AGAINST TERRORIST ATTACK
It's the Middle Name of the FBI's
Crisis Management Unit
It's a small unit
that gets around and does a lot: 12 Special Agents and 3 professional
To work with state, local, federal, and international officials to plan
security before high profile events that might attract
2. To coordinate FBI logistics at such
3. To respond to crises world-wide, when tragedy strikes.
How do they
operate? First, a call comes in -- usually from an FBI field
office or legal attache -- asking for help with an event or a crisis
situation. A crisis manager consults with the office by phone, makes
an assessment, and, if needed, deploys an advance team of responders.
This group has the full resources of our Critical Incident Response
Group behind it, including crisis negotiators, tactical specialists,
computer experts, and behavioral analysts--and, ultimately, it has
the full resources of the FBI behind it.
In the case
of preventing attacks against high-profile events, the unit
works for months in advance with state, local, other federal, and international
officials to 1) anticipate what could go wrong, 2) devise prevention
strategies, and 3) have alternate scenario plans in place.
For example, at the
June G-8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia, we deployed more than 900 FBI
employees to help ensure the participants' – and the public's --
safety. Bomb technicians, Hostage Rescue Team members, Emergency Response
Team members, even bomb-sniffing dogs.
In the case
of full-blown crises, like kidnappings, aircraft hijackings,
prison escapes, the release of a chemical or biological device, just
to name a few, the unit 1) immediately dispatches needed personnel,
2) sets up a command post on site, complete with shelter, computers
with connections to e-mail and law enforcement databases, fax machines,
desks, and other office equipment ... and gets to work. Depending on
where the crisis is, the unit can get a command post up and running
in as little as 2 hours.
In all cases, "we
prepare for the worst," says acting Unit Chief Carlos Conejo, "to
lessen or avert a potential threat."
does the phone ring? A lot, especially since 9/11. In fact,
deployments of unit personnel increased from 44 in fiscal year 2000
to 157 in fiscal year 2003. As you might imagine, these dedicated employees
are often on the road; some are away from home more than 200 days out
of the year. But for them it's all in a day's – and night's --
Incident Response Group