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Attacks on USS Cole spurred DIA’s counterterrorism mission

By Office of Corporate Communications

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Terrorists attacked the USS Cole during a scheduled refueling stop in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000. A small boat carrying explosives rammed the Cole, ripping a 40-by-40 foot hole in its side, killing 17 U.S. Navy personnel and injuring many more.

Then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen launched an investigation of the attack. In January 2001 the USS Cole Commission, co-chaired by Army Gen. William Crouch and Adm. Harold Gehman, concluded in its report that the Department of Defense did not allocate sufficient resources to the combating terrorism mission and recommended the reprioritization of resources for collection and analysis and an increase in counterintelligence resources devoted to combating terrorism.

 Today, DIA’s Defense Combating Terrorism Center executes the national-level intelligence component of the DOD campaign against terrorism. It produces integrated, all-source intelligence in support of U.S. combating terrorism plans and operations – both offensive and defensive. It provides strategic and tactical warning, exposing and exploiting terrorist vulnerabilities, supporting DOD combating terrorism operations, and preventing terrorists from acquiring increased capabilities. DCTC provides terrorism-related indication and warning as well as crisis intelligence support to the Joint Chiefs of Staff director for intelligence and the combatant commands, and it also responds via products and services to the intelligence needs of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, combatant commands and military services.