Today, FBI Director James Comey testified before a Senate committee on the FBI’s programs and priorities for the coming year, and Assistant Director Joseph Campbell briefed a House committee about ...
Executives Brief Congressional Committees on Current FBI Priorities
|Director James Comey discusses the FBI’s programs and priorities for the coming year at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 9, 2015.
This morning, Director James Comey met with members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the FBI’s programs and priorities for the coming year. He referenced the recent shootings in San Bernardino and the attacks in Paris to demonstrate the diverse threats posed to national security, the economy, and our communities and to underscore the complexity and breadth of the FBI’s mission. In his statement, Comey updated committee members on a variety of Bureau priorities, starting with terrorism—its top investigative priority—and “Going Dark,” the challenge faced by law enforcement when dealing with terrorists and criminals who use encrypted technology. He also discussed the latest counterintelligence threats, including the growing scope of the insider threat; the proliferation of cyber-based or cyber-facilitated activity across nearly every national security and criminal area that falls under FBI jurisdiction; and the most egregious criminal threats that the FBI investigates, including public corruption, civil rights abuses, health care fraud, violent crime, transnational organized crime, and crimes against children.
This afternoon, Criminal Investigative Division Assistant Director Joseph Campbell testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about online gambling and the potential criminal activity that could accompany it. Campbell said that the FBI and the Department of Justice take the issue of illegal gambling—which includes online gambling—very seriously and have carefully used their limited resources to focus their investigations and prosecutions of Internet gambling on those groups engaged in the most egregious criminal conduct. Often times, this includes criminal conduct tied to organized crime groups like La Cosa Nostra, activity that is part of a larger criminal scheme, and/or activity that includes locating at least part of the gambling operation within the U.S. According to Campbell, online casinos—just like physical casinos—are potentially susceptible to criminal schemes and money laundering because of the possibility of criminals concealing their identity, location, and actual gambling activity.
A 1980 meeting between an FBI agent and NYPD official led to what became known as the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which has served as a model for all other JTTFs in 104 cities nationwide.
New York Joint Terrorism Task Force Celebrates 35 Years
|FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez speaks during a ceremony marking the 35th anniversary of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force at the FBI New York Field Office on December 1, 2015.
It was a spring afternoon in 1980 when a special agent from the FBI’s New York Field Office and a New York City Police Department official met for lunch to discuss how to combine their expertise to track down terrorist organizations responsible for a wave of violent attacks in the city.
That meeting led to the pooling of both agencies’ resources into a group that became known as the Joint Terrorism Task Force, or JTTF. And last week in New York, the FBI and NYPD celebrated the work the JTTF has been doing ever since.
In a December 1 ceremony at the FBI’s New York Field Office marking the JTTF’s 35th anniversary, FBI Director James Comey described the New York JTTF as the “granddaddy of them all” in a recorded video message shown at the event. “This was the one that started the model, that helped bring the NYPD and the FBI together in ways that people never thought possible,” said Comey.
Ten years ago this month, the FBI initiated Operation Backfire—the takedown of a prolific domestic terrorism group known as The Family, which was tied to more than 40 criminal acts ranging from ...
Operation Backfire: Ten Years Later, Two Fugitives Remain
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Ten years ago this month, the FBI initiated Operation Backfire—the takedown of the most prolific domestic terrorism cell of the time. The group, known as The Family, was tied to more than 40 criminal acts ranging from vandalism to arson between 1995 and 2001, causing more than $45 million in damages. The cell’s 1998 arson attack on a ski resort in Vail, Colorado was its most notorious crime: estimated damage for this one event was $26 million.
In all, 17 individuals were indicted for their involvement with The Family, but a decade later, two remain fugitives: Josephine Sunshine Overaker and Joseph Dibee. The FBI has just released an age-progressed photograph of Overaker. If you have information on the whereabouts of either of these fugitives, please contact your local FBI office, nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or submit at tip at tips.fbi.gov.
Speaking to reporters at FBI Headquarters today, Director James Comey announced that the FBI is assuming a leadership role in the investigation into the mass shooting that occurred earlier this week ...
FBI Will Investigate San Bernardino Shootings as Terrorist Act
|FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch speak to reporters about this week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California during a press availability held December 4, 2015 at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. |
The FBI announced today that it is assuming a leadership role in the investigation into the mass shooting that occurred earlier this week in San Bernardino, California, and that the attack that killed 14 people and injured 21 others has been deemed an act of terrorism.
“This is now a federal terrorism investigation, led by the FBI,” said Director James Comey, speaking to reporters at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was joined by Attorney General Loretta Lynch. “The reason for that,” Comey said, “is that the investigation so far has developed indications of radicalization by the killers and of the potential inspiration by foreign terrorist organizations.” The Bureau’s work, however, continues in close cooperation with our federal, state, and local partners.
Comey cautioned that it is early in the investigation, “but so far, there is no indication that these killers are part of an organized larger group.” He added that hundreds of FBI personnel are following leads all over the world. “We are trying to understand the motives of these killers and trying to understand every detail of their lives.”
The FBI is in possession of a large volume of electronic evidence that belonged to the husband and wife shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. Comey said the couple tried to conceal and destroy electronic evidence before they were killed in a shootout with police Wednesday.
Comey assured the public that the FBI is working as fast as it can to find answers. “We aspire to do it quickly,” he said, “but we most of all aspire to do it well and do it carefully.”
Comey also urged the public to be vigilant but not to live in fear. “Do not let fear become disabling,” he said, adding that it’s important “if you see something that doesn’t make sense, you say something to somebody.” Doing this, Comey explained, will “let us do the work that you pay us to do, which is to investigate and fight terrorism while you live the lives that are so wonderful in this great country of ours.”
“Our hearts continue to ache for the people lost and wounded in San Bernardino and their families,” Comey remarked, echoing Lynch’s earlier sentiments to keep the victims and their families “in our prayers.”
The FBI’s office in Mexico City—the Bureau’s largest and oldest overseas post—marked its 75th anniversary yesterday, commemorating the longstanding alliance between the U.S. and Mexico in the fight ...
FBI Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Legal Attaché in Mexico City
The FBI’s office in Mexico City—the Bureau’s largest and oldest overseas post—marked its 75th anniversary yesterday, commemorating the longstanding alliance between the U.S. and Mexico in the fight against crime.
The FBI and Mexican authorities have been working together since the early 20th century, with the Bureau’s legal attaché office in Mexico City officially opening in 1940. The FBI maintains more than 60 legal attaché offices—or legats—around the world, where Bureau personnel work closely with host countries to share information and to coordinate investigations that help safeguard American citizens and protect U.S. interests.
Federal officials announced new charges unsealed today in New York against 16 additional high-ranking officials from FIFA, the organization responsible for the regulation and promotion of soccer ...
More FIFA Officials Charged in Ongoing Corruption Case
|FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge Diego G. Rodriguez is joined by Attorney General Loretta Lynch in announcing charges against 16 additional FIFA officials at a press conference held December 3, 2015 at Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Federal officials announced new charges unsealed today in New York against 16 additional high-ranking officials from FIFA, the organization responsible for the regulation and promotion of soccer worldwide.
The charges, which include racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracies, are part of a large-scale investigation that alleges a 24-year corruption scheme involving FIFA officials and corporate executives.
During a press conference this afternoon at Department of Justice (DOJ) headquarters in Washington, D.C., Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressed commitment to putting a stop to the corruption. “The message from this announcement should be clear to every culpable individual who remains in the shadows, hoping to evade our investigation: You will not wait us out. You will not escape our focus,” said Lynch.
Six months ago, DOJ announced a 47-count indictment charging nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives for their roles in a long-running scheme to corrupt the sport, which included bribes and kickbacks totaling more than $150 million that were paid or agreed to be paid to obtain media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments.
Today’s superseding indictment brings the total number of individuals and organizations charged to date to 41. Of those, 12 individuals and two sports marketing companies have already been convicted.
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s New York Field Office in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and a variety of international partners.
“The most recent wave of charges announced today is but one more step forward in our effort to level the playing field of soccer,” said FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge Diego Rodriguez. “When criminals bring their corrupt activity to our shores by using U.S. banks and U.S. companies to pay bribes and otherwise further their criminal objectives, they will play by our rules.”
Agents of Asian ancestry have been part of the FBI for a half-century and were honored at a recent conference for the “special value and needed diversity” they brought to the FBI’s ranks.
Agents of Asian Ancestry: ‘Historical Marker’ Celebrates 50 Years of Service
|Fred Wong, seen here taking the FBI oath, became a special agent in 1982. He played a key role in the arrest of a Top Ten fugitive in 1984, and served as head of FBI offices in Belgium and Indonesia before retiring in 2007.
The role of agents of Asian ancestry over the past 50 years—since Edwin Yee and Calvin Shishido were sworn in as agents in 1965—was a centerpiece of this year’s annual national conference of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. Retired Special Agent Ellen Glasser, who was president of the society during the September gathering in Reno, Nevada, said it was a fitting time to honor them for the “special value and needed diversity” they brought to the FBI’s ranks.
“We decided this was an opportunity to do something really important and to create a historical marker for their 50 years of service,” Glasser said, speaking to hundreds of former agents, but specifically addressing the cadre of Asian former agents in attendance. “By celebrating your achievements and your loyalty, we here in the FBI family want to publicly say thank you and job well done.”
As the holiday shopping season officially gets underway, the FBI would like to take this opportunity to warn shoppers to be aware of the increasingly aggressive techniques of cyber criminals who want ...
Protect Your Wallet and Your Information This Holiday Season
As the holiday shopping season officially gets underway, the FBI would like to take this opportunity to warn shoppers to be aware of the increasingly aggressive techniques of cyber criminals who want to steal your money and your personal information.
For example, watch out for online shopping scams—criminals often scheme to defraud victims by offering too-good-to-be-true deals, like brand name merchandise at extremely low discounts or gift cards as an incentive to buy a product. Beware of social media scams, including posts on social media sites that offer vouchers or gift cards or that pose as holiday promotions or contests. Always be careful when downloading mobile applications on your smartphone—some apps, disguised as games and offered for free, maybe be designed to steal personal information. And if you’re in need of extra cash this time of year, watch out for websites and online postings offering work you can do from home—you may actually become the victim of an advance fee, counterfeit, or pyramid scheme, or become an unknowing participant in criminal activity.
Here are some additional steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud this season:
- Check your credit card statement routinely, and ensure websites are secure and reputable before providing your credit card number;
- Do your research to ensure the legitimacy of the individual or company you are purchasing from;
- Beware of providing credit card information when requested through unsolicited e-mails;
- Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information;
- Never click on links contained within unsolicited e-mails;
- Verify any requests for personal information from any business or financial institution by contacting them directly;
- Be cautious of e-mails claiming to contain pictures in attached files, especially unsolicited e-mails—the files may contain viruses; and
- Be leery if you are requested to act quickly or told there is an emergency (fraudsters often create a sense of urgency).
If you suspect you have been victimized, contact your financial institution immediately, contact law enforcement, and file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
The 2015 recipient of the FBI’s Biometric Identification Award (formerly known as the Latent Hit of the Year Award) is a Virginia investigator who played a key role in the identification of a ...
2015 Biometric Identification Award
The 2015 recipient of the FBI’s Biometric Identification Award (formerly known as the Latent Hit of the Year Award) is a member of Virginia’s Norfolk Police Department (NPD) who played a key role in the identification of a dangerous serial offender. Congratulations to Melvin Grover III, an investigator with the forensic section of the NPD’s detective division.
This Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division award is traditionally given to a latent print examiner or law enforcement officer who solves a major violent crime using the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS. But IAFIS—our longstanding fingerprint repository—was replaced last year by the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, developed to expand the Bureau’s biometric identification capabilities and services, and future awards will involve the use of the NGI system.
In light of the recent Paris terrorist attacks, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey discussed ongoing efforts to protect the security of the U.S. during a press briefing ...
Attorney General, Director Brief Media on Efforts to Protect the Homeland
|On November 19, 2015, FBI Director James Comey and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch briefed the media on efforts to protect the homeland in light of the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris. (Department of Justice video)
In light of the recent Paris terrorist attacks, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey discussed ongoing efforts to protect the security of the U.S. during a press briefing today in Washington, D.C.
Of the investigation into the attacks, Lynch said the Department of Justice (DOJ), the FBI, and other agencies are providing support to French authorities to “coordinate strategies and to advance our shared efforts.” She also said that the services of DOJ and FBI victim assistance professionals are being made available, the FBI Legal Attaché Paris office has been expanded, and U.S. personnel are working day and night to respond to any additional requests from our French partners for assistance.
But, she said, the DOJ’s “highest priority is—and will remain—the security of our homeland and the safety of all Americans,” and that DOJ is “operating around the clock—as we have since 9/11 and even before—to uncover and disrupt any plot that takes aim at our people, our infrastructure, and our way of life.” According to Lynch, DOJ and the FBI are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the broader intelligence community, and our partners around the world in all of these efforts.
Discussing those efforts in more detail, Comey said that the Bureau “is not aware of any credible threat here of any Paris-type attack, and we have seen no connection at all between the Paris attackers and the U.S.” He recounted the actions taken immediately after last week’s attacks—looking for connections between Paris and here, sharing information with our state and local partners, covering every tip and lead, and ensuring that the more than 100 FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces focus intensely on our investigations, taking them up a notch.
The threat, according to Comey, is “troubled souls in America being inspired or enabled online to do something violent for ISIS.” But together with partner agencies, he said, “we are watching people of concern, using all of our lawful tools. We will keep watching them, and if we see something, we will work to disrupt it.”
Comey offered this advice to the American public: “Don’t let fear become disabling ... turn fear into a healthy awareness of what’s around you.” He advised reporting anything that doesn’t seem right to law enforcement, and then to “go on living your lives while we do our work.”