His predecessor joked about being compared to "Jack Bauer," but while the new head of the National Counterterrorism Center may not be running and gunning like the fictional '24' character, Matthew Olsen is tasked with keeping the country safe from attack.
The National Counterterrorism Center based in Virginia was created to better integrate and analyze intelligence in hopes of preventing another 9/11. For Michael Leiter, who steps down as the center's director on Friday after 4½ years at the helm, there has been a very personal aspect to the job.
The rash of attempted homegrown terrorist attacks over the past year has the counterterrorism community working at a "relentless" pace to deal with the challenges posed by an evolving enemy, according to the nation's chief counterterrorism officer.
The terrorism threat against the United States has evolved, with homegrown terrorists and a greater diversity in the scope and methods of attack making it more difficult to prevent them, top security officials told a Senate committee Wednesday.
The director of the National Counterterrorism Center says the U.S. government believes that U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki had "a direct operational role" in the attempt to bring down an airliner bound for Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day.
A Senate Intelligence Committee report released Tuesday sharply criticized the National Counterterrorism Center for failing to properly coordinate intelligence activities to detect the botched Christmas Day airline bombing.
The government had sufficient information to have potentially disrupted an al Qaeda plot to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day, but failed to identify Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab as a potential bomber, a White House review of the incident shows.
A top U.S. intelligence official did take a shortened vacation two days after a botched terror attack on a U.S. passenger jet, but remained in constant contact with national security officials and the White House about the situation, a source told CNN Thursday.
Michael Leiter With today's release of the Obama administration's report on what went wrong to allow a Nigerian man to allegedly board a U.S.-bound flight with explosives, top government officials including Leiter, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will face increased scrutiny.
The father of terrorism suspect Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab talked about his son's extremist views with someone from the CIA and a report was prepared, but the report was not circulated outside the agency, a reliable source told CNN's Jeanne Meserve on Tuesday.
The National Counterterrorism Center is disputing charges that the computer system that compiles information on terrorists and suspected terrorists from government agencies is ineffective and hindering its ability to track terrorists.