The Office of Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA), administers the Antiterrorism Assistance Program. The ATA program trains civilian security and law enforcement personnel from friendly governments in police procedures that deal with terrorism. DS officers work with the host country's government and a team from that country's U.S. mission to develop the most effective means of training for bomb detection, crime scene investigation, airport and building security, maritime protections, and VIP protection.
DS assesses the training needs, develops the curriculum, and provides the resources to conduct the training. The bureau uses its own training experts as well as those from other U.S. federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, police associations, and private security firms and consultants.
Most ATA program recipients are developing nations lacking human and other resources needed to maintain an effective antiterrorism program and infrastructure. ATA training seeks to address deficiencies noted in the ability to perform the following areas:
Since its inception in 1983, the program has trained and assisted over 84,000 foreign security and law enforcement officials from 154 countries. These foreign security and law enforcement personnel have received training in bomb detection, crime scene investigations, airport and building security, maritime security, dignitary protection, and numerous other disciplines to increase their counterterrorism capabilities and capacity. These officials are now better prepared to fight terrorism and protect Americans overseas in times of crisis. DS has received numerous stories from foreign police officers who have used their ATA training successfully to counter terrorist situations in their countries.
For more information about ATA programs, please view the 2011 ATA Year in Review.