An anonymous reader writes: After months of requests, permission was granted to visit one of America's newest and most secret establishments: the National Counterterrorism Center, the NCTC. It is a nondescript building, but inside is the beating heart of America's counter-terrorism nerve centre. "This is where we maintain a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week operational watch in the counter-terrorism intelligence community and monitor situational awareness in the world of CT [counter-terrorism]," says Vice Admiral Don Loren, one of the watch officers in the Operations Room. But up on the wall is a giant plasma screen showing every plane approaching the United States. "Right now, you're looking at the Eastern Seaboard air corridor, and we use that to monitor events of special interest and to keep an eye should there be any reports of what we call no-fly activity," Vice Adm Loren says. When it was set up two years ago, they brought in the "imagineers" from Hollywood — experts on sharing information. One of the boards showing air traffic movements The movements of every plane approaching the US are monitored The data flow here is enormous: more than 6,000 reports come through every day from satellite, electronic and human intelligence sources. When an incident happens, a "terror line" is created to pass the information to everyone who needs it. Central to all this is the Briefing Room, where screens rise up like something out of a James Bond film. This is the nerve centre of the US-led global "war on terror". It is here in this room, three times a day, every day, that America's specialists in counter-terrorism gather to share information.