Main Content

National Prevention Framework

The purpose of this page is to provide information on the National Prevention Framework. The National Prevention Framework describes how the whole community plays an important role in assisting with the prevention of imminent terrorist attacks. The intended audience for this document is individuals, families, communities, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and local, state, tribal, territorial, insular area, and Federal governments.

National Prevention Framework

Preventing terrorism cannot be done by police and intelligence officers alone. Individual citizens and businesses, for example, play important roles in information sharing and other actions related to preventing imminent terrorist attacks.

These roles and examples of prevention-related activities are covered in the second edition of the National Prevention Framework.The document provides context for how the whole community works together and how prevention is an important part of national preparedness.

It is one of the five documents in a suite of National Planning Frameworks. Each Framework covers one preparedness mission area: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response or Recovery.


Focus on Imminent Terrorist Threats and Attacks

While “prevention” may be a common term, it has specific meaning in the context of the Framework and the National Preparedness Goal. The Prevention Framework covers the capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism.

Though the other Frameworks focus on all hazards, including natural disasters, the Prevention Framework focuses solely on terrorist activities—and specifically on imminent acts of terrorism on U.S. soil. Imminent means we have intelligence or information that warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat or an ongoing attack on the United States.

Terrorism-related national preparedness efforts, such as installing concrete barriers or other physical security around a building to shield it from a road-side bomb, would be covered in the other Frameworks.

The Prevention Framework can help every U.S. citizen and resident but is intended to be especially useful for government leaders and people who have a responsibility to prevent terrorist attacks on the homeland.

Prevention Core Capabilities

Core capabilities are the distinct elements needed to achieve the National Preparedness Goal. The Prevention Framework describes each of its seven core capabilities and lists critical tasks for each one. The capabilities, followed by a critical task example, are listed below.

  • Intelligence and Information Sharing. Planning and Direction: Establish the intelligence and information requirements of the consumer.
  • Screening, Search and Detection. Locate persons and networks associated with imminent terrorist threats.
  • Interdiction and Disruption. Disrupt terrorist financing or prevent other material support from reaching its target.  
  • Forensics and Attribution. Preserve the crime scene and conduct site exploitation for intelligence collection.
  • Planning. Initiate a time-sensitive, flexible planning process that builds on existing plans and incorporates real-time intelligence.
  • Public Information and Warning. Refine and consider options to release pre-event information publicly, and take action accordingly.
  • Operational Coordination. Define and communicate clear roles and responsibilities relative to courses of action.
Last Updated: 
06/16/2016 - 15:13