A few months ago, Abe and Jess came by my office
for a visit.
I appreciated their taking the time to
meet with me.
I have long admired and respected the
work of ADL, and I appreciate your longstanding
support of the FBI.
I know that under my predecessor, Louis
Freeh, this partnership reached new heights. As I told Abe and Jess, I am absolutely committed
to building on that relationship.
We in the FBI tremendously value your perspectives
and your partnership.
Your insights and research into extremism
are particularly helpful to us, shedding light
on the changing nature of the terrorist threats
facing America. Your support of hate crime and terrorist investigations,
which are now front and center in the work of
the FBI, is essential to us.
And the training and education you provide
for the FBI and for law enforcement have never
been more relevant.
That includes the conference on extremist
and terrorist threats you are sponsoring later
this month at the FBI Academy.
And it especially includes the classes
at the Holocaust Museum that Abe and Jess helped
arrange for our New Agents and for National
At a time when law enforcement must be
aggressive in stopping terror, these classes
provide powerful lessons on why we must always
protect civil rights and uphold the rule of
thank you for all these efforts.
And again, I look forward to working
with you to strengthen our relationship.
Today, I want to talk about our investigation
into the events of September 11th
-- what we have learned about the attacks, what
we have learned from them, and how this is driving
fundamental changes in the FBI.
Let me just say, as I begin this discussion,
that we know how important this war on terror
is to all of you. It's important to you as members of ADL.
It's important to you as Americans and
as members of the world community.
As we all know too well, terrorism is nothing
is as old as history. What is new is the nature of the threat.
It is global in scale. Terrorists can and will strike virtually anyone,
anywhere, at any time.
Right now, al Qaeda alone has roots in
more than one out of four nations. Their pockets are deep and their financial
supporters are all over the world, including
right here in our own backyard.
And yet, terrorists are more invisible
They don't wear military uniforms.
They blend into society.
They can be a businessman in a three-piece
can be the shopper in line at the local Wal-Mart.
They can even be - as we have seen so
tragically - the person sitting next to you
on an airplane.
The attacks of September 11th took
this "blending-in" to a new level of sophistication. The 19 hijackers all came to America legally. Once here, they took great pains to blend into
They committed no egregious crimes.
They dressed and acted like Americans.
They kept to themselves in small groups.
They associated with no known terrorists.
They kept no computers or laptops.
When they did want to communicate with
their colleagues, they used hundreds of cell
phones and calling cards that are extremely
difficult to trace.
And they committed nothing to paper.
Eight months after the attacks - even
after all the information we've turned up, as
one reporter put it, from "caves and credit
cards" -- we have yet to find a single piece
of paper outlining any element of the attack.
This is not a defense of the FBI or the intelligence
These are the facts.
And this is the reality that we have
to deal with every day.
The President has asked the FBI and its
many partners to do everything we can to prevent
another September 11th.
He drives that point home to me on a
regular basis -- in fact, just about every day,
when I brief him in the Oval Office along with
George Tenet of the CIA.
George calls those meetings "galvanizing."
He realizes - as I do - that you don't
want to walk into those meetings unprepared. You want to know exactly what's going on in
And you want to be completely sure that
your agency is doing everything possible to
prevent another attack.
That's the question we've asked ourselves virtually
every day since 9-11.
We've taken a hard look at our operations.
What we've seen are some capabilities
and strengths that have been developed over
the many years:
our core of talented investigators and
forensic scientists, our range of partnerships
across government, our wide array of programs
and analytic abilities. Using these resources, we have prevented more
than 40 attacks in recent years.
And we've learned how to manage, large,
complex, and global investigations.
But we also know we can do more. Terrorists have shown they are willing to go
to great lengths to destroy America.
We must be willing to go to even greater
lengths to stop them. Our worldwide network must be more powerful.
Our financial commitment must be stronger.
Our techniques, training, and technology
must be more sophisticated.
And our sense of urgency and intensity
must be greater.
Today, we are working on every one
of these fronts.
We are working more closely than ever
with our international partners.
Over the past eight months, we've sent
more than 275 extra Agents and support employees
to help out overseas - to places like Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Canada, Germany, and Singapore.
I have visited a number of countries
in the Middle East and Southeast Asia to build
relationships and urge support for our efforts
to prevent acts of terror. Generally, the cooperation we are getting is
In many respects, it is unprecedented.
And in some cases, it has helped prevent
Louis Freeh worked hard during his eight years
with the Bureau to double the number of FBI
offices overseas, what we call Legal Attaches.
Today, there are 44 offices.
Ultimately, with the support of Congress
and the Administration, we'd like to increase
At the same time, we are building stronger relationships
across the vast mosaic of municipal, state,
and federal agencies engaged in the homeland
We are working hard to overcome the legal,
technical, and often cultural issues that prevent
us from exchanging information and intelligence
We've selected two new high level Bureau
executives to focus on improving partnerships
with our 650,000 state and municipal law enforcement
counterparts. One is a seasoned professional from the ranks
of local law enforcement who begins work later
this month. His job is to help us integrate our state and
municipal counterparts into the war on terror
and into major investigations.
As the old saying goes, there is strength in
the fact that police professionals outnumber
FBI Agents more than fifty to one, you can see
how much strength their numbers represent.
We take the same view towards our Joint Terrorism
Task Forces, teams of federal, state, and municipal
officers who work shoulder-to-shoulder on terrorist
investigations. It's a concept that I know ADL supports, and for good reason.
These task forces are perhaps the best
mechanism we have for sharing information. They help us build the kinds of close relationships and synergies
we need to tackle a challenge as insidious as
terrorism. Shortly after September 11th, I asked every
one of our 56 field offices to put a task force
in place at least temporarily. Right now, 47 offices have fully funded and
fully functioning task forces.
We expect to have the rest permanently
in place by the end of the year.
Financially, we are devoting more resources
Congress has been generous, giving us
millions in new funding earlier this year. We are also shifting more of the resources
we already have on board.
At the height of the investigation, we
had more than 6,000 Agents - well over half
of our total - devoted to one aspect or another
of the investigation. That shift has leveled off, but we are developing
plans as we speak to move more Agents permanently
to prevention and to adjust our priorities accordingly.
We're also going to significantly
increase the number of our analysts.
The September 11 terrorists spent a great
deal of time and effort figuring out how America
knew the ins and outs of our systems.
We need to have a complete grasp of how
terrorists operate as well. Our analysts do some great work.
But we need more of them so that we can
do more of the kind of strategic thinking that
helps us stay one step ahead of those who would
do us harm. Our new office of Intelligence will be devoted
to strengthening these very capabilities.
We know that al Qaeda has invested a great deal
of time and money into developing its skills
and technologies. We need to do the same. We've already recruited and hired hundreds
Now, we're working to recruit a new generation
of Agents who have specialized technical skills. We're hiring close to a thousand this year
going after individuals who can not only speak
one of the critical foreign languages, but also
those with expertise in computer science and
information technology, engineering, and the
In the near future, we will support these new
Agents and all FBI employees with vastly improved
technologies. I could talk for some time on our many plans,
but let me just say this.
In recent months, Congress has given
the FBI $458 million to upgrade its information
technology, which in some cases is far behind
where it needs to be.
We've asked for another $140 million
for next year.
Taken together, that is a nearly $600
That's going to buy a lot of firepower.
It's going to give us vast new capabilities
in the war against terror - from data warehousing
to much more powerful search engines. And it will move us towards a near paperless
environment, one that will put us far ahead
of where we are now.
We need this sophisticated technology and the
skills to go with it, just as we need the right
amount of resources. But what ties it all together is focus. We launched a major restructuring in December
to improve that focus.
We brought together Counterterrorism
and Counterintelligence so that our national
security programs would be more integrated and
accountable. Headquarters is now taking a more hands-on
are working to centralize the information and
expertise that our field offices have gained
through experience, so that it is available
to all. And
we are building intelligence capabilities and
partnerships so we can take advantage of the
vast amounts of information pouring in from
Afghanistan and other locations.
The Bureau today has a sense of urgency. Our mission is clear: to stop acts of terror from ever getting off
And no one doubts the stakes are high.
Can we stop every terrorist attack?
Realistically, no. But we can and we are putting in place an aggressive
- but rigorously lawful - program of disruption
abroad and at home.
The September 11th terrorists
had the luxury of time and tranquility to put
the pieces of their plan in place.
Over the course of many years -- from
the training camps of Afghanistan to the universities
of Germany to the flight schools of America
-- they were able to assemble the components
of their plan and pick their moment to execute
it. We cannot afford them this operational luxury again. For America and for the FBI, prevention must
include an international offensive capability
in which the intelligence and law enforcement
resources of the global community are integrated
into a program to disrupt and attack terrorist
operations in their infancy.
I also want to add that even as we fight this
global war on terror, we remain focused on addressing
the challenge of domestic terrorism.
The same partnerships, the same tools,
and the same focus are needed right here at
home. Whether it is anthrax in the mail, or pipe
bombs in our mailboxes, we are committed to
tracking down those who threaten our nation's
There is no question that the FBI
is facing it greatest challenge ever.
But I also believe it's ultimately going
to result in much improved Bureau. Our technologies, our intelligence gathering
and sharing capabilities, our workforce skills,
and our partnerships will all be much stronger.
And ultimately, we will be a much more
predictive organization -- one that is out ahead
not only of terrorists, but of all criminals
who pose a serious threat to our nation.
I want to close with a story from September
11th. It's one that you may know, but I believe it
It's the story of Abe Zelmanowitz and
Ed Beyea. Abe
was a devout Jew, Ed a committed Christian.
They were fast friends.
And on September 11th, they
found themselves on the 27th floor
of one of the World Trade Center towers, trying
to find a way out together. Ed was a quadriplegic,
confined to a wheelchair.
He could not be evacuated without a lot
of help. Abe couldn't save him alone. But he couldn't bear to leave him there alone,
Abe called his family to tell them what was
happening, they urged him to get out of the
burning building fast.
But Abe wouldn't abandon Ed.
He stayed by his friend's side.
The two waited for help that never came.
Tragically, they died together when the
That story can and must motivate us. It speaks of the values we cherish in America
-- respect, loyalty, and most of all, courage. Abe and Ed died together, but they did not
die in vain. They
remind us for all time why we are fighting and
what we are fighting for.
Thank you for all you do. I'm looking forward to a long, productive partnership.
Thank you for having me, and God Bless.