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 Home > News & Policies > October 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 30, 2008

Fact Sheet: Confronting the Emerging Dangers of a New Century
President Bush Outlines How The FBI Has Adapted To Meet The Challenges Of The War On Terror

     Fact sheet President Bush Attends Graduation Ceremony for Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents
     Fact sheet In Focus: National Security

Today, President Bush spoke to the graduating class of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and discussed how the FBI has been transformed as part of the Administration's broader efforts to modernize the intelligence community since 9/11.  The special agents awarded their badges today will write a new chapter in the FBI's storied history with assignments as diverse as the FBI's mission – from dismantling organized crime networks, to pulling the plug on online predators, to making white-collar criminals pay for defrauding hardworking Americans – and they will take their place on the front lines of the war on terror.

Thanks To The Vision And Determination Of The FBI, America Is Safer Today Than Prior To 9/11

The FBI's leaders adapted the Bureau's mission to detection and disruption of terrorist attacks.  Before 9/11, terrorism was viewed primarily as a criminal matter.  Law enforcement focused more on prosecuting terrorists after an attack than on preventing the attack in the first place.  For example, after terrorists first targeted the World Trade Center in 1993, FBI agents succeeded in tracking down several of the killers, obtaining indictments against them, and putting them behind bars.  But eight years later al Qaida returned to finish the job.  

Immediately after 9/11, the FBI made preventing terrorism its top priority.  Over the past seven years, the FBI has more than doubled the number of intelligence analysts and translators on the force.  The Patriot Act has helped ensure that FBI analysts and investigators have the information they need to protect our Nation.  The FBI established a new National Security Branch – bringing together divisions responsible for intelligence, counterterrorism, and counterespionage. 

  • At the local level, we have increased the number of FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces from 35 to more than 100.  These task forces bring together Federal and local law enforcement agents.  And they have helped break up terror cells in places like Portland, Oregon; Buffalo, New York; and northern Virginia. 

  • At the national level, we created the National Counterterrorism Center where the FBI is working side by side with the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and other Federal agencies to track terrorist threats and prevent new attacks.  We created the Terrorist Screening Center to consolidate terror watch lists from different agencies into one master list. 

  • At the international level, we have deployed the FBI to foreign countries to help track down terrorists.  Since 9/11, the FBI has opened 16 new offices overseas.  Two are in Kabul and Baghdad – where FBI agents are serving alongside our brave men and women in uniform on the front lines of the war on terror.  

More than seven years have passed without another attack on our soil.  This is not an accident.  Since 9/11, the FBI has worked with our partners around the world to disrupt planned terrorist attacks.  Most Americans will never know the full stories of how these attacks were stopped and how many lives were saved.   

In The Midst Of This Rapid Change, One Thing Will Never Change – The Character And Courage Of Those Who Carry The Badge

The members of this class join the FBI during a momentous time in its history – its 100th anniversary.  Over the past century, the FBI has grown from a small team of 34 investigators to a powerful force of more than 30,000 agents, analysts, and support professionals serving around the world.  They have pushed the boundaries of forensic science – from mastering the art of fingerprints to pioneering the use of DNA evidence. 

  • In every era, the FBI has risen to meet new challenges.  When mobsters brought crime and chaos to America's cities during the 1920s and 30s, the G-Men of the FBI brought them to justice.  When America entered World War II, the FBI stopped Axis agents from carrying out attacks on our homeland.  During the Cold War, the FBI worked long hours to protect America from Soviet spies.  This record of achievement has earned the admiration of the entire world. 

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