In the early
days of its history, the FBI "found its niche" in protecting Americans
by investigating crimes that crossed the jurisdictional lines of cities, counties,
and states within the United States. Our success always, of course, due to the
active cooperation of our state and local law enforcement partners.
now that crime and terrorist plots hopscotch across international borders almost
as easily as they cross state and county lines, we need more help, more partners
-- an international law enforcement network -- to prevent and investigate terrorism
is the message FBI Director Robert Mueller delivered in Washington, DC, to foreign
print and broadcast journalists at a Feb. 17 Foreign Press Center briefing on
the FBI's role in combatting global terrorism and crime.
the world gets smaller -- with cell phones, jet travel, the Internet -- the niche
for the Bureau in the future is to work with our counterparts overseas to transcend
those jurisdictional boundaries ... to do joint investigations," Director
why the FBI now has 46 Legal Attache offices around the world and has received
congressional approval to open at least five more. Whether it's a joint investigation
into terrorism, cyber attacks, human trafficking or drug trafficking, "you
need the mutual respect, the training and the capacity to undertake those investigations
... that we will increasingly become involved with." "Legats,"
as they're known, "develop those relationships with our counterparts that
will enable us to successfully handle those investigations.”
relationships are further cemented, Director Mueller noted, by inviting our overseas
law enforcement partners to train with us shoulder-to-shoulder at the FBI's National
Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
is cooperation with colleagues in Arab and Muslim countries strengthening? Yes,
especially in the areas of exchanging information and addressing terrorist financing.
Some countries, experiencing terrorist attacks of their own, need to give and
get information -- and all "recognize the numbers of women and children who
were killed in those senseless acts [on 9/11] and do not want to see that happen
again anywhere in the world."
to home, Director Mueller stressed that "we have had substantial assistance
and cooperation from the Muslim-American community, the Arab-American community,
the Sikh-American community within the United States. And for that I am -- all
of us are tremendously thankful."
Mueller's full address