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PROTECTING NATIONAL SECURITY FROM A WORLD OF THREATS
Director Mueller Testifies on Emerging Threats and the FBI's Response

02/24/04

Photograph of Director Mueller

Today, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held its annual hearing on major national security threats facing the U.S.

The participants? CIA Director George Tenet, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby, and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Director Mueller, for his part, spoke to:
1) the top three security threats being addressed by the FBI;
2) how we're transforming our agency to meet these threats; and
3) major successes of the Bureau and its partners over the past year in tracking down terrorists and their supporters in the U.S.

Here's a quick run down of Director Mueller's comments in all three areas:

Threats

  • "The greatest threat remains international terrorism -- specifically Sunni extremists, including al-Qa'ida. While our successes to date are dramatic, we face an enemy that is determined, resilient, and patient .... This enemy still has the capacity to strike the U.S. both here and abroad with little or no warning ... [A]l-Qa'ida retains a cadre of supporters within the U.S. which extends across the country."
  • The other two major threats: foreign intelligence and cyber. According to the Director: "We are particularly concerned about terrorists and state actors wishing to exploit vulnerabilities in U.S. systems and networks."

The FBI's Ongoing Transformation

  • Centralized management of counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber programs to strengthen information-sharing, accountability, and liaison.
  • Analyzed the overall threat environment and devised and implemented new strategies to address the most critical threats.
  • Put in place key pieces of a new enterprise-wide intelligence program.
  • Added resources: 1,000 more Agents focused on terrorism; 400 new analysts; and twice as many permanent and contract linguists with skills in critical languages.

Successes in the U.S. over the last year

  • In concert with our partners, identified terrorist operatives and supporters in Cincinnati, Baltimore, Tampa, Newark, and Minneapolis.
  • Conducted 10,000 interviews of Iraqi expatriates, gathering information that proved valuable to troops in Iraq and to our counterterrorism/counterintelligence programs.

For more information, read Director Mueller's full statement.