PROTECTING AMERICA FROM TERRORIST ATTACK
Our New Office in Kabul, Afghanistan
after the attacks of 9/11, the FBI sent teams
of special agents and specialists to Afghanistan
to help a country free itself from the grips
of a terrorist regime and to track down those
responsible for the attacks on the U.S.
Today, at the invitation of the new Afghan
government, we have a permanent presence
in the country. Our Legal Attaché Office—or
Legat—is located at the U.S. Embassy
in Kabul, allowing our staff to work directly
with the government of Afghanistan and with
U.S. government entities in the country on
security issues of mutual concern.
Our role in Afghanistan was, and
continues to be, primarily counterterrorism-based: interviewing
members of al Qaeda and the Taliban who
are captured by U.S. and international
security forces in Afghanistan and addressing
terrorism leads and issues developed in
the country and elsewhere.
For example: In July 2005,
Legat personnel recognized the importance
of an individual arrested by one of Afghanistan’s
security forces. This identification led
the FBI to several other individuals and
helped recover valuable intelligence, including
a terrorist training manual, bomb material,
instructions on counterfeiting passports,
and other documents.
“Our efforts here have led directly
to numerous investigations back in the U.S.
and to the recovery and development of valuable
intelligence,” said Special Agent Scott
A. Smith, who opened the office in April
2005 but who has since returned stateside.
Legal Attaché Brian F. McCauley—previously
our Afghanistan program manager in Washington—is
now spearheading our initiatives and partnerships
in the country. “The government of
Afghanistan, the Department of Defense, and
coalition forces are extremely supportive
of the FBI’s presence and initiatives
here,” McCauley said. “We’ve
developed exceptional relationships with
our Afghan and military counterparts.”
The Legat also coordinates the work of
our agents and specialists sent to the Afghan
capital of Kabul to conduct investigations
with local officials into attacks on Americans
and on U.S. companies in the region. For
- In August 2004, the Kabul offices of the U.S.-based DynCorp International
were severely damaged by a car bomb, killing three Americans. FBI agents
and Afghan investigators investigated this terrorist incident, leading
to the arrest and conviction of four people.
- In September 2004, a suicide bomber detonated six grenades in a crowded
street market, killing an American and wounding one other. Again, the combined
efforts of the FBI and Afghan officials led to the arrest and conviction
of two individuals.
“We’re a long way from home
and the work is often dangerous and demanding,” said
McCauley, “but I believe our efforts
here are vital to the FBI’s mission
of protecting America.”
Resources: FBI Counterterrorism webpage.