is good to be here in New York. The Anti-Defamation
League and the FBI share a strong bond of friendship.
We have enjoyed a long and cooperative relationship,
benefiting greatly from education and training programs
you have provided to us and many others in law enforcement.
is an honor to be with you, particularly as you
recognize the family of Leon Klinghoffer for its
work in educating the public about terrorism and
the danger of the terrorist threat.
want to share the words John F. Kennedy spoke in
is not a new weapon. Throughout history it has been
used by those who could not prevail, either by persuasion
or example. But inevitably they fail, either because
men are not afraid to die for a life worth living,
or because the terrorists themselves came to realize
that free men cannot be frightened by threats, and
that aggression would meet its own response. And
it is in the light of that history that every nation
today should know, be he friend or foe, that the
United States has both the will and the weapons
to join free men in standing up to their responsibilities."
words bear repeating because, in the nearly 45 years
since they were spoken, the terrorist threat has
remained. Beirut ... Egypt Air flight 648 ... Berlin
... Pan Am 103 ... Nairobi.
course we will never forget the attack on the Achille
Lauro. For many Americans, it was their first view
into the ugly reality of terrorism. Twenty years
ago, I was working in the U.S. Attorney's Office
in Boston and heard the news. Like you, I found
the images shocking and haunting. Like you, I have
carried them with me, along with a sense of urgency
that we must prevent such acts in the future.
is a new day in the war on terror, and it is a new
FBI on the front lines.
me tell you a story. It is a true story about what
did not happen this Sept. 11. On that day, a group
of men were to enter a military recruiting center
on a busy street in Santa Monica and kill everyone
inside. Their plan was to go underground for a month,
and then on Yom Kippur return and open fire on the
families gathered outside a temple in West Los Angeles.
attack that did not happen was not a big story.
At the end of August, the news of the arrests was
swept away in the winds of Hurricane Katrina. But
there are people who are alive today, who might
not be otherwise, because the new mandate for the
FBI and our law enforcement partners is intelligence
and prevention. That is today's FBI.
case was broken when the terrorists committed a
series of gas station robberies to raise money to
finance the attacks. Police in Torrance, Calif.,
arrested two of them and discovered documents that
listed Jewish locations and military posts. A couple
of years ago that might not have registered, but
the Torrance Police had an officer assigned to the
FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force.
asked him to take a look. He called in the rest
of the Task Force. Hundreds of investigators worked
around-the-clock at an FBI command post to identify
other members of the cell. Thousands of phone records
were analyzed. Thousands of man-hours were spent
backtracking until the entire cell was uncovered.
plot—hatched by a cell that began in a jail
cell—was born out of a radical group in Folsom
Prison, inspired by al Qaeda, fueled by hate and
prejudice. They had raised money, obtained weapons,
set the dates, and chosen their victims. They were
poised to strike.
stopped it? Our tighter links to local law enforcement,
our improved ability to gather and analyze intelligence,
our surveillance capabilities, and our improved
want to take this opportunity to tell you more about
how the FBI is working to make our country safer.
I will discuss how we are changing to meet today's
evolving threats, update you on the war on terrorism,
and describe our commitment to the ideals that define
his book, "The World is Flat," New York
Times columnist and author Tom Friedman contends
that advances in technology, travel, and communication
have broken down walls between continents, countries
and individuals. Now, anyone can hop online, on
board or on the phone and connect with the world.
as technology evolves, criminals and terrorists
also evolve. The threat of today, and of the future,
is a dangerous convergence of terrorists, hostile
foreign governments, and criminal groups operating
over the Internet and through interconnected, sophisticated
networks. In this environment, we see organized
crime laundering money for drug groups. Drug groups
selling weapons to terrorists. Terrorists committing
white-collar fraud to raise money for their operations.
the same terrorists who shun our way of life are
more than willing to use our technology to carry
out and publicize their attacks—from airplanes
used as missiles, to coordinated attacks on mass
transportation, to videotaped beheadings posted
on the Internet.
we, too, are tearing down the walls that previously
separated us. At the same time, we are strengthening
our intelligence capabilities, our technology, and
our partnerships to win the war against terrorism
the FBI's top three national security priorities
are counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber
our priorities meant a systematic evaluation of
all aspects of Bureau operations. Everything from
how we communicate, both inside and outside; how
we refocus on terrorism, but continue to uphold
our other responsibilities in other areas.
FBI has always been good at collecting information,
but we had to become better at analyzing and sharing
intelligence information. To prevent attacks, we
had to increase the most important aspect of terrorist
intelligence information: its predictive value.
to 9/11, the FBI and the CIA were legally prohibited
from sharing information between criminal and terrorism
cases. Even FBI agents working terrorism intelligence
matters could not compare notes with FBI agents
working on criminal cases concerning the same terrorists.
The Patriot Act has changed all that. Removing those
legal walls has given us an indispensable tool in
the war against terror.
the FBI and CIA are not only sharing information
on a regular basis, we are exchanging employees
and working together on cases virtually every day.
FBI agents working on terrorism intelligence see
the same data and work side-by-side with agents
developing criminal cases.
maximize coordination among intelligence, counterterrorism
and foreign intelligence units, we have brought
them under a new National Security Branch. By viewing
a broader landscape, we can better identify patterns
and connections. We are developing a national intelligence
service with enhanced recruiting, training, and
part of that branch, we have also added Field Intelligence
Groups, in which analysts, agents, linguists, and
surveillance specialists work as teams in each of
our 56 field offices. Working together, they gather,
analyze, and disseminate information. These FIGs
are the backbone of our intelligence efforts across
helps us know more, but technology helps us know
what we know. Every day, technology is helping us
to better collect, analyze, and share intelligence.
Our goal is to provide the right information, to
the right people, at the right time.
often than not, this means working with local police
on task forces.
New York was put on high alert recently, it was
because of a threat to the subway system based on
intelligence information out of Iraq. When the information
was found not to be credible, people questioned
whether it was right to alert the public.
case highlights the difficulty of finding clarity
in threats as well as the difficulty of knowing
what to make public. We immediately shared the information—as
we should—along with our concerns about the
validity of the information. Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner
Kelly and the NYPD carried out their responsibility
to protect their citizens.
biggest issue in counterterrorism is time. With
terrorist threats, we are collecting and analyzing
at the same time we need to be acting. And while
that presents a significant challenge to all of
us, the intelligence community must continue to
work in concert with operational components. We
will improve with time and experience, and we will
all be safer for it.
bottom line is protecting our citizens against terrorism.
The prevention of terrorism takes precedence in
our thinking and planning; in our hiring and staffing;
in our training and technologies and, most importantly,
in our investigations. It means that every counterterrorism
lead is addressed. To give you some idea, there
have been nearly 20,000 separate entries in our
lead tracking system in the past six months alone.
has improved internationally as well. Back in the
'70s, when I was a federal prosecutor in San Francisco,
if a case had links to Sacramento, it was an exception.
Today, FBI agents are working with our law enforcement
partners from Rome to Romania. Together, we are
gathering intelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And we are training police from Budapest to Saudi
to the united efforts of virtually everyone engaged
in this war-law enforcement, intelligence, the military,
and the diplomatic community—we have achieved
substantial progress against al Qaeda. We have removed
their sanctuary in Afghanistan. We have disrupted
their operations. And we have captured many of their
leaders and associates.
out the threads of top leadership, and the entire
fabric begins to fray. For al Qaeda, life is much
more difficult today. They are trying to rebuild,
but their network is under pressure. They no longer
have unlimited funds. They are worried about being
our progress, al Qaeda still seeks to attack us,
through self-starter cells that follow the calls
to Jihad on radical websites. Attacks like Madrid,
Bali and London can be seen as examples of this.
course al Qaeda is not the only threat. There are
still state-sponsored terrorist groups such as the
Iranian supported Hizballah which, before 9/11,
had killed more Americans than any other terrorist
As we confront international threats, we cannot
forget terrorists who operate in our own country
using violence to intimidate and coerce Americans.
They are also a deadly threat, as we came to understand
in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.
that date, a 20-foot Ryder truck, parked next to
the federal building, exploded, killing 168 men,
women and children. Prior to 9/11, it was the worst
bombing disaster in the continental United States.
We will never forget Oklahoma City.
with domestic terrorists, hate crimes remain a concern.
Our annual report on hate crime statistics included
over 7,600 criminal incidents committed in 2004,
resulting from antagonism over race, religion, sexual
orientation, or disability. Religion was the motivation
in 16.4 percent of the crimes reported.
is up 6.7 percent from 2003. While this is an improvement,
we need to do better at tracking and reporting.
It is the same groups preaching hate and intolerance
here in our country that plant the seeds that grow
into terrorism. We are focused on that. It is an
area where the ADL has always excelled in tracking,
training, and gathering information.
In Oklahoma City, Aryan Nations member Sean Gillespie
targeted a woman because of her religion. Unable
to find her, he firebombed the Temple B'nai Israel
synagogue. When he was arrested and interviewed
by FBI agents, he told them he would kill blacks,
Jews, abortion doctors, and homosexuals if he could
get away with it. On Aug. 30 of this year, Gillespie
was convicted and sentenced to 39 years in prison.
mentioned our new priorities earlier. But civil
rights and hate crimes remain one of our highest
priorities because I believe it is important that
the civil rights of all of us are protected. Since
2003, we have disseminated raw intelligence reports
and strategic intelligence assessments on right-wing
extremism to our law enforcement partners.
efforts demonstrate how we are working in new ways
against new threats. But we are guided by ideals
which do not—and should never—change.
Those ideals, as stated in our motto, are "Fidelity,
men and women who serve in the FBI are fully engaged
in the fight against crime and terrorism. They are
working day and night to protect the American people
while upholding our civil liberties. We understand
that we will be judged not just on how we disrupt
and deter terrorism, but also on how we protect
the civil liberties which we cherish.
is why the FBI puts a premium on thoroughly training
our special agents about their responsibility to
respect the rights and dignity of individuals. They
receive extensive instruction on constitutional
law, criminal procedure, and sensitivity to other
cultures. In partnership with the ADL, and with
thanks to my predecessor Louis Freeh, all new FBI
special agents make a visit to the Holocaust Museum
to see for themselves what happens when law enforcement
becomes a tool of oppression.
FBI has a long tradition of hard work, honor, and
dedication to protecting the American public. We
are a relatively small organization, but a determined
one. We are committed to fighting the terrorists
and criminals who target our country, and we do
not give up. The FBI has proven this time and again.
When a case is all but forgotten, we continue to
investigate until those responsible are brought
are the values that should remain constant as we
grow into a national security agency ready to meet
evolving threats. The war on terrorism is not over.
When I come to New York, I cannot help but be reminded
of the attacks of Sept. 11—the New York skyline
on that blue, cloudless morning. Remembering that
day is a sobering reminder of the determined enemies
freedom will prevail. We will not rest and we will
not weaken. We will go after terrorists and we will
stop them before they strike. Three weeks ago, people
gathered on the street outside a Temple in West
Los Angeles for Yom Kippur. There was no attack,
no bloodshed. The men who planned that carnage were
behind bars. The attack that is prevented is a smaller
story than the one that succeeds. Maybe that is
what they mean when they say, "No news is good
that morning, it was good news for all of us.
you for your support.