July 9, 2022

FBI Director Concludes Meetings with U.K. Partners

Law enforcement leaders discuss China, cyber threats, and an evolving domestic terrorism picture

FBI Director Christopher Wray concluded several days of meetings with law enforcement partners in the United Kingdom on Friday, noting that the FBI is celebrating the 80th year of operations in London, where the FBI maintains a legal attaché office.

In remarks to members of the news media, Director Wray said the relationship between the U.S. and U.K. has evolved as the threat picture has evolved into “one in which travel and technology have blurred the lines between foreign and domestic threats.”

Among the complex issues facing the two nations are international and domestic terrorism, including the increase in racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism.

Director Wray said he and his British counterparts spent a lot of their time discussing cyber threats. “Today we’re seeing attacks that are more pervasive, hit a wider variety of victims, and carry the potential for greater damage than ever before,” said Director Wray.

The U.K. and U.S. are working together to enforce sanctions imposed on Russia due to its military action in Ukraine. Through the Justice Department’s Kleptocapture Task Force, the FBI is assisting in efforts to freeze and seize assets owned by sanctioned Russian oligarchs.

Director Wray said both countries face the challenge that criminals and terrorists are “taking advantage of end-to-end encryption to conceal their illegal activities from law enforcement.” Wray emphasized the FBI supports encryption, but there must be lawful access to communications with court orders to stop national security threats and crimes.

He also addressed the workforce of MI5 and met over several days with its leader, Director General Ken McCallum. Wray said the FBI’s partnerships with the U.K. are essential to combating threats and the Bureau “has no closer foreign partner than MI5.”