you, Roy (Eisenhardt) and good afternoon everyone.
It's good to be back home. It brings back a lot
of wonderful memories. My years in San Francisco
were among the most satisfying and enjoyable of
my career. It gave me the opportunity to work with
some of the finest criminal justice and law enforcement
professionals in the country. They taught me a great
deal, and it was an honor to serve along side them.
much as I miss San Francisco, I am grateful to have
the opportunity to serve in what I believe to be
the world's finest law enforcement agency -- the
FBI. It is particularly rewarding to serve at this
unparalleled moment in history, when America is
depending on the FBI more than ever, when protecting
the homeland from terrorist attacks has taken on
new meaning and new urgency.
most Americans, I'll never forget the day it all
began. I had been on the job exactly one week when
word came that a plane had struck the World Trade
Center. We rushed down to the FBI's command center,
hoping it had been a terrible accident but fearing
the worst. Minutes later, we watched in horror as
a plane hit the second tower. Then, reality hit
even closer to home, when across the Potomac, another
plane rammed into the Pentagon.
long after learning that the third hijacked airliner
had gone down, a controller from the Federal Aviation
Administration, who was on the phone with his agency,
told us more shocking news. A fourth plane had been
hijacked. It was heading straight towards the nation's
capitol. And it was just 15 minutes away.
was a surreal moment for us all, realizing this
plane this flying bomb was headed
our way, yet not knowing where it might hit: the
White House, the Capitol, a school yard, or FBI
we all know, Flight 93 never made it to Washington.
The brave passengers on board including many
from the San Francisco Bay area were determined
that this flying missile would not reach its target,
and they sacrificed their lives to save our city.
They are among the true heroes of that day.
those first moments, we in the FBI, like the rest
of the nation, knew that the world had changed.
And we knew that our institution would never be
first thought was to do what we'd always done after
a terrorist attack: set up command centers and start
managing the crisis from a law enforcement perspective;
get control of the crime scenes and begin gathering
evidence; and deploy our vast investigative force
to find out everything we could about the attacks.
the same time, we realized that we had to conduct
this investigation somewhat differently. These attacks
were not just an act of terror. They were an act
of war. The most pressing issue for the FBI and
for the nation was to find out who we were at war
with, and more importantly, to make sure we were
not attacked again.
do that, the FBI began working in concert with its
many partners to find out everything we could about
the hijackers and how they pulled off their attacks.
We ran down literally hundreds of thousands of leads
and checked every record we could get our hands
on, from flight reservations to car rentals to bank
emerged from our massive investigation was a sobering
portrait of 19 hijackers who carried out their attacks
with meticulous planning, extraordinary secrecy,
and extensive knowledge of how America works.
plans were hatched and financed overseas, beginning
as long as five years ago. Each of the hijackers
came from abroad: fifteen from Saudi Arabia, two
from the United Arab Emirates, and one each from
Lebanon and Egypt. All 19 entered our country legally,
and only three had overstayed the legal limits of
their visas on the day of the attacks.
here, the hijackers did all they could to stay below
our radar. They contacted no known terrorist sympathizers.
They committed no egregious crimes. They dressed
and acted like Americans, shopping and eating at
places like Wal-Mart and Pizza Hut, blending into
the woodwork all the while. When four got speeding
tickets in the days leading up to September 11th,
they remained calm and aroused no suspicion. Since
none were known terrorists, law enforcement had
no reason to question or detain them.
hijackers also left no paper trail. In our investigation,
we have not uncovered a single piece of paper
either here in the U.S. or in the treasure trove
of information that has turned up in Afghanistan
and elsewhere that mentioned any aspect of
the September 11th plot. The hijackers had no computers,
no laptops, no storage media of any kind. They used
hundreds of different pay phones and cell phones,
often with prepaid calling cards that are extremely
difficult to trace. And they made sure that all
the money sent to them to fund their attacks was
wired in small amounts to avoid detection.
short, the terrorists had managed to exploit loopholes
and vulnerabilities in our systems, to stay out
of sight, and to not let anyone know what they were
up to beyond a very closed circle.
investigation was enormously helpful in figuring
out who and what to look for as we worked to prevent
attacks. It allowed us to see where we as a nation
needed to close gaps in our security. And it gave
us clear and definitive proof that al Qaeda was
behind the strikes.
the same time, we were taking other steps to track
down any potential associates who might still be
out there. We began to identify individuals whom
we needed to question. We went to the flight schools
to identify associates of the hijackers. We went
to those who run a popular travel website that several
of the hijackers used to make their flight reservations.
They showed us the patterns the hijackers followed
and identified others who fit a similar profile.
And we ran down all leads in the hopes that they
might turn up associates of the terrorists.
this process, and with the help of state and local
authorities, we interviewed thousands of persons
to develop a full picture of the hijackers and others
associated with them. In the United States, a number
of suspects were detained on federal, state, or
local charges; on immigration violations; or on
material witness warrants. Ultimately, these and
other actions with our partners around the world
have helped prevent more terrorist attacks.
the days and weeks went by, though, it became clear
that the war on terror had only just begun. Our
investigation moved from the events of September
11th to the anthrax attacks, to the foiled shoe
bombing on the flight from Paris to Miami, to the
kidnapping and murder of a Wall Street Journal reporter
in Pakistan. Through it all, the FBI had become
part and parcel of what is now called "homeland
security," a government-wide campaign to protect
America from terrorist attacks. And we have been
given a critical role to play, one that is redefining
much of what we do.
homeland security effort is being waged on many
fronts. The law enforcement component is building
cases against terrorists in the court of law. The
military component is deploying our armed forces
to attack terrorist strongholds overseas. The intelligence
component is using information and analysis to anticipate
and prevent attacks, and to better understand the
enemy. The diplomatic component is building an international
coalition against terror. The financial component
is drying up the pool of funds used by terrorists.
And the public health component is preparing now
to save lives and protect our communities.
the FBI is fully integrated into this campaign.
We play a leadership role, of course, in the law
enforcement arena. At the same time, we are supporting
each of the other components of the campaign and
each of its players. In this environment, we realize
that what we do to help our colleagues is every
bit as important as what we do within our own agency.
are supporting the military, for example, by sharing
information and intelligence that we gather in our
investigations and in our interviews of prisoners.
In some cases, we have also facilitated the capture
and arrest of terrorists overseas.
are supporting the intelligence effort by working
more closely than ever with our partners in the
intelligence community here and around the world
to gather and share information. We are developing
new tools to make this process easier and more effective.
cut off terrorist funding, we've created a financial
review group that is working with many other agencies
to investigate shady bank accounts and wire transfers
and to develop predictive models that can help target
suspicious ones in the future. So far, this group
has reviewed over 75,000 transactions and helped
freeze millions in terrorist funds worldwide.
the public health area, we continue to investigate
any incidents involving biological or chemical agents.
Since September 11th, we've not only launched a
massive investigation into the anthrax attacks,
we've also responded to the 16,000 hoaxes and threats
that have followed in their wake. We have also stepped
up efforts to work more closely with state and local
officials, and we continue to coordinate issues,
provide training, and stage exercises.
As I'll discuss later, the FBI also plays a role
in the diplomatic component through our overseas
offices, which work closely with American Embassies
and foreign governments.
role in homeland security builds upon what we have
been doing for many years. We're still the lead
law enforcement agency for counterterrorism. We're
still assessing threats and issuing warnings and
advisories to our law enforcement partners and to
the American people. We're still leading the multi-agency
National Infrastructure Protection Center, a key
force in protecting our nation's critical physical
and electronic infrastructures. And most of all,
our top priority is still prevention.
difference is largely a matter of degree. Terrorists
have shown they are willing to go to great lengths
to destroy America. We must be willing to go to
even greater lengths to stop them. Our worldwide
network must be more powerful. Our financial commitment
must be stronger. Our techniques and training must
be more sophisticated. And our sense of urgency
and intensity must be greater.
reality is driven home to me in a very real way
each day. Since the attacks, I have briefed President
Bush in the Oval Office each morning. Together with
George Tenet, the Director of the CIA, we go over
what we call the "threat matrix," a list
of every threat directed at the US in the past 24
these briefings, the President is not so much interested
in who has been arrested or who has been prosecuted.
What the President cares about most is what we in
the FBI are doing in concert with our partners
to run down each of these threats. He wants
to be absolutely sure that we are aggressively pursuing
every angle and every lead, so that America never
wakes up to another morning like September 11th.
Tenet calls those meetings "galvanizing."
He recognizes, as I do, that you simply cannot walk
into that briefing without feeling completely confident
that your people are on top of every issue. More
importantly, you cannot come back day after day
without being sure that your agency is taking every
step to make prevention both a priority and a reality.
the Bureau, we have taken a long, hard look in the
mirror to see how we measure up to this mandate.
We see some strong counterterrorism capabilities,
expertise that has been refined over time and sharpened
by experience. But we also see areas where we could
do more. And we are moving forward to address them
as quickly as possible.
we are putting more resources into the fight. As
we speak, we are overhauling our counterterrorism
operations so that we have twice as many Agents
focused on prevention. As we hire nearly one thousand
new Agents this year, we are also recruiting the
right mix of skills -- primarily computer, scientific,
and language -- that we need to fight terror.
resources also means a much stronger presence at
major special events. We were out in force, for
example, at this week's Boston Marathon. At the
Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, we stationed
nearly 1,400 personnel -- about five percent of
our workforce -- to support the many professionals
devoted to ensuring the safety of the games.
are also expanding and improving our analytic capability.
The September 11th terrorists spent a great deal
of time and effort figuring out how America works.
They knew the ins and outs of our systems. We need
to have a complete grasp on how terrorists operate
as well. Our analysts do some great work, but we
need more of them and we need to do more of the
kind of strategic thinking that helps us stay one
step ahead of those who would do us harm.
we are overhauling our technology. Here in the heart
of Silicon Valley, you understand how quickly technology
changes and how fast you can be left behind. The
fact is, for all the state-of-the-art systems in
our lab, for all the high-tech services we provide
to law enforcement, the Bureau has simply not kept
pace when it comes to the equipment on our desktops.
We have computers discarded by other agencies that
we took as upgrades. We have systems that cannot
talk with other Bureau systems, much less with other
federal agencies. We have 34 different investigative
applications, none of which are easy to use and
all of which must ultimately be integrated.
the wake of September 11th, we have accelerated
our plans to fix these problems. We will put in
place new hardware this year and we will overhaul
our key applications by the end of next year. Our
goal is a near paperless environment, a development
that will put us light years ahead of where we are
will also help us share information more quickly
and effectively outside the Bureau. We don't have
the right systems in place now to make information
flow as freely and as seamlessly as we'd like. We're
working to create a database one that sits
on top of all the others that we can use
to share information and intelligence with the outside
world. We hope to test it later next year.
also looking for a way to get information out more
quickly and universally. Today, there is no one
system no digital pipeline that we
can use to send advisories and information to all
of law enforcement. We have to do it piecemeal and
patchwork. We're working hard to find a solution.
effective prevention requires strengthening the
defensive infrastructure of the country. This means
immigration and customs programs that keep terrorists
out, airports that are secure, and seaports that
are on alert. We are supporting these efforts wherever
we can. It also means a national program where the
FBI joins with state and local law enforcement to
form a national anti-terror network. There are just
over 11,000 Special Agents. There are 650,000 state
and local law enforcement officers. An integrated
national program that combines our resources and
expertise substantially increases the safety of
prevention also means something America has not
really focused on before September 11th. It means
an aggressive -- but rigorously lawful -- program
of disruption abroad and at home. The September
11th terrorists had the luxury of time and tranquility
to put the pieces of their plan in place. From the
training camps of Afghanistan to the universities
of Germany to the flight schools of America, they
were able to assemble the components of their plan
and pick their moment to execute it. We cannot afford
them this operational luxury again. For America,
prevention must include an international offensive
capability in which the intelligence and law enforcement
resources of the global community are integrated
into a program to disrupt and attack terrorist operations
in their infancy.
is this international component, as much as any
other ingredient, which heralds a new day for the
FBI. In a post 9-11 world, partnerships abroad equal
security at home.
are working to build these partnerships through
our 44 overseas offices, what we call Legal Attaches.
Today more than ever, they are an important first
line of defense against terror. They enable us to
build the kind of face-to-face, personal relationships
we need to track down terrorists around the globe
and root them out of their hiding places.
month, working through our Legal Attache in Manila,
a group of 28 senior level government officials
from the Republic of the Philippines came to our
National Academy in Virginia for a two-week seminar.
They wanted to learn how to knock the financial
legs out from under terrorists. One of the participants
in the class was Jose Calida, the Undersecretary
for the Department of Justice in the Philippines.
He decided to give the class a name. He came up
with the word "Balikatan," which in his
native tongue means "shoulder-to-shoulder."
Because when he looked out at the class, that's
what he saw: 28 leaders sitting shoulder-to-shoulder
with each other and with us, united in a common
purpose of defeating terror.
and other international terrorist groups have developed
networks around the world. We need the same kind
of networks to defeat them. Even in this age of
sophisticated technologies and techniques, it is
critically important that we be able to sit down
with a colleague and develop a rapport that will
ultimately help us build a national and international
coalition against terror. That is why our overseas
offices are so important and why we need even more
of them in the days ahead.
we in the Bureau move through a period of intense
change, as we adjust to our new role in homeland
security, we must be flexible and open-minded. We
can never afford to cling to the status quo. Where
our capabilities are strong, they must be stronger.
Where problems exist, we must acknowledge them,
fix them, and move on.
reality is, change is never smooth or easy. That
is especially true for an agency like the FBI, one
that is always on the cutting edge, pioneering new
tools and techniques to help us catch an increasingly
savvy band of criminals.
the past, though, the FBI has sometimes made problems
worse by ignoring or denying them. That can't be
the way we do business going forward. We've got
to welcome and even embrace constructive criticism.
We have to acknowledge problems and be ahead of
the curve in fixing them. That has been our approach
in recent months, and it will remain our approach.
behind all the capabilities that we have now and
that we are working to build is a cadre of FBI professionals,
men and women who exemplify courage, integrity,
respect for the law, and respect for others. We
are extremely proud of how they have performed over
the past seven months. They have worked long days
and nights, sacrificing time with their families
to get the job done. They have shown grace under
fire in difficult and often dangerous situations.
is one Special Agent, though, who made the ultimate
sacrifice for the FBI and for the country he cared
about so deeply. His name is Lenny Hatton, and he
is one of the many law enforcement professionals
lost on September 11th.
was an exceptional Agent and a remarkable man. He
was on his way to work on September 11th when he
saw the World Trade Center on fire. Instinctively,
he went straight to the scene and started working
with police and firefighters to evacuate the buildings.
He was last seen helping a victim out of one of
the buildings, and rushing back in to save more.
days later at Lenny's funeral Mass, an individual
by the name of Chris O'Connell paid tribute to the
fallen Agent. Chris talked about how Lenny devoted
his life to serving -- as a Marine, as a volunteer
firefighter, as an FBI Special Agent, as a husband
and father -- and how Lenny had served until his
last breath, trying to save lives.
tears, Chris O'Connell closed his eulogy by saying:
"On September 11th, we saw a horrific event
in this country and our city. Special Agent Lenny
Hatton stood shoulder to shoulder with the finest
and the bravest. Until we meet again, my partner,
O'Connell was Lenny's partner, and Chris O'Connell
was and is a detective with the New York Police
Department. Lenny and Chris cared for each other
like brothers. It didn't matter to them that one
worked for the FBI and one worked for the NYPD.
They just wanted to get the job done. They were
Hatton exemplifies what the FBI is really all about:
defending freedom through courage, compassion, and
cooperation. Just as this tragedy brought out Lenny's
best, it is already bringing about a fundamentally
for having me, and God bless.