WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (KUNA) — Chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Christopher Wray defended Thursday the agency against attacks on its reputation.
Wray told the House Judiciary Hearing that “there is no shortage of opinions out there,” and that the FBI he sees is “tens of thousands of brave men and women who are working as hard as they can to keep people that they will never know safe from harm.” He went on to say that “the FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff, working their tails off to keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack; gang violence; child predators; spies from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.” He added “the FBI that I see is people, decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and professionalism and respect. The FBI that I see is respected and appreciated by our partners in federal, state and local law enforcement; in the intelligence community; by our foreign counterparts, both law enforcement and national security, in something like 200 countries around the globe. That’s the FBI that I see.” “Now, do we make mistakes? You bet we make mistakes, just like everybody who’s human makes mistakes. And, when we make mistakes, there are independent processes, like that of the outside, independent inspector general, that will drive and dive deep into the facts surrounding those mistakes. And, when that independent fact-finding is complete, we will hold our folks accountable, if that’s appropriate,” he remarked.
On the national security front, FBI Director stressed that the agency confronts individuals “who want to harm the United States in whatever way they can, terrorists hell-bent on striking us with IEDs, vehicles, guns and knives,” saying “as we speak, the bureau has about 1,000 active ISIS investigations in all 50 states.” He warned that there are “nation-states actively seeking our technology, our military secrets, our research and development to build their own economic process and prowess and to tear ours down; cyber criminals who are using sophisticated means to infiltrate our systems and steal every piece of data that they can get their hands on.” “These threats are real, they are many and they are a grave threat to all Americans… They don’t want to have to worry about a terrorist driving a truck down a busy walkway. They don’t want to worry about an active shooter opening fire on a crowded public gathering. And they certainly don’t want to worry about whether their kids are safe from gangs and drug dealers and predators,” he stressed.
Wray reiterated “we all need to be aware of the world around us and of the threats we face, but we in the FBI are trying to do everything we can to make sure that the American people can go about living their lives while we focus on trying to keep them safe.” (end) si.ibi