Roderick L. Beverly
Special Agent in Charge
Office of International Operations
Federal Bureau of Investigation
House Judiciary Subcommittee On
Immigration, Border Security & Claims
May 13, 2003
Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Jackson Lee, and
distinguished members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to appear before
you this morning.
Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that the purpose of this hearing is to examine John Allen Muhammad's alleged document fraud activities in Antigua. The FBI appreciates the subcommittee's interest and concern in this matter. Due to the pending prosecution of Mr. Muhammad for the D.C. area sniper attacks, however, the FBI is not at liberty to discuss the activities of Mr. Muhammad. Nevertheless, I understand that the Subcommittee would like for me to provide an overview of the FBI's Legal Attache, or Legat, program.
The Office of International Operations directs the FBI's Legat program which consists of 45 offices around the world. These Legal Attache Offices are staffed by 114 Special Agents and 75 support employees. By the end of 2003, we project that this will increase to 133 Special Agents and 83 support personnel with the opening of new offices in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Sanaa, Yemen; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Tunis, Tunisia. We are also in the process of reviewing the establishment of three sub-offices of existing Legats in Bonn, Germany (Legat Berlin); Milan, Italy (Legat Rome); and Toronto, Canada (Legat Ottawa). Legats Amman, Islamabad, Manila, Ottawa, Riyadh, and perhaps Cairo, are being augmented with additional Special Agent and support personnel. Of the additional $45 million appropriated for the support of the FBI Counterterrorism mission overseas, approximately $24 million was allocated for expansion of the Legat Program.
Each Legal Attache Office is an integral component of the Country Team in the United States Embassy in which they are located. Pursuant to a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with the Departments Of State, Justice and Treasury, Legat personnel report to United States Ambassadors in their roles as Chiefs Of Mission. Legat personnel participate in the full range of Country Team duties including Emergency Action Committees and the formulation of Mission Performance Plans. Legat personnel work in close coordination with our counterparts in the Central Intelligence Agency abroad to, among other critical missions, prevent, mitigate, and investigate terrorist attacks on United States interests abroad. FBI Legats frequently advance mission goals and objectives by facilitating the delivery of a broad spectrum of training and technical assistance ranging from Major Case Management to Internal Accountability Systems to our foreign counterparts. During the past five years alone Legats have been instrumental in facilitating the participation of 586 foreign students from 113 countries in the FBI's National Academy. Foreign National Academy alumni represented a high value cadre of liaison contacts who are frequently of great assistance in advancing FBI investigations overseas.
Through the liaison established by our Legats we are able to mobilize the investigative assistance of foreign governments without compromising their national sovereignty. This assistance benefits not only the FBI but other federal agencies as well as state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies. During the period FY 2001 to FY 2002, the number of leads handled by Legats increased from 41,211 to 53,105. This is consistent with the trend in which Legat lead coverage steadily increased from 15,630 in FY 1997 to 41,211 in FY 2001. Legats further serve as the reciprocal point of contact for these countries to obtain investigative assistance in the United States through the FBI as well as state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies.
Our Legat Program greatly enhances the capability of the United States Government to wage the war against terrorism as well as addressing the full range of criminal threats to the United States in an increasingly "globalized" world. In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, and throughout the following year, our Legats facilitated the rapid deployment of approximately 700 FBI personnel overseas. Their contributions to the rapid international deployment of FBI personnel in response to terrorist attacks on our embassies in East Africa, the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, and the October 12, 2002 bombings in Bali, also dramatically demonstrate this capability.
While the FBI has no direct involvement in U.S. border security, in addition to our active participation with U.S. Intelligence Community and law enforcement partners abroad, the FBI as an agency, and the Legat program in particular works closely with State's Consular Affairs Office and Homeland Security by being an active participant in border security initiatives such as the visa waiver program, the visa viper program and related initiatives.
That concludes my prepared remarks. I would be pleased to respond to any questions the Subcommittee may have that relate to the FBI's Legat Program.