MCALLEN, Texas — Breitbart Texas traveled to San Antonio to talk with James Comey, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who was visiting Texas, as well as to meet with part of the bureau’s executive management about the new challenges they face.
Two of the primary missions of the FBI have always been counterterrorism and counterintelligence, the two have taken greater importance in the years following the terrorist attacks of 9-11, Comey explains.
“There will come a day when these groups will try to carry out new attacks on the American people and we will be ready for it,” he said, “We are determined.”
Since taking over the agency 11 months ago and having switched from the private sector, Comey quickly realized how things have changed in recent years. Terrorist and criminal organizations have evolved into recruiting foreign members as well as influencing homegrown terrorists.
“Terrorist groups like the Islamic State also known as ISIL or ISIS are different than other groups and present a unique challenge that the agency has been working closely to monitor and fight,” Comey said.
While the organization currently operates in the Middle East, the group has foreign members who might be able to travel into Europe and possibly into America. That is why the FBI has been working to monitor any attempts of such travel as well as their efforts to recruit individuals in the United States, Director Comey said.
One of the possibilities that the agency has been keeping an eye on in South Texas is for extremists to enter the country through the Southern border. The agency has been coordinating with other local agencies to prepare for it, however, so far that has not been the case.
“Because the people who are going to see a Syrian traveler, or some homegrown violent extremist, in that short window between emergence and killings is likely going to be a sheriff’s deputy or a police officer on patrol,” Comey said.
The most direct threat to America comes from the radical individuals who are already in America. They are not directly linked to terrorist groups, but getting influenced by them and learning how to make explosive devices on the internet, the director said asking the public to report anything suspicious.
“We have a tendency to rationalize and minimize things,” Comey mentioned adding that his bureau is able to investigate tips in a confidential manner. “Report it to us we will look into it, if it is nothing, that person will never know, but at least let us look into it.”
In addition to their work in counterterrorism, the agency in Texas has been working closely to investigate cases of public corruption, violent crimes, and transnational criminal organizations better known as drug cartels. In South Texas, the FBI has carried out various investigations that have led to the arrests of school board officials, mayors, and other elected officials.