FBI official says partnerships crucial to counter-terrorism

By ROBIN FITZGERALD – rfitzgerald@sunherald.com

GULFPORT

A strong partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies enhances the FBI’s top priority of counter-terrorism nationwide, said Special Agent Daniel McMullen, who says it’s his top priority as head of the FBI in Mississippi.

The 18-year FBI veteran has led the agency’s efforts in Mississippi for six months. He moved to the Jackson office from Los Angeles, where he was in charge of criminal matters.

Making counter-terrorism the top priority for Mississippi doesn’t mean the state is more vulnerable to terrorist activity than any other state, said McMullen. Those who would provide materials or raise money in support of terrorist acts can be any where, he said.

“The notion of being reactive to terrorism or criminal threats is something we can’t afford any more,” McMullen said. “We have to be proactive.”

“It’s not necessarily about profiling. It’s about where the threats may be. It’s probably going to be something that has manifested itself at the local level, something that state or local law enforcement agencies call to our attention.”

The FBI has become a national security organization since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in addition to its role as a law enforcement agency.

McMullen listed other priorities as counter-intelligence, cybercrime, public corruption, civil rights issues, white-collar crime and criminal enterprise.

The FBI recruits people with diverse backgrounds such as environmental, accounting or health-care, and those who speak a second language fluently. Applicants must be between ages 23 to 37 and have at least an undergraduate degree.

Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2010/05/25/2209614/fbi-official-says-partnerships.html#ixzz0p3azIsxf

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