CIA to open counterproliferation center

The Central Intelligence Agency will open a new counterproliferation center that will spearhead the agency’s efforts to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapons, the agency announced on August 18.

The new center will exist separately from the National Counterproliferation Center that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence oversees. It will join the CIA’s counterproliferation division within the National Clandestine Service with parts of the agency’s Directorate of Intelligence, according to The center will be led by an undercover NCS officer who has deputies for operations and analysis.

The announcement of the new center comes at a time when criticism is mounting against the spread of agency obligations and redundant activities.

Since the NCC was created in 2005, a national panel, known as the WMD Commission, concluded that a terrorist attack, most likely by biological weapons, would occur in the world by 2013.

"As our nation continues to confront the threat of weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical, and biological - we must constantly strive for new ways to work across directorates, combining a diversity of expertise with a range of powerful capabilities to keep our nation safe," CIA Director Leon Panetta said. "Our greatest achievements as an agency are the product of close collaboration among operations officers, analysts, targeters, technical specialists, and support officers."