FBI Hosts Meeting of International Law Enforcement Group

This week in Washington, D.C., Director James Comey is hosting a meeting of the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group (FELEG), an international coalition of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States who share criminal intelligence and collaborate on operations to combat transnational crime.

Members of the FELEG include representatives from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Australian Commission, Australian Federal Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the U.K. National Crime Agency, and the New Zealand Police. Within the FBI, the FELEG’s operational point of contact is Associate Executive Assistant Director David J. Johnson from our Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch.

According to Johnson, “The work of the FELEG has led to increased sharing between partner nations of both criminal intelligence expertise and operational resources, and the FBI is proud to be a part of it.”

And Executive Assistant Director Randall Coleman of our Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch highlighted the arrest late last year of alleged international money launderer Altaf Khanani by the DEA as one of FELEG’s success stories. “That arrest,” Coleman said, “stemmed from an unprecedented level of sharing and operational cooperation among the Five Eyes partners, and the lessons learned from that case are already being applied to subsequent investigations into complex criminal networks.”

FELEG operations are conducted by working groups that concentrate on specific criminal or functional areas. These groups include the Criminal Intelligence Advisory Group, which addresses organized crime and drug-related operations; the Money Laundering Group, which focuses on money laundering activities; the Cyber Crime Working Group, whose goal is to identify the sophisticated perpetrators operating key cyber criminal services in the cyber underground marketplace; and the Technical Working Group, which facilitates the technical means for inter-agency communications and information exchange.

The most recent FELEG entity is the Going Dark Forum, established earlier this year after being proposed by the FBI to address the effects of Going Dark. This issue, a growing challenge to public safety and national security, has eroded law enforcement’s ability to obtain electronic information and evidence with a court order or warrant.

In August 2015, the FBI began its two-year term as chair of the FELEG. This week’s meeting of the group’s principals is an annual event held to establish priorities and direction for the coming year, and to assess the progress of its working groups.