Major Executive Speeches

Robert S. Mueller, III, Director, FBI
Christian Science Monitor News Series
January 14, 2004

Thank you and thank you for the invitation. It's a pleasure to be here. Often when we discuss high-level intelligence, we joke about "If I tell you this I'd have to kill you." There's been a bit of a switch on that today. Dave told me as I sat down today: "You speak longer than five minutes and I'll kill you." [Laughter]

In that case, I'm not going to take very long. Other than to say that reflecting on the last year on the Bureau and what we've accomplished, I think we've made strides, particularly in the war on terrorism. Many of you have heard me talk about how I think we're safer today certainly than we were on September 11 for a variety of reasons: By the efforts here in the United States, but also by the efforts in Afghanistan and the efforts of our counterparts overseas in detaining a number of persons who are higher-up figures in Al Qaeda.

Within the Bureau, I think we continue to make strides in two areas that are exceptionally important to us. One is developing the intelligence capacity -- the analytical capacity -- integrating the intelligence function in the Bureau, so that not only do we collect the information on terrorism or organized crime or corruption, but we also do a better job of analyzing that information, and after analyzing it, then disseminating it.

Secondly, one of our big challenges is to adapt the new information technology. We have made substantial strides last year and we hope to make substantial strides down the road. One of the things I am called upon to do is to look down the road and see where the Bureau should be and what it would look like in, say, the year 2010.

And if you look at the world and you evaluate where we're going to be as a society -- whether it be in the United States or globally -- in the years ahead, one has to be struck by globalization and the impact of globalization in a variety of areas. Most particularly, for us in the Bureau, in the spread of crime -- whether it be terrorism, narcotic trafficking, cyber crime and the like. And I'm continuously struck by the need for us provide a different level of integrated law enforcement and intelligence capability across not just city lines, county lines, state lines, but also now internationally.

To be successful in addressing the threats of the future -- many of which I just discussed -- we are going to have to as an organization position ourselves as an international law enforcement entity in ways that we have not been in the past. A substantial piece of that will be enhancing our ties overseas through our Legats with our counterparts. A substantial piece of that will be developing agents who are comfortable in operating overseas as well as domestically. And lastly, it is the network of relationships that will be successful in addressing the threats of the future. That is, the network of relationships within the United States, with state and local and our other federal counterparts, but also internationally with our counterparts overseas.

So as we in the Bureau are looking closely at where we're going; as we develop the intelligence capacity and as we develop the information technology capacity. Yet, as important as both of those will be, it is the development of relationships and networks that will importantly address those crimes that cross not just county borders and state borders, but also international borders.

And with that I'd be happy to answer whatever questions you have.