FBI Terror Official: Al-Qaeda Will Return To Washington


John Perren, new counterterrorism chief of the FBI’s Washington, D.C., field office, has two decades of experience pursuing some of the biggest terrorist plots in U.S. history. He tells the Washington Post this is a new era for the FBI’s second-biggest counterterrorism office. The bureau is trying to blend a crime-busting past with a more intelligence-driven, long-term approach. “The focus isn’t response” to attacks, says Perren, 54. “It’s investigation, prevention and disruption.”

Citing the hijacked 9/11 flight that never made it to Washsington, Perren says he believes that al-Qaeda will return, just as the group came back and attacked the World Trade Center eight years after a botched bombing there. “They had a target,” he says. “They will keep going after it.” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says Perren truly believes in cooperating wih local authorities. On the scene of a suspected bomb, “He could have come in and said, ‘I’m the FBI; I’m in charge.’ But he really just jumped into a team mode and said, ‘Just tell me how I can help,’ ” recalls Lanier. Such cooperation, she said, “is not typical for relations between the state and locals and the feds.”

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/19/AR2008041901995.html?hpid=topnews

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