And I am pleased to see Connie Mosca, who will join me in cutting the ribbon.
She has served the Baltimore Division for 53 years. This is her third building
in that time, so she was there almost 32 years ago when the Baltimore FBI
Office moved into its most recent location on Ambassador Road.
At that time, Richard Nixon was President and the Oakland A's won the 69th
World Series. The building was home to about 150 Special Agents and 100 Support
staff. Today, there are around 200 Special Agents and 180 Support staff.
At that time there were no joint task forces. Today, more than 80 full
time members, representing 60 federal, state and local departments, participate
on five separate task forces.
A lot of things have changed since then. And just as change has caused this
office to outgrow its old building, change has caused the FBI to work in new
For one thing, we
are getting new, modern facilities here in Baltimore and elsewhere – in
fact, the Albuquerque Field Office is having its ribbon cutting today as
We are growing and modernizing to meet the threats of the 21st Century.
To fulfill our primary mission of protecting the United States from terrorist
attacks, we have changed our priorities. As a result, our top three priorities
are counterterrorism, counterintelligence and cyber security.
Back in 1972, we had not envisioned working Terrorism or Cyber Crimes. FBI
investigative mainstays were organized crime, violent crime, white collar crime
and foreign counterintelligence. It was a simpler time.
Let me give you an example of the type of criminal case we confront today.
Just last spring,
a United States scientific research station located in Antarctica, of all
places, called us for help after their systems had been
hacked into and their data corrupted. Because of the sub-freezing temperatures,
it was impossible to send Agents to the scene – no aircraft could land
or take off from the site for months.
But working from thousands of miles away, our investigators were able to
trace the source of the intrusion to a server outside Pittsburgh. From there,
we identified two suspects in Romania responsible for the intrusion. Thanks
to the cooperation and hard work of the Romanian authorities, they were arrested
The FBI of 32 years ago could not have imagined conducting remote operations
in Antarctica. Or working hand-in-hand with police in Romania based on data
from a server in Pittsburgh. It is a whole new world.
That was a new type
of criminal case, but today our number one priority is counterterrorism.
Unfortunately, we are not as free to talk about most
of those cases. But you have seen the news stories – ricin and anthrax
investigations, smugglers trying to sell weapons of mass destruction. The
threat from terrorism is real, and it is being investigated by every FBI
This has required us to adapt. Baltimore is a good example of an office
that has moved successfully to working counterterrorism cases. I am told
that, following September 11, a number of senior agents took leadership roles
in pushing for that change. That took courage. Change is never easy.
To meet the threat of terrorism there are two things the FBI must do. We
must continue improving our intelligence capabilities and strengthening our
partnerships with state and local law enforcement. We have made progress
in these areas, but we must keep going.
The FBI has always excelled at gathering intelligence, facts, and evidence.
We needed to combine those capabilities with better analysis and dissemination.
Today, we have woven intelligence into everything we do.
Essential to improving our intelligence capabilities, is improving our
ability to share that information with other members of the law enforcement
and intelligence communities. Partnerships are more important than ever,
and we must continue to improve our relationships with our counterparts at
the federal, state, local, and international level.
Officers on the street are on the front lines of the war against terrorism.
They are the ones who know their communities, who know when something is
not right. They are the ones conducting traffic stops that provide hits from
terrorism watch lists. They are the eyes and ears in the fight against terrorism.
We learn from them and must share whatever information we can to help them
protect their communities.
All of us are more effective and more efficient when we work together.
Law enforcement at all levels is trying to do more than ever before. Resources
are strapped. Again the Baltimore FBI office has set an example by forming
a joint task force with the Baltimore County police and the Baltimore City
police. Together, they are making the most of available resources to investigate
area bank robberies.
Given the global
nature of the threats we now face, we in the FBI must also work more closely
with our counterparts overseas. One way we do this
is by bringing officers from around the world to the FBI Academy for training.
This has resulted in unprecedented cooperation. After the bombing in Riyadh
in May of last year, we sent a team to help the Saudis investigate. As our
counterparts there told us, "we have trained together, now we can work
All of us must work together as never before. Terrorists, international
criminal organizations, and computer hackers operate without borders or boundaries.
This world of new threats requires that all of us contribute to the mission
of protecting our country.
Modern facilities like this are essential to that mission, and I want to
thank everyone who helped make this new building possible.
Let me mention just a few of the people who contributed to this project: