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Senate confirms first female National Counterterrorism Center director


  • Abizaid comes to the position with a background more weighted toward fighting terrorism overseas.
  • The NCTC, as it is commonly known, is one of the most visible by-products of Sept. 11, 2001.
  • The NCTC has been criticized for focusing on overseas threats and losing sight of domestic threats.

The Senate has voted through the first confirmed female director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center, officials announced Friday, giving the Biden administration another key player in the intensifying battle against enemies both foreign and domestic.

The confirmation of Christine S. Abizaid by a voice vote Thursday comes as the terrorist threat intensifies at home from domestic extremists and overseas as the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan has spurred the Taliban and al-Qaida affiliates to launch increasingly deadly attacks.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines praised Abizaid on Friday for her “leadership acumen, thoughtfulness, and an enterprising approach that will enable her to effectively steer the Intelligence Community’s work on these issues and lead the CT (counterterrorism) mission into the future.”

“Christy is well-known and respected in the counterterrorism community, and I can think of no one better to lead NCTC during this critical period,” said Haines, the first woman to oversee all 18 U.S. intelligence agencies, in a statement given to USA Today. 

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