individuals and organizations on the list.28
In 2001 the EU agreed to eliminate extradition proceedings among member
states for a range of crimes, including terrorism. EU members also agreed to
strengthen EU police and judicial institutions. Since 1999, Europol has served as an
information clearinghouse for cross-border crimes such as terrorism and money-
laundering. There has also been an effort to share more intelligence on terrorists’
activities among EU states, but France tends to have several bilateral intelligence
sharing arrangements that are stronger than any general policy of sharing among all
member states.29
France and other EU members are attempting to control illegal immigration.
The effort has become enmeshed in a debate that sometimes links terrorism to illegal
immigration from the Middle East, a point of view evident on the extreme right and
in such anti-immigrant political organizations as Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front
party. While France is part of the Schengen plan, which allows EU citizens to cross
borders of member states with minimal involvement with border officials, there is an
increasing effort to discourage illegal immigration. France has established joint
border controls with Spain and Italy to capture and expel illegal immigrants. France
and several other EU countries are also establishing national DNA analysis files in
order to track and identify terrorists and other criminals. France also supports the
establishment of biometric information databases for purposes of identification.30

27 CRS Report RL31509, Europe and Counterterrorism: Strengthening Police and Judicial
Cooperation, by Kristin Archick.
28 Ibid.
29 Yves Boyer, “Intelligence Cooperation and Homeland Security,” in Gustav Lindstron,
Transforming Homeland Security: US and European Approaches, Washington, 2006, p.


30 Gustav Lindstrom, “The EU’s Approach to Homeland Security,” in Transforming
Homeland Security, op. cit., p. 128.

Civil Liberties
Strong central authority in France has traditionally meant that the government
constrains civil liberties when there is a real or perceived threat. Under the
Vigipirate system, the police frequently check individuals’ identities and inspect
carried items, particularly in large public places such as airports and train and subway
stations. While there is no requirement for a national identity card in France, it is
difficult to undertake a range of casual activities, such as cashing a check, obtaining
a loan, or applying for employment without one. At times of a high alert, police will
stop and question people who appear to fit a description.31
While France has long championed free speech and freedom of religion, there
is also a prevailing requirement for public order. The current Minister of the Interior,
Nicholas Sarkozy, for example, has reacted strongly to the imams in France’s Muslim
population who have criticized France and other western countries:
The Republic is not a weak regime and does not have to accept speeches that,
under the guise of being protected by being delivered in a place of worship,
might call for hatred and murder. [Such imams] will be systematically expelled....
Those who make excessive and violent remarks foreign to the values of our
Republic will be expelled.... [We] will surveil places of worship... as well as
prisons..., and keep an eye on social and sporting or cultural organizations that32
serve as a screen for radical and terrorist ideologies and activities.
Sarkozy is also at the forefront of an effort in the French government to place
restraints on immigration. He has proposed a law to the French parliament that
would allow entry primarily of more well-educated immigrants who speak or have
French language abilities. The law would also make it more difficult for immigrants
who cannot support themselves financially to bring family members into France.33
Funding for Homeland Security
As noted above, only fragmentary information is available on French funding
for homeland security. In 2002, parliament passed a bill that allocated $5.6 billion
for the period 2003-2007 to hire 7,000 more gendarmes and 6,500 more police for
localities. In 2003 the government allocated 52 million euros (approximately $65
million) through 2008 to programs to counter chemical, biological, radiological, and
nuclear threats. By one estimate, France spends approximately one percent of its
GDP on public order and safety, a figure that would have reached approximately $18

31 This was true after the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. In
1979, the former Italian prime minister, Aldo Moro, was kidnaped in Italy. For several days
there was a rumor that he had been taken to Paris. In an apparent search for the kidnapers,
the police stopped and asked for the identity papers of large numbers of men on public
sidewalks who had a “Mediterranean” appearance.
32 “M. Sarkozy Veut Expulser les Imams ‘Radicaux,’” Le Monde, July 17-18, 2005, p. 2.
33 “Sarkozy Plans ‘Contracts’ for New Migrants,” Financial Times, Feb. 6, 2006, p. 4.

billion in 2001.34 Presumably, part of that figure would cover expenditures for
military forces that might be called upon to act in Metropolitan France.
The French governmental system is significantly different from the U.S. system,
and funding for specific purposes is difficult to discern. The mixture of a presidential
and a parliamentary system may explain the difficulty. The parliament is relatively
weak, and its leaders are heavily reliant upon the government, led by a prime
minister, and the president for guidance in writing laws and in examining issues.
While some members of the French parliament have become more outspoken in the
past two decades, a sense of oversight responsibility is not as well-developed as it is
in the U.S. Congress. The parliament does pass a yearly budget, and sometimes
budget programs for a series of years, but the government normally presents a general
budget that parliament then largely embraces.
The president and the government that he appoints have very strong executive
authority. There is no agency comparable to the U.S. Office of Management and
Budget, able to make decisions about expenditure of funds. There is also no
department or agency comparable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or
to FEMA that directs disaster relief or counterterrorist action. And there is no
Government Accountability Office (GAO) that investigates such matters as
appropriate funding of government action. Resources come, as needed, on an ad hoc
basis, from a range of government ministries and agencies to respond to disasters or
terrorist attacks.
Key decisions about budget matters, such as reprogramming money, and about
governmental authority and responsibility in a crisis, are made by the offices of the
president and prime minister. A strong presidential system, backed by a prime
minister and government, is well accepted by French citizens because of the
country’s repeated crises, such as two world wars and a virtual civil war over Algeria,
that have troubled France over the past century. It is therefore much easier in France
than in the United States to move funding around to respond to domestic or foreign

34 Lindstrom, “Protecting the European Homeland...,” op. cit., p. 64.

Ger many35
Germany has no department or ministry for “homeland security.” The country’s
long established organization for protecting security and responding to emergencies
within its borders is defined by the 1949 Basic Law (Constitution) and involves
ministries and agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.36 There are no separate
laws or organizations focused exclusively on fighting terrorism. However, Germany
has devoted considerable attention since September 11, 2001 to preventing terrorist
attacks on its territory, protecting the population and critical infrastructure, as well
as assisting in the international fight against terrorism.
Although the government structure has not been changed fundamentally since
9/11, Germany has adjusted the ways in which it protects its territory. A number of
laws were amended and new laws passed to enable responsible agencies to better
carry out their responsibilities. Also, new mechanisms were introduced to better
coordinate planning and response at the local, state, and federal levels. In general,
the German approach to dealing with incidents, whether natural disasters or terrorist
acts, is bottom up, beginning at the local level, bringing in the state if necessary, and
finally calling in federal agencies if they are needed. Since World War II, Germany’s
civil protection and emergency response mechanisms have been geared primarily to
natural disasters. Germany does have decades of experience with domestic terrorism
by the Red Army Faction (RAF), a German left-wing anarchist group that operated
from the beginning of the 1970s to the late 1990s. Since 9/11, the government has
viewed terrorism as the most immediate threat to German national security.
Germany’s Organization for “Homeland Security”
German authorities rely on intelligence, law enforcement, and judicial
prosecution to prevent terrorist acts and to identify and neutralize potential terrorists.
At the federal level, ministries involved most directly in “homeland security”
functions include Interior, Justice, Defense, and Foreign Affairs, and Finance.
However, many other departments and agencies may play some role.
Intelligence and Law Enforcement. The most important intelligence
authorities in Germany are the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) under the Federal37
Chancellory, the Federal Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) under
the Ministry of the Interior,38 and the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD)

35 Prepared by Francis Miko, Specialist in International Relations, Foreign Affairs, Defense,
and Trade Division.
36 Under Germany’s federal system, each of the 16 states (Laender) have considerable
autonomy in major policy areas.
37 The BND is limited to gathering intelligence abroad.
38 The BfV gathers domestic intelligence. Council of Europe. Profiles on Counter-Terrorist

under the Ministry of Defense.39 The Federal Bureau for the Protection of the
Constitution (BfV) is given authority to track any activities of extremist groups that
seek to foment ideological or religious strife domestically.
The most important law enforcement authorities are the Federal Bureau of
Criminal Investigation (BKA) and the Federal Border Guard (BGS), both under the
Ministry of the Interior, and the Federal Public Prosecutor General (GBA). Post-
9/11, the BKA has the authority to lead its own investigations, replacing the former
system which required a formal request from the BfV. Within the BKA, a Financial
Intelligence Unit (FIU) serves as Germany’s central office for tracking money
laundering as well as a main contact point with foreign authorities concerning
financial crime. German authorities have conducted computer-aided searches of the
type that had proven successful in profiling and eventually dismantling the Red Army
Faction in the 1990s. Reportedly, these searches uncovered a number of radical40
Islamist “sleepers in the country.” Armed officers of the Federal Border Guard
(BGS) are now deployed aboard German airplanes. Moreover, the BGS has been
tasked to conduct more intensive screening of border traffic.
The Federal Public Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice is charged
with prosecution of terrorist offenses. A Criminal Senate within the Federal Court
of Justice deals with national security measures and is responsible for ruling on
complaints of investigative abuse, under the Courts Constitution Act.41
In early July 2004, federal and state Ministers of the Interior implemented some
key steps to improve coordination: (1) A central database was set up to collect and
store all available information regarding Muslim radicals suspected of terrorism and
information from several databases was made available to make computerized
searches more effective; (2) a joint Coordination Center was established in Berlin
under the Ministry of the Interior, consisting of the BKA, BND, BfV and MAD to
prevent terrorist attacks; and (3) state and local level agencies were integrated into
the Coordination Center.
Despite the changes, critics point to what they assert are continuing problems
hampering Germany’s domestic efforts. German law enforcement and intelligence
communities still face more bureaucratic hurdles, stricter constraints, and closer
oversight than those in many other countries. They are required to operate with
greater transparency. Privacy rights of individuals and the protection of personal data
are given prominent attention. These protections are extended to non-citizens
residing in Germany as well. Police are prohibited from collecting intelligence and

38 (...continued)
Capacity: Germany, October 2004, [].
39 The MAD is charged with gathering intelligence to assure readiness of the German
40 According to an interview with Gerhard Schindler, Head of the Counterterrorism Section
within the Ministry of the Interior, July 28, 2004.
41 Council of Europe. Profiles on Counter-Terrorist Capacity: Germany, October 2004,
[ h t t p : / / www.c o e . i n t / gmt ] .

can only begin an investigation when there is probable cause that a crime has been
committed. Thus, no legal recourse exists against suspected terrorists, until a case
can be made that a felony has taken place or been planned, either in Germany or
abroad. Intelligence agencies cannot make arrests and information collected covertly
cannot be used in court.
While the establishment of the Coordination Center is thought to have facilitated
cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities, no central agency or person
is in charge of all “homeland security” efforts. The most important domestic security
and intelligence authorities, the BKA and BfV, are still divided among one federal
and 16 state bureaus each. The state bureaus work independently of each other and
independently of the federal bureaus. Furthermore, German law requires a complete
organizational separation between federal law enforcement agencies such as the BKA
and state police agencies, and between federal and state intelligence authorities such
as the BfV.42 An interagency group made up of the appropriate ministries, the heads
of the BKA, BfV, BND, MAD, and the Attorney General conduct weekly briefings
in the Federal Chancellery and provide strategic direction.
Opinion differs in Germany on whether greater centralization would be
beneficial or harmful. Some experts believe that there may be little support for
further centralizing Germany’s “homeland security” efforts in the absence of an
attack on German soil. Former Minister of the Interior Otto Schily as well as
Director of the BKA Joerg Zierke called for merging the 16 state bureaus with their
federal analog BKA and BfV respectively. The 16 federal states oppose further
centralization at the federal level, not wanting to cede authority.43 Yet, there have
been reported indications of terrorist activities in individual states with important
international traffic hubs (e.g., airports, harbors) and large Muslim populations.44
Considerable attention was given to security measures in advance of the June 2006
Soccer World Cup in Germany, which authorities worried was a potential target for
terrorist acts.
Civil Protection and Emergency Response.45 The German structure for
civil protection and emergency response has been in place since 1949. Responsibility
for protecting the population in peacetime is assigned to the 16 states of the Federal

42 Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz: Aufgaben, Befugnisse, Grenzen, 2002, p. 86-87.
Available on the website of the Federal Bureau for the Protection of the Constitution (in
German) [].
43 Sueddeutsche Zeitung, June 18, 2004.
44 Roughly 80% (in 2002) and 85% (in 2003) of suspicious money laundering cases detected
by the Financial Intelligence Unit originated in the states of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bavaria,
Hessen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Niedersachsen, Berlin and Hamburg (FIU Annual Report
2002, p. 25 and FIU Annual Report 2003, p. 11, respectively). A German news magazine
reported that Hamburg remains a German center of Islamist fundamentalism (Der Spiegel,
“Zwei Hochzeiten und 3000 Todesfaelle,” May 29, 2004).
45 Information in this section is taken from two sources: International Civil Defence
Directory: Germany. Website of the International Civil Defence Organisation, online at
[]; and Gustav Lindstrom. Protecting the European Homeland. Institute
for Security Studies of the European Union. Chaillot Paper no. 69, July 2004, pp. 93-95.

Republic and their local jurisdictions. The federal government only has primary
responsibility in time of war or threat of war and even then implementation of federal
orders is left largely to local authorities. The primacy of the states was reemphasized
in the 1997 Civil Defense Law. Each state has its own structures and laws for
emergency planning and operations in peace time. The federal government provides
the states with equipment and resources for wartime that states can also have access
to in peacetime (for example, vehicles outfitted to respond to nuclear, biological, or
chemical incidents).
Following 9/11 and the disastrous floods in Germany in 2002, a new civil
defense strategy was agreed between the federal and state ministers of the interior.
The new strategy called for a coordinated approach between the federal government
and the states in managing “unusual and nationally significant disaster and damage
situations.” A new Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Response46
(BBK) was created in 2004, under the Ministry of Interior, to support the states with
coordination and information. Legal responsibility, however, was left with the states.
Under the laws and regulations of most of the states, actual responsibility for crisis
management is in the hands of local authorities (municipal, county, or rural district).
Only when a disaster affects a larger geographic area or if local authorities are
overwhelmed do state authorities take over coordination. The federal government
can be asked to support local, regional, or state authorities with police, military
forces, technical assistance units (Technisches Hilfswerk) of the federal Ministry of
the Interior, and administrative assistance coordinated by the BBK. If a crisis is
beyond a state’s ability to cope or hits more than one state, the federal Ministry of the
Interior, working with other federal ministries and state authorities, is charged with
coordinating the response. In the event of a national military crisis, thirteen different
federal ministries have responsibility for aspects of civil emergency planning and
response, coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior.
Anti-Terrorism Measures
After the attacks in the United States of September 11, 2001, German authorities
recognized the need to step up vigilance against the threat of radical Islamist
terrorism. Terrorists used German territory to hatch the 9/11 plot. Three of the
hijackers lived and plotted in Hamburg and other parts of Germany for several years,
taking advantage of liberal asylum policies, low levels of surveillance by authorities,
as well as strong privacy protections, and laws protecting freedom of religious
expression that shielded activities within mosques from authorities.47

46 Bundesamt fur Bevolkerungschutz und Katastrophenhilfe.
47 Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz: Aufgaben, Befugnisse, Grenzen, 2002, p. 62.
Available on the website for the German Federal Bureau for the Protection of the
Constitution (in German) [ de/publikationen/allgemeine

Germany now sees radical Islamist terrorism as its primary security threat and
itself as a potential target of attack.48 Although German citizens have not been
directly targeted by radical Islamist groups to date, they frequently have been victims
Germany’s response to terrorism has been influenced by its experiences of the
Nazi era. That history has led the country to place strong emphasis on tolerance and
civil liberties in its policies since World War II. Germany has sought to ensure that
all of its domestic and international actions are consistent with its laws, values, and
historical lessons. Germany has sought to protect rights and liberties of all those
residing in Germany, including non-citizens. As elsewhere in Europe, a large
Muslim immigrant population resides in Germany. The country has a strong record
of protecting Muslim religious freedoms.
Despite this focus on protection of civil liberties, the German government is
determined to go after extremists. It has taken several domestic measures since 9/11,
in the legal, law enforcement, financial, and security realms. Germany adopted two
major sets of legal measures at the end of 2001, targeting loopholes in German law
that permitted terrorists to live and raise money in Germany. The first: (1) revoked
the immunity of religious groups and charities from investigation or surveillance by
authorities, as well as their special privileges under right of assembly, allowing the
government greater freedom to act against extremist groups; (2) made it possible to
prosecute terrorists in Germany, even if they belonged to foreign terrorist
organizations acting only abroad; (3) curtailed the ability of extremists to enter and
reside in Germany; and (4) strengthened border and aviation security. The second
law was aimed at improving the effectiveness and communication of intelligence and
law enforcement agencies at the federal and state levels. Some $1.8 billion was made
immediately available for new security measures. New legislation gave German
intelligence and law enforcement agencies greater latitude to gather and evaluate
information, as well as to communicate and share information with each other and
with law enforcement authorities at the state level and local levels.
The government launched a major effort to identify and eliminate terrorist cells.
Profiling, which is permissible under German law, has been used extensively.
Germany’s annual “Report on the Protection of the Constitution, 2004” estimated
that about 32,000 German residents were members of some 24 Islamist
organizations with extremist ties.49 Shortly after the 9/11 attacks the government
banned and moved against twenty religious groups and conducted hundreds of
raids.50 Since February 2004, the German government has prosecuted members of
a splinter group of the Iraqi Tawhid and Jihad (referred to as the Al Tawhid in
Germany). This terrorist group is accused of having prepared attacks against Israeli

48 Statement of the Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily, during press conference of issuing
the “Verfassungschutzbericht 2003” on May 17, 2004.
49 See website Ministry of the Interior (in German), released on May 17, 2005, online at
[ht t p : / / www.bmi c l n_012/ nn_121894/ si d_07FFFD51648A8BDE07F0D2FA7B8
CB8F1/Internet/Content/Broschueren/ 2005/V e rfassungsschutzbericht__2004__de.html ].
50 Katzstein, Peter J.: “Same War - Different Views: Germany, Japan, and Counterhomeland
Security,” International Organization, Vol. 57, No. 4, 2003, p. 731-760.

facilities in Germany; some members were caught in April 2002. Reportedly, they
had connections to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in Iraq and to Al Qaeda. In 2004, the
German Justice Ministry was involved in prosecuting some 80 suspected terrorist
cases.51 Using its new authority to lead its own investigations and with increased law
enforcement capacity, the BKA reportedly has placed under surveillance some 300
suspects who are suspected of links to international terror networks.52
In the financial area, new measures against money laundering were announced
in October 2001. A new office within the Ministry of the Interior was charged with
collecting and analyzing information contained in financial disclosures. Procedures
were set up to better enforce asset seizure and forfeiture laws.53 German authorities
were given wider latitude in accessing financial data of terrorist groups. Steps were
taken to curb international money laundering and improve bank customer screening
procedures. The Federal Criminal Police Office set up an independent unit
responsible for the surveillance of suspicious financial flows. Measures to prevent
money laundering now include the checking of electronic databases to ensure that
banks are properly screening their clients’ business relationships and that they are
meeting the requirement to set up internal monitoring systems.
In seeking to dry up the sources of terrorist financing, recent regulations aim to
strengthen Germany’s own capabilities, as well as German cooperation with
international efforts.54 Under the oversight of the German Federal Banking
Supervisory Office, banks, financial service providers and others must monitor all
financial flows for illegal activity. Germany was the first country to implement an
EU guideline against money laundering as well as the recommendations of the
Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF).55 The FATF has
characterized Germany’s anti-money laundering regulations as comprehensive and
effect i v e. 56
Additional security measures are being implemented by Germany. The new
immigration law, which went into effect on January 1, 2005, makes it easier to deport
suspected foreigners and makes naturalization more difficult. Under this law
suspected foreigners can be expelled faster and with fewer hurdles. Before
naturalization, applicants must be investigated and certified by the Federal Bureau
of the Protection of the Constitution. In addition, the automatic right of relatives of
applicants to remain in Germany has been revoked. Although the ease of entry of

51 Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries in Sueddeutsche Zeitung, June 11, 2004.
52 Die Zeit, May 6, 2004 (“Ueberforderte Ermittler”).
53 U.S. Department of State. Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement
Affairs. International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, March 2002. Chapter 12, p.117-


54 4th Financial Market Promotion Act, effective since July 1, 2002; amended Law against
Money Laundering, effective since August 15, 2002.
55 See website Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation (in German), online at
[http://www.bundeskrimi nalamt .de/profil/zentralstellen/fiu/fiu_j ahresbericht_2002.pdf].
56 Dow Jones VWD Newswire, (“Deutsche Massnahmen zur Geldwaeschebekaempfung
umfassend”) July 21, 2004.

potential terrorists into Germany has been significantly reduced, critics argue that
suspects already living in Germany are still able to take advantage of weaknesses in
German law. Academic and job training programs, as well as the granting of asylum,
may have allowed potential terrorists to obtain extended residency permits. Some
extremists may have married into German citizenship. Second generation
immigrants may serve as a potential recruitment pool.57
Germany’s approach to terrorism and homeland security is influenced by its
geographic position in the heart of Europe and its membership in the European Union
(EU). Germany has two borders to defend, its own and the EU’s. EU procedures and
EU jurisdiction in certain areas affect the domestic affairs of its member states. A
number of basic anti-terrorism measures — for instance EU definitions of terrorism
and terrorist organizations, common penalties, border control, the EU-wide arrest
warrant and the EU-wide asset freezing order — are governed by EU legislation. At
the EU, Germany has sought to shorten the period between passage of new EU anti-
terror legislation and its coming into effect. Germany is working with other countries
to improve the Schengen-system (a system that allows passport-free travel between
participating EU member states — travel into or out of the EU-wide system still
requires traditional passports and visas). Moreover, Germany is pushing for wider
use of biometric identifiers on passports, visas, and resident permits, and for
international standardization of these systems.
Funding for “homeland security” functions is spread throughout the federal and
state governments. Although the German Ministry of Finance provides detailed
breakdowns of spending by ministry and agency, there is not a spending category
combining activities that would fall under the rubric of “homeland security.”58 The
annual Budget Act is the vehicle through which budgets are set for federal
government agencies and revenues are allocated between the federal and state levels
of government. The two chambers of the German parliament must pass the Budget
Act and play a significant role in deciding how funds are allocated.
Each federal ministry sets the budget and policy priorities for the areas within
its jurisdiction. For example, the Ministry of the Interior, a key department in
maintaining internal security, received a total budget of approximately 4.13 Euros
(just over $5 billion). Of that amount, 214 million Euros ($261 million) was
allocated for Civil Defense. Other federal ministries also had funds budgeted for

57 The Immigration Law that became effective in January 2005, brings several changes: It
makes it possible to expel extremist agitators or persons who were trained in Afghan
terrorist camps, even if they are not currently involved in questionable activities. It calls for
an assessment of the potential threat posed by an individual to Germany’s security as a part
of immigration decisions. Although he had wanted even stronger measures, the former
Minister of the Interior, Otto Schily, was not able to overcome resistance from the then
CDU/CSU-opposition in the Bundesrat.
58 Budget breakdowns for 2005 can be found on the German Finance Ministry website,
[ h a f t
spolitik/Bundeshaushalt/27824.html ].

civil protection and emergency response, although most of the spending was at the
state level.59 Each of the 16 states sets its own budget priorities and allocations to
individual state ministries and agencies and between state and local jurisdictions.
Italy does not have one government department responsible for all aspects of
homeland security and counterterrorism. Responsibility for these issues is
fragmented among several government offices and ministries, and Italy’s inter-
governmental approach to promoting domestic security has largely grown out of
decades of first-hand experience with terrorist groups. The Red Brigades, an
anarchist group, carried out numerous acts of violence in the 1970s and early 1980s
against Italian political leaders, judges, and businessmen. Foreign terrorist groups
have also been active in Italy. Extremist Palestinian groups murdered U.S.,
European, and Israeli nationals in attacks on Italian airplanes and airports in the
1970s and 1980s. In response, the Italian government enacted new law enforcement
measures, including special police and prosecutors dedicated to fighting terrorism,
stiffer sentences, and prison isolation cells. The police were also granted authority
to carry out emergency searches without warrants, and security programs were
instituted for public buildings.
Italy views prevention and strong law enforcement and intelligence efforts as
key to ensuring domestic security, combating terrorism, and protecting the Italian
public, infrastructure, and historical and cultural sites. Following the September 11,
2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Italy stepped up efforts to disrupt Al
Qaeda-affiliated networks on its territory. Italy, a major point of entry for illegal
immigrants to Europe, also sought to tighten its immigration and border controls;
some suggest that anti-immigrant politicians seized on the September 11 attacks,
linking immigration to crime and terrorism risks, to push through stronger
immigration controls. The March 2004 terrorist attacks on commuter systems in
Madrid, Spain, and the July 2005 bombings of London’s metro and bus lines have
galvanized further Italian action to bolster its counterterrorism legislation, clamp
down on Islamist extremists, and further strengthen border controls and transport
security. At the same time, Italy is pursuing measures to promote Muslim integration
to help prevent terrorist recruitment. As a member of the European Union (EU), Italy
has also supported EU measures since September 11 to improve law enforcement and
intelligence cooperation among its 25 member states and strengthen EU external
border controls.

59 International Civil Defence Directory: Germany. Website of the International Civil
Defence Organisation, [].
60 Prepared by Kristin Archick, Specialist in European Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and
Trade Division.

Some critics, including some right-wing Italian politicians, claim that Italy is not
doing enough to protect itself from the threat of international terrorism. They have
pressed for even tougher legislative measures as well as an Italian “homeland
security” ministry similar to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Many
Italian officials, however, are cautious of the need to strike a balance between
improving security measures and protecting personal freedoms. They also reject the
need for a new “homeland security” ministry, arguing that the current inter-
governmental approach is long-standing, and provides Italy with the flexibility to
manage a wide range of challenges and disasters while ensuring civil liberties.61
Italian Domestic Security Institutions and Structures
As noted above, there is no single Italian-equivalent to the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security. Various government leaders and ministries play a role in
different aspects of Italian domestic security affairs and the fight against terrorism.
Italy’s Inter-Governmental Approach and Lead Ministries. The Italian
Council of Ministers (or cabinet), headed by the President of the Council (the Prime
Minister) is the supreme, collective decision-making body in the Italian government.
Protecting domestic security and combating terrorism involves a coordinated effort
by the main governmental ministries. The Ministry of the Interior is the lead
government ministry on counterterrorist policy, public order and security,
immigration and border controls, and civil protection. Within the Interior Ministry:
the Public Security Department directs and manages the national police force and is
responsible for implementing the public order and security policy; the Civil Liberty
and Immigration Department sets immigration and asylum policy; and the Fire
Brigade, Public Aid, and Civil Defense Department has the lead on setting
emergency preparedness and response policy, including for terrorist incidents.
Several other government ministries may also play a role in different aspects of
combating terrorism and homeland security affairs; these include the Defense
Ministry, the Health Ministry, and the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry. In
addition, the Economics and Finance Ministry has the lead on stemming terrorist
financing and customs policy.
To coordinate the efforts of these ministries in the areas of homeland security
and counterterrorism, the Italian government has established a number of inter-
ministerial bodies that bring together department ministers, officials, and others in
the police and intelligence services. The Public Order and Security Committee
examines every issue relative to the protection of public order and security and to the
organization of the police forces. It is chaired by the Interior Minister; two other key
members are the Chief of Police/Director General of Public Security (who heads the

61 “Italian President Ciampi Favors Adopting New Anti-terror Measures,” Open Source
Center, July 12, 2005; “Italy Politics: The Next Terrorism Target,” Economist Intelligence
Unit, July 18, 2005; “Italian Right Wingers Want Expulsion, DNA Checks for Suspects,”
Agence France Presse, July 19, 2005. For more information on Italian anti-terrorist
measures, see CRS Report RL31612, European Counterterrorist Efforts: Political Will and
Diverse Responses in the First Year After September 11, coordinated by Paul Gallis, pp. 57-


Interior Ministry’s Public Security Department), and a Council of Ministers’
undersecretary with special responsibility for the intelligence services (this
undersecretary is designated by the Prime Minister). The heads of Italy’s other police
forces also take part in the Public Order and Security Committee, and additional
ministers may be involved depending on the particular issue to be discussed. The
Inter-ministerial Committee for Intelligence and Security (CIIS) provides advice and
makes proposals to the Prime Minister on the general direction and fundamental
objectives for intelligence and security policy. The CIIS is chaired by the Prime
Minister; other statutory members are the ministers for the Interior, Defense, Foreign
Affairs, Justice, and Economy and Finance; the heads of the intelligence services and
other ministers or government officials may be invited to participate as required.
There is also an Inter-ministerial Committee for Civil Defense.
Within the Prime Minister’s office exists a Political-Military Unit that reports
directly to the Prime Minister. The members of the Unit are the senior
representatives of all government departments and agencies responsible for
combating terrorism and protecting the population throughout Italy. Italian officials
assert that the Political-Military Unit’s role, powers, and responsibilities have been
strengthened further post-September 11. Among other measures since then, the Unit
has: updated the national emergency plan to deal with any chemical, biological,
radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) incidents, coordinated action plans and operations
relating to transport safety and bio-terrorism; and sought to enhance both civil and
military preemptive measures against terrorism.
Also within the Prime Minister’s office is the Department of Civil Protection,
which is responsible at the national level for prevention, preparedness, and
coordination of responses to both natural and man-made disasters. This Department
coordinates Italy’s “National Service” for civil protection, which consists of central,
regional, provincial, and local (or municipal) state administrations, public agencies,
and voluntary organizations. This national service system operates on the principle
of subsidiarity. In the event of an emergency, primary responsibility for managing
the response falls on the local mayor. If the resources at the disposal of the mayor
are insufficient, support may be drawn from provincial, regional, or national assets.
Military assets can also be used to assist with a large-scale emergency, including
those with a CBRN dimension. Any military forces deployed, however, would be
under the command of the civil authorities.62
Law Enforcement and Intelligence. The Interior Ministry has ministerial
responsibility for Italy’s Polizia di Stato (State Police), or national police force. At
the central government level, the Interior Ministry’s Public Security Department
coordinates the tasks and activities of the Polizia di Stato. At the provincial level,
the top public security authorities are the prefect, who is appointed by and answerable

62 National Report of the Republic of Italy to the U.N. Security Council Counterterrorism
Committee, January 2, 2002, available at []; Italian Interior
Ministry website [http://www.interno,.it]; Gustav Lindstrom, Protecting the European
Homeland: The CBR Dimension, Chaillot Paper, No. 69, July 2004; the Italian Department
of Civil Protection, “The Italian Civil Protection National Service,” available at
[]; Interviews of Italian officials.

to the central government, and the questore, or the senior provincial official of the
Polizia di Stato. Each questore has operational control of the provincial police
headquarters, which has jurisdiction in the field of public order, security, and
criminal and intelligence matters. There are also Polizia di Stato officials at the local
level in charge of detached police stations.
The Polizia di Stato includes various specialist units that may play a role in
combating terrorism and protecting different aspects of Italian homeland security.
The anti-terrorism police, at both the central and provincial level, have primary
responsibility for investigations aimed at preventing and fighting terrorism, including
the collection and analysis of information related to terrorist offenses. Other relevant
specialist police units are the traffic police, which patrol Italy’s roads and highways;
the railway police, which ensure the security of travelers and their belongings on
Italy’s railway system, the security of railway stations, and control of dangerous
goods transported by rail; the immigration and border police, which are responsible
for the entry and stay of foreign nationals and immigrants in Italy, as well as the
prevention and control of illegal immigrants; and the postal and communications
police, which seek to prevent and tackle the illegal use of communication
technologies (for example, computer hackers and computer viruses). Additional
specialist police units of the Polizia di Stato may be deployed throughout the national
territory to perform high-risk interventions, in the case of a hostage incident for
example, or to provide rescue services in areas affected by natural disasters. The
police air service and the nautical squads perform services ranging from mountain
or sea rescues to contributing to the fight against illegal immigration by patrolling the
national coasts and other points of entry.63
Italy also has a military corps, or Carabinieri, that carries out police duties
among its civilian population. The Italian Carabinieri is similar to France’s
Gendarmerie, or Spain’s Guardia Civil. The Carabinieri has an elite counterterrorist
unit with the authority to combat domestic and international terrrorism; it is
empowered to gather intelligence, investigate terrorist organizations, and respond to
high-risk situations or instances in which military installations are under threat.
Institutionally, the Carabinieri are responsible primarily to the Ministry of Defense
and the Ministry of Interior, although various specialist departments may also report
to different government ministries, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on issues
such as the protection of Italian diplomatic institutions abroad.64
Italy has two main intelligence and security services engaged in the fight against
terrorism. The Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) reports directly to
the Minister of Defense and fulfills all intelligence and security tasks for the defense
of the state’s independence and integrity against any danger on the military front; it
has both counterespionage and counterintelligence duties. The Democratic
Intelligence and Security Service (SISDE) reports directly to the Minister of the
Interior and has responsibility for intelligence and security tasks related to the
defense of the democratic state and its institutions against all forms of subversion.

63 Website of the Italian national police, []; Interviews of Italian
64 Website of the Italian Carabinieri, [].

The division of responsibilities between SISMI and SISDE is based on the interests
to be protected (military and democratic security), rather than on a territorial basis
(domestic and international security). The directors of SISMI and SISDE have
operational control over their respective services.
The main instrument for coordinating the work of the two services and for
advising the Prime Minister and other government officials on intelligence priorities
is the Executive Committee for the Intelligence and Security Services (CESIS).
CESIS is strategic in nature; it analyzes the intelligence provided by the services as
well as the police and presents coordinated assessments to the government. Some
have likened CESIS to the U.S. National Intelligence Council, or the UK’s Joint
Intelligence Committee. Italy has also created a Committee for Strategic Anti-
Terrorism Analysis (CASA) within the Interior Ministry to collate and evaluate
intelligence about potential threats and provide early warning. CASA is composed
of representatives of all law enforcement bodies and the secret services, and seeks to
break down institutional barriers among these bodies; it appears to be similar to the
U.S. National Counter Terrorism Center or the UK’s Joint Intelligence Analysis
Center. 65
Italy’s national budgeting system involves multiple ministries and departments.
The Italian Council of Ministers collectively draws up Italy’s yearly governing
budget, which must then be approved by the Italian Parliament. The Ministry of the
Economy and Finance, in coordination with the other ministries, sets overall
departmental spending limits; each minister determines policy and budgetary
priorities within his or her area of responsibility. Thus, the Interior Minister plays a
key role in setting budgetary priorities in many areas of homeland security affairs.
Italian spending on “public order and security” is roughly $34 billion per year.
This broad category, as defined by the EU’s research and statistics agency, Eurostat,
includes police services, fire protection services, law courts, prisons, and research
and development. The Interior Ministry appears to receive a large portion of this
“public order and security” spending. In Italy’s 2006 budget, the total amount
allocated to the Interior Ministry was approximately $31 billion; of this amount,
about $9 billion went to the Public Order and Security Department, over $2 billion
to the Fire Brigade, Public Aid, and Civil Defense Department, and roughly $310
million to the Civil Liberty and Immigration Department. Some funding for Italian
civil protection work and for first responders also comes from local taxes, as well as
from the central government.
Over the last several years, Italy has faced serious resource constraints. Italy’s
economy has been sluggish with little GDP growth and an unemployment rate of
7.5%. Italy is also under pressure from the EU to rein in its rising budget deficit to
bring it back in line with EU rules governing the single currency. Despite these

65 See the website of the Italian Intelligence and Security Services, online at
[]; “Italian Interior Minister Describes Anti-
terror Measures, Training Exercises,” Open Source Center, September 1, 2005.

financial difficulties, Italian officials insist that combating international terrorism is
a top priority and that the 2006 budget allocates adequate funding for security. In an
interview, former Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu also stressed that new resources
must be dedicated to improving the working and living conditions of law
enforcement officers, who represent the first-line of defense and are at the core of
Italy’s security efforts. In recent years, Italy also devoted significant financial
resources to ensuring the security of the February 2006 Winter Olympics held in
Changes in Italy’s Security Policies Since September 11
Enhancing Law Enforcement and Intelligence Capabilities. Italy has
sought to enhance its law enforcement and intelligence tools against terrorism since
September 11. In December 2001, a new law took effect that applies the provisions
of Italy’s Anti-Mafia Act to crimes committed for the purpose of international
terrorism; it extends the ability of law enforcement authorities to place suspected
terrorists under surveillance, to investigate the financial assets of family members,
to confiscate assets, and to facilitate wire-tapping and other searches. Following the
July 2005 London bombings, the Italian Parliament passed additional anti-terrorist
legislation that allows police to hold a terrorist suspect without charge for 24 hours,
to question the suspect during that time without a lawyer present, and to take hair or
saliva samples without consent to trace the suspect’s DNA and establish his or her
identity. Among other measures, this 2005 law also allows intelligence services to
conduct wiretaps, increases law enforcement access to Internet and cell phone
records, and introduces the ability to reward immigrants with residence permits if67
they cooperate with law enforcement terrorist investigations.
Some experts suggest that Italy needs to improve further the coordination
between and among its various law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Although
Italy has arrested hundreds of terrorist suspects since September 11, Italian
authorities have encountered some difficulties in securing convictions. While some
analysts maintain that Italy’s evidentiary bar remains set too high and that Italy’s anti-
terrorist laws still contain some weaknesses, others point to the lack of a central anti-
terrorist prosecuting body as a key problem. Currently, anti-terrorist investigations
around the country are led by 26 different regional prosecutors, who do not
automatically share their findings with each other or with the intelligence services.
In addition, there is no central database of terrorist suspects, as there is for the Mafia,
that would enable more efficient and comprehensive information-sharing among
Italy’s various police and judicial entities. Italian officials have been considering
establishing a national prosecuting office for terrorism offenses and a central terrorist

66 Alexandra Bibbee and Alessandro Goglio, Public Spending in Italy: Policies To Enhance
its Effectiveness, OECD Economics Department Working Paper No. 324, 2002; Lindstrom,
Op. cit.; “General Government Expenditure by Function in the EU in 2003,” Eurostat,
August 2005; “Italian Interior Minister Describes Anti-terror Measures, Training Exercises,”
Op. cit.; Italian Interior Ministry website, Op. cit.
67 National Report of the Republic of Italy to the U.N. Security Council, Op. cit.; “Italy
Details Tighter Antiterror Measures,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, August 19, 2005;
“Europeans Weigh Security vs. Freedom,” Associated Press, November 7, 2005.

suspect database, but disagreements appear to persist about its specific structure and
For several years, the Italian Interior Minister has also advocated unifying Italy’s
secret services, SISMI and SISDE, to improve cooperation. However, this proposal
has foundered on bureaucratic resistance from the Defense Minister, to which SISMI
reports. Other critics question whether Italy is devoting sufficient resources to
enhancing its intelligence capabilities. According to press reports, sources within
Italy’s intelligence community have complained about understaffing and the need for
more Arabic translators, Middle Eastern experts, and advanced technologies and
Strengthening Border Controls and Transport Security. As noted
previously, the September 11 attacks gave added momentum to Italy’s efforts to
tighten its border controls and clamp down on illegal immigration. Among other
measures, new immigration legislation passed in 2002 requires immigrants to have
a job before entering Italy, imposes stricter deportation rules, makes family
reunification more difficult, and mandates fingerprinting for all immigrants
requesting a residence permit or renewing an existing stay permit. In addition, Italy
has not been shy about deporting radical imams and other Islamist extremists;
legislation passed after the July 2005 London bombings seeks to make this expulsion
process faster and expands the right to expel to regional prefects.
Over the last several years, Italy has also taken steps to improve aviation
security. Following September 11, Italy reassessed its “National Security Program”
for airports and air transport, which sets out regulations for all aspects of aviation
security, including security checks of passengers, hand luggage, checked-in baggage,
diplomatic officials, crew members, and airport personnel. The revised program also
introduces the concept of “sensitive flights,” or flights either from countries
considered to pose terrorist risks, or going to countries considered terrorist targets.
In 2004, the Italian Prime Minister issued a decree that in the event of a terrorist
hijacking of an in-flight airplane, the military will be permitted to force the plane to
land or to bring it down with a missile if necessary; the final decision will rest with
senior political officials in the Defense Ministry. Furthermore, legislation passed in
the summer of 2005 empowers the Interior Ministry to exclude private pilots with an
international license from Italian airspace, and to make licensing and training of
pilots subject to police authorization in certain cases that raise security concerns. In

2005 and 2006, the Italian civil aviation authority was also granted roughly $370

million in additional funding to improve security at selected airports.
68 Tony Barber and Adrian Michaels, “Rome Scrutinizes Counterterror Strategy as Fear of
Attack Mounts,” Financial Times, July 18, 2005; Sophie Arie, “Mafia Lessons Help Italy
Fight Terror,” Christian Science Monitor, July 29, 2005; “Italy: Progress on Plans for
National Anti-terrorism Prosecutor’s Office,” Open Source Center, November 24, 2005.
69 “Italian Intelligence Services Lament Understaffing in Face of Terror Threat,” BBC
Worldwide Monitoring, July 26, 2005; “Italian Interior Minister Regrets Failure To Reform
Intelligence Services,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, January 23, 2006.
70 National Report of the Republic of Italy to the U.N. Security Council, Op. cit.; “Italian

Italian officials assert that maritime and rail security has been enhanced,
especially following the July 2005 bombings of London’s metro and bus lines.
Customs officials use targeted investigations and x-ray systems to check a wide
variety of goods, and containers and large vehicles are scanned for radioactive and
other dangerous materials. Several Italian ports also participate in the U.S. Container
Security Initiative, which pre-screens U.S.-bound cargo, and Italy appears to be
compliant with the International Maritime Organization’s new security code that
requires international ships and port facilities to implement tighter security regimes.
Police presence has been increased on Italy’s rail networks and around a number of
sensitive railway stations and other rail transport systems, such as the Rome
subway. 71
Italy also places emphasis on cooperation with other EU member states, both
within and outside the EU framework, as a way to better secure its borders and
rationalize scarce financial resources. Italy participates in the EU’s Schengen open
border system, which allows EU citizens to cross into and out of Italy freely, and uses
the common Schengen Information System (SIS) database to check non-EU nationals
entering Italy. Over the last several years, Italy has been a key proponent of
strengthening the EU’s external borders; Italy has advocated greater consular
cooperation and information-sharing among EU members, and called on the EU to
include repatriation agreements in its cooperation treaties with African countries.
Italy has also supported proposals to establish EU asylum centers outside EU territory
to process refugee claims and to cut EU financial aid to countries of origin that fail
to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants; other EU member states remain opposed to
such initiatives, however, viewing them as too draconian and counterproductive.
Bilaterally, Italy and France have established joint border controls to capture and
expel illegal immigrants, and with Spain, are planning joint naval patrols in the
Mediterranean to fight illegal immigration, drug-trafficking, and other criminal
activity. In October 2005, Italy and France also agreed in principle to permit military
flights over each other’s territory if the need arises to intercept or escort a hijacked
civil aircraft across common national borders.72
Countering CBRN Threats and Protecting the Critical National
Infrastructure. Since September 11, Italy has further developed a national
emergency plan to deal with the consequences of a possible CBRN incident. This
plan details the types of agents that may be used during an attack and appropriate
responses, contains specific measures to be taken at the local level, and provides
guidance on procedures for protecting first responders. The Italian government has

70 (...continued)
Military Authorized To Down Planes Hijacked by Terrorists,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring,
April 12, 2004; “Raising the Guard,” Aviation Week and Space Technology, August 15,


71 “Italy Allots 10 Million Euro for Maritime Security Measures,” ANSA, June 30, 2004;
Ken Dilanian, “Nervous Italy Approves New Anti-terrorism Plans,” Seattle Times, July 23,


72 “Two Allies Approve Air Terrorism Measure,” Aviation Week and Space Technology,
October 10, 2005; Giles Tremlett, “Navy Deal To Fight Illegal Migration,” The Guardian,
December 3, 2005.

also distributed information about treatment and containment to local health
authorities and the public. Italy has a network of 1,200 radiation monitoring stations
across the country to facilitate the early detection of a radiological or nuclear event,
and CBRN training programs for firefighters, military personnel, and civilian medical
personnel are long-standing.
Italy has enhanced security around many sensitive targets, including government
buildings, transport facilities, military barracks, public utilities, communication
centers, and artistic and cultural sites. Since 2001, the number of such sites with
increased security and surveillance has risen from about 1,900 to over 13,000. About

18,000 Italian security personnel are now involved in protecting these sites.73

Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response. Over the last
several years, Italy has also sought to enhance its emergency preparedness and
response capabilities, especially in relation to a possible terrorist incident. First
responders in Italy consist primarily of emergency service personnel, firefighters, and
police officers (including the Carabinieri); Italy also has a large pool of civil
protection volunteers. Following the July 2005 London bombings, Italian officials
unveiled plans for anti-terrorism drills in all big cities throughout Italy to test how
emergency services would cope with all aspects of an attack, including their abilities
to provide aid, maintain public order, distribute correct information to the public
quickly, and begin investigations promptly. According to press reports, intelligence
assessments view Rome and Milan as the most likely cities to fall victim to a terrorist
attack, with their respective subway systems as possible targets. Although Italian
authorities appear to believe that a conventional attack is a more likely scenario than
a CBRN event, they assert that plans are also in place for isolating a contaminated
area, treating those contaminated, and evacuating adjoining areas. In addition, the
Interior Ministry is reportedly working on establishing psychological units to provide74

assistance to survivors and relatives directly at the site of an attack.
73 National Report of the Republic of Italy to the U.N. Security Council, Op. cit.; Lindstrom,
Op. cit.; “Italian Interior Minister Describes Anti-terror Measures, Training Exercises,” Op.
74 Lindstrom, Op. cit.; “Italy Working on Emergency Terrorism Plans,” BBC Worldwide
Monitoring, July 14, 2005.

The March 11, 2004 terrorist attacks in Madrid threw into sharp relief the threat
of Islamist terrorism in Spain. During the morning rush hour of March 11, 2004,
bombs exploded on four trains on a Madrid commuter rail line, killing 192 persons
and wounding over 1500. Spanish authorities later said that the Al-Qaeda-linked
Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group was involved in the attacks. Many observers
believe that the March 11 attacks helped determine the outcome of Spain’s
parliamentary election, held three days later. The Socialist Party won the election,
although pre-election polls taken before the attack gave the then-ruling Popular Party
a narrow majority. Prime Minister Zapatero has been careful to note that he does not
see a military solution to the problem of terrorism, preferring to focus on law
enforcement cooperation and by pursuing an “alliance of civilizations” with the
Muslim world.
Spain, unlike the United States, has rejected a wholesale reorganization of its
homeland security institutions. This is due in large part to the decades-long struggle
with the Basque terrorist movement Eta. Even before the 3/11 attacks, Spain had a
substantial body of law and institutional capacity to fight terrorism, perhaps more
than some European countries and the United States. For this reason, the
parliamentary commission that investigated the 3/11 attacks and the Zapatero
government focused instead on overcoming resource shortfalls in dealing with the
specific threat posed by Islamist terrorism, and on better coordination within and
among existing security and intelligence institutions.76
Another factor conditioning Spain’s approach to the issue of homeland security
is that the Socialists, and many other Spaniards, are leery of draconian security
polices, due to the country’s experience with Franco’s authoritarian rule. On the
other hand, civil liberty concerns have not been as prominent in post-3/11 discussions
in Spain as they have been in the United States since 9/11. This is in part because
these issues have already been long debated in the context of the conflict with Eta.77
Spain’s Security Structures
The chief Spanish ministry in homeland security affairs is the Ministry of the
Interior. The Interior Ministry controls the country’s large national police forces, its
emergency preparedness and response efforts (including CBRN threats), and
guarding of critical infrastructure. Unlike the United States, Spain has a highly
centralized police structure. Spain has two main national police forces, both under

75 Prepared by Steven Woehrel, Specialist in European Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense,
and Trade Division.
76 The 3/11 parliamentary commission documents referred to in this memo were downloaded
from the website of the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, online at [http://www.el- =2004/03/espana/atentados11m/comision/documentos.html].
77 Discussions with Spanish officials.

the control of the Minister of the Interior through a State Security Secretariat. The
National Police Corps is responsible for security in urban areas and handles national
investigations. A more heavily armed paramilitary organization, the Civil Guard, is
stationed in rural areas and along highways. Border control is split between the
National Police, which controls the entry of persons, and the Civil Guard, which
conducts border patrolling, including at sea. (A Finance Ministry force also conducts
anti-smuggling patrols.) The Civil Guard has primary responsibility for security at
critical infrastructure sites such as ports and airports, as well as firearms and
explosives control. Both the National Police Corps and the Civil Guard have special
anti-terrorist units and intelligence bodies. Local police forces play a lesser role in
counterterrorism efforts, with the exception of police in the semi-autonomous Basque
and Catalan regions. The March 11 commission recommended that local police be
given more training in counterterrorism, particularly involving Islamist groups.
Homeland security budgetary and policy priorities are set by the Interior
Minister, with the aid of his deputy, the State Security Secretary. (The Finance
Ministry sets the overall amount for Interior Ministry spending.) Proposed 2006
Interior Ministry funding for all purposes is over 5.7 billion Euros ($6.8 billion).78
The National Police and Civil Guard, which each have their own chains of command,
play a key role in setting their own budgetary priorities. The March 11 commission
pointed out coordination problems between the National Police and the Civil Guard,
such as a failure to share key intelligence from their informants with each other and
overlapping and redundant expenditures. The Interior Ministry formed a Unified
Command Executive Committee to coordinate the efforts of the two forces.
However, the separate operational command structures of the two forces remain
intact. The creation of the Unified Command is intended to lead to the establishment
of joint units of officers dealing with terrorism and organized crime, as well as a joint
database on these issues. The two forces would also pool resources in forensics,
intelligence, and the disarming of explosives.79 It remains to be seen whether these
efforts will result in real change or whether old bureaucratic rivalries may re-emerge.
The Ministry of the Interior is also responsible for emergency preparedness and
response in Spain. A General Directorate for Civil Protection within the Ministry is
charged with developing and managing emergency preparedness programs. Spain
has a federal system of government. Each local government and autonomous
community (roughly equivalent to a U.S. state) develops its own emergency
preparedness plans. However, in the case of a national emergency, the central
government can take over relief operations immediately. The Interior Ministry has
a few, small CBRN units.
After the March 11 attacks, the Ministry of the Interior put together an anti-
terrorism prevention and protection plan. The plan includes a system of three
readiness levels. For example, after the July 2005 terrorist attacks in London, the
Interior Minister issued a “level-three” alert, which mobilized the security forces (the
police and Civil Guard) for surveillance and protection of areas of high population
density, as well as sensitive sites. These include transportation infrastructure,

78 Discussions with Spanish officials.
79 Spanish newspaper El Pais, May 20, 2004.

shopping centers, stadiums, communications centers, and electricity, water and fuel
Although the Interior Ministry has the lead responsibility in homeland security,
the Spanish military also has a role. The Defense Minister has prepared a rapid-
response plan for CBRN threats. Over 250 soldiers are assigned to CBRN units in
Valencia, Burgos, and Madrid.80 Spanish troops can also be called out for a “level-
three” (the highest level) alert in order to guard sensitive and geographically-
extensive sites such as high-speed railway lines.81
Spain’s foreign intelligence efforts are undertaken by the National Intelligence
Center (CNI), which is subordinated directly to the Prime Minister’s office. The
CNI’s personnel are overwhelmingly drawn from Spain’s Ministry of Defense. The
CNI’s proposed budget for 2006 is over 168 million Euros ($200 million).82 The
3/11 commission report bemoaned the lack of a true “intelligence community” in
Spain. Concerns about the lack of coordination between the CNI and the Interior
Ministry led to the establishment of a National Anti-Terrorism Coordination Center
after the March 11 attacks, which meets regularly to exchange information on
counterterrorism issues. The 3/11 commission called for the Center to have the role
of operational coordination as well as information collection and exchange.
Changes in Spain’s Security Policies Since 3/11
As noted above, the 3/11 commission criticized Spanish authorities for not
focusing enough on Islamist terrorism. For example, Spanish officials have admitted
that police threw away wiretapping transcripts on March 11 terrorist suspects because
they lacked sufficient numbers of Arabic translators. In response, the government
has sharply increased resources for counterterrorism. In October 2005, Spanish
Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso said that his ministry has 600 officers assigned
to counterterrorism activities. In its 2006 budget, the government has called for that
number to be increased to 900. Minister Alonso has said that by the end of 2008,
Spain plans to increase this number to 1,000, which he claims will be the highest of
any EU country. He added that the Ministry has hired 70 Arabic translators to
remedy a “severe deficiency” in the country’s intelligence efforts.83 In 2005, Spain
spent 350 million Euros ($417 million) for counterterrorism efforts, and the
government budget for 2006 proposes a 5% increase to 368 million Euros ($438
The government has tightened control on the sale of explosives. (The March 11
terrorists had stolen their explosives from a Spanish mine.) Spain has formed

80 Gustav Lindstrom, Protecting the European Homeland; the CBR Dimension, Chaillot
Paper, No. 69, July 2004, 123-124.
81 Agence France Presse wire dispatch, July 7, 2005.
82 Discussions with Spanish officials.
83 El Pais, September 2, 2005 and October 8, 2005.
84 Discussions with Spanish officials.

bilateral police investigative teams with France to fight terrorism, in part a legacy of
the two countries’ close cooperation in recent years in fighting the Basque terrorist
threat. Spain has also pushed strongly for stronger law enforcement, intelligence, and
border control cooperation within the European Union.85 The 3/11 commission also
proposed improved monitoring of jihadist activity in Spanish prisons, which have
proved to be recruitment centers for Islamist extremists, and the dispersal of such
prisoners among Spanish prisons to prevent them from working together. The
government has since taken steps to disperse jihadists among Spanish prisons.86
Spain’s security policies have achieved some successes. In addition to 3/11
suspects, Spain is also holding suspects related to the 9/11 attacks in the United
States and in a planned attack on several government buildings and public landmarks
in Madrid that was aborted by Spanish police in October 2004.87 In September 2005,
Spain’s High Court convicted a group of Islamist extremists accused of assisting in
the September 11 attacks on the United States. The group’s leader, Imad Eddin
Barakat Yarkas, was sentenced to 27 years in prison for conspiring with the 9/11
plotters, but was cleared of charges of murder of those killed in the attacks.
Seventeen others were sentenced to lesser terms, mainly for membership in a terrorist
group. Six defendants were acquitted. Suspects in the 3/11 attacks are expected to
go on trial later this year.
However, Spanish officials note that the Islamist threat to Spain continues.
They are concerned about possible “sleeper cells” that may continue to operate in
Spain. Moreover, figures reportedly associated with the 3/11 attacks remain at large.
In January 2006, Spanish police arrested a militant and 20 associates involved in
recruiting Muslims from Spain to fight in Iraq. As of January 2006, over 200 men
were imprisoned in Spain for offenses related to Islamist terrorism.88

85 U.S. State Department, “Country Reports on Terrorism: Spain,” April 27, 2005, from the
State Department website, [].
86 “Spanish Bombings Inquiry Makes Initial Recommendations,” El Mundo, March 2, 2005.
87 “A Fifth of Spain’s Terrorist Prisoners are Islamists,” El Pais, January 3, 2005.
88 “Spain Arrests Man Suspected of Aiding Madrid Bombers,” Reuters wire service, January

12, 2006.

United Kingdom89
The UK’s Approach to
Homeland Security and Counterterrorism90
The United Kingdom does not have one department responsible for all aspects
of homeland security and counterterrorism. Responsibility for these issues is
scattered across several government departments, and the UK’s approach is based on
long-standing inter-governmental cooperation and collaboration, which grew out of
the UK’s decades of experience in dealing with Northern Ireland-related terrorism.
UK policy toward terrorism and other security challenges is largely coordinated by
inter-departmental committees of ministers and other government officials; specific
UK ministries or departments have the lead on different issues (see below for
detailed information on the UK’s security institutions and structures). The
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States have focused greater UK
attention on the threats posed by international terrorists and acted as a spur for UK
authorities to enhance emergency planning and response capabilities.
In April 2004, the British government unveiled a new comprehensive, cross-
departmental Counterterrorism Strategy (known as CONTEST) centered on the “4Ps”
of prevent, pursue, protect, and prepare. Prevention work seeks to address the
underlying causes of terrorism both at home and abroad; pursuit efforts aim to disrupt
terrorist organizations and their ability to operate; protection measures focus on
protecting the public, critical national infrastructure, and key sites at particular risk;
preparedness work aims to enable the UK to respond and recover from the
consequences of a terrorist attack. The “4Ps” seek to give greater coherence to UK
counterterrorism measures and take advantage of existing expertise and resources
throughout the UK government.91
Some observers view the UK approach to ensuring domestic security, combating
terrorism, and protecting the British public and infrastructure as emphasizing “dual-
use measures” that seek to integrate counterterrorism and preparedness programs into
existing emergency management and response efforts. They argue that an advantage
of this approach is that departments, agencies, and first responders maintain their

89 Prepared by Kristin Archick, Specialist in European Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and
Trade Division.
90 The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the collective name of four
countries (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland). Over the last decade, devolved
administrations have been established in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (although
the latter is currently suspended). These devolved administrations can legislate in certain
areas and in some cases, have responsibilities related to some aspects of domestic security
and emergency preparedness. For more information, see House of Commons Library
Research Paper 03/84, An Introduction to Devolution in the UK, November 17, 2003.
91 Frank Gregory and Paul Wilkinson, “Riding Pillion for Tackling Terrorism Is a High-Risk
Policy,” in Security, Terrorism, and the UK, Chatham House Briefing Paper 05/01, July
2005; Interviews of UK officials; also see the UK Home Office’s security website

skills on a day-to-day basis, and society benefits from these resources daily, but many
of these same skills and resources can also be used in response to a terrorist incident.
As a result, they assert that such “dual-use” mechanisms are also cost-effective,
avoiding excessive or exclusive focus on the challenges posed by unconventional
weapons that could draw scarce resources away from the more basic but essential
activities of law enforcement, intelligence, or border controls. The UK’s emergency
response system and capabilities were put to the test on July 7, 2005, when four
young British Muslims attacked London’s metro and bus lines, killing 52 people
(plus the four bombers), and injuring over 700. Despite the fatalities and the damage
to the London metro system, many assess that the government and emergency
services responded competently and effectively in the immediate aftermath of the
crisis. As a result, the impact of the attacks on the daily life of the city and general
population was marginal.92
The British government believes that its inter-governmental/committee
approach to homeland security provides it with maximum flexibility to respond to a
wide range of challenges and disasters, both natural and man-made. Given that the
UK’s government bureaucracy is relatively small, at least in comparison to that of the
United States, this inter-governmental approach also allows for a rationalization of
people and resources. A former Cabinet minister, David Blunkett, has asserted that
“We believe this arrangement of central coordination, accountable to ministers,
coupled with department responsibility for delivery is the best resilience structure.
It engages a wider pool of expertise, avoids the need for a huge new bureaucracy at
the center, while at the same time has a clear chain of command.”93
Other British experts and officials, however, criticize the UK’s inter-
departmental system, arguing that it is poorly coordinated, with too many overlapping
lines of authority. Some, including the opposition Conservative (Tory) party, have
proposed creating a UK ministry equivalent to the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security. Although the Labour government of Prime Minister Tony Blair has
previously rejected this idea, a number of commentators believe that the government
may be reconsidering. In February 2006, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer (or
Treasury Secretary) Gordon Brown pledged to examine the case for a single security
budget in the UK’s upcoming 2007 spending review. Some view this statement as
an indication of the government’s new “open-mindedness” toward the possibility of
forming a new Homeland Security ministry.94

92 Report of St. Andrews/Southampton ESRC Project on the UK’s Preparedness for Future
Terrorist Attack, February 2005, [];
Pauline Neville-Jones and Neil Fisher, “Homeland Security and the Role of Business,” in
Esther Brimmer (ed.), Transforming Homeland Security: U.S. and European Approaches
(Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University: Washington, DC), 2006.
93 David Blunkett, Civil Contingency Planning to Deal with Terrorist Attack, 2003.
94 Patrick Wintour, “Counterterrorism Strategy Comes Under Fire,” The Guardian, October

24, 2005; Michael Settle, “Brown’s Homeland Security Plan,” The Herald, February 14,

2006; James Blitz, “Brown Strays From Treasury Role in Vision for Labour,” Financial
Times, February 14, 2006.

UK Domestic Security Institutions and Structures
As noted above, there is currently no single UK-equivalent to the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security. Various government leaders, ministries, and
departments play a role in different aspects of UK domestic security efforts and
countering terrorism.
The UK Cabinet and Ministerial Committee System. The UK Cabinet
is the supreme, collective decision-making body in the UK government, chaired by
the Prime Minister. Much of the work of the Cabinet is delegated to ministerial
Cabinet committees and subcommittees. The Cabinet Office supports the UK
ministerial committee system by coordinating policy and strategy across government
departments, and as such, has a role in bringing together department ministers,
officials, and others involved in homeland security affairs and counterterrorism. The
Cabinet Secretariat, which sits in the Cabinet Office, largely manages the day-to-day
business of the Cabinet committees and is divided into six individual secretariats that
support the different Cabinet committees.
The Defense and Overseas Policy (DOP) ministerial committee and two of its
subcommittees — on international terrorism, and protective security and resilience
— play key roles in forging long-term UK domestic security and counterterrorism
policies. The Intelligence Services ministerial committee reviews policy on the
security and intelligence services, including their counterterrorist efforts. In the event
of an actual terrorist incident, a Cabinet-level emergency crisis management body —
known as COBR (for the Cabinet Office briefing room in which it meets) — is
convened to coordinate the government’s immediate emergency response; COBR
brings together the Prime Minister and other Cabinet ministers and officials.
The Civil Contingencies Committee (CCC) is heavily involved in longer-term
emergency preparedness and response; it coordinates and continually reviews the
preparation of plans for ensuring the prompt and effective delivery of supplies and
services during an emergency. In July 2001, the UK government established a new
Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) within the Cabinet Secretariat to support the
CCC, review UK emergency planning arrangements, and improve UK preparedness
for and response to emergencies. CCS was originally set up in response to several
crises in 2000 (including fuel protests, the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, and
severe flooding), but was given new impetus after the September 11 attacks. Specific
aims of the CCS include spotting trouble; assessing its nature and providing warning;
being ready to respond; building greater resilience for the future; and providing95
leadership to the first responder community.
In June 2002, Prime Minister Blair also created a new Security and Intelligence
Coordinator within the Cabinet Office that some have likened to a “homeland

95 RAND Europe, Quick Scan of Post 9/11 National Counter Terrorism Policymaking and
Implementation in Selected European Countries, 2002; Report of St. Andrews/Southampton
ESRC Project on the UK’s Preparedness for Future Terrorist Attack, Op. cit.; UK Home
Office’s security website, Op. cit.; UK Cabinet Office’s website, available online at
[ h t t p : / / www.c a b i n e t of f i c e] .

security chief,” or the White House’s now defunct Office of Homeland Security. The
Security and Intelligence Coordinator is directly responsible to the Prime Minister
and is tasked with coordinating and developing, across all government departments,
work on counterterrorism and crisis management. Some suggest that this new
position was created to give greater coherence to UK security efforts and emergency
response capabilities. As the principal accounting officer for the Single Intelligence
Account, which collectively funds the UK’s security and intelligence services, the
Security and Intelligence Coordinator plays a key role in setting priorities and
budgets for the intelligence services. Among other duties, the Security and
Intelligence Coordinator works to ensure the delivery of CONTEST, and is the
deputy chair of the Civil Contingencies Committee. The current Security and
Intelligence Coordinator is Sir Richard Mottram.96
Government Ministries and Other Departments. The Home Office, or
interior ministry, is the government department that has the lead on several aspects
of homeland security affairs, including counterterrorism policy within the UK. The
Home Office is therefore the focal point for the response to the terrorist threat, both
through promulgation of legislative measures and counter-terrorist contingency
planning. It is also responsible for domestic security policies, planning for chemical,
biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) incidents, and the national counter-
terrorist exercise program. In addition, the Home Office has the lead on setting
immigration and asylum policy, and ministerial responsibility for the UK
immigration service, which controls entry and exit to the UK at air, sea, land, and rail
ports and identifies, monitors, and removes immigration offenders. The Home
Secretary is a member of the full Defense and Overseas Policy ministerial committee,
deputy chair of the DOP’s international terrorism subcommittee, and chair of the
DOP’s protective security and resilience subcommittee. The Home Secretary also
chairs the Civil Contingencies Committee and sits on the Intelligence Services
ministerial committee.
Several other British government ministries and departments play a role in UK
domestic security and the fight against terrorism. HM Revenue and Customs, a non-
ministerial department that reports to the Chancellor of the Exchequer (or Treasury
Secretary), has the lead responsibility for detecting prohibited and restricted goods
at import and export, including those goods that may be used by terrorists. Customs
officers also have the power to seize terrorist-linked cash anywhere in the UK,
although the Treasury ministry has the lead in the fight against terrorist financing.
The Department for Transport’s Transport Security and Contingencies Directorate
is responsible for the security of the traveling public and transport facilities through
regulation of the aviation, maritime, and railway industries. The Health Protection
Agency (HPA), a non-departmental body accountable to the Health Secretary, was
established in 2003 to help provide a coordinated and consistent public health
response to a range of national emergencies, from a disease outbreak to a terrorist
at t ack. 97

96 Patrick Wintour, “Security Shambles Exposed,” The Guardian, July 23, 2002; UK Cabinet
Office’s website, Op.Cit.; Interviews of UK officials.
97 Council of Europe Profiles on Counter-terrorist Capacity, United Kingdom, October 2004,

Law Enforcement and Intelligence. Policing in the UK is largely
decentralized. The Home Office has ministerial responsibility for the police services
in England and Wales. The Scottish Ministry of Justice has ministerial responsibility
for policing in Scotland, while the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland sets policy
for policing there. Operational control, however, of all of the police services in
England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland rests with the chief constable of each
force. Currently, there are 43 regional police forces in England and Wales, and eight
in Scotland; the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is responsible for policing
in Northern Ireland. In England, Wales, and Scotland, these regional police forces
have primary responsibility for the investigation of terrorist offenses; the PSNI has
lead responsibility for terrorist investigations related to the affairs of Northern
Ireland. Each police force also has its own Special Branch, which works in
partnership with the Security Service (MI5), the UK’s domestic security service, to
acquire intelligence on those who may be involved in terrorism. The Metropolitan
Police (Scotland Yard) has responsibility for London and also has various specialist
units, such as those that deal with anti-terrorism, that may be called upon to fulfill a
national role.
In addition to the regional forces, there are a few other British police forces that
may play a role in homeland security affairs. The British Transport Police (BTP)
police the railway systems of England, Wales, and Scotland; the BTP is also
responsible for policing some metro and commuter systems, including the London
Underground. The Department of Transport has ministerial responsibility over the
BTP. The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) is an armed police force that protects
civil nuclear installations and nuclear materials in the UK; it operates under the
strategic direction of the Department of Trade and Industry.
The UK has three main intelligence and security services engaged in the fight
against terrorism. The Security Service (MI5) is responsible for the protection of
national security against threats from espionage, sabotage, and terrorism. MI5
operates under the statutory authority of the Home Secretary, although it is not part
of the Home Office. The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, or MI6), the UK’s foreign
intelligence service, gathers intelligence overseas. The Government
Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) provides signals intelligence to counter a
range of threats, including terrorism, and is also the national technical authority for
information assurance, helping to keep data residing on government communication
and information systems safe from theft, manipulation, and other threats. Both MI6
and GCHQ operate under the statutory authority of the Foreign Secretary, although
neither is part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The main instrument for
advising the government on priorities for intelligence gathering and for assessing its
results is the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). The JIC is part of the Cabinet
Office, and currently chaired by Sir Richard Mottram, the Security and Intelligence
Coordinator. The JIC, analogous to the U.S. National Intelligence Council, is

97 (...continued)
available at []; Interviews of UK officials. Also see the websites of the
UK Home Office, []; the UK Department of Transport,
[]; and the UK Health Protection Agency, [].

responsible for providing ministers and other senior officials with coordinated, inter-
departmental intelligence assessments.
In June 2003, in an effort to improve intelligence-sharing and cooperation
against terrorism further among the UK’s different law enforcement and intelligence
agencies, the UK created the Joint Intelligence Analysis Center (JTAC) to collate and
evaluate intelligence about potential threats and provide early warning. JTAC seeks
to break down institutional barriers between analysts of the different security and
intelligence agencies by drawing together about 100 officials from 11 government
departments and agencies, including MI5, MI6, GCHQ, the police, and the defense
and transport ministries. JTAC provides both long-term studies of international
terrorism and immediate assessments of current threats; it is analogous to the U.S.
National Counter Terrorism Center. JTAC is responsible to the director-general of
Role of the Military. Although the police and security services have the
primary role in domestic protection against terrorism, the armed forces may be called
upon domestically in the event of a major terrorist incident requiring military units
with specialized skills (such as the Special Forces hostage rescue commandos or
those trained to deal with CBRN events). The UK armed forces may also be
deployed to assist in the management of a natural disaster. The decision to deploy
the military to assist the civil authorities in an emergency would be made by COBR,
and the armed forces would have no jurisdiction outside of supporting the civil
powers. The Ministry of Defense and the armed forces are also responsible for99
protecting 160 key UK sites, and for guarding UK nuclear weapons.
The UK’s parliamentary system influences government decisions regarding
homeland security budgetary priorities. The Prime Minister and his Cabinet are
drawn from the political party with a majority in the House of Commons, the elected
chamber of Parliament. As such, there is no strict separation of the executive and
legislative branches of government in the UK. The Prime Minister, the Chancellor
of the Exchequer, and the Cabinet ministers prepare the government’s budget and set
overall departmental budget priorities and spending limits. Given that the UK
government has a majority in Parliament, the government’s proposed budgetary
levels are not usually contested in the same way as they often are in the United100

98 Council of Europe, Op. cit.; Report of St. Andrews/Southampton ESRC Project on the
UK’s Preparedness for Future Terrorist Attack, Op. cit.; UK Cabinet Office, National
Intelligence Machinery, available at []; UK Home Office
website, Op.cit.; Interviews of UK officials.
99 Report of St. Andrews/Southampton ESRC Project on the UK’s Preparedness for Future
Terrorist Attack, Op.cit.
100 Andrew Adonis, Parliament Today (Manchester: Manchester University Press), 1993;
David Judge, Political Institutions in the United Kingdom (Oxford: Oxford University
Press), 2005.

UK spending on “public order and security” grew from roughly $40 billion in
2001 to $53 billion in 2005. This broad category includes police services, fire
protection services, law courts, prisons, and research and development. More
specifically, the British government announced in its 2004 Spending Review that
total spending on counterterrorism and resilience across departments will be over
$3.6 billion by 2007-2008; this is compared to $2.6 billion in 2004-2005, and less
than $1.8 billion a year before September 11, 2001 (these figures for counterterrorism
and resilience exclude core military and police spending). Budgetary priorities in
these areas have largely flowed from the “4Ps” of prevent, pursue, protect, and
prepare in the UK’s 2004 cross-departmental counterterrorism strategy (CONTEST),
which is driving investment decisions and will guide departments as they set their
detailed budgets. The Home Secretary will agree with ministers across departments
on what resources they will allocate from their 2004 Spending Review settlements
to deliver CONTEST before they finalize their department budgets. As noted above,
the Security and Intelligence Coordinator plays a key role in setting priorities and
budgets for the intelligence services. Spending for UK civil protection work,
including that for the police and fire services, comes from a combination of grants
from the central government and local funding.
In the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, the British government
provided supplemental funding over previously budgeted 2001-2002 and 2002-2003
levels to enable departments, such as the military, the police, and the intelligence
services to meet the increased need for heightened security measures and more
counterterrorist activities. The 2004 Spending Review placed emphasis on
intelligence, emergency planning, and a range of other counterterrorist and
preparedness measures:
!In the area of intelligence, additional funding of approximately $214
million in 2006-2007 and $337 million in 2007-2008 will be
provided for the further expansion of the three security and
intelligence agencies (the current combined expenditure for the
UK’s three security and intelligence agencies is roughly $2.3
!The additional spending on emergency planning will double that
currently received by local authorities from the central government’s
Civil Defense Grant per year (from $35 million to $70 million) to
better enable local authorities to carry out emergency planning in
light of the threat from international terrorism. This increase
appears to respond to criticism that local authorities did not have the
necessary resources to plan for terrorist incidents given that the Civil
Defense Grant had significantly decreased between 1991 and 2001
as a result of the end of the Cold War. The Civil Contingencies
Secretariat reportedly played a crucial role in securing this increase
in resources for the civil protection work carried out by local
!Extra funding of about $543 million in 2006-2007 and $614 million
in 2007-2008 will also be devoted to counterterrorist measures
ranging from enhancing the Fire Service’s search and rescue

capabilities to improving police abilities to deal with CBRN
incidents to boosting port security, UK embassy security, and border
In light of the July 2005 London bombings, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in
December 2005 announced that a further $149 million will be provided to the
security and intelligence services to aid their efforts in the fight against terrorism.101
Key UK Security Measures and Challenges
In the years since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the UK government
has introduced a raft of new legislation and pursued a variety of measures to combat
terrorism and improve UK homeland security. Following the July 2005 London
bombings, the Blair government has also placed increased emphasis on promoting
Muslim integration and combating extremism; many UK officials view such efforts
not only as necessary to address societal divisions, but also as key prevention
strategies in the long-term fight against terrorism.102
Enhancing Law Enforcement and Intelligence Capabilities. Since
September 11, British authorities have stepped up their law enforcement efforts
against Al Qaeda and members of other radical groups. Hundreds of suspects have
been questioned and arrested, and UK police and security services have increased
their monitoring of mosques. UK authorities have disrupted several potential
terrorist plots over the last few years, such as breaking up an Al Qaeda-affiliated cell
in 2003 accused of producing ricin and other chemical weapons. Law enforcement
and intelligence work against terrorism are viewed as a key part of the UK’s
prevention and pursuit efforts. However, the evidentiary bar for convictions in the
UK remains set high given Britain’s strong civil liberty traditions and democratic
ideals. Although nearly 900 people have been arrested since the September 11
attacks under anti-terrorism laws, only 138 have been charged with terrorist-related
offenses, and only 23 of those have been convicted.
As noted above, the UK government has sought to provide extra resources to
UK police and intelligence services to enable them to carry out these expanded
counterterrorist duties and investigations. The increased funding for the security and
intelligence agencies has been aimed largely at enhancing training and boosting
recruitment, especially of individuals with Arabic and Asian language skills. Press
reports indicate that MI5 has begun a recruitment campaign to increase its size by

50% (to 3,000 staff) by 2008.

101 See the UK’s 2004 Spending Review, July 2004; the UK 2005 Pre-Budget Report,
December 2005; and other budget information, all available on the UK Treasury’s website
102 For more information on UK legislative measures against terrorism, see CRS Report
RL31612, European Counterterrorist Efforts: Political Will and Diverse Responses in the
First Year After September 11, coordinated by Paul Gallis, pp. 99-107; for more information
on UK efforts to integrate Muslims and prevent Islamist extremism, see CRS Report
RL33166, Muslims in Europe: Integration in Selected Countries, coordinated by Paul Gallis,
pp. 10-21.

Nevertheless, some observers question whether the UK is devoting sufficient
resources to improving its intelligence capabilities. For example, one recent study
asserts that counterterrorism work has become GCHQ’s single largest collection
effort in the last few years, but as a result of this new priority and still limited
resources, GCHQ has been forced to reduce its collection activities in many non-
priority geographical areas and even on some aspects of counterproliferation. Others
point out that even with expanded security budgets and increased recruitment efforts,
training new security service recruits takes time and keeping track of suspects are
jobs of high labour intensity that entail difficult choices for police and intelligence
servi ces. 103
Strengthening Border Controls and Transport Security. The
September 11 terrorist attacks gave added momentum to UK efforts to tighten its
immigration and asylum procedures to curtail illegal immigration and prevent
terrorists or other criminals from abusing the UK’s asylum system. Among other
measures, the Nationality, Immigration, and Asylum Act 2002 introduces a new
“right to carry” scheme requiring air and sea carriers to check a database to confirm
that passengers pose no known immigration or security risks. Following the July
2005 London bombings, the UK government announced plans to: make it easier to
deport or exclude foreign individuals from the UK who advocate violence and incite
hatred; create a list of foreign clerics who will be denied entry to the UK; and refuse
asylum to anyone with possible terrorist connections.
The UK also has long-standing legislation and security programs focused on
preventing acts of violence from being perpetrated against UK air, maritime, and rail
transport systems as well as the Channel Tunnel, which connects France and the UK.
Some of these security measures, especially in the aviation sector, were instituted
after the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. But since
September 11, the UK has further increased aviation security measures. The wide-
ranging Anti-terrorism, Crime, and Security Act 2001 strengthened aviation security
by making provision for the forcible removal of unauthorized persons from aircraft
or airport restricted zones. The UK has introduced more screening and searching of
passengers and baggage (especially those destined for the United States and Canada),
an expanded list of prohibited articles that cannot be taken on board aircraft, and
intrusion-resistant cockpit doors on UK aircraft. In addition, in 2002, the UK
announced a program to train armed sky marshals for use on UK-registered aircraft;104

press reports suggest that they are now operating on some transatlantic flights.
103 Jimmy Burns, “Additional £330m Earmarked To Combat Terrorism,” Financial Times,
April 10, 2003; “Britain Boosting Anti-terror Security Spending,” Associated Press, October
16, 2004; Report of St. Andrews/Southampton ESRC Project on the UK’s Preparedness for
Future Terrorist Attack, Op.cit.; Stephen Fidler, “Safety Becomes Less of a Certainty as All
Sides Drive Up the Stakes,” Financial Times, January 25, 2006; UK Home Office website,
104 See a UK government-requested Review of Airport Security, a Report by Sir John
Wheeler, September 13, 2002; available at the Department for Transport website, Op.cit.;
“Armed Air Marshals For UK Flights,” BBC News, February 14, 2003; “Armed Air
Marshals on UK Flights,” December 29, 2003.

Other enhanced border control and transport security measures instituted since
September 11 include increased stop-and search powers for police, immigration, and
customs officials; new rules allowing law enforcement agencies to request
information about passengers and goods from air and sea carriers; the installation of
new technology at the Channel Tunnel to check for people concealed in lorries or
trains; and the introduction of equipment at all UK ports and airports to screen for
illicit importations of radioactive materials. Several UK ports also participate in the
U.S. Container Security Initiative, which stations U.S. customs officers in foreign
ports to help pre-screen U.S.-bound cargo containers to ensure that they do not
contain dangerous items such as weapons of mass destruction. The British
government asserts that most UK ports, including all major and high risk ports, are
in compliance with a new International Maritime Organization (IMO) code that
requires international ships and port facilities to implement tighter security regimes,
train staff, and draw up plans for responding to a terrorist threat; London expects that
all remaining UK ports will soon be in compliance also.105
As for rail security, in the wake of the March 2004 bombings of commuter trains
in Madrid, Spain, the British government initiated a review of counterterrorist
security on the UK’s railway network in conjunction with the industry and police
services. Although the London Underground system has long had a protective
security regime in place, the review recommended that such security regimes be
extended to other underground, light rail, and tram systems in the UK; work in this
area is reportedly ongoing. Following the July 2005 London bombings, the UK will
conduct trial screenings of passengers and baggage at a small number of national rail
and London Underground stations during 2006.106
Despite these efforts, some analysts point to a lack of personnel resources to
ensure that all UK border control and security measures are properly implemented.
For example, they contend that the Department for Transport’s Transport Security
and Contingencies Directorate (TRANSEC) has insufficient personnel to carry out
frequent and thorough inspections of port and airport security measures, and that the
UK immigration service is also understaffed. Others note that the UK has been
struggling to balance new transport security requirements with the costs to the
transport industry and the traveling public. For instance, press reports suggest that
the Home Office was forced to scale back its original plans to require air and sea
carriers to obtain additional personal data from passengers following travel and
tourism industry protests that it would be cost-prohibitive and inconvenience
passengers given the extra processing time it would require.107
Countering CBRN Threats and Protecting the Critical National
Infrastructure. The British government has also put priority on countering the

105 “Maritime Security: Frequently Asked Questions,” UK Department of Transport website,
Op.cit.; UK Home Office security website, Op.cit.
106 “Responsibilities of Transport Security’s Land Transport Division,” UK Department of
Transport website, Op.cit.
107 Andrew Clark, “Blunkett Delays Check-in Plans,” The Guardian, July 12, 2002; Report
of St. Andrews/Southampton ESRC Project on the UK’s Preparedness for Future Terrorist
Attack, Op.cit.

CBRN aspect of terrorism and improving the ability of emergency service providers
to respond quickly and effectively to a CBRN incident. UK officials maintain that
additional investments made to counter the affects of CBRN materials have also
strengthened the emergency services’ ability to respond to other types of disasters,
such as those involving hazardous materials. In October 2001, the UK established
a CBRN resilience program, led by the Home Office and run by a Strategic Board
made up of senior representatives from all key delivery partners, such as the
Departments of Health, and Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. Under the
program, the UK government points to significant improvements in the quantity and
quality of personal protection and decontamination equipment for the police, fire,
and ambulance services; also, by mid-2005, over 7,000 police officers had been
trained and equipped to deal with a CBRN incident. In addition, the UK’s CBRN
work includes a science and technology program to detect, monitor, and respond
better to CBRN materials and incidents; it seeks to target research and development
spending at the most pressing areas where threat assessments indicate that the risks
are the greatest. The UK has also devoted increased funding over the last several
years to counter bio-terrorism and stockpile extra vaccines and antibiotics.
The British government maintains that it is engaged in a program of hardening
a number of critical infrastructure sites, but information available publicly is limited
for security reasons. The UK categorizes its critical national infrastructure (CNI) into
ten sectors (communications, emergency services, energy, finance, food, government
and public services, health, public safety, transport, and water) and asserts that it has
special physical and electronic protective security measures in place for these sectors.
Press reports indicate that MI5 has identified nuclear power stations, oil depots, and
high-profile London buildings as priority terrorist targets, and it is believed that
significant protection measures are focused on such sites. In December 2004, the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the UK Home Office signed an
agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology for Critical Infrastructure
Protection and Other Homeland/Civil Security Matters to allow the two countries to
work together on counter-terrorism research in these areas. UK officials hope this
agreement will enable each side to expand their technology capabilities, especially
as regards CNI protection, minimize unnecessary duplication of work, and produce
more efficient and cost-effective results.108
Improving Emergency Preparedness and Response. As noted
previously, the UK has sought to enhance its emergency planning, preparedness, and
response capabilities. The UK carries out a wide range of emergency exercises to
allow the government and the emergency services to regularly practice their
responses to both natural and man-made disasters. According to the Home Office,
improving the ability of the police, fire, and ambulance services to deal with terrorist
attacks, including those involving CBRN materials, has been a top priority. In 2002,
the UK established a cross-governmental Capabilities Program, coordinated by the
Civil Contingencies Secretariat, to build the capabilities necessary to deal rapidly and
effectively with the consequences of all forms of disasters. The Capabilities Program

108 Jimmy Burns, “Task of Ensuring That Cover Is More Than Just a Front,” Financial
Times, June 22, 2002; Gustav Lindstrom, Protecting the European Homeland: The CBR
Dimension, Chaillot Paper, No. 69, July 2004; UK Home Office’s security website, Op.cit.

seeks to provide greater central direction to emergency preparedness and build
resilience across all parts of the UK. The Program is divided into 17 different
“workstreams,” the focus of which ranges from maintaining essential services to
dealing with CBRN incidents or infectious diseases to handling mass casualties,
fatalities, or evacuations. The CCS has also established a national risk assessment
process to identify risks over a five-year period and form the basis for decisions about
emergency preparedness.109
In 2004, the UK Parliament passed the Civil Contingencies Act. This act
represented the first wholesale revision of UK emergency legislation since the 1920s,
and was intended to set out clear expectations and responsibilities of first responders,
local and regional authorities, and the central government to improve civil protection,
operational effectiveness, and financial efficiency. The Civil Contingencies Act also
gives the government the power to declare a state of emergency without the approval
of Parliament and to pass regulations deemed necessary for preventing or controlling
a crisis, such as restricting public access to certain sites, evacuate affected areas,
requisition property, or ban public gatherings. During its passage through
Parliament, the act encountered some resistance from human rights and civil liberty
groups concerned that its definition of an “emergency” was too broad and that it
could lead to an unnecessary curtailment of freedoms. To secure parliamentary
approval, the government tightened the definition of an “emergency” and included
a “triple lock” guarantee to ensure that the emergency powers were only evoked in
the event of a serious threat, that they were deemed necessary to cope with the
situation, and were proportionate to the threat.110
Although analysts assess that the UK has made significant progress in enhancing
its emergency preparedness and response abilities, they also point out that some
challenges remain. Some experts remain concerned that the increase in funding from
the central government to local authorities announced in the 2004 Spending Review
is still not sufficient to carry out the additional emergency planning requirements
mandated by the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act. They also point out that outside of
London, which has been accorded the highest priority, there are varying levels of
emergency preparedness. Many other UK regions face greater coordination hurdles,
as well as equipment and training delays.111

109 UK Resilience website, []; UK Home Office’s security
website, Op.cit.
110 “Blunkett Climbs Down Over Emergency Powers,” Financial Times, January 7, 2004;
“Q&A: Civil Contingencies Bill,” BBC News, January 7, 2004.
111 Report of St. Andrews/Southampton ESRC Project on the UK’s Preparedness for Future
Terrorist Attack, Op.cit.