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COUNTERTERRORISM UPDATE
FBI Exec Talks About the Latest Initiatives and Partnerships

03/21/05

Graphic including photo of John LewisWhat animal rights extremist who recently bombed two U.S. businesses has ties around the world and is likely hiding overseas?

Why was John Lewis—one of our highest-ranking counterterrorism executives—in Siberia earlier this month?

How many fingerprints of terrorist suspects and detainees has the FBI now gathered from across the globe into a searchable database?

You find the answers to these questions—along with many more details on new and improved ways we're working to turn back terrorist attacks—in last week's speech by John Lewis, a Deputy Assistant Director in our Counterterrorism Division.

The venue? The Fourth Annual International Conference on Public Safety: Technology and Counterterrorism in San Francisco, which brings together leaders from four continents every year to talk about cutting edge security strategies and solutions.

John had plenty to say, in particular, about partnerships—and why they're key to tracking and defeating today's increasingly global yet decentralized terrorist groups.

A few examples of how these partnerships are paying off, including some you might not expect:

  • We're now collaborating closely with Russian authorities to share information, discuss strategy, cross-train, and above all, prevent terrorist attacks—a far cry from the days of the Cold War. Case in point: In Moscow, undercover FBI agents recently teamed up with the Russian Security Service to track down and arrest an alleged terrorist suspect dealing with a weapon of mass destruction. Last month, two Russian agents testified in U.S. federal court against this alleged terrorist.
  • We've created an investigative data warehouse with billions of terrorism-related documents and records—most of it supplied by our international partners. It provides our agents and analysts "instant access to photographs, biographical information, physical location information, and financial data for thousands of known and suspected terrorists."
  • Today, we're even working closely with our international partners to fight domestic terrorists. For example, we've joined with Canadian and British authorities to monitor the activities of the U.S.-based Animal Liberation Front and an affiliated group based in England that has bombed targets, vandalized personal and corporate property, and harassed owners, employees, and their family members.

As John makes clear in his remarks: "These partnerships are not a fad; they are a new way of doing business." And clearly making a difference when it comes to preventing global crime and terrorism.

Links: Read the full speech | FBI Counterterrorism website