November 19, 2015

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. (U.S. 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.”