The FBI pre-9/11 Role In Preventing Terrorism


Those who know me know that I believe the anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism efforts date back to the 1970’s and the Munich Olympics of 1972. The anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism GWOT did not start on 9/11/01 although it accelerated. Proof may sometimes be in the eye of the beholder but my position is more substantive. Looking at NSDD’s and PD’s prior to 9/11/01 and the interests of the Governors documents the concerns. From early in 1999 before I retired in October here was further evidence in testimony by Louis Freeh Director of the FBI before Robert Mueller.

The Threat to the United States Posed by Terrorists

Statement for the Record of

Louis J. Freeh, Director

Federal Bureau of Investigation

 

Before the

United States Senate

Committee on Appropriations

Subcommittee for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State,

the Judiciary, and Related Agencies

 

February 4, 1999

 

Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee. I am pleased to have

this opportunity to join Attorney General Reno and Secretary of State Albright

in discussing the threat to the United States posed by terrorists both abroad

and at home.

 

At the outset, I would like to thank you and the Subcommittee for your

extraordinary support for the FBI’s counterterrorism programs and initiatives.

Over the past several years, you have generously provided us with additional

agents, technicians, and analysts, as well as the technical and forensic tools,

that allow us to respond quickly and effectively to acts of terrorism against

the United States and its citizens wherever they occur — including, most

recently, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Annual funding for the

FBI’s Counterterrorism program has grown from $78.5 million in 1993 to $301.2

million in 1999. The number of agents funded for counterterrorism investigations

has grown from 550 in 1993 to 1,383 in 1999. You have also provided additional

funding for many programs in the FBI Laboratory and Critical Incident Response

Group that directly support the FBI’s capability for responding to the threat

and acts of terrorism. I am confident that our efforts will justify your past

commitment and continued support to this important area of the FBI’s

responsibility.

 

I would also like to commend the Subcommittee for its leadership in directing

the preparation of the 5-year interagency plan that was submitted to the

Congress on December 30, 1998. As you are aware, the preparation of the plan

coincided with the preparation of two major Presidential Decision Directives

regarding counterterrorism (PDD-62) and critical infrastructure protection

(PDD-63). The plan was also prepared at the same time the FBI and many other

agencies were responding to the terrorist bombings of United States Embassies in

East Africa. I believe the Subcommittee will find the recommendations of the

plan to be particularly timely, consistent with these recent executive orders,

and reflect many of the lessons learned from our most recent experiences.

 

To help put today’s discussion in perspective, I would like to start with a

summary of the FBI’s deployment and investigation of the recent terrorist

bombings in East Africa and follow with an assessment of the current

international and domestic terrorist threat and lessons learned from our recent

experiences. Finally, I would like to describe current FBI counterterrorism

initiatives, including those proposed in our 2000 budget request to Congress.

 

The Bombings in East Africa

 

On August 7, 1998, at approximately 10:40 a.m., local time, a bomb exploded near

the United States Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Almost simultaneously, a

bomb detonated near the United States Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The toll in

both bombings, in terms of lives lost, persons injured, and damage to buildings,

was substantial. In Dar es Salaam, 11 persons were killed, 7 of whom were

foreign service nationals employed by the United States at the Embassy. Another

74 persons were injured, including 2 American citizens and 5 foreign service

nationals. In Nairobi, where the United States Embassy was located in a

congested downtown area, 213 persons were killed, including 12 American citizens

and 32 foreign service nationals employed at the Embassy. Approximately 4,500

persons were treated for injuries, including 13 Americans and 16 foreign service

nationals.

 

Immediately upon notification of the bombings, agencies of the United States

Government began to marshal their resources to respond to these acts of

terrorism. Two Foreign Emergency Support Teams (FEST) departed Andrews Air Force

Base at approximately 2:30 p.m. EST on August 7. FEST is a multiagency team,

including members of the FBI, that is deployed to international emergencies

involving United States interests to advise and assist local Ambassadors and

embassy personnel in dealing with crisis situations. FEST is coordinated by the

United States Department of State. The FBI had eight representatives on the two

FEST teams. We were also able to include 19 others as part of a FBI advance

team.

 

Based upon our jurisdiction for the investigation of certain crimes committed

against American persons and property abroad, the FBI began the deployment of

agents, Evidence Response Teams, technicians and laboratory examiners, and other

personnel and equipment to Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. We activated our Strategic

Information and Operations Center at FBI Headquarters to coordinate FBI efforts

with our Counterterrorism Center and other government agencies. Among the first

steps we took was to direct our Legal Attaches in Cairo, Egypt, and Pretoria,

South Africa, to respond to the scenes in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi,

respectively. Our Legal Attaches were the first non-resident United States law

enforcement officials to arrive on scene. Upon arriving, these individuals were

able to establish a cooperative relationship with appropriate Tanzanian and

Kenyan law enforcement authorities and United States Embassy personnel,

including Diplomatic Security Service agents serving in these posts. Our Legal

Attaches also assisted in establishing logistical support for FBI rapid

deployment teams that subsequently arrived in both locations. The first

increment of the FBI investigative team arrived in East Africa 40 hours after

the bombings.

 

At our peak, the FBI had approximately 500 personnel on the ground in East

Africa. Among the individuals deployed were members of our Joint Terrorism Task

Forces from New York City. We also were assisted by explosives experts from the

United Kingdom. Over the course of the eight-weeks immediately following the

bombings, the FBI:

· logged 61 flight missions, of which 16 were transoceanic;

· transported over 1,000 agents, technicians, examiners, and other employees

deployed to and from East Africa; and

· moved 295 tons of equipment, supplies, and related items to support our

investigative teams.

 

From the two crime scenes in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as from investigation

and searches conducted in surrounding African nations and Pakistan, we collected

and transported back to the FBI Laboratory more than three tons of evidentiary

materials for examination and analysis. Our on-scene deployments in Dar es

Salaam and Nairobi temporarily created what would have been among the largest

FBI field offices in the United States.

 

As you can imagine, providing extended operational and administrative support to

such a large overseas contingent was especially challenging and trying. It was

not something that we accomplished on our own. In a large-scale overseas

deployment such as East Africa, we must depend upon support and cooperation from

our partners in the Departments of Defense and State. I would like to

acknowledge the tremendous job performed by the men and women of the Departments

of Defense and State under very adverse and trying circumstances. And, I am

equally proud of the way our own personnel rose to meet the challenges presented

by this difficult investigation.

 

We received exceptional cooperation and assistance from the governments of

Tanzania and Kenya in conducting our investigation. They allowed us to recover

and remove evidence for examination and transport it back to the United States.

They also allowed us to conduct interviews and searches. The relationship

established by our Legal Attache from Pretoria with Kenyan authorities was

instrumental in that country’s decision to allow the removal of two suspects for

prosecution in the United States. We were also able to conduct investigation and

searches in several other countries and locations.

 

As a result of these investigative efforts, 11 individuals associated with

al-Qaeda, including Usama bin Laden, have each been indicted for conspiracy to

kill United States nationals, the bombings of the United States Embassies in

Tanzania and Kenya, and murder. One other individual, also an al-Qaeda member,

has been indicted for conspiracy to kill United States nationals, perjury before

a Federal Grand Jury, and lying to a Special Agent of the FBI. The progress and

results that have been obtained in this case are the result of cooperation among

many agencies, including the FBI, the Criminal Division, the United States

Attorneys’ offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., the Central

Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and Department of Defense, working

together unselfishly in response to brutal acts of terrorism committed against

the United States. Unfortunately, the bombing of United States Embassies in East

Africa is only the latest in a series of international terrorist incidents

directed against United States interests and policies.

 

The International Terrorist Situation

 

The current international terrorist threat can be divided into three general

categories that represent a serious and distinct threat to the United States.

These categories also reflect, to a large degree, how terrorists have adapted

their tactics since the 1970’s by learning from past successes and failures,

from becoming familiar with law enforcement capabilities and tactics, and from

exploiting technologies and weapons that are increasingly available to them in

the post-Cold War era.

 

The first threat category, state sponsors of terrorism, violates every

convention of international law. State sponsors of terrorism currently

designated by the Department of State are: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya,

Cuba, and North Korea. Put simply, these nations view terrorism as a tool of

foreign policy. In recent years, the terrorist activities of Cuba and North

Korea appear to have declined as the economies of these countries have

deteriorated. However, the terrorist activities of the other states I mentioned

continue, and in some cases, have intensified during the past several years.

 

The second category of the international terrorist threat is represented by more

formal terrorist organizations. These autonomous, generally transnational,

organizations have their own infrastructures, personnel, financial arrangements,

and training facilities. These organizations are able to plan and mount

terrorist campaigns on an international basis and actively support terrorist

activities in the United States.

 

Extremist groups such as Lebanese Hizballah, the Egyptian Al-Gama’ Al-

Islamiyya, and the Palestinian Hamas have supporters in the United States who

could be used to support an act of terrorism here. Hizballah ranks among the

most menacing of these groups. It has staged many anti-American attacks in other

countries, such as the 1983 truck bombings of the United States Embassy and the

United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, the 1984 bombing of the United

States Embassy Annex in Beirut, and the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 during

which United States Navy diver Robert Stehem, a passenger on the flight, was

murdered by the hijackers. Elements of Hizballah were also responsible for the

kidnaping and detention of United States hostages in Lebanon throughout the

1980’s.

 

The activities of American cells of Hizballah, Hamas, and Al Gama’ Al Islamiyya

generally revolve around fund-raising and low-level intelligence gathering. In

addition, there are still significant numbers of Iranian students attending

United States universities and technical institutions. A significant number of

these students are hardcore members of the pro-Iranian student organization

known as the Anjoman Islamie, which is comprised almost exclusively of

fanatical, anti-American, Iranian Shiite Muslims. The Iranian Government relies

heavily upon these students studying in the United States for low-level

intelligence and technical expertise. However, the Anjoman Islamie also

represents a significant resource base upon which the government of Iran can

draw to maintain the capability to mount operations against the United States,

if it so decides.

 

The third category of international terrorist threat stems from loosely

affiliated extremists, characterized by rogue terrorists such as Ramzi Ahmed

Yousef and international terrorist financier Usama bin Laden. These loosely

affiliated extremists may pose the most urgent threat to the United States

because these individuals bring together groups on an ad hoc, temporary basis.

By not being encumbered with the demands associated with maintaining a rigid,

organizational infrastructure, these individuals are more difficult for law

enforcement to track and infiltrate. Individuals such as Ramzi Yousef and Usama

bin Laden have also demonstrated an ability to exploit mobility and technology

to avoid detection and to conduct terrorist acts. Fortunately, in 1995, we were

able to capture Yousef and return him to the United States to stand trial for

the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the conspiracy to attack

American aircraft overseas. Yousef was convicted in two trials and sentenced to

life imprisonment.

 

The FBI believes that the threat posed by international terrorists in each of

these categories will continue for the foreseeable future. As attention remains

focused on Usama bin Laden in the aftermath of the East African bombings, I

believe it is important to remember that rogue terrorists such as bin Laden

represent just one type of threat that the United States faces. It is imperative

that we maintain our capabilities to counter the broad range of international

terrorist threats that confront the United States.

 

For many of us in this room, the threat of international terrorism was literally

brought home by the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993. Although the

plotters failed in their attempt to topple one of the twin towers into the

other, an outcome that would have produced thousands of casualties, they

succeeded in causing millions of dollars worth of damage in a blast that killed

6 persons and injured more than 1,000. After his capture in 1995, Ramzi Yousef,

the convicted mastermind behind the New York City bombing and other terrorist

acts, conceded to investigators that a lack of funding forced his group’s hand

in plotting the destruction of the World Trade Center. Running short of money,

the plotters could not assemble a bomb as large as they had originally intended.

The timing of the attack was also rushed by a lack of finances. Incredibly, the

plotters’ desire to recoup the deposit fee on the rental truck used to transport

the bomb helped lead investigators to them. As horrible as that act was, it

could very well have been much more devastating.

 

We are fortunate that in the nearly six years since the World Trade Center

bombing, no significant act of foreign-directed terrorism has occurred on

American soil. At the same time, however, we have witnessed a pattern of

terrorist attacks that are either directed at United States interests or

initiated in response to United States Government policies and actions. Among

these acts are:

the 1993 murders of two Central Intelligence Agency employees and the

wounding of several others by Mir Amal Kasi in Langley, Virginia;

the March 1995 attack against three employees of the United States consulate

in Karachi, Pakistan, which resulted in the deaths of two Americans;

the July 1995 hostage taking of four western tourists, including an

American, by terrorists in Kashmiri, India;

the plot by Shayk Omar Abdel Rahman and his followers to bomb several New

York City landmarks, including the United Nations building, the Holland and

Lincoln Tunnels, and federal buildings;

the November 1995 bombing of a Saudi Arabian National Guard building in

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which resulted in the deaths of five United States

citizens assigned to the United States military training mission to Saudi

Arabia;

the June 1996 bombing at the Al-Khobar Towers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, which

resulted in the deaths of 19 United States servicemen and the injury of 240

other military personnel and dependents;

a plot led by Ramzi Yousef to destroy numerous United States air carriers in

a simultaneous operation;

a plot, also led by Ramzi Yousef, to kidnap and kill United States diplomats

and foreign officials in Pakistan;

the November 1997 ambush and massacre of foreign tourists in Luxor, Egypt,

which appears to have been undertaken to pressure the United States

Government to release Shayk Rahman from federal prison;

the November 1997 murder of four United States businessmen and their driver

in Karachi, Pakistan, believed to be in retaliation against the FBI’s

capture and rendition of Mir Amal Kasi;

the kidnaping of seven Americans during 1998 in Colombia by terrorists

groups, bringing to 92 the total number of United States citizens reported

kidnaped in that country between 1980 and 1998, of which 12 Americans have

died in captivity; and

the December 1998 kidnaping of a group of western tourists, including two

Americans, by terrorists in Yemen, during which four hostages were killed

and one American hostage wounded when Yemeni security forces attempted a

rescue operation.

As these examples illustrate, the threat of terrorism is real both at home and

abroad. Usama bin Laden readily acknowledges trying to obtain chemical and

biological weapons for use in his jihad, or holy war, against the United States.

We also know that domestic terrorist groups have also expressed interest in

chemical and biological agents. The willingness of terrorists to carry out more

large-scale incidents designed for maximum destruction places a larger

proportion of our population at risk. Today, Americans engaged in activities as

routine as working in an office building, commuting to and from work, or

visiting museums and historical sites in foreign lands, can become random

victims in a deadly game acted out by international terrorists. America’s

democratic tradition and global presence make United States citizens and

interests targets for opportunists who are willing to shed the blood of

innocents for their causes.

 

Responding to the Threat of International Terrorism

 

The United States has developed a strong response to international terrorism.

Legislation and Executive Orders enacted over the past 15 years have

strengthened the ability of the United States Government to protect its citizens

through five affirmative ways: diplomacy, sanctions, covert operations, military

options, and law enforcement actions. For this, the Congress and the Executive

Branch deserve the gratitude of the American people. We cannot accurately gauge

how many potential strikes our government’s strong stand against terrorism has

discouraged. We can, however, measure with considerable satisfaction the success

we have had in preventing plots detected in the planning stages and our

successes in investigating, locating, apprehending, and prosecuting individuals

who have carried out terrorist activities. I would like to highlight two aspects

of this response, renditions and fund raising, that demonstrate the commitment

of the United States Government to combating terrorism.

 

During the past decade, the United States has successfully obtained custody of

13 suspected international terrorists from foreign countries to stand trial in

the United States for acts or planned acts of terrorism against our citizens.

Based on its policy of treating terrorists as criminals and applying the rule of

law against them, the United States is one of the most visible and effective

forces in identifying, locating, and apprehending terrorists on American soil

and overseas. The majority of terrorist renditions have been accomplished with

the cooperation of the foreign government in which the terrorist suspect was

located. Among the individuals recently returned to the United States by this

process have been Mir Amal Kasi, who shot and killed two Central Intelligence

Agency employees in Langley, Virginia, in 1993, and who was rendered from

Afghanistan to the United States in 1997, and Tsutomo Shirosaki, a Japanese Red

Army member, who was rendered to the United States in 1996, more than 10 years

after firing rockets at the United States Diplomatic Compound in Jakarta,

Indonesia. Every time the United States obtains custody of a terrorist for

trial, we send a clear message to terrorists everywhere that no matter how long

it takes, no matter the difficulty, we will find you and you will be held

accountable for your actions.

 

During Fiscal Year 1998, FBI investigative actions prevented 10 planned

terrorist acts. Nine acts were prevented with the arrest of six members of an

Illinois-based white supremacist group who were planning to target the Southern

Poverty Law Center and its founder, Morris Dees; the Simon Weisenthal Center;

and the New York City office of the Anti- Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

This group had also discussed robbing an armored car using a LAW rocket;

poisoning the water supply of East St. Louis, Illinois; and committing several

murders, including a homosexual man, a black female attorney, a member of

another white supremacist group who had made derogatory comments about the Aryan

Nations, and a former member of their own group. The arrest of Byron Bazarte in

August 1998 prevented the bombing of an unspecified target in Washington, D.C.

 

Using the authorities provided under Section 302 of the Anti-Terrorism and

Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, the Secretary of State, in consultation

with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, has designated 30

groups as foreign terrorist organizations. This designation allows the United

States Government to take actions to block the transfer of funds in the United

States in which these organizations have an interest. The FBI provided

information concerning various organizations to the Department of State to

assist it in compiling the list of foreign terrorist organizations. Consistent

with provisions of the Act, the FBI did not make recommendations concerning

which groups should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.

 

In July 1998, the FBI arrested Mawzi Mustapha Assi, a procurement agent for a

foreign terrorist organization, in Dearborn, Michigan, in July 1998, on criminal

charges relating to providing material support to a foreign terrorist

organization, export of materials on the munitions control list, and other

export violations. The FBI and the United States Customs Service seized $124,000

worth of sensitive night vision and navigational devices. Assi became a fugitive

after the Government’s unsuccessful attempts to detain him prior to trial.

 

We believe these provisions provide law enforcement with a potentially powerful

tool to disrupt the ability of terrorist organizations to fund their destructive

activities. Investigations into the financial operations of clandestine

organizations on the shadowy fringes of international politics can be

particularly complex, time consuming, and labor intensive. Organizations have

demonstrated an ability to reinvent themselves with new names in an effort to

thwart law enforcement efforts. As with measures of this type, its most powerful

impact may be from its deterrent effect. As investigators and prosecutors build

successful cases and precedents to enforce anti-fund raising activities,

targeted groups may decide that fund raising in the United States is too

difficult and risky.

 

The Domestic Terrorism Threat

 

Domestic terrorist groups are those which are based and which operate entirely

within the United States, or its territories, and whose activities are directed

at elements of the United States Government or its civilian population. Domestic

terrorist groups represent interests that span the full political spectrum, as

well as social issues and concerns. FBI investigations of domestic terrorist

groups or individuals are not predicated upon social or political beliefs;

rather, they are based upon planned or actual criminal activity. The current

domestic terrorist threat primarily comes from right-wing extremist groups,

Puerto Rican extremist groups, and special interest extremists.

 

Right-wing Extremist Groups. The threat from right-wing extremist groups

includes militias, white-separatist groups, and anti-government groups. All

right-wing extremist groups tend to encourage massing weapons, ammunition and

supplies in preparation for a confrontation with federal law enforcement, as

well as local law enforcement who are often perceived as agents for the

State/Federal government.

 

The goal of the militia movement is to defend and protect the United States

Constitution from those who want to take away the rights of Americans. The

militia movement believes that the United States Constitution gives Americans

the right to live their lives without government interference. The FBI is not

concerned with every single aspect of the militia movement since many militia

members are law-abiding citizens who do not pose a threat of violence. The FBI

focuses on radical elements of the militia movement capable and willing to

commit violence against government, law enforcement, civilian, military and

international targets (U.N., visiting foreign military personnel). Not every

state in the union has a militia problem. Militia activity varies from states

with almost no militia activity (Hawaii, Connecticut) to states with thousands

of active militia members (Michigan, Texas).

 

The American militia movement has grown over the last decade. Factors

contributing to growth include:

GUNS- The right to bear arms is an issue which almost all militia members

agree and most militia members believe a conspiracy exists to take away

their guns. The national system of instant background checks for all gun

buyers, mandated by the 1993 Brady Act and which actually was implemented on

November 30, 1998, has further angered many militia groups. These militia

members see this new law as another example of how the government is

conspiring to take away their guns. The banning of semiautomatic assault

weapons has also angered many militia members .

STATE LAWS- Militias resent state laws forbidding them to gather together to

fire weapons. Sixteen states have laws which prohibit all militia groups and

17 states have laws which prohibit all paramilitary training.

MISTRUST OF FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT- is frequently mentioned in militia

literature and overall militia mythology. FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco

and Firearms (ATF) actions, such as Ruby Ridge, the Branch Davidians, and

the Freeman standoff, are cited, and thus are hated and distrusted by many

militia members.

TAXES- Militia members believe that they pay too many taxes and that those

tax dollars are wasted by a huge, uncaring and inefficient bureaucracy in

Washington, D.C. Since the Internal Revenue Service collects federal taxes,

it is widely hated by militia members.

THE UNITED NATIONS – is perceived as an organization bent on taking over the

world and destroying American democracy and establishing “the New World

Order.” The New World Order theory holds that, one day, the United Nations

will lead a military coup against the nations of the world to form a

one-world government. United Nations troops, consisting of foreign armies,

will commence a military takeover of America. The United Nations will mainly

use foreign troops on American soil because foreigners will have fewer

reservations about killing American citizens. Captured United States

military bases will be used to help conquer the rest of the world.

Most of the militia movement has no racial overtones and does not espouse

bigotry; there are some black and Jewish militia members. However, the

pseudo-religion of Christian Identity, as well as other hate philosophies, have

begun to creep into the militia movement. This scenario is currently being

played out in the Michigan Militia, arguably the largest militia group in

America. Lynn Van Huizen, leader of the Michigan Militia Corps, is currently

trying to oust Christian Identity factions from his group. Christian Identity is

a belief system that provides both a religious base for racism and

anti-Semitism, and an ideological rationale for violence against minorities.

This pattern of racist elements seeping into the militia movement is a

disturbing trend, as it will only strengthen the radical elements of the

militias.

 

Many white supremacist groups adhere to the Christian Identity belief system,

which holds that the world is on the verge of a final apocalyptic struggle

between God/Christ and Satan (The Battle of Armageddon) in which Aryans

(European Caucasians) must fight Satan’s heirs: Jews, nonwhites and their

establishment allies (i.e., the Federal Government). The Christian Identity

belief system (also known as Kingdom Identity) provides a religious base for

racism and anti-Semitism, and an ideological rationale for violence against

minorities and their white allies. Christian Identity teaches that the white

race is the chosen race of God, whites are the “true Israelites” and Jews are

the Children of Satan. Adherents believe that Jews have increasingly gained

control of the United States Federal Government and are attempting to enslave

the white population by enacting laws subjugating the white people, such as

affirmative action, pro-choice, and anti-gun statutes.

 

To prepare for Armageddon, many Identity adherents engage in survivalist and

paramilitary training, storing foodstuffs and supplies, and caching weapons and

ammunition. As the next millennium approaches, Identity’s more extreme members

may take action to prepare for Armageddon, including armed robbery to finance

the upcoming battle, destroying government property and infrastructure, and

targeting Jews and nonwhites.

 

Due to Christian Identity adherents’ widespread propaganda efforts and

Identity’s racist/anti-Semitic/anti-government appeal, there are a number of

churches and diverse organizations throughout the United States that embrace the

doctrines of Identity. Identity beliefs are also increasingly found in the

rhetoric of all types of right-wing extremist groups, including, but not limited

to, militias, survivalist communes, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, skinheads, tax

protesters, and common law courts. Thus, with the approaching millennium, there

is a greater potential for members from such Identity influenced groups to

engage in violent activities as well.

 

As the next millennium approaches, violent and illegal acts may increase, due to

Christian Identity’s belief that the world is on the verge of a final

apocalyptic struggle (aka The Battle of Armageddon) between God/Christ and

Satan. Identity members believe that this entails Aryans (European Caucasians)

fighting Satan’s heirs (Jews, non-whites, and their establishment allies). To

prepare, Identity adherents engage in survivalist and paramilitary training. As

the year 2000 approaches, more extreme members may take action to prepare for or

bring about “Armageddon,” including armed robbery to finance the upcoming

battle, destroying government property and targeting Jews and non-whites.

 

Other Anti-Government Groups. The other right-wing anti-government groups

include Freemen, “sovereign” citizens, and common law courts. The Freemen and

sovereign citizens believe they have the right to renounce their citizenship,

after which they do not have to comply with any laws or rules and the federal

government would have no influence over them. In addition, some, like the

Freemen, believe they have the right to issue their own money which is called

“certified comptroller warrants.”

 

Some members of the right-wing have formed their own system of laws to enforce

and follow (called common law courts) to replace the existing court system. The

common law courts have no basis in jurisprudence, but participants claim

legitimacy based on the laws of the Old Testament, English common law, the Magna

Carta and commercial law. Some common law courts have issued arrest warrants,

but as of yet, there are no reports that any of these arrests have been

accomplished.

 

Puerto Rican Extremist Groups. A resurgence in Puerto Rican extremism has

occurred in the past six months. A nearly decade-long hiatus in terrorist

activity ended on March 31, 1998, with the detonation of an incendiary device at

the “Superaquaduct” construction project in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. On June 9,

1998, a bomb exploded outside a branch of Banco Popular in Rio Piedras, Puerto

Rico. The EPB-Macheteros publicly claimed responsibility for both attacks,

citing environmental concerns and opposition to the privatization of the Puerto

Rico Telephone Company.

 

Puerto Rican extremism remains a concern to the FBI. Traditionally, the Puerto

Rican Terrorists have targeted United States establishments and interests in an

effort to gain Puerto Rican independence. On December 13, 1998, Puerto Ricans

voted in a non-binding referendum concerning Puerto Rico’s political status.

Voters were given the opportunity to vote for independence, continued

commonwealth status, statehood, free association, or none of the above.

Independence garnered precious little support in the referendum, receiving a

mere 2.5% of the vote, according to media reports. Despite the lack of popular

support for independence, militant independence activists continue to pursue

independence through illegal means. Recently, July 25, 1998 marked the 100-year

anniversary of the United States invasion of Puerto Rico during the

Spanish-American War. In addition, several convicted Puerto Rican terrorists

remain incarcerated within the federal prison system, and militant

pro-independence activists continue to lobby for their release. The militant

independentistas may engage in violence as a response to the prisoners’

continued incarceration, or as a symbolic commemoration of over 100 years of

American control over the island.

 

Special Interest Extremists. Special interest or single issue extremists

advocate violence and/or criminal activity with the goal of effecting change in

policy vis a vis one specific aspect of society. The most recognizable single

issue terrorists at the present time are those involved in the violent animal

rights, anti-abortion, and environmental protection movements. Each of these

issues evoke strong emotions within society at large, and violent aberrants

continue to tarnish the legitimate public debate on each issue.

 

The FBI continues to vigorously investigate various bombings of abortion clinics

and incidents of violence targeting abortion providers across the country. The

January 1998 bombing of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, has resulted

in a significant allocation of FBI manpower and resources to the investigation

of the bombing. The recent assassination of Dr. Barnett Slepian in Buffalo, New

York, serves as an acute reminder of the very real threat posed by anti-abortion

extremists.

 

Animal rights extremists continue to pose significant challenges for law

enforcement as well. Various arsons and other incidents of property destruction

have been claimed by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation

Front (ELF). For example, on October 19, 1998, the Vail Ski Resort suffered a

series of arson attacks that damaged or destroyed eight separate structures and

resulted in approximately $12 million in property damage. In a communique issued

to various news agencies in Colorado, ELF claimed responsibility for the arsons

in retaliation for the resort’s plans to expand its ski areas. The group claimed

that the proposed expansion would destroy the last remaining habitat in Colorado

for the lynx.

 

Although the frequency of terrorist incidents within the United States has

decreased in number, the potential for destruction has increased as terrorists

have turned toward large improvised explosive devices to inflict maximum damage.

The ease with which people can obtain the recipes for manufacturing explosives

and developing chemical and biological weapons facilitates the potential of a

major incident. As technology and materials become more accessible, the

possibility of misuse and subsequent fatalities increases. One has only to look

at the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building, in Oklahoma City, to see the

devastating potential for a terrorist act. Prior to April 19, 1995, no one would

have believed that Americans would commit such a tragic act against other

Americans. But they did, and the potential for another such incident continues.

 

Looking Forward

 

If there was ever any doubt about the level of commitment and determination that

drives rogue terrorists to strike their perceived enemies, convicted terrorist

Ramzi Yousef provided a glimpse into the mind set of these individuals. When

sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, Yousef boasted

of his destructive exploits saying, “Yes, I am a terrorist and proud of it.”

 

Today’s terrorists have learned from the successes and mistakes of terrorists

who went before them. The terrorists of tomorrow will learn from the successes

and mistakes of the Ramzi Yousef, Usama bin Laden, and others. Tomorrow’s

terrorists will have an even more dizzying array of deadly weapons and

technologies, including chemical and biological agents and computer networks,

available to them for committing their insidious acts. We cannot lull ourselves

into a false sense of security based on the capabilities that exist today and

the successes we have achieved. Rather, we must continue to improve upon our

existing readiness and develop the capabilities, technologies, and techniques

that will be required to keep pace with acts of terrorism in the future.

 

The FBI has developed its Strategic Plan for 1998 – 2003 to guide us as we deal

with the challenges and changing crime problems that face this organization.

Under this plan, we have identified as our highest priority foreign

intelligence, terrorist, and criminal activities that directly threaten the

national or economic security of the United States. Two of the strategic goals

set for this priority area are especially relevant to the problems we are

discussing today:

· Prevent, disrupt, and defeat terrorist operations before they occur; and

· Deter the unlawful exploitation of emerging technologies by foreign powers,

terrorists, and criminal elements.

 

Our goal is to move beyond just responding to acts of terrorism, whether these

terrorist acts be bombings here in the United States or in foreign countries or

cyber attacks against the national information infrastructure. We recognize that

to be successful in the future, the FBI must become more proactive in dealing

with these complex threats and problems.

 

I would like to discuss several areas that I believe are especially important to

our national response to the problem posed by terrorism. In doing so, I would

like to highlight some of the programs and investments the Subcommittee has

supported in prior years and our requests for the 2000 budget. For 2000, the FBI

is requesting increases totaling $9,000,000 for our Counterterrorism initiative

and 207 positions (60 agents) and $36,742,000 for our Technology and Cyber

Crimes initiative.

 

Rapid Deployment. The United States Government’s response to the bombings in

East Africa demonstrated the firm and unequivocal commitment to responding to

acts of terrorism wherever they may occur. Terrorists must know that if they act

against the United States, the FBI will pursue them relentlessly and for as long

as it takes to bring them before the bar of justice.

 

Earlier, I described the scope of the deployment of FBI personnel to East

Africa. Based on that experience, in the aftermath of the near simultaneous

bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, I directed the establishment of five FBI Rapid

Deployment Teams to provide a capability of responding to multiple incidents.

With the funding you provided in the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations and

Emergency Supplemental Act of 1999, we are establishing teams in New York City,

Washington, D.C. (2), Miami, and Los Angeles. Since the establishment of these

teams, there have been three instances where teams have been placed on full

alert due to the receipt of intelligence information indicating a potential

terrorist act.

 

We readily recognize that improvements are needed in working with our partners

at the Department of Defense so that necessary airlift support for future

deployments can be staged in a more timely and organized manner. Again, your

interest and assistance in the improving the capability of the Department of

Defense to provide aviation support to the FBI is greatly appreciated and will

help us place advance teams on scene faster. As directed by Congress, we are

also working to develop a memorandum of understanding with the Department of

Defense to address the full scope of airlift support and related services that

are required by the FBI.

 

Intelligence Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination. The collection, analysis,

and dissemination of intelligence regarding terrorist activities and threats are

critical to the success of FBI efforts to prevent incidents and in the

investigation of acts that do occur. Within the FBI, we have several programs

and initiatives to do this.

 

With the Subcommittee’s support, the FBI established the Counterterrorism Center

at FBI Headquarters in 1995. The FBI Counterterrorism Center encompasses the

operations of the FBI’s International Terrorism Operations Section and Domestic

Terrorism Operations Section. Just this week the Diplomatic Security Service

joined nineteen other federal agencies assigning personnel to the FBI

Counterterrorism Center. Other agencies in the Center include: the Air Force

Office of Special Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms,

the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense

Intelligence Agency, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the

Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental

Protection Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Emergency

Management Agency, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Internal

Revenue Service, the National Security Agency, the Naval Criminal Investigative

Service, the United States Customs Service, the United States Marshals Service,

and the United States Secret Service. The proposed National Domestic

Preparedness Office would also become a partner with the Counterterrorism Center

to ensure domestic preparedness programs and activities can benefit from

counterterrorism operational experiences and reflect the most up-to-date threat

information for making decisions on training and equipment grants.

 

Providing intelligence and threat information to our State and local partners is

accomplished through the Counterterrorism Center and the National Infrastructure

Protection Center. Depending upon the nature of the information, we use one or

more of several avenues for dissemination. The FBI has expanded the Terrorist

Threat Warning System, first implemented in 1989, to reach all aspects of the

law enforcement and intelligence communities. Nationwide dissemination of

unclassified information is achieved through the National Law Enforcement

Telecommunications System (NLETS). In addition, the FBI transmits threat

information to security managers of thousands of United States commercial

interests around the country through the Awareness of National Security Issues

and Response (ANSIR) program. The National Infrastructure Protection Center also

uses NLETS and ANSIR to reach State and local law enforcement and others

regarding cyber and infrastructure-related threats and information. The Center

has developed the InfraGard program which facilitates the sharing of information

about computer intrusions and research related to infrastructure protection

among network participants. The proposed National Domestic Preparedness Office

anticipates providing special bulletins and related information on weapons of

mass destruction issues to a much broader base of State and local agencies,

consisting of law enforcement, fire fighter, emergency medical services, public

health, and emergency management, through the Law Enforcement On-Line intranet,

a website accessible through the Internet, newsletters, and a toll- free

assistance number.

 

Another mechanism for promoting coordination during an incident is the FBI’s new

Strategic Information and Operations Center, which was dedicated this past

November. Congress provided funding for this project beginning in 1995. The new

Strategic Information and Operations Center allows us to handle multiple

incidents simultaneously. It also provides us with greatly enhanced

communications capabilities between FBI Headquarters and field offices, as well

as between the FBI and other federal agencies. Our coordination of operational

efforts in East Africa were hampered, somewhat, by the physical and technical

limitations of the old center.

 

The FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency have taken several steps to improve

cooperation between agencies, including the exchange of deputies, exchange of

personnel assigned to each agency’s counterterrorism center, joint meetings, and

joint operational and analytical initiatives.

 

At the field operational level, the FBI sponsors 18 Joint Terrorism Task Forces

in major cities to maximize interagency cooperation and coordination among

federal, State, and local law enforcement. Currently, 327 full-time and

part-time federal, State, and local law enforcement personnel participate on

these task forces, in addition to FBI personnel. Federal law enforcement

participants include the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the United

States Secret Service, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Central

Intelligence Agency, Federal Protective Service, United States Marshals Service,

United States Customs Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the

United States Border Patrol, the United States Department of State, the Postal

Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service. All task force

participants are provided appropriate security clearances that are necessary for

their involvement in task force operations and investigations. Joint Terrorism

Task Forces have played a critical role in many significant terrorism

investigations. The FBI recently expanded this concept to include Regional

Terrorism Task Forces. Regional task forces, of which two are now in existence,

are designed to meet the needs of communities where a terrorism problem exists

across a broader regional geographic area, but the situation does not warrant a

full-time task force. Regional task forces meet on regular intervals to share

information they have collected and determine if there is a nexus for that

information to any ongoing investigation. The 5-Year Interagency

Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan supports further expansion of FBI

Joint Terrorism Task Forces where warranted by assessments of activity.

 

One of our most effective means of obtaining information is the use of court-

authorized electronic surveillance. Communication, either written or

conversations with accomplices, is central to any collaborative effort —

including terrorist conspiracies. The capability to lawfully intercept

communications between criminals, terrorists, and foreign intelligence agents,

has been instrumental in our past successes. These capabilities help the FBI, as

well as law enforcement in our States and cities, to prevent acts and to save

lives. This Subcommittee has been supportive our efforts to ensure that law

enforcement does not lose its capabilities to lawfully intercept communications

in the growing digital telecommunications environment. I hope that you will be

able to support our request in the 2000 budget for $15,000,000 to support

reimbursements to telecommunications carriers for costs incurred in complying

with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

 

Technology Development and Exploitation. Developing and exploiting technology

for law enforcement and counterterrorism applications are a key to maintaining

our edge in the war against terrorists. This Subcommittee recognized the value

of research and development when you set out your instructions and expectations

for the 5-Year Interagency Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan. In 1998,

you provided the FBI with $10,500,000 from the Attorney General’s

Counterterrorism Fund for directed research and development projects. With that

1998 funding, as well as other funding appropriated for the FBI Laboratory’s

Advanced Render Safe and Hazardous Materials Response Programs, we took the

following actions:

Entered into an agreement with the Department of Energy to improve access by

the forensic community to America’s national laboratories by seeking to

leverage resources in five areas: research, development, test, and

evaluation; technology transfer; specialized training; specialized forensic

analytical support; and hazardous materials response.

Initiated 17 projects under the Department of Energy agreement, as well as

awarded contracts for 11 other projects with commercial and academic

entities, in the areas of explosives detection, forensic evidence analysis

and crime scene technology, information infrastructure technology, and

specialized training.

Began the process to establish separate agreements with the Savannah River

Site and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Continued our agreements with the United States Army Edgewood Arsenal,

Engineering Development and Education Center, Naval Medical Research Center,

United States Naval Medical Center, and have begun the process of

establishing other agreements with other key components of the Department of

Defense.

Entered into an agreement with the Southwest Surety Institute at New Mexico

State University to establish forensic training that complements FBI

forensic curriculum requirements and which supports counterterrorism related

operational and support services.

Upgraded and enhanced the Automated Computer Examination System (ACES), an

automated forensic search capability for computer evidence, and enhanced

technical support of crime scene evidence collection and execution of

court-authorized electronic surveillance on computer networks.

I am pleased that the FBI has been added to the Technical Support Working Group

(TSWG) Executive Committee. The Technical Support Working Group is an

interagency group that coordinates federal research and development programs.

The Department of State and Department of Defense provide leadership to the

group. The FBI has used the Technical Support Working Group to leverage its

funding by joining with other agencies in co-sponsoring projects. The FBI

encourages support for existing, proven interagency efforts like the Technical

Support Working Group to help us meet the challenges posed by new and emerging

technology.

 

Without continued, sustained investments, at both the agency and interagency

levels, in the development and application of new technologies for law

enforcement, we will fall behind in meeting our goals of preventing terrorism.

Unfortunately, law enforcement is not alone in seeking to use new technology to

improve its capabilities.

 

Shortly after the World Trade Center bombing, Ramzi Yousef made his way to

Pakistan. Eventually, he and several associates moved on to the Philippines and

rented a unit at the Dona Jasefa apartment complex. That apartment served as a

safehouse and improvised bomb factory. On December 11, 1994, Yousef placed a

small explosive on a Philippines airliner en route to Tokyo via Cebu. A Japanese

businessman was killed when the device exploded under his seat. Investigation

determined that Yousef and his associates had used the device to test a new bomb

design and that Yousef planned to place more powerful devices on United States

airliners.

 

While mixing chemicals at the apartment on January 7, 1995, a fire broke out,

forcing Yousef and two co-conspirators to flee into the street. Concerned that

he had left his laptop computer in the apartment, Yousef sent one of his

associates back into the apartment to retrieve it. Responding Philippine police

arrested the associate and were able to recover the computer — which contained

encrypted files — intact.

 

We were fortunate in that Yousef was careless in protecting his computer

password. Consequently, we were able to decrypt his files. These files contained

the details of Yousef’s plot to destroy numerous United States airliners using a

timing device made from an altered watch. After simultaneously planting the

devices on United States airliners, the five participants in the plot were to

return to either Pakistan or Qatar.

 

Had that fire not broken out or had we not been able to access those computer

files, Yousef and his co-conspirators might have carried out the simultaneous

bombings of 11 United States airliners, with potentially thousands of victims.

 

Terrorists, both abroad and at home, are using technology to protect their

operations from being discovered and thwart the efforts of law enforcement to

detect, prevent, and investigate such acts. Convicted spy Aldrich Ames was told

by his Russian handlers to encrypt his computer files. International drug

traffickers also are using encryption to avoid detection by law enforcement.

 

Most encryption products manufactured today for use by the general public are

non-recoverable. This means they do not include features that provide for timely

law enforcement access to the plain text of encrypted communications and

computer files that are lawfully seized. Law enforcement remains in unanimous

agreement that the continued widespread availability and increasing use of

strong, non-recoverable encryption products will soon nullify our effective use

of court authorized electronic surveillance and the execution of lawful search

and seizure warrants. The loss of these capabilities will devastate our

capabilities for fighting crime, preventing acts of terrorism, and protecting

the national security. Recently, discussions with industry have indicated a

willingness to work with law enforcement in meeting our concerns and assisting

in developing a law enforcement counterencryption capability. I strongly urge

the Congress to adopt a balanced public policy on encryption, one that carefully

balances the legitimate needs of law enforcement to protect our Nation’s

citizens and preserve the national security with the needs of individuals.

 

The demand for accessing, examining, and analyzing computers and computer

storage media for evidentiary purposes is becoming increasingly critical to our

ability to investigate terrorism, child pornography, computer-facilitated

crimes, and other cases. In the past, the Subcommittee has supported FBI efforts

to establish a data forensics capability through our Computer Analysis Response

Teams. There is a need to further expand this capability to address a growing

workload. Indeed, our limited capability has created a backlog that impacts on

both investigations and prosecutions. For 2000, the FBI is requesting 20

positions and $13,835,000 for our cryptanalysis and network data interception

programs and 79 positions and $9,861,000 to expand our Computer Analysis

Response Team capabilities.

 

Our Nation’s critical infrastructure — both cyber and physical — present

terrorists, hackers, criminals, and foreign agents with a target for attacks,

the consequences of which could be devastating. Over the past several years, the

Congress has been very supportive of FBI efforts to develop and improve its

capabilities for investigating computer intrusions and other cyber- crimes.

These efforts have included the establishment of the National Infrastructure

Protection Center and the creation of specially-trained and equipped squads and

teams in FBI field offices. For 2000, we are requesting increases of $1,656,000

for operations of the National Infrastructure Protection Center and 108

positions (60 agents) and $11,390,000 for additional field National

Infrastructure Protection and Computer Intrusion squads and teams.

 

Domestic Readiness. The most potentially devastating threat facing the United

States as we enter the next century is the terrorist use of weapons of mass

destruction (large conventional explosive, chemical, biological, radiological or

nuclear devices). For terrorists, symbolic targets, critical infrastructure or

major special events make attractive targets. These acts may result in a

significant loss of life, may cause psychological trauma and will attract a high

level of media exposure.

 

While the United States holds little credible intelligence at this time

indicating that international or domestic terrorists are planning to attack

United States interests domestically through the use of weapons of mass

destruction, a growing number (while still small) of `lone offender’ and

extremist splinter elements of right-wing groups have been identified as

possessing or attempting to develop/use chemical, biological or radiological

materials. Additionally, religious /apocalyptic sects which are unaffiliated

with far right extremists may pose an increasing threat. With the coming of the

next millennium, some religious/apocalyptic groups or individuals may turn to

violence as they seek to achieve dramatic effects to fulfill their prophecies.

The possibility of an indigenous group like Aum Supreme Truth cannot be

excluded.

In all likelihood, State and local law enforcement, emergency management, and

public health agencies are going to be the first to respond to and contend with

the aftermath of a terrorist’s large-scale improvised explosive device or the

release of chemical or biological agents. Congress has recognized the critical

importance of State and local agencies in the national response to and

management of such a crisis by providing assistance through several programs,

such as the Department of Defense Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Domestic Preparedness

Program and training and equipment grants under the auspices of the Office of

Justice Programs. The FBI strongly supports efforts to train and equip State and

local first responders whose assistance and expertise will be critical to our

investigation of such terrorist incidents. I would like to describe three

FBI-led initiatives supporting domestic readiness: the proposed National

Domestic Preparedness Office, the Hazardous Devices School, and the equipping of

State and local bomb squads.

 

During the development of the 5-Year Counterterrorism and Technology Crime

Strategy, State and local stakeholders recommended that the Attorney General

designate a single federal agency to coordinate the multitude of federal

domestic preparedness activities. In October 1998, the Attorney General

announced her proposal to establish a National Domestic Preparedness Office that

would serve as a single point of contact for State and local authorities. The

Attorney General delegated responsibility for implementing and managing the

Office to the FBI. After several months of working with key federal agencies

involved in this area, a blueprint to guide the implementation of the National

Domestic Preparedness Office was prepared and is under review. Among the

agencies we consulted with in developing the blueprint were: the Federal

Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, the

Department of Defense, the National Guard Bureau, the Department of Energy, the

Environmental Protection Agency, various components within the Department of

Justice, and State and local authorities. Using this blueprint as a guide, the

Department recently submitted to the Subcommittee a notification to establish

the National Domestic Preparedness Office.

 

The mission of the National Domestic Preparedness Office will be to assist State

and local emergency response agencies (law enforcement, fire, hazardous

materials, emergency medical services, emergency management, and public health)

by serving as a single coordinating office and clearinghouse for federal efforts

to prepare our Nation’s communities for the threat posed by the terrorist use of

a weapon of mass destruction. The Office will be organized around six program

areas that will focus upon specific issues or areas, including: planning,

training, exercises, equipment/research and development, information and

intelligence sharing, and health and medical.

 

State and local acceptance of the National Domestic Preparedness Office is

critical for its success. Part of the blueprint for the office is the creation

of a State and local advisory group patterned after our highly successful

Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board. The individuals

comprising this group will represent their respective areas of expertise and

serve as a bridge between federal domestic preparedness program planning and the

needs and priorities of states and local communities. We are also recruiting

experienced individuals from State and local first responder groups to work in

the National Domestic Preparedness Office. We also plan to solicit State and

local agencies for detailees to the Office.

 

In our local communities, the work of the National Domestic Preparedness Office

will be facilitated by a network of 56 full-time coordinators, one in each FBI

field office. These local coordinators will serve as the primary point of

contact for State and local emergency first responders. State and local

officials will also be able to contact the National Domestic Preparedness Office

through a toll-free assistance number, an Internet website, and the Law

Enforcement On-Line intranet.

 

As we continue building state and local first responder preparedness and

readiness, we must keep in mind that this undertaking is a long-term and costly

commitment that must be sustained in the future. Equipment provided in 1999 will

need to be upgraded or replaced in the future as newer, improved technologies

become available. New protective equipment may also be needed to respond to

changes in the chemical, biological, and nuclear threat. Basic training must be

available for State and local employees who will be hired in the future.

Advanced training must be provided to State and local personnel who have

completed basic training to maintain competencies.

 

The proposed National Domestic Preparedness Office is part of our long-term

commitment to sustaining state and local first responder readiness. Through this

office, we hope to provide better, more coordinated service and assistance to

State and local communities and reduce duplication among federal programs.

 

Another initiative being undertaken by the FBI to improve State and local

readiness capabilities is the expansion of training and modernization of

facilities at the Hazardous Devices School, located at Redstone Arsenal,

Alabama. Through the Hazardous Devices School, the FBI trains and certifies

federal, state, and local bomb technicians in accordance with standards

developed through the National Bomb Squad Commanders Advisory Board. The

Hazardous Devices School is the only law enforcement training facility offering

certification for public safety bomb technicians. The 5-Year Interagency

Counterterrorism and Technology Crime Plan recommends increasing the

availability of federal pre-blast and post- blast bomb technician training for

first responders.

 

With the funding provided by the Congress in 1998, we were able to train 963

students, an increase of 48 percent over the previous year. In particular, we

provided training to 386 students in a new Weapons of Mass Destruction Bomb

Technician Emergency Actions Course. Beginning this year, the weapons of mass

destruction course is being integrated into the basic bomb technician course so

that all new bomb technicians receive this training. We will also continue to

offer the separate course to those bomb technicians already certified.

 

The expansion of training at the Hazardous Devices School is placing great

demands on current facilities. These facilities, consisting of three aging metal

buildings and small test ranges located an inefficient distance from other

facilities, limit the quantity of personnel trained and the quality of

instruction permissible. Additionally, there is an increasing demand for basic

and advanced courses, as well as speciality courses that require advanced

techniques, that cannot be met with existing facilities.

 

For 2000, the FBI is requesting $9,000,000 to construct a practical problems

training course at Redstone Arsenal as a first step toward improving

instructional facilities. The proposed practical problems training course would

be comprised of a series of mock buildings that would permit more realistic

training scenarios and exercises for students.

 

State and local bomb technicians may be among the first emergency responders to

encounter a terrorist device, including devices that may combine the use of

explosives and a chemical, biological, or radiological agent. Recognizing the

importance for providing State and local bomb technicians with a capability for

detecting the presences of such agents, the FBI developed a multi-year

initiative to provide basic equipment and chemical/biological detection

technology to the approximately 630 State and local bomb technician squads

across the Nation. Congress directed the Attorney General in the 1999 Justice

Appropriations Act to provide $25,000,000 from the Department’s Working Capital

Fund to begin this initiative. For 2000, the Department is requesting

$45,000,000 to continue this initiative which is being managed by the FBI. This

request directly supports the recommendation contained in the 5-Year Interagency

Counterterrorism and Technology Plan to prepare bomb technicians to address

incidents involving a combination of explosives and chemical, biological, or

radiological agents.

 

International Partnerships and Cooperation. If, as recent events seem to

indicate, terrorists are going to strike against the United States through its

presence and citizens in foreign countries, then it is in our national interest

to develop and expand “cop-to-cop” relationships with friendly foreign law

enforcement, provide basic counterterrorism crime scene and related training,

and share with them our forensic and related technologies.

 

As I indicated earlier, FBI Legal Attaches from Cairo and Pretoria were the

first non-resident United States law enforcement officials to arrive on the

scene of the terrorist bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. Both of these

individuals were instrumental in establishing productive relationships with the

host governments and local law enforcement authorities so that our main body of

agents, technicians, and others could do their jobs once they arrived. Our Legal

Attaches provided critical advice to local authorities on protecting the crime

scenes so that key evidence was not destroyed. And, as I also noted earlier, our

Legal Attache on scene in Nairobi was instrumental in persuading Kenyan

authorities to turn over to the United States two individuals taken into

custody.

 

This Subcommittee has strongly supported my efforts to increase the number of

FBI Legal Attache Offices. I am hopeful that we can continue to depend upon your

support as we complete the four year expansion strategy that was started in

1996.

 

Both Tanzanian and Kenyan authorities expressed interest in receiving training

and technical assistance so that they will not only be better prepared in the

event of future acts of terrorism, but also out of a desire to provide more

effective basic law enforcement services — modeled after those of American law

enforcement — to their citizens. Investments in these types of cooperative

programs, such as the Antiterrorism Training Assistance program of the

Department of State and the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest,

will help provide foreign law enforcement with basic knowledge, such as taking

the steps needed to protect terrorism crime scenes until the arrival of FBI

rapid deployment teams and prevent the contamination or destruction of evidence

that could eventually be used in a United States Court to prosecute an

international terrorist.

 

In support of the Attorney General’s leadership efforts within the G-8 to

strengthen international cooperation to combat terrorism, the FBI is developing

the WorldFACTS system, which will provide G-8 countries with access to four FBI

forensic systems: EXPRESS, which correlates information from bombing crime

scenes and undetonated explosives devices, and provides a reference base for

explosives; comparing and matching firearms evidence from shooting incidents and

seized firearms; searching and matching latent fingerprints from crime scenes

and evidence; and storing and sharing of terrorist-case related DNA information.

Funding for this effort was provided by the Subcommittee in 1997. In 1998, we

successfully completed a test of the telecommunications line between Italy and

the United States. We have shipped WorldFACTS equipment to Italy in anticipation

of the finalization of operational guidelines between the FBI and Italian

authorities.

 

The FBI also assists the Department of Defense in its counterproliferation

program. The goals of this program are to train and equip foreign law

enforcement personnel to detect, prevent, investigate, and prosecute incidents

involving the illegal trafficking in weapons of mass destruction and to deter

the possible proliferation and acquisition of weapons of mass destruction in

Eastern Europe, the Baltic States, and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Under this interagency program, which also involves the United States Customs

Service, the Department of Energy, the Department of State, the Department of

Commerce, and other agencies, the FBI has provided counter-proliferation

training for government officials from the republics of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,

Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and Moldova. Reducing the opportunity for terrorists to

obtain radiological and similar materials at the source is the first step toward

preventing their use against the United States.

 

Conclusion

 

To adequately understand the terrorist threat currently facing the United

States, we must appreciate the unique position America occupies in the world

today. As the sole superpower, the politics of the United States are viewed with

intense interest by nations around the world . To some individuals and groups

who feel powerless to affect their own destinies through legal means, the

breadth of influence and power wielded by the United States represents a

stunning contrast — and an attractive target for their frustrations. Despite

our successes against various terrorist groups and individuals, new groups and

new individuals step onto the scene to take up the cause against America.

 

The FBI has developed a broad-based response to many external threats that

confront the United States today. Due to the strong support of this

Subcommittee, we are much better prepared to address the terrorist threat at

home and abroad than we were six years ago. With the continued support of

Congress and the Executive Branch, and in cooperation with our partners in the

intelligence and law enforcement communities, we will continue to enhance our

ability to protect the American people from the threat of international

terrorism.

 

 

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