National Security Decision Directive Number 207, by Ronald

National Security Decision Directive Number 207, by Ronald

Postby admin » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:52 am

National Security Decision Directive Number 207
by Ronald Reagan
January 20, 1986




January 20, 1986

National Security Decision Directive Number 207


The Vice President's Task Force on Combatting Terrorism has completed an in-depth review of our current policies, capabilities, and resources for dealing with the terrorist threat. I have reviewed the Task Force Report and accompanying recommendations and concluded that our strategy is sound. I have determined that we must enhance our ability to confront this threat and to do so without compromising our basic democratic and human values. (U)

Terrorists undertake criminal acts that involve the use or threat of violence against innocent persons. These acts are premeditated, intended to achieve a political objective through coercion or intimidation of an audience beyond the immediate victims. U.S. citizens and installations, especially abroad, are increasingly being targeted for terrorist acts. Our policy, programs and responses must be effective in ameliorating this threat to our people, property and interests. (U)


U.S. policy on terrorism is unequivocal: firm opposition to terrorism in all its forms whether it is domestic terrorism perpetrated within U.S. territory, or international terrorism conducted inside or outside U.S. territory by foreign nationals or groups. The policy is based upon the conviction that to accede to terrorist demands places more American citizens at risk. This no-concessions policy is the best way of protecting the greatest number of people and ensuring their safety. At the same time, every available resource will be used to gain the safe return of American citizens who are held hostage by terrorists. (U)

The U.S. Government considers the practice of terrorism by any person or group a potential threat to our national security and will resist the use of terrorism by all legal means available. The United States is opposed to domestic and international terrorism and is prepared to act in concert with other nations or unilaterally when necessary to prevent or respond to terrorist acts. (U)

States that practice terrorism or actively support it, will not be allowed to do so without consequence. Whenever we have evidence that a state is mounting or intends to conduct an act of terrorism against us, we have a responsibility to take measures to protect our citizens, property, and interests. The USG will pay no ransoms, nor permit releases of prisoners or agree to other conditions that could serve to encourage additional terrorism. We will make no changes in our policy because of terrorist threats or acts. The United States is determined to act against terrorists without surrendering basic freedoms or endangering democratic principles. We oppose asylum, sanctuary, or safehaven for terrorists and will make every legal effort to extradite and prosecute terrorists. The USG encourages other governments to take similar strong stands against terrorism. (U)

The National Program

The national program to combat terrorism is designed to provide coordinated action before, during, and after terrorist incidents. Our program includes measures to deter, resolve and, when necessary, respond proportionately to terrorist attacks. The implementation of this strategy requires an organization compatible with the overall structure of the U.S. Government, and relies on the authorities and responsibilities of the various departments and agencies. (U)

The coordination of the Federal response to terrorist incidents will normally be the responsibility of the Lead Agency. The Lead Agency will be that agency with the most direct operational role in and responsibility for dealing with the particular terrorist incident at hand. The Lead Agency will coordinate all operational aspects of the incident, including press and intelligence. The Lead Agency will normally be designated as follows:

• The Department of State for international terrorist incidents that take place outside of U.S. territory. (U)
• The Department of Justice for terrorist incidents that take place within U.S. territory. Unless otherwise specified by the Attorney General, the FBI will be the Lead Agency within the Department of Justice for operational response to such incidents. (U)
• The FAA for aircraft hijackings within the special jurisdiction of the United States. (U)

The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs will resolve any uncertainty on the designation of the Lead Agency or on agency responsibilities. (U)

The entire range of diplomatic, economic, legal, military, paramilitary, covert action, and informational assets at our disposal must be brought to bear against terrorism. To ensure that these measures are fully integrated and mutually supportive, the following interagency groups will assist the Lead Agencies in the coordination of our national program to combat terrorism. (C)

1. The Terrorist Incident Working Group (TIWG). To support the Special Situation Group (SSG -- see NSDD-3 and NSDD-30) during a terrorist incident, a Terrorist Incident Working Group has been established. This group consists of representatives from State, Treasury, DOD, Justice, CIA, JCS, FBI, the Office of the Vice President, and the NSC staff, with augmentation from other agencies as required. The TIWG will be activated by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs or at the request of any of the members. The NSC staff will provide a senior representative to chair the TIWG, and a staff member to serve as the Executive Director of the TIWG and chair the Operations Sub-Group (OSG) of the TIWG to review ongoing non-crisis operations/activities. The TIWG will normally remain convened for the duration of a terrorist incident. The Ambassador-at-Large for Counter-Terrorism will serve as the Vice Chairman of the TIWG. (S)

2. The Interdepartmental Group on Terrorism (IG/T). The Interdepartmental Group on Terrorism, chaired by the Ambassador-at-Large for Counter-Terrorism, is responsible for the development of overall U.S. policy on terrorism, including, inter alia, policy directives, organizational issues, legislative initiatives, interagency training activities, coordinated budget/programs, and policy direction of the Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program. Membership will include all departments and agencies supporting the national program to combat terrorism. Vice Chairmen of the IG/T will be the Department of Justice and the Executive Director of the TIWG. (C)

3. The Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism (IICT). The Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism, chaired by the National Intelligence Officer for Counter-Terrorism and Narcotics (NIO/CT-NARC), provides intelligence support to the SSG and the TIWG. It focuses and coordinates interagency intelligence efforts to counter international terrorist threats. In anticipation of terrorist incidents, the Committee will concentrate on threat alerts, trend assessments, and required procedural improvements, such as more rapid dissemination of critical information. (S)


The Vice President's Task Force affirmed our fundamental approach for dealing with terrorism, however they made numerous recommendations to further improve our capabilities. Accordingly, I have reached the following decisions:

1. The recommendations of the Vice President's Task Force on Combatting Terrorism are to be fully and consistently implemented as follows:

A. For Immediate Implementation

(1) The Secretary of State shall:

• Submit to the NSC a policy framework prepared by the IG/T for making decisions on the use of force in response to international terrorist threats or attacks. (Task Force Recommendation No. 5) (U)
• Expand State Department's outreach program to hostage families. (Task Force Recommendation No. 12) (U)
• Continue efforts to enlist international cooperation in combatting terrorism through both bilateral and multilateral agreements. Particular emphasis should be given to concluding agreements, or more effective measures for apprehending, extraditing and prosecuting known terrorists. (Task Force Recommendations No. 17 and 18) (U)
• Continue a dialogue with media representatives to obtain support for denying terrorists the visibility they seek. (Task Force Recommendation No. 29) (U)
• Monitor abuses of diplomatic immunities in support of terrorists for possible sanctions against violators of the Vienna Convention. (Task Force Recommendation No. 32) (U)
• Provide, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, more extensive publicity regarding the terrorist reward program in order to more effectively integrate it into the overall counterterrorism (CT) effort. (Task Force Recommendation No. 34) (U)
• Through the IG/T and with the concurrence of the DCI, provide policy guidance for terrorism intelligence exchanges with foreign governments. (Task Force Recommendation No. 22) (S)

(2) The Attorney General shall:

• Prepare and encourage enactment of legislation that makes the murder of U.S. citizens abroad a Federal crime. (Task Force Recommendation No. 35) (U)
• Pursue enactment of legislation that permits the death penalty for the murder of U.S. citizens during a hostage-taking. (Task Force Recommendation No. 36) (U)
• Pursue enactment of legislation establishing a Joint Committee on Intelligence (the Hyde proposal). (Task Force Recommendation No. 37) (U)
• Pursue enactment of legislation permitting deportation of aliens from the United States who are suspected of engaging in support for or conspiracy to conduct terrorism. (Task Force Recommendation No. 40) (C)
• Expedite deportation proceedings against Libyan, Iranian, and PLO activists who have violated their visa status. (Task Force Recommendation No. 40) (C)

(3) The Secretary of Defense shall:

• Review, in conjunction with the State Department and NSC 1 current criteria and procedures for deploying and employing U.S. military CT forces. Consideration should be given to political and legal questions involved and to forward deployment or prepositioning of CT elements in or near areas of most likely employment. (Task Force Recommendation No. 7 and Proposed Recommendation No. 1) (S)

(4) The Director of Central Intelligence shall:

• In conjunction with the Department of State, expand terrorism intelligence exchanges with foreign governments. (Task Force Recommendation No. 22) (U)
• Establish an all-source intelligence fusion center for international terrorism. (Task Force Recommendation No. 23) (S)
• Establish a clandestine service capability for preventing, pre-empting and/or disrupting international terrorist activity. (Task Force Recommendation No. 43) (TS)

(5) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall:

• Establish and maintain, in conjunction with the Departments of State and Justice and the NSC, a national programming document that depicts resources dedicated to combatting terrorism. (Task Force Recommendation No. 1) (U)

(6) The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs shall:

• Establish a full-time position on the NSC with a small staff dedicated to the national program. Ensure that the Operations Sub-Group (OSG) of the TIWG conducts periodic reviews of CT activities and those operations requiring interagency coordination. (Task Force Recommendation No. 3) (S)
• Provide coordinated public affairs/Congressional guidance to all departments/agencies involved in resolving a terrorist incident. (Task Force Recommendation No. 4) (C)
• Maintain a current list of options for responding to terrorist activity. (Task Force Recommendation No. 6) (S)
• Increase coordination and oversight of research and development (R&D) related to terrorism. (Task Force Recommendation No. 14) (S)
• Ensure senior government participation in NSC-coordinated terrorist incident simulations and exercises. (Task Force Recommendation No. 15) (C)

B. For Implementation by May 1, 1986

(1) The Secretary of State shall:

• Lead a review of all USG official personnel requirements overseas in high-threat areas and submit recommendations to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. (Task Force Recommendation No. 9) (U)
• Review government-wide policies on travel documentation for U.S. employees and promulgate consistent guidelines throughout the Government. (Task Force Recommendation No. 10) (U)
• Provide coordinated interagency briefings on U.S. policies, resources, and capabilities committed to combatting terrorism for all senior U.S. officials stationed overseas. (Task Force Recommendation No. 16) (U)
• Pursue bilateral arrangements for terrorism-related R&D exchanges. (Task Force Recommendation No. 19) (U)
• In conjunction with the Departments of Justice and Treasury,
• improve computerized systems for monitoring cross-border travel and visa control of known or suspected terrorists. (Task Force Recommendation No. 20) (C)
• Develop a long-range strategy to improve public understanding of international terrorism and the policies required to combat it. (Task Force Recommendation No. 28) (U)
• Under the auspices of the IG/T, review and submit proposals for:
o New NSC Policy, Planning, and Operations Coordinating Boards. (Task Force Proposed Recommendation No. 2) (S)
o A private sector data base. Task Force Proposed Recommendation No. 4) (C)
• Devise an interagency coordinated plan to expand the current Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program, consistent with the President's budget, for aiding friendly governments in their efforts to combat terrorism. (Task Force Proposed Recommendation No. 5). (C)

(2) The Attorney General shall:

• Stimulate private and academic initiatives addressing the relationship between terrorism and the domestic and international legal systems. (Task Force Recommendation No. 31) (U)
• In conjunction with the Director of Central Intelligence, expand the international terrorist informant program, adding incentives such as immunity from prosecution, parole, citizenship, and residency grants. (Task Force Recommendation No. 33) (U)
Review the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and determine whether terrorist movements or organizations are abusing its provisions. (Task Force Recommendation No. 38) (U)
• Evaluate whether present activities by some U.S. companies and individuals, such as paying ransoms, buying kidnapping insurance, and purchasing interviews with terrorists, might not be effectively made illegal under U.S. law. (Task Force Recommendation No. 41) (C)
Ensure that training and support of terrorists at so-called mercenary camps in the United States are not permitted under U.S. law. (Task Force Recommendation No. 39) (U)
• Pursue legislation to permit nuclear reactor licensees access to FBI criminal history files so that individuals can be more thoroughly screened prior to being granted unescorted admission to nuclear reactor facilities. (Task Force Recommendation No. 42) (U)
• Complete review of the proposal to enhance Federal jurisdiction over domestic terrorist incidents. (Task Force Proposed Recommendation No. 3) (U)

(3) The Secretary of Defense shall:

• Develop a comprehensive public affairs strategy for CT forces, considering public acknowledgment of the existence of U.S. CT forces. (Task Force Recommendation No. 8) (C)
Develop plans for integrating psychological operations more closely into the overall CT effort. (Task Force Recommendation No. 30) (C)
• Review requirements and develop alternatives for more effective intelligence and operational support to CT forces/operations. (Task Force Recommendation No. 44) (S)

(4) The Secretary of the Treasury shall:

• Extend Secret Service protection to "accompanying spouses" of visiting heads of state. (Task Force Recommendation No. 13) (U)

(5) The Secretary of Transportation shall:

• Survey, in conjunction with the Director of Central Intelligence, current port security procedures and assess the terrorist threat to vessels, passengers, and crewmembers. {Task Force Recommendation No. 21) (C)

(6) The Director of Central Intelligence shall:

• Expand human intelligence collection efforts against international terrorist organizations, movements and groups, using alternative cover arrangements as appropriate. (Task Force Recommendation No. 24) (S)
• Establish an interdepartmental career program for terrorism intelligence analysts. (Task Force Recommendation No. 25) (C)
• In conjunction with the Attorney General, ensure that police and law enforcement information is incorporated in U.S. intelligence data bases, and train CT specialists in exchange programs with law enforcement agencies. (Task Force Recommendation No. 26) (S)
• Examine, in conjunction with the IG/T and the IICT, the current countermeasures program and recommend enhancements for denying terrorists use of chemical and biological agents. (Task Force Recommendation No. 27) (C)

(7) The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall:

• Identify, under the auspices of the IG/T, the extent to which various critical U.S. infrastructure elements (e.g. the computerized banking system, power grids, and communications networks) are vulnerable to acts of terrorism and propose near- and long-term solutions. (Task Force Recommendation No. 11) (C)

2. The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs shall review progress made on the implementation of this directive and report the results to me by July 1, 1986. CC)

3. The provisions of NSDD's 30 and 138 are hereby modified in accordance with this directive. (C)


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