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The FBI's response to New Zealand's attacks demonstrates its quiet global reach



The FBI refused to comment exactly how large the footprint of the small Pacific is more than 6,000 miles from the US mainland, illustrating both the current and the low key position of the anti-crime agency. ,

A source from law enforcement officials told CNN that the Bureau was also searching through the Agency's intelligence facility for any information that might be valuable to investigators in New Zealand.

"There is no FBI style to promote every effort abroad," said Gina Osborn, a retired assistant to the FBI Special Agent who runs one of the international Bureau staffs. "Every day we respond to requests for help, but there is no reason to announce it." While the FBI's internal operations, including domestic protection from national security and criminal threats, are widely understood, its overseas operations involving staff located around the world are less well known. This work is complemented by US agents and analysts who are unfolding in support of specific investigations. "There is no typical day abroad with the FBI," says Gib Wilson, a retired legal attache serving in Belgium, India and the Philippines. "At the same time, you're trying to continue the FBI investigations, help our international partners and work with the intelligence community to stop the dangerous threats. You are really a pivotal point in so many investigations aimed at protecting innocent people around the world.

According to the FBI, the Bureau's global presence traces its roots before World War II before the CIA, when President Franklin Roosevelt instructed government agencies to assist in gathering intelligence data for the Nazis. The first agent was appointed in Bogota in 1

941, followed by London, Ottawa, and Mexico City. The FBI data show that the agency currently has offices and sub-offices of a legal attache in nearly 90 countries, employing staff who serve multi-annual tours as links covering more than 180 countries, territories and islands. These Permanent Representatives fall within the scope of the US ambassador appointed in a particular country and serve as members of the "National Team," the collection of US agency officials assigned to the embassies. "By increasing our international footprint, we have been able to develop long-lasting relationships with our foreign partners," said FBI Special Agent George Pyro last year while speaking at the State Department's Foreign Press Center. "We at the FBI realize how important it is to exchange information, but also to share best practices, training, lessons learned – not only from our perspective but also from our foreign partners."

As well as other experts, Piro notes that a significant part of the work done by agents and analysts abroad includes training in areas such as behavioral analysis, interviewing, crime scene processing, and the use of digital evidence.

"The FBI's work on capacity building abroad never stops," says Megan Stifle, Senior Research Fellow at the Atlantic Council, who previously was was a lawyer at the National Ministry of Justice. Security Department. "US law enforcement officials have been working with foreign governments long before critical incidents to teach them about the value of evidence and how to effectively collect and use them to resolve crimes."

Once a crime or a terrorist act abroad happens, FBI's investigation is often required by partner countries. If an incident directly affects the United States, causing harm to a US citizen or company abroad, the bureau may find a case.

For these investigations, the Bureau maintained extraterritorial squads in four of its offices – Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and New York – responsible for launching staff abroad to investigate threats to US interests and work to prosecute suspected criminals in US or foreign courts.

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Although these detainees are accused of applying US extraterritorial laws they do not have unilateral powers abroad. "The FBI not only boarded a plane and started investigating a foreign country," Osborn said. "Rather, their action must be coordinated with the host country in advance."

A typical example of the work of the FBI extra-territorial squad in helping foreign partners was the role of the Indian Investigation Support Agency after the Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008, resulting in the deaths of nearly 200 civilians.

In this case, the investigators, The Origin Identification of a Terrorist Cell, found that the boat engine used by the offshore take-off in India was manufactured by Yamaha, a global US-based company. The FBI has summoned the company's summons to seek co-operation in tracing the original point of sale of the engine found to be in place in Pakistan. This information was forwarded to the Indian authorities.

"This example illustrates one of the many ways in which US law enforcement agencies work to help solve international crime," said Brian Shilling, a former FBI national security attorney working on the Mumbai investigation. "By using internal resources and legitimate authorities, the FBI can often and quickly provide information to assist foreign law enforcement authorities in local investigations." There are constraints when it comes to transmitting information to US individuals, but when it comes to major incidents and transnational crime, there is often an American connection that the FBI can investigate. "

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