The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) is an entity established by the U.S. Attorney General in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Defense.
The Attorney General, acting through the Director of the FBI, established the TSC in support of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 6 (HSPD-6), dated September 16, 2003, which required the Attorney General to establish an organization to consolidate the Federal Government’s approach to terrorism screening and provide for the appropriate and lawful use of terrorist information in screening processes. The TSC maintains the Federal Government’s consolidated terrorist watchlist, known as the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) and provides it to federal agencies as well as state, local, and selected foreign partners for their use in screening individuals.
TSC receives the vast majority of its watchlist nominations and information from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), which compiles information on known or suspected international terrorists from executive branch departments and agencies.7 In addition, the FBI provides TSC with information on known or suspected domestic terrorists who operate primarily within the United States. To support agency screening processes, TSC first determines if each nomination contains specific minimum derogatory information for inclusion in its TSDB. TSC then sends applicable records from the terrorist watchlist to screening agency systems for use in efforts to deter or detect the movements of known or suspected terrorists.
For instance, applicable TSC records are provided to TSA for use in prescreening airline passengers; to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) system for use in screening travelers entering the United States; to a Department of State system for use in screening visa applicants; and to an FBI system for use by state and local law enforcement agencies pursuant to arrests, detentions, and other criminal justice purposes.