A multi-agency investigation involving 20 countries—believed to be the largest-ever law enforcement effort of its kind—has resulted in the seizure and dismantlement of Darkode, an online meeting ...
Cyber Criminal Forum Taken Down
|The Shrouded Horizon investigation against the Darkode cyber criminal forum involved law enforcement agencies in 20 countries.
It was, in effect, a one-stop, high-volume shopping venue for some of the world’s most prolific cyber criminals. Called Darkode, this underground, password-protected, online forum was a meeting place for those interested in buying, selling, and trading malware, botnets, stolen personally identifiable information, credit card information, hacked server credentials, and other pieces of data and software that facilitated complex cyber crimes all over the globe.
Unbeknownst to the operators of this invitation-only, English-speaking criminal forum, though, the FBI had infiltrated this communication platform at the highest levels and began collecting evidence and intelligence on Darkode members.
And today, the Department of Justice and the FBI—with the assistance of our partners in 19 countries around the world—announced the results of Operation Shrouded Horizon, a multi-agency investigation into the Darkode forum.
The FBI’s International Human Rights Unit works closely with partner agencies to reach out to diaspora communities in the United States for tips on the whereabouts of suspected war criminals and ...
Investigating Human Rights
The FBI’s International Human Rights Unit works closely with partner agencies to reach out to diaspora communities in the United States for tips on the whereabouts of suspected war criminals and human rights violators.
Today, Director Comey appeared before two separate U.S. Senate committees to speak on the Going Dark issue, a growing challenge to public safety and national security that has eroded law ...
Senate Committees Briefed on Going Dark Impact
|Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates (left) and Director James Comey testify on the Going Dark issue before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 8, 2015.
Today, Director Comey appeared before two separate U.S. Senate committees to speak on the Going Dark issue, a growing challenge to public safety and national security that has eroded law enforcement’s ability to obtain electronic information and evidence with a court order or a warrant.
First, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey—along with U.S. Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates—continued the public discourse on the Going Dark issue, which involves the impact of emerging technologies on the ability of law enforcement to use lawful investigative tools and follow critical leads. “The benefits of our increasingly digital lives,” according to Comey, “have been accompanied by new dangers, and we have been forced to consider how criminals and terrorists might use advances in technology to their advantage.” He said that the FBI is seeing a growing number of cases—from homicides and kidnappings to drug trafficking, financial fraud, and child exploitation—where critical evidence is coming from smartphones, computers, and online communications.
Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Comey focused specifically on how terrorist groups, including ISIL, use technology such as social media to communicate in order to both inspire and recruit. While some of these conversations take place on publicly accessed social networking sites, others take place over encrypted private messaging platforms. And, as Comey explained, these “changing forms of communication are quickly outpacing laws and technology designed to allow for the lawful intercept of communication content.”
Of the Going Dark issue, Comey and Yates said that the Department of Justice and the FBI must work with Congress, industry, academics, privacy groups, and others to come up with an approach that addresses multiple and competing legitimate concerns. “But,” they added, “we can all agree that we will need ongoing honest and informed public debate about how best to protect liberty and security in both our laws and our technology.”
The FBI is seeking the public’s assistance to identify victims of convicted online predator Lucas Michael Chansler, who was sentenced last year to 105 years in prison for targeting teenage girls in ...
Sextortion: Help Us Identify Victims
|A chat log shows part of an online conversation between Lucas Michael Chansler and one of his victims. The FBI needs your help to identify the teens he targeted.
The FBI is seeking the public’s assistance to identify victims of convicted online predator Lucas Michael Chansler, who was sentenced last year to 105 years in prison for targeting teenage girls in an extortion scheme to produce child pornography. While many of his victims have been identified, the FBI is actively working to identify others to help provide them closure and assistance.
Additional information—including a victim form, videos, a list of 135 usernames and e-mail addresses used by Chansler, and more—can be found at www.fbi.gov/sextortion.
The FBI.gov website was launched on June 30, 1995—20 years ago today. And over the past two decades, the FBI’s web presences have become effective crime-fighting and customer service tools, ...
The FBI Website at 20
|The FBI.gov homepage as it appeared in June 1997.
The FBI.gov website was launched on June 30, 1995—20 years ago today. And over the past two decades, the FBI’s web presences have become effective crime-fighting and customer service tools, increasingly vital to protecting the public and carrying out the Bureau’s daily work.
Members of the FBI’s Operational Medicine Program are trained to provide care under the most stressful situations, such as SWAT operations and high-risk arrests.
Behind the Scenes with Operational Medics
|Transcript | Download
The wounded man needed to be airlifted to a hospital immediately, and in the shadow of deafening helicopter blades whose wash was strong enough to knock a person over, special agents worked quickly to secure the patient to a stretcher and prepare to care for him in the close quarters of the aircraft.
Although this was only an exercise, the highly trained members of the FBI’s Operational Medicine (OpMed) Program were focused on their mission—to provide care under the most stressful situations. Whether for a fellow agent engaged in a SWAT operation or a violent criminal injured during a high-risk arrest, the “medics,” as they are known, don’t distinguish between who needs treatment.
To better collaborate with and assist American families whose loved ones have been kidnapped and held overseas, the White House today announced the creation of the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, which ...
Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell Established
To better collaborate with and assist American families whose loved ones have been kidnapped and held overseas, the White House today announced the creation of the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell, which will be the single government entity responsible for coordinating the recovery of U.S. hostages abroad.
Staffed by hostage recovery professionals from the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the FBI, and the intelligence community, the fusion cell aims to improve how the government develops hostage recovery plans, tracks developments in specific cases, shares information with families, and provides information to Congress and the media. The interagency group will be located at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and will be led by Michael McGarrity, an 18-year veteran of the FBI. Two deputy directors will be from the Department of State and the Department of Defense.
In December 2014—in the wake of increased hostage-takings by terrorist organizations and criminal groups—President Obama directed a comprehensive review of U.S. policy toward overseas hostage-takings. The findings of that review resulted in the new presidential executive order announced today.
“The fusion cell approach enables law enforcement and intelligence community partners to work in a collaborative environment to secure the safe return of U.S. hostages,” said FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano. “We will also be better equipped to serve the needs of families as we all work to bring their loved ones home.”
Kathryn Turman, who leads the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance, noted, “We continue to look for better ways to be supportive and transparent in our relationships with victims and their families, as well as to better partner and share information with them during and after these times of crisis.”
The White House also announced the following new measures today:
- Hostage Response Group - This dedicated interagency policy body convened by the National Security Council will review and provide guidance on hostage recovery strategies and ensure high-level support for all hostage recovery and family support efforts.
- Intelligence Community Issue Manager for Hostage Affairs - This designee will provide the fusion cell with improved management of hostage-related intelligence and enable the timely declassification of intelligence to share with the families of hostages.
- Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs - This designee will coordinate the government’s diplomatic engagements on all U.S. hostage-related matters and will personally engage at the highest levels of foreign governments to secure the safe recovery of hostages.
- Family Engagement Team - This group will include personnel from the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance and the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. The team will collaborate on a continual basis with families of hostages.
More information about today’s announcement can be found on WhiteHouse.gov.
After serving a lengthy state prison term in the early ‘90s for running an extensive truck theft and chop shop operation, the head of a multi-state criminal enterprise picked up where he left ...
Multi-State Chop Shop Operation Disrupted
|A surveillance image shows members of Michael Wymer’s Ohio chop shop operation emptying scrap aluminum cargo out of a stolen trailer so the trailer could be chopped up and sold as scrap metal.
In the early 1990s, Michael Wymer was sentenced to a lengthy term in state prison for heading up an extensive truck theft and chop shop operation.
Wymer, however, apparently never learned his lesson. Upon his release from prison several years ago, he picked up where he left off, setting up another criminal enterprise to steal trucks, disassemble them in his chop shop, and sell them as scrap metal. But this time, Wymer’s activities—which crossed state lines—garnered the attention of the FBI, and last month, the 56-year-old was sentenced in federal court to 27 years in prison. And Wymer’s 13 co-conspirators—including his son, two brothers, and two nephews—have all either pled guilty or been convicted at trial for their roles in the illegal enterprise.
More than 240 individuals—including doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals—were arrested this week for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $712 ...
Health Care Fraud Takedown
|Attorney General Loretta Lynch—joined by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell (left) and FBI Director James B. Comey—speaks at a press conference announcing charges in this week’s health care fraud takedown.
More than 240 individuals—including doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals—were arrested this week for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $712 million in false billings.
The arrests, which began Tuesday, were part of a coordinated operation in 17 cities by Medicare Fraud Strike Force teams, which include personnel from the FBI, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and local law enforcement. The Strike Force’s mission is to combat health care fraud, waste, and abuse.
At a press conference today at DOJ Headquarters in Washington, D.C., officials said the arrests constituted the largest-ever health care fraud takedown in terms of both loss amount and arrests.
Law enforcement authorities are seeking Dylann Storm Roof, who was allegedly involved in several murders in Charleston, South Carolina.
Seeking Suspect in Church Shootings in Charleston, South Carolina
***UPDATE: Dylann Storm Roof is now in custody.***
Law enforcement authorities are seeking Dylann Storm Roof, who was allegedly involved in several murders in Charleston, South Carolina. On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at approximately 8:00 p.m., Roof allegedly entered the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church located at 110 Calhoun Street and began shooting church members. Roof was last seen leaving the church area in a black, four-door sedan.
If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the FBI toll-free number at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324); your local FBI office; or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.