2:00 P.M. EDT
Today, we’re pleased to have some representatives from the FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation. We have with us Michael Korton, who’s the Assistant Director of the Office of Public Affairs; David Johnson, who’s the Section Chief for the Violent Crimes Section, Criminal Investigative Division; and Sean Joyce, the Assistant Director of the International Operations Division. They will – they are here today to discuss the 60th
anniversary of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List.
First to speak will be Michael Korton.MR. KORTON:
Thanks, Jean. On behalf of the FBI it’s a pleasure to be here today and to have the opportunity to talk about a program that is very much a part of the FBI and has been for so many years now, exactly 60 years, is why we’re here, and that’s the Top Ten Program. For 60 years this program has helped make this country safer by helping the FBI and law enforcement across the country locate and identify wanted persons and fugitives.
And as Jean mentioned, we have two experts here today, two senior managers from the FBI. One, Mr. Johnson represents the Violent Crimes Section of our Criminal Division which oversees the program and is going to talk about both the history, the purpose and some of the accomplishments of that program.
At the same time, we have Assistant Director Sean Joyce who is in charge of our International Program of the FBI which is a program that has grown dramatically in recent years for a number of reasons that Sean will talk about.
But these two issues coming together is very important because just as everything we know has become more global and internationalized, so has the FBI and the challenges we face in finding fugitives and wanted persons. So each of them is going to give some brief remarks about those two aspects of what we’re here today to talk about; and of course we’ll have time for questions when we’re finished.
So with that, let me introduce the Chief of the FBI Violent Crimes Section, David Johnson. David.MR. JOHNSON:
Thank you, Mike. It’s really my pleasure today to be here to talk to you about one of the more successful programs that we have within the FBI. That would be the Top Ten Fugitive Program. It really is a team effort, and that’s one of the themes that I’ll stress as we talk about the program today.
For those of you that have never been inside FBI Headquarters, there’s a large quote inside the courtyard by J. Edgar Hoover, and I think he got this quote very right. He said, “The most effective weapon against crime is cooperation -- the efforts of all law enforcement agencies with the support and understanding of the American people.” And I think the cooperation that he refers to is really critical to the success of the Top Ten Program, and I’ll talk a little bit about why I think that’s so.
The other reason why I think the Top Ten Program has been so successful is it has not remained static. It’s evolved over time to make itself important to the times of the day, and we’ll talk a little bit about the evolution of the list.
History and success. It all started in 1949. Rumor has it that it was the brain child of two individuals, Mr. Hoover, and a reporter from the International News Service, and it was developed over a game of Hearts. I don’t know if that’s accurate or not, but that’s the story and we’re sticking with it.
In terms of statistics over time, there have been a total of 494 individuals on the list since its inception -- 463 of those individuals have been captured. As I said, it’s been very successful. That’s about a 94 percent success rate, so very good. Of those captured 152 or about a third were captured as a result of citizens’ cooperation, as a result of publicity that was generated by the media.
Some interesting trivial facts here for those of you that play Trivial Pursuit. The first person on the list, Thomas James Holden. He was wanted for murdering his wife, her brother and her step-brother. Two fugitives have been arrested as a result of visitors on the FBI tour, information provided by them. The shortest amount of time for anyone on the list was two hours, and that was Billie Austin Bryant in 1969. He was wanted for the murder of two FBI agents and a variety of other different crimes. The longest amount of time on the list, Donald Eugene Webb, 25 years and 10 months, and we still have not caught him but he’s been removed from the list.
There have been a total of eight women on the list. The first was Ruth Eisemann Schier who was wanted for kidnapping a college student. The oldest person placed on the list, and he’s still on the list today, Whitey Bulger, James J. Bulger. He was placed on the list when he was about 69 years old.
The process for selecting the individuals on the list is pretty simple and straightforward. We’ve got two primary criteria. We’re looking for people that are what we call a “dangerous menace to society” and generally what that means is they have a significant criminal history. And also that the publicity that is generated will assist in their capture.
CID and particularly the Violent Crimes Section in conjunction with the Office of Public Affairs will reach out to all 56 field offices and solicit candidates for the list. We have over 3,000 active fugitive cases within the FBI, so we have a lot to choose from, and only the most significant will be considered.
Once the field offices send us the proposed list we’ll take a look through them in conjunction with public affairs. We sort of select the cream of the crop, if you will, and then we’ll provide those to the Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division and then from there it will go up to the Director’s office for final selection.
As I mentioned earlier, I talked a little bit about the evolution of the list and why I think that’s one of the real reasons why it’s been instrumental over time in terms of being effective. So just as the FBI priorities have changed, so has the consistency of the list. Selections are relevant to the significant crime problems of the day. For example in the 1950s the first ten, the initial ten consisted of two murderers, four individuals who escaped jail, one bank robber, one burglar, and two car thieves. Evidently the 1950s was a good time to be a prisoner if you were looking to get out. As time progressed, during the ‘60s we were looking at folks that were responsible for the destruction of government property, saboteurs and kidnappers. In the ‘70s we focused more on organized crime. In the ‘80s the focus was on drugs. In the ‘90s the international component became very evident to us and so we started to take a look at the fugitives that we believe may have fled overseas.
Today the list consists of the following. An international terrorist and one domestic terrorist. One international organized crime boss and one domestic crime boss. Three individuals wanted for murder. One individual wanted for crimes against children matters. And two gang members.
Let me just take a couple of minutes and talk about the importance of partnerships. Again, another reason why I think this list has been successful. The partnerships are not only internal in the FBI, but they’re also external as well.
As I mentioned, we work closely with the Office of Public Affairs in terms of developing the list and who will be on that list. They are responsible for getting our message out in terms of who those individuals are, where we think they are, where we think they’re likely to be found. We work very closely with the International Operations Division. Assistant Director Joyce will talk to you a little bit about what their mission is and how they target individuals on the Top Ten List overseas.
Externally, like I said, we couldn’t do as good of a job as is done without the help of the media. I can’t overstate the importance of the partnership that’s been developed with the media in this regard. It allows us to reach millions of people instantaneously, which is a lot different from when we first started with Wanted flyers in a post office and newsprint and magazines. Since its inception, 9 of the first 20 Top Tenners were captured as a result of newsprint and magazines, and a total of 46 fugitives have been captured to date.
We also use, as you know, television and radio to publicize these particular individuals. We have networks airing shows on television on a regular basis. ABC Radio broadcasts the weekly series FBI This Week, and a total of 27 fugitives have been arrested as a result of this type of publicity. In particular, America’s Most Wanted is responsible for 17 Top Ten captures.
In addition to the traditional methods, the FBI is being very proactive in terms of utilizing new technology to reach the public. On our Internet site, FBI.gov, on the Wanted by the FBI section, we get over a million viewers a month. So far, two fugitives have been captured as a result of this publicity. The FBI also has a Facebook page and a Twitter account where people can follow the latest information about the fugitives on the list. There’s also a Podcast that’s available. It’s available weekly and it’s called “Wanted by the FBI” and we’ve also worked on the development of an iPhone application which also allows folks to instantaneously obtain information.
Since I’m on the theme of partnerships, I’ve got to talk about our local and state and other federal law enforcement partners. Without their assistance, the Top Ten Program would not be anywhere like where it is today. There are significantly more local and state law enforcement officers on the street every day. Their eyes and ears are very beneficial in terms of developing information and leads which helps us in a variety of different programs. But on today’s account, we’re going to focus on the Top Ten programs. So that partnership is critical.
We also rely on our foreign law enforcement partners. We can’t do many of the things that we would like to do overseas without the assistance of them. They assist our Legats, they help conduct investigations overseas, they help us locate fugitives, and they help us return them, whether it be through extradition, deportation, or expulsion.
The last partnership I want to talk about is the partnership with the public. Without the information being disseminated to the public, we wouldn’t have nearly the success that we’ve had in a variety of different matters, but in particular with regard to the Top Ten list.
In conclusion, let me just reiterate a couple of things. In my opinion the Top Ten list continues to be a huge success because of the partnerships that have been developed, as well as its ability to evolve over time. And as I said earlier, probably one of the most significant partnerships is the relationship that’s been developed by the FBI and the media and I thank you for your efforts to bring these folks to justice.
On that note, let me turn it over to Assistant Director Joyce. He’ll talk to you a little bit about the International Operations Division and what they do for the FBI.MR. JOYCE:
Thank you, Mr. Johnson. It’s my pleasure to be here, folks. Mr. Johnson covered a lot of some of the things we do overseas. We have 61 Legat Officers overseas and 15 sub-offices. What we really do is execute the FBI’s mission overseas.
So how does that relate to the FBI Top Ten? As you know, the world is increasingly becoming transnational, and with the ease of travel and the ease in flow of information, the FBI is uniquely and strategically positioned to help effect these arrests with the help of the host country and you, the press. That is one of our biggest weapons in capturing these fugitives. So again, working with the host government, because as you know, we do not have our arrest authorities in foreign countries. We work at the behest and with the cooperation of foreign law enforcement organizations.
With that help we actually are able to execute and successfully implement the mission. That has been evidenced recently in the Top Ten captures out of Mexico, in Pakistan, and throughout the world. So again, our mission in coordination with Mr. Johnson’s, is to really execute that Top Ten strategy and effectively do that.
How do we do that? Again, there’s a myriad of ways. As he mentioned, deportation expulsion, or we can get a Red Notice from Interpol which is issuing an arrest warrant through Interpol where we’re giving them the information that’s recognized by 187 countries.
Or we can do it through an extradition treaty. So there are a myriad of ways that we can execute that and successfully bring somebody home. As you know, we face many difficulties, but working with host governments and the excellent relationships that we have oftentimes we are able to successfully do that.
So I’ll take from the international side, Mike if it’s all right with you, any questions you might have since Mr. Johnson covered a lot of what we do overseas. Is that good with you, Mike? MR. KORTAN:
Okay, if you could just state your name and media organization. Start with Andrei.QUESTION:
Thank you. Andrei Sitov from Tass, the Russian News Agency. Thanks to our friends at the FPC as always for doing this, and thanks to you gentlemen for coming over. We appreciate it.
Obviously my question is about Russia. You have one Russian person on the list, Mr. Mogilevich. For a while recently Mr. Mogilevich was held by the Russian law enforcement. I was wondering why then you did not resolve this issue then. Did you file an official request for him to be -- What do you want him? To be extradited, deported, whatever? What was the response? Thank you.MR. JOYCE:
Again, we would like him to be extradited. We were not aware that he was in Russian custody. He is of Ukrainian descent, that we’re aware of. And again, working with our partners to successfully bring him back to the United States to face charges.QUESTION:
Do you feel you have enough legal instruments which is going on with the Russians to successfully resolve such cases?MR. JOYCE:
Obviously our cooperation with some governments is better than others. And again, we just continue to try to work through that. We have some excellent relationships with the Russian authorities in other matters and we hope to work with their help in locating and apprehending him in this matter.MODERATOR:
Right here. QUESTION:
Raghubir Goyal, for India Globe (inaudible). First of all, I have to thank, happy 60th
anniversary, and I hope you get more wanted people.
My question is that the Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs, she is talking about the same thing that you are talking here, about the terrorism and the wanted people by India, which are now, she believes, in Pakistan. One, if you have a request from India or from Interpol, they are wanted on bombings in India, the continuing bombing in India, and they are (inaudible) in Pakistan. And what - how do you really - do you have 187 countries in Interpol you mentioned are working with you really as far as their intelligence is concerned? Because sometimes the internal matter is none of the interference by the United States or India or the UK?MR. JOYCE:
Again, we’re working with the Indian authorities. I traveled recently with Director Mueller to talk to Minister Chidambaram and others in working on the Mumbai attack specifically, and again, working with them to successfully bring those folks to justice, whether that’s in an Indian court or a U.S. court. So again, success is not just bringing someone back to the United States; success is bringing justice to the victims, wherever that may be.QUESTION:
Let me follow (inaudible). MR. JOYCE:
Are there any Indians wanted by Interpol or by the United States that they may be here in the U.S. or elsewhere that the Indian government is not (inaudible) –MR. JOYCE:
I couldn’t tell you that answer, sir. D.J., I don’t know if you know offhand. I’m sure there are some. QUESTION:
Thank you. MODERATOR:
In the back, there. QUESTION:
Thank you very much, and happy anniversary. I am Nicolae Melinescue from Romanian Television. I was wondering if this initiative has been so successful, if you have the intention to promote it to your partners from outside the U.S., like Europe, Eastern Europe, which has a high rate of crime. Thank you.MR. JOYCE:
What exactly are you talking about promoting? QUESTION:
About this list of – MR. JOYCE:
Top 10? QUESTION:
Yes. MR. JOYCE:
I think we try to share these best practices with all of our partners overseas, so that would be one of them, so absolutely.MODERATOR:
Right here. No, well, okay. First him and then her. QUESTION:
My question would be to Section Chief Johnson. MODERATOR:
Please state your name and -- QUESTION:
Yeah. My question would be to Section Chief Johnson. I’m David Alandete with El Pais from Spain. Talking about the rewards, I believe there’s a $100,000 reward. Is this something very common, that you give the reward to people that actually give you tips? Or could you state how many people have received these rewards over the years, if you have such data? Thank you.MR. JOHNSON:
Yeah, I don’t have specific data on rewards. What I can say is each of the Top Ten fugitives has a reward of $100,000 minimum for the arrest and capture. Certain Top Ten fugitives have a higher reward than others. For example, Usama bin Laden’s reward would be significantly higher than that.QUESTION:
Do you know how much? MR. JOHNSON:
In excess of a million dollars. Yeah.QUESTION:
Okay. Good day. Ekaterina Alexandrova, Infox. What would be your comment on the achieving work on signing the bilateral extradition treaty between Russia and the U.S., considering that as you previously, as Mr. Joyce previously stated, you were not even aware of the fact that Mogilevich was in Russian custody. Do you think that this might move someone forward with this? Because as a Russian Minister of Justice stated, the American partners, they are not in a hurry to sign this treaty. Do you think that might be helpful to kind of boost this process?MR. JOHNSON:
All right, that’s going to be a tough question for me to answer. MR. JOYCE:
I think, again, we try to engage with foreign countries to establish an extradition treaty and a mutual legal assistance treaty which is, again, cooperations between the two countries. However, we also in many instances meet countries that do not want to establish a treaty for many reasons. One of them being that they will not extradite their own citizens. The United States will extradite its citizens for crimes committed overseas. Many of these countries will not. So that has been a sticking point in attempting to establish some of these bilateral treaties.
Obviously when we can put those mechanisms in place it makes our ability to achieve success that much greater. At this time I would say they are not interested in doing that.QUESTION:
(Inaudible.) Again, the Russian Minister of Justice stated that usually the cases with two parties involved, with two countries involved, are individually evaluated. Why do you think this did not happen with Mogilevich’s arrest in Moscow? Because he was in custody for several months.MR. JOYCE:
And what are you referring to, when he was in custody? QUESTION:
He was released in 2009. MR. JOYCE:
Again, the information that we have that the Russians have shared with us - I can’t speak to the information that you have - is that they did not have him in custody, they don’t know his whereabouts currently, and I mean, I think that’s all we can really honestly tell you. Whether they did have him in custody or not, I can’t tell you. Hopefully, based on his charges and the significance that he represents being on our Top Ten list, that they would work with us to bring him to justice.MODERATOR:
Okay, for the next question, we’ll go to New York. QUESTION:
Yes, thank you very much. Neeme Raud, Estonian TV. You were telling us how that crime is evolving. Now we’re fighting the cybercrime, international cybercrime. Would that be reflected on this list, and how you do you track those criminals? MR. JOYCE:
I think – D.J., if you don’t mind if I – do you want to – MR. JOHNSON:
No, go ahead. MR. JOYCE:
I think, absolutely, we consider cybercrime one of our top three priorities and we do look for future Top Ten candidates to be in this area. Again, I can’t, especially I believe, sir, you said that you came from Estonia, is that accurate? That is one of the key areas that we focus on some of our joint cooperation and joint investigations with the Estonian authorities who are, I should say, excellent partners along with our Romanian friends also.
So yes, we do look and we will probably see in the near future someone being on the Top Ten list related to cybercrime.MR. JOHNSON:
(Inaudible.) MR. JOYCE:
Yeah. MR. JOHNSON:
To follow on real quickly on that, on the last selection process that the FBI did, there were several individuals that were responsible for significant cybercrime, and that’s really been the first time that I have seen cyber issues elevate to that level. So it is a priority to the FBI and it won’t be long before a cyber criminal is on the Top Ten list.MODERATOR:
Okay. The next question will be right here. QUESTION:
Hello, my name is Ilin Stanev, a Bulgarian journalist. I have two questions. First, how many of the fugitives are foreign citizens? And how do you expect them to be extradited to the United States when there is a death penalty and no European country will extradite its citizens if there is the possibility in the United States? And my second question, let’s say I decide to claim the multimillion dollar reward for some of the fugitives. What kind of information would I need to give you? What kind of cave they are hiding in, or --MR. JOYCE:
First, you’ll become my best friend once you claim the award (laughter). Again,– D.J., do you want to handle claiming the rewards first, and then we’ll go back (inaudible)? MR. JOHNSON:
The general language is “information leading to the arrest and capture.” So for example, if someone was to provide us with an address where we could find a particular individual, I’m sure that we will pay the reward when we capture or arrest that particular individual. But really, I don’t think it has to be quite that specific. It just has to get us into a position or our foreign law enforcement counterparts into a position where they can actually make the arrest.MR. JOYCE:
On the death penalty issue that you alluded to, in many instances, again, we will make an agreement with the host country of where that individual is going to be basically what we’ll call a formal transfer of custody from that country to the United States, and agree that the death penalty will not be part of that extradition or formal transfer process.
I will remind everyone here, as I was assigned overseas, that many countries view the United States or have the perception that the United States is the land of the death penalty, and I assure you, it is not. And very rarely is that actually applied to in a federal environment. So I think sometimes that’s overstated. Do we have the death penalty? Absolutely. It is very infrequently used, especially on these federal cases.MODERATOR:
The next question will go right here, this lady. QUESTION:
Thank you. Silvia Ayuso, from the German Press Agency. I’m curious, there’s one on the list in Cuba or supposed to be in Cuba. I’m aware that in the past years there has been some collaboration with the Cuban authorities who have returned some fugitives to the U.S. I would like to know how the status is, and out of curiosity, if there is a reward, do you give that to a Cuban given the problems with with – MR. JOYCE:
I welcome the individual you’re referring to to return from Cuba, but we do not have, as you know, formal relations with Cuba, so we do not have any ongoing relationships with their law enforcement or intelligence services.MODRATOR:
Next question, we’ll go right here. QUESTION:
Thank you. Heba El Khoudsy from Al Masry Al Youm, Egyptian Newspaper. I want to ask you what’s the criteria used to determine who’s number one and who is number three in your Top Ten? And under what circumstances the ranking could change.
My second question is about your Most Wanted fugitive is Usama Bin Laden. How do you evaluate working with Middle Eastern countries, especially with a media that will go against you, your will of capturing these people or working to defend these people or officials as heroes? How do you work with such media in the Middle Eastern countries?MR. JOHNSON:
Okay. I think I can answer the first part of that question. Do you want to try the second part in terms of interaction with media from the Middle Eastern countries?
Okay. In terms of the rankings, we don’t rank anybody on the Top 10 list. It’s a measure of success to make it on to the Top 10 list, but there’s not a one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten. We all consider them equal. I was being a little bit flip when I say in my personal opinion Usama Bin Laden would be my top-ranked candidate, but the FBI does not rank the candidates.MR. KORTAN:
I would just say with respect to international media, the FBI Office of Public Affairs works very closely with both U.S.-based media and news media from all around the world. And we in fact share all of this – any promotional material, any information about fugitives – with foreign media. And in fact, we’ll target the media in a particular country or a particular region if we believe that a person is from that area, with the idea that we have increased chances of identification in those areas.
So clearly, the media is a global community now. We recognize that. There are no boundaries in terms of our efforts to encourage media publicity and participation in these.MODERATOR:
Great. For the next question, we’ll go back to New York. QUESTION:
Matthew Hall from SBS Australia. I just wondered if somebody could expand on the Twitter, Facebook, and iPhone application. Is that the equivalent of a 21st
century wanted poster? And is it possible for you to gauge the success of those methods of information transmission?MR. JOHNSON:
Again, it’s difficult for us to gauge the success right now because it’s so relatively new. We haven’t captured any fugitives as a result of those particular methods, but we also realize that in today’s society that’s typically how a lot of people communicate. They communicate using Facebook and they communicate using Twitter and to have the iPod Ap is a convenient way for them to obtain this information. So I think as time progresses, I think they will become successful and I think the FBI would be negligent if it weren’t utilizing every technology available to try and help locate these folks.MODERATOR:
Okay. For the next question, we’ll go all the way in the back. QUESTION:
Hi. My name is Christian Witt. I am with N-TV German Television. This probably goes to Mr. Joyce from the IOD. I just wanted to know if – or how would you characterize or describe the cooperation between German institutions and you in that prospect that you trace the criminals. How is the cooperation between Germany and the U.S. there?MR. JOYCE:
I think the cooperation is excellent. As you know, we have quite a robust presence out of Berlin and we have a satellite office also in Frankfurt. I would say that we have ongoing joint operations with our partners in there, and I don’t think it could be much better.QUESTION:
Were there any specific successes? Sorry. Were there any specific cases where the German institutions could help you, or where they right now can help you?MR. JOYCE:
I think there’s – we have dozens of ongoing investigations with the German authorities and, of course, this isn’t a venue where we’d be talking about those investigations.MODERATOR:
Right here, next question. QUESTION:
Hi. This is Lalit Jha, Press Trust of India. You started this about 60 years ago when terrorism was not at this level what you - with this right now, post 9/11. Do you feel the need of more than Top 20, more than Top 10 or Top 20 list of Most Wanted fugitives?
And secondly, when you look at the list, as you know, the U.S. leaders have been telling us about the Afghanistan and Pakistan being the nerve center of terrorism. I can just see only one person coming from that area. There’s no other from Taliban, al-Qaida, or even Laskar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed and others. Do you have any comment on that? And finally, after Mumbai terrorist attack, can you give us a sense of your cooperation between the FBI and the Indian intelligence agencies?MR. JOYCE:
There’s a lot of questions packed into one there. A couple of answers to that.
As I told you, I traveled recently over there with Director Mueller. Obviously the Mumbai attack was a discussion point that we discussed with the Intelligence Bureau, with Minister Chidambaram and others. It is, I would say, an excellent example of the cooperation between the two countries. I think that it is obviously, as one of your colleagues mentioned earlier, how do we deal with the press overseas? Especially dealing with the Middle East, dealing with sort of the tension, as we all know, between India and Pakistan. And what I would say is that we play the role of honest broker. We are an apolitical organization and we are trying to bring the individuals that commit criminal acts to justice with the host country.
So again, on Mumbai, I think that is an outstanding example of the Indian authorities working with the FBI authorities, and really helping to identify the individuals that were complicit in the Mumbai attacks, and dealing with some of the other countries that were also involved, and cooperating with them to bring those individuals to justice. Is that investigation complete? No it is not, as you well know. But we continue to work with you and the Pakistani authorities to bring the individuals to justice, with your countries.
And again, I emphasize that success is not just bringing someone back to the United States. If we can help you provide evidence in a court of law; if we can provide you, as we have in the Mumbai attacks, individuals that actually testify in an Indian court proceeding, that again is success for the FBI and I think success for everybody in the world.MR. JOHNSON:
Okay, let me just follow up on expanding the list question as well as the terrorism related question. Ten seems to work for us on the criminal side, so we’ll stick with ten. It’s been very successful in the past, and I don’t think there are any plans to increase the Top Ten list.
With regard to terrorists, however, there’s a separate list, Most Wanted Terrorist list that our Counterterrorism Division has, and there are more than ten individuals currently on that list. So there’s a separate terrorism list containing those individuals.MODERATOR:
Follow-up? MR. JOYCE:
I’m just going to add one point if I could. I’m sorry. MODERATOR:
By all means. MR. JOYCE:
We don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that the Top Ten list or even the Top Ten Terrorist list beyond that is the sum total of wanted persons by the FBI. There are a lot of wanted persons out there. We just try to categorize them in ways that can bring focus and attention to those that we’re most interested in. As far as the Most Wanted Terrorist list that David alluded to, you can see that on FBI.gov. There’s obviously a limit to the value of publicity. If you get too wide and too large it tends to dilute its value a little bit. That’s why the Top Ten list itself has been so successful over the years, because of the size and the focus that that allows.
But in recent years, in response to your question, obviously terrorism has become a much greater focus of law enforcement intelligence agencies around the world, and they need to publicize those wanted individuals so we have added that separate list in that regard.QUESTION:
Raghubir Goyal again. I just wanted to say one thing. That after FBI’s help in Headley, in Chicago, and others, FBI has become a household name in India, and Indians have more faith and trust in FBI today than ever before. And if you wanted to say anything because they (inaudible) U.S. may not be with India as dealing with terrorism because so many terrorism activities against Indians, but this time, when this incident of two individuals that when FBI shared information with India over this Chicago incident, Headley and others, now you have become really part of the Indian household name. Do you have any comments on that?MR. JOYCE:
No, I couldn’t agree with you more. And I think in some places the FBI is met with suspicious eyes, and I assure everyone here that our role overseas is completely overt, so we are who we are overseas. And again, we’re just trying to forward that mission. And I say unfortunately, due to the Mumbai tragedy, it was a unique circumstance where the relationship I think between our two countries vastly improved and specifically between the FBI, the ID and the other police agencies in India. So I couldn’t concur more with your statement. Thank you.MODERATOR:
Okay. One more follow-up from -- QUESTION:
About Mumbai, again. Talking ahead of what was said, Indian intelligence agencies have been seeking access to David Coleman Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana for their intervention, and FBI has not been able to give them access. Do you have any sense what is hindering giving access to the intelligence agency for questioning these individuals, who are very important for the Mumbai terrorist attack?MR. JOYCE:
I think we share the importance of what you’re saying, but again, that is still an ongoing investigation. It is something, again, that has been discussed between the appropriate folks, I assure you, since I was present for the discussion. But it won’t be commented on today.QUESTION:
Sir, I also have a follow-up. I’m afraid I still do not fully understand how it works. So in a case like the one with Mogilevich, did you file a formal request for extradition, for deportation, for whatever it is?MR. JOYCE:
Okay. So this – the way it works is Mr. Johnson and his folks, again, nominate these individuals. They have already been either indicted or there is an arrest warrant via complaint or they’re indicted. There is an American arrest warrant, a federal arrest warrant. We try to locate that individual. So we have to locate them first before we actually move to the extradition process. Okay, so we have not, in the case of Semion Mogilevich, and I welcome if you have his location (laughter). So once he is located by that host government -- again, the FBI does not have arrest authority in any of these foreign countries. So working with your partners in your countries, hopefully they will arrest and hold Mr. Mogilevich and then we will submit the formal extradition.QUESTION:
I know, but – MR. JOYCE:
I’m sorry –QUESTION:
I’m all confused again. (Laughter.) If you do not ask them, if you do not specifically ask them to look for him, why would they look for him if he hasn’t committed crimes in their territory, for instance? Suppose you find Mogilevich, I don’t know where, in Fiji, and he lives there. They may even know that he is there, but see, they are not looking for him because nobody asked them to. This is what I’m asking. Have you asked them to look for him and to hold him and arrest him and whatever?
And secondly, in this specific case what I also do not understand - the information that he was arrested was public knowledge. Everybody reported on it. My agency reported on it. Your legal attaché in Moscow must have read about it in the press. How could he have not known it? And then, if he did know, then the next stage that you describe probably should have arrived.MR. JOYCE:
Okay. Hopefully to answer your first question, yes, all of our legal attachés overseas communicate to their partners the individuals who are wanted. Again, specifically on Semion Mogilevich. I assure you, we have talked to all of the authorities in the area we believe he may be to successfully locate and arrest him. We have not been informed by any agency that Mr. Mogilevich was apprehended, was under arrest, or was being detained.QUESTION:
Yes, hello. Diego Urdaneta, of France Presse. I was wondering, there are four Latinos in the Top Ten list. That seems like a big proportion. Is there a reason for having four Latinos?MR. JOYCE:
Again, I think we look at, as Mr. Johnson mentioned, it’s not a popularity contest. It’s again, individuals that they’ve identified that they feel have met a certain criteria that we consider egregious crimes.
D.J, if you wanted to add more. MR. JOHNSON:
(Inaudible.) We – yeah, in the selection process, I mean, the two things that we’re looking at, again, are: Is this person a dangerous menace to society? Do they have a lengthy criminal history? That’s one. And second, will publicity help us find them. I think if you look at the criminal histories and the conduct of every single individual on that list, you will find that the crimes that have been committed are horrific, and it has absolutely nothing to do with their ethnicity, country of origin or whatever the case may be. It is specifically related to the criminal conduct.MODERATOR:
Yes. Will you elaborate a little bit about this terrorist list, which countries or what’s the ranking of the people? And most of them are from which countries? And another question about the legal agreement with the countries. Do you require that the foreign country or any other country that will cooperate with you in arresting and investigation, or just handing the fugitive to you? Thank you. MR. JOYCE: O
n the last part of your question, again, we’re more than happy if they just want to hand over the individual to us. Oftentimes, if we can lend our expertise -- be that technical or in other means -- we’re happy to do that with our partners overseas. Again, with the agreements, sometimes the formal agreements can be a hindrance because it makes things bureaucratic. Oftentimes some of the informal partnerships that we have with the host government end up being a more streamlined and effective and efficient process. So again, I think it varies on the specific country, if that answers your question.QUESTION:
Well, you were talking about the terrorist list, and the reason why they’re leaving me up here is because I used to be over terrorism for the United States. Again, the Top 20, it’s not the Top 20. It’s a list of 20 Most Wanted Terrorists. Again, much like the criminal Top Ten list, it is not based on one being greater than the other. Again, it is looked at as, again, the FBI’s number one mission as an individual mentioned previously, our mission has changed since 9/11. Again, first and foremost is to protect the United States. Again, what we are trying to do is identify these individuals who have committed great crimes against really other individuals.
Again, as you mentioned, and I think it’s particularly apt here, that when we talk about terrorists, we’re talking about crimes against individuals. We’re talking about murder of innocent citizens. It’s not a debate, and I don’t like to use some of the words that, again, have been common here that are really not accepted overseas when you talk about things like Jihad. That means something very different to a Muslim than it does a Christian. And sometimes through the press, we inadvertently characterize and dub these things. And what I’m trying to say to you is that, again, when we look at these terrorists I’m talking about individuals that are committing crimes against humanity. And what am I talking about that? I’m talking about committing murders of innocent individuals. I understand that you may have a political reason for doing things, but there are other and more peaceful and better ways to do it. So I think we can all agree that the murdering of innocent individuals anywhere in the world is a just cause to bring these folks to justice and that’s what the FBI does.MODERATOR:
Any more questions. Your time -- QUESTION
: -- follow-up to that. Just one brief, for what – from what you said earlier, I gathered that one of the sticking points for an agreement with some countries, including probably Russia, is the willingness of some countries to extradite their own citizens. So is this a necessary condition for the U.S.? For concluding such a treaty?MR. JOYCE:
Again, the Department of Justice is the agency and department responsible for drawing up that agreement and actually executing it, so I will defer to them. I can tell you, though, that that has been an issue that has been difficult to resolve and moving forward, we’d like to have that agreement. And again, it’s reciprocity. The United States must be willing to extradite their citizens to these foreign countries, which we do.MODERATOR:
Okay. And with that, we’re just about out of time. I want to thank the speakers for coming today, and thank you all for attending.
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