Transcript of Director Comey’s Remarks

Transcript of Director Comey’s Remarks

Hi, my name is Jim Comey. I’m the Director of the FBI. 

Thank you for visiting this website. 

We’ve seen a growing trend of violent extremist groups trying to recruit teenagers, especially over the Internet. Drawn by false messages of power or glory, vulnerable young people can become puppets used to help spread a message of hate. They can be encouraged to commit crimes or travel to fight overseas or even urged to inflict terror on their own communities and their own homes. 

We created this website to talk about violent extremism: what it is, who it impacts, and how to recognize it if you, or somebody you love, is being recruited. 

We all have a role in fighting violent extremism. 

At the FBI, our job is to investigate crimes and to stop terrorists before they harm innocent people. Your job is to educate yourselves to think critically and be aware of what’s going on around you.

We are very lucky to live in this great country with all of its freedom: freedom of belief and association, freedom of speech, the ability to peacefully protest to address grievances, even the right to hold and express views that others may find offensive. 

So many people around the world lack this freedom. We should never take that for granted. 

Our freedom does not give people the right to commit violent acts in the name of their political, their religious, or their ideological beliefs. That is not freedom. 

The violent extremist groups talked about throughout this website represent radicalized views. And that’s an important point. When innocent folks are wrongly associated with violent extremism, they can become victims of bullying or hate crimes because people mistakenly think they are part of something bad. As Americans, we cannot allow that kind of intolerance to take root in our communities. 

The strength of this country is its diversity: each of us, whatever our individual backgrounds or life experiences or perspectives or our religious beliefs. Together, we all add up to this great country. That’s why I encourage you to try to be inclusive and to welcome all people with all their differences, create a supportive environment in your school and your neighborhoods. 

The best weapons against violent extremists and their efforts to recruit are empowered young people like you and communities that welcome and support everyone, especially the most vulnerable. 

So be part of the solution. Don’t be a puppet. 

Thank you.