Home Seattle Press Releases 2013 FBI Honors Seattle-Area Leader

FBI Honors Seattle-Area Leader
Mr. Bahaa Wanly Promotes Ties Between Community and Law Enforcement

FBI Seattle December 20, 2013
  • Public Affairs Specialist Ayn Dietrich-Williams (206) 622-0460

The FBI Seattle Field Office selected Seattle resident Mr. Bahaa Wanly for the 2013 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Each year, each FBI field office honors a person who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to his/her local community through service.

On December 18, 2013, in a ceremony at the FBI Seattle Field Office, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Laura M. Laughlin congratulated Mr. Wanly and his family. In April 2014, FBI Director James B. Comey will present Mr. Wanly with the 2013 DCLA award in a ceremony at FBI Headquarters.


“Mr. Wanly has brokered and facilitated ongoing ties between the Seattle-area Muslim community and the FBI,” said SAC Laughlin. “These ties, continually nurtured by Mr. Wanly, have led to locally unprecedented engagement and interaction with the Muslim community and federal law enforcement.”

Due to his highly respected status in the community, Mr. Wanly has been able to reach out to many different levels of society and to various communities within the greater Seattle area to foster an environment of understanding and dialogue. Through Mr. Wanly’s extensive and exhaustive efforts, the federal law enforcement community has been able to reach other, more isolated members of the community and establish relationships. Only through the dedicated and long-term personal commitment of Mr. Wanly did many of the successful conversations between law enforcement and citizens take place in our city, and because of this, the FBI is better positioned to accomplish its mission. Whether related to civil rights or other matters, these deliberations have played an instrumental role in improving the discourse between the Department of Justice and the community.

Mr. Wanly has served as host and facilitator for numerous dinner gatherings at his home, bringing FBI and Muslim community leaders together in a communal and casual environment. Going out of his way to sponsor such gatherings, Mr. Wanly’s community awareness has led to increased and fruitful relationships between the Cham and Somali communities, as well as with Muslim community leadership at local mosques.

Mr. Wanly’s unique ability to cross cultural boundaries and explain concepts and issues in a way that almost all aspects of our community can relate to has greatly benefited law enforcement in general. Likewise, he has been able to artfully articulate to law enforcement the various concerns of the communities and the reasons behind such concerns, thereby greatly assisting the Department of Justice. Discourse and dialogue build the foundation for successful relationships between the federal government and the many communities it serves, and Mr. Wanly has played an instrumental role in achieving this goal in the Seattle area. Further, Mr. Wanly participated in and graduated from the FBI’s Citizens’ Academy in 2013.

Since 1990, the Director’s Community Leadership Award has been a principal means for the FBI to publicly recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations that make extraordinary contributions to crime prevention, violence prevention, and education in their communities.