CIA veteran named to head terrorism info center

John Brennan, the CIA's deputy executive director, will be the first director of the new Terrorist Threat Information Center, the White House said today.

The Bush administration expects the center to meld the terrorism intelligence gathered by the CIA, FBI and Homeland Security Department, among other agencies, into a seamless data source.

CIA director George Tenet appointed Brennan on the advice of attorney general John Ashcroft, FBI director Robert Mueller, Defense secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge.

Brennan is a 23-year CIA veteran. Before becoming Tenet's deputy executive director in March 2001, he was chief of staff for two years.

He has held other jobs related to counterterrorism and Middle Eastern affairs, including a stint as station chief in 'a major Middle Eastern capital from 1996 to 1999,' the CIA said.

The center will be at the CIA compound and is set to begin operations May 1.

Brennan 'brings a wealth of experience and an abundance of energy to the job,' Tenet said. 'Under his direction, TTIC will serve as the U.S. government hub for all terrorist-threat related analytical work.'

In recent weeks, lawmakers have questioned the administration's plans for the center, particularly how it will integrate data analysis and its oversight by CIA rather than Homeland Security.

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