War on Terrorism

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Terrorism and FBI

Statement of Glenn A. Fine Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice, before the

House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on Recent Inspector General Reports Concerning the Federal Bureau of Investigation

February 24, 2010 - Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Gohmert, and Members of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security:

Thank you for inviting me to testify about recent Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) reports related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The FBI faces significant challenges in handling its many critical duties. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the FBI has reoriented its focus to make counterterrorism its top priority, but at the same time it must continue to address its many pressing traditional law enforcement responsibilities.

As part of the OIG’s ongoing oversight work, we have reviewed a variety of important FBI programs. At the request of the subcommittee, I will mainly focus my testimony on three recent OIG reviews: (1) coordination between the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in explosives investigations; (2) the FBI’s foreign language translation program; and (3) the FBI’s and the Department of Justice’s coordination of efforts to combat gang violence.

Within the past year we have also issued several other reports on important FBI programs. My testimony briefly summarizes the findings of some of these reviews. Finally, my testimony highlights several ongoing OIG reviews of FBI programs.

Explosives Investigation Coordination Between the FBI and ATF
In October 2009, the OIG issued an audit report that examined the coordination between the FBI and ATF in explosives investigations, and the Department of Justice’s oversight of these coordination efforts.

Our audit found that FBI and ATF were not adequately coordinating explosives related operations, and the Department’s management of the FBI and ATF’s coordination efforts was ineffective. We found that conflicts continued to occur throughout the country about whether the FBI or ATF would be the lead agency for federal explosives investigations and about their differing explosives-handling techniques.

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