NC agency working to prevent local terror attacks

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – While officials overseas are working to track down those responsible for the recent terror attacks, here at home local officials are trying to prevent one from happening.

WNCN spoke to officials with NC ISAAC’s Fusion Center who are tracking threats right here in North Carolina.

“We don’t want to respond to a disaster after it happens, we want to be able to be there to prevent something from happening,” said SBI Assistant Director, Brian Neil. Neil oversees ISAAC, or the Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which is a part of the State Bureau of Investigation.

“The analysts are here working, they’re behind the scenes vetting, digging for information, helping support the law enforcement investigations,” said Neil.

ISAAC is an information hub for the state. It’s comprised of members from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies like the FBI, Highway Patrol and even N.C. State Police. It also serves as an anti-terrorism task force.

“Here in North Carolina we’ve had multiple individuals who have been tied to al Qaeda and the different groups like that,” said Neil.

“Whenever something happens anywhere, whether it’s here in the United States or elsewhere around the country, obviously we want to monitor that situation,” said Theresa Tanner, Deputy Director of the NC Fusion Center.

The Fusion Center is where ISAAC analysts from different agencies join forces.

“Fusion centers were started up after 9/11 to try and enhance information collection and information sharing,” said Tanner.

“If we’re not talking with each other, de-conflicting with each other, that’s when 9/11s happen,” said Neil.

On top of screening social media and investigating reports of suspicious activity, the Fusion Center also monitors real-time situations, both local and abroad.

“We will generally monitor what local and national media outlets are covering on the particular event,” said Tanner.

Every effort is part of ISAAC’s mission to prevent any harm to North Carolinians from a very real threat.

“We’ve prevented some things from really bad happening, but yes, the reality is it can happen here. It will happen here,” said Neil.

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