Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the FBI has added 37 hours of counterterrorism training for new agents. The Washington Post says that represents just 5 percent of the curriculum, and only one hour is about Islam, Arabic culture, and understanding the terrorist mind-set. Last fall, the FBI granted a Post reporter unprecedented post-9/11 access to a class of recruits as the students underwent 18 weeks of training at Quantico, near Washington, D.C.
The agents-in-training stay longer at Quantico than past recruits to take the week of new classes on terrorism and intelligence. “It’s way beyond what it’s been in the past,” said Keith Slotter, the academy’s deputy assistant director for training. “We didn’t have any intelligence training before 9/11.” The Post gives a detailed description of what the training entails. An obsolete computer system is also a problem for new-agents-in-training, or “NATS,” “That is one of the big frustrations here,” said Karen Gardner, chief of investigative training at Quantico. “If the American people expect us to connect the dots, we’ve got to train to do it. We don’t have the computer networks here to do that.”