The Counter Terrorism Watch Desk is a unit of the Operations Section of the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. The Counter Terrorism Watch is embedded at the NJ Regional Operations Intelligence Center located in West Trenton, NJ with the New Jersey State Police Intelligence Watch and Warning unit.
The Counter Terrorism watch desk is a Twenty-Four (24) hour a day, seven (7) day a week operation , Three hundred sixty-five (365) day a year operation. From Monday thru Friday of each week the desk is manned by full time Special Investigators. Midnights, weekends and holidays the CT Watch is staffed by part-time Specialists.
All Counter-Terrorism Watch personnel are retired law enforcement officers or have military experience. All Counter- Terrorism Watch personnel have criminal investigation background.
The Counter Terrorism Watch desk’s primary function is the obtaining information for and the creation of Suspicious Activity Reports regarding incidents that occur in the State of New Jersey.
Suspicious Activity Reports are based on the 8 Signs of Terrorism as defined by the Department of Homeland Security. Suspicious activity might be defined as “observed behavior reasonably indicative of preoperational planning related to terrorism or other criminal behavior.” The Eight Signs of Terrorism as are follows:
- Elicitation/Seeking Information
- Testing of Security
- Acquiring of Supplies
- Suspicious People Who Do Not Belong
- Dry Run/Trial Run
- Deploying assets/Getting into Position
- Terrorism Funding
NJSARS is not an intelligence data base and is reserved for suspicious activity only. All due care is taken to prevent any racial or ethnic profiling.
The Counter Terrorism Watch is also tasked with supporting other units within the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness as well as other NJ agencies such as the New Jersey State Police, the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. CT Watch also assist other fusion centers throughout the United States with requests for information 24/7 365 days each year. CT Watch personnel assist by researching and supplying background information for officers in the field and on all leads entered into the NJSARS database.
CT Watch Personnel monitor and received information through various means through telephone, email, and web-based reporting. More information and contact information for these methods can be found here.
All means of reporting suspicious activity are monitored 24 hours per day. All leads are taken seriously and are vetted rigorously for content and entered into the NJSARS system immediately.
As previously noted, all leads are vetted for racial and ethnic profiling. All leads are put through a quality control review and those leads that are found to not rise to the level of a valid SAR are removed.
CT Watch personnel have participated in all major activities in the State of New Jersey including most recently the Agudist Israel event in the summer of 2012 and the 9/11 Anniversary event of September 2011. CT Watch personnel will continue to participate in all major activities in the State of New Jersey including the upcoming 2014 Super Bowl.