Terrorism: April 20, 2000

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much larger.)--Stephen V Cole

The FBI has become internationalized by necessity, not design. Agents are now in dozens of foreign countries running permanent offices in embassies and consulates, interfacing with the national and even local police forces of the host nations. Crime has become more and more international, and the FBI has found itself constantly forced to send personnel overseas to gather evidence and talk to witnesses to crimes committed in or against the US. Thirty-five formal LEGAT (Legal Attache) offices are operating; many more exist on a temporary basis. (The 35th just opened in Kazakhstan; the 36th will be in New Delhi.) Agents from the LEGAT offices in Pretoria and Cairo were the first to reach the scene of the two embassy bombings; previously, they would have had to travel from Europe or the US and critical evidence would have been lost. While Congress has given the FBI jurisdiction on crimes committed against US citizens, the Bureau is still required to obtain the host government's permission before it begins an investigation. The FBI often provides training to foreign police and helps them select new equipment as a means of ingratiating themselves with their hosts. The FBI academy in Quantico holds four sessions a year for foreign police, some of who attend on what amount to scholarships paid by the US State Department as foreign aid. The FBI runs an academy for police in Budapest, Hungary (opened in 1995) and in Bangkok, Thailand (opened in 1998). New academies are planned for Africa and Latin America. At least in theory, the foreign policemen who graduate from these academies will rise rapidly within their own services and will remain on

 

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