CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUE – U.S. Bureaucratic/Administrative Response to Terrorism.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUE – U.S. Bureaucratic/Administrative Response to Terrorism.

The United States has developed a very large sub-area of bureaucracy within its normal bureaucracy as a response to terrorism.  Not all of these government offices were begun after September 11, 2001, but a significant push for preparedness has occurred since the Al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Two such bureaucracies which have developed counterterrorism programs that coordinate with the legislature as well as law enforcement are the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the CVM (Center for Veterinary Medicine).

The CVM has a Counterterrorism Coordinator in its Office of Surveillance and Compliance.  They invite people to contact them if they happen to witness any potential nefarious tampering with FDA regulated products.  The CVM Counterterrorism has its own webpage within the FDA website.  The CVM has several ongoing Counterterrorism Projects.  The following is a partial list taken from the CVM website and includes Counterterrorism Projects which most coincide with law enforcement organizations:

  • Assisting State authorities in acquiring the scientific and analytical expertise and capability to respond to an animal feed contamination incident.
  • Coordinating counterterrorism activities with other Federal, State, local and foreign regulatory agencies.
  • Intensifying the review of products offered for import and collaborating with the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection Service at ports on safety and security issues.
  • Detection of multi-drug resistant foodborne bacterial pathogens through participation in national surveillance programs including FoodNet and PulseNet.

(List quoted from CVM website).

The FDA has an Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats.  They also coordinate with different federal and state offices as well as law enforcement.  The following is a partial list from their website:

  • Serves as FDA’s point of entry on policy and planning matters concerning global health security, counterterrorism and emerging threats
  • Develops and coordinates the implementation of comprehensive FDA plans and strategies for these portfolios in collaboration with FDA centers and offices, and with external U.S. government and international partners
  • Serves as the FDA focal point for the HHS Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE) and Department of Defense medical countermeasure  (MCM) programs to support the warfighter
  • On behalf of the Commissioner, facilitates communications within FDA and with external partners on counterterrorism policy, public health emergency preparedness, and global health security

(list quoted from FDA website)

An example of how the FDA Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats functions to influence public stakeholders is when the convened in 2010 in order to address the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic.  They convened in Baltimore, MD and brought together “local, state, and federal public health stakeholders, including legal counsel” to discuss issues related to distributing and “dispensing medical countermeasures at the state and local levels during a public health emergency”.  If this outbreak had been an intentional man-made terrorist biological attack this is an example of how the FDA would coordinate different government groups including law enforcement to address the emergency.  (FDA Archived Content).




FDA Website. 


CVM Website. 


FDA Archived Content (2010). Federal, State, and Local Public Health Preparedness Legal and Regulatory Meeting (December 14-15, 2010).