you're Director of the FBI and you see an explosion of organized
crime in another part of the world that is spilling over into
the United States--what do you do?
raise the issue with your colleagues in other countries? Of
Do you offer assistance in training and forensics? Of course.
Do you share information and coordinate investigations? Of
in the case of burgeoning Russian and Eurasian organized crime
syndicates in Central Europe following the fall of communism,
you go one step further.
2000, the FBI-Hungarian National Police Organized Crime Task
Force was created in Budapest, Hungary. Its focus: to investigate
and dismantle organized crime groups that had begun to headquarter
in this historic Central European center of commerce and finance.
a task force? Because it's a proven concept that
has unified anti-crime operations across the entire land mass
of the United States, joining the efforts of federal, state,
and local law enforcement agencies in common cause. For example,
the FBI New York Bank Robbery Task Force pioneered the concept
in 1979. Then, in 1980, New York established the first Joint
Terrorism Task Force, which has grown to today's 84 Joint
Terrorism Task Forces that focus specifically on the threat
of terrorism in the U.S. And some 133 Safe Street Task Forces
are focused on violent gangs, major theft, and violent fugitives
to protect America's streets. In today's era of transnational
crime, international task forces that are focused on specific
crime problems may well offer communities around the world
their best protection against lawlessness.
on it? Members of the Hungarian National Police,
FBI Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, and Language Specialists,
all working out of Hungarian National Police Headquarters,
supported by their colleagues in other countries.
success has it had? Lots. Working side by side, Task
Force members are collecting evidence that, bit by bit, is
unraveling the international leadership of the syndicates
as well as their multifarious criminal activities. Already
several high profile fugitives have been arrested in the U.S.,
including a Top Ten Hungarian fugitive.
to learn more? Read today's testimony of FBI Assistant
Director Grant Ashley of the Criminal Investigative Division.
He is testifying before a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations
Subcommittee on European Affairs on the subject of transnational
crime, discussing FBI efforts in the areas of Eurasian Organized
Crime, Italian Organized Crime, and Balkan Organized Crime...and
outlining the purpose and operations of the innovative Budapest