February 7, 1995--eight years ago this Friday--Ramzi
Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World
Trade Center and other plots, was located and arrested
in Islamabad, Pakistan. He was immediately flown back
to New York City, escorted by an FBI arrest team,
and arraigned on charges relating to the World Trade
Center bombing. Several months later, he was charged
in the "Manila Air" bombing case. And in January 1998,
he was sentenced to serve 240 years, plus another
life sentence, in an American jail for his crimes.
was this slippery international terrorist tracked
down? How on earth could he have ended up in an American
actually an amazing story, and one that's all about
police and agents across the world working together
for justice and the common good.
off the bat, you may be wondering how FBI Agents get
to know and work with police in different countries.
In fact, one of the most important ways is by working
as a Legal Attaché in U.S. embassy offices in different
countries. Right now we have some 200 FBI employees
in 45 Legal Attaché offices who directly work with
their colleagues in that geographical area on both
their cases and our cases. That builds a lot of trust
in the case of Ramzi Yousef and his co-conspirators,
we weren't just making long distance telephone calls
to our colleagues in Pakistan and Jordan and Manila
and Tokyo and all the other places his trail took
us: we had our Legal Attachés there, on the ground,
working shoulder to shoulder with them. Information
flowed around the world, from Legal Attachés to Washington
to our U.S. colleagues and back; among and between
a score of international agencies and all their local
a sighting on a street in Pakistan was linked to bits
of evidence in dozens of other cities and countries.
Pakistani police identified and arrested Yousef, then
arranged for FBI Agents to take custody and leave
the country with the prisoner. Teamwork.
When you think about it, success in putting Yousef
behind bars was not, in fact, an "FBI success." It
was an international law enforcement success--the
best kind of success to have in our globalized world
of crime and terrorism.
Today partnerships among international agencies are
stronger and better. And the FBI has people on the
ground to work with our colleagues in twice as many
locations as we had when Youself was arrested...with
Congressional approval to open more in the coming
months. Stay tuned for future stories....