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FBI Director Mueller Names John S. Pistole Executive Assistant Director for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence

Washington, D.C. December 18, 2003
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

Washington, DC – FBI Director Robert Mueller today named John S. Pistole to be Executive Assistant Director (EAD) for Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence. Mr. Pistole has served as Assistant Director for Counterterrorism since September 2003; he was Acting Assistant Director from June until September. As EAD, Mr. Pistole will oversee the FBI’s top two priority programs and will report directly to Director Mueller.

Director Mueller said, “John Pistole has shown tremendous leadership and has greatly contributed to the success of our counterterrorism mission during a time of tremendous pressure and significant change. Many more challenges lie ahead as we adapt to meet the transnational threats of the future. I have every confidence in John’s ability to keep us ahead of those challenges.”

Mr. Pistole began his career with the FBI in 1983 as a Special Agent assigned to the Minneapolis Division, where he investigated organized crime and violent crimes. In 1985, Mr. Pistole was transferred to the New York Division, where he focused on La Cosa Nostra investigations. In 1990, he was promoted to Supervisor in the Organized Crime Section at FBI Headquarters. In that capacity, Mr. Pistole distinguished himself by coordinating FBI efforts to assist the Italian National Police in finding those responsible for the assassinations of two prominent Italian Magistrates.

In 1994, Mr. Pistole was promoted to field supervisor of a White Collar Crime and Civil Rights squad in Indianapolis, Indiana. The following year, Mr. Pistole was the FBI representative to a State Department delegation sent to Sofia, Bulgaria to assess their laws and police response to Russian/Eurasian organized crime and financial crime. He also led FBI training on three occasions at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary.

In 1999, Mr. Pistole was promoted to the position of Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office. In November 1999, he led one aspect of the investigation into the Egypt Air 990 crash off the coast of Rhode Island.

In July of 2001, Mr. Pistole was promoted to the position of Inspector in the Inspection Division at FBI Headquarters, where he led teams conducting evaluations and audits of FBI field offices and Headquarters Divisions. That same year, Mr. Pistole led a team that addressed security issues in the wake of the arrest of Robert Hanssen.

In April 2002, Mr. Pistole was appointed by Director Mueller to the position of Deputy Assistant Director for the Counterterrorism Division, where he oversaw operations in international and domestic terrorism, and terrorist financing. He was also responsible for directing the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force, and the Terrorism Reports and Requirements Section. His authority was expanded to include leadership and oversight of the FBI’s overall counterterrorism efforts when he was named Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division in September 2003.

Mr. Pistole practiced law for two years prior to joining the FBI.