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Archive for March 2nd, 2021

FBI Agents Association Encouraged by Senators Calling for More Bureau Resources

By Allan Lengel

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the growing and challenging problem of domestic terrorism in the U.S., prompting the FBI Agents Association to applaud Senators who called for more resources for the bureau.

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Capitol Hill

“Today’s Senate hearing called attention to the growing number of dangerous threats that FBI Special Agents are working to thwart, and the FBIAA was encouraged to hear some Senators call for providing more resources to the Bureau, including expanding the ranks of Special Agents,” the association’s President Brian O’Hare said in a statement on Tuesday following Wray’s testimony.

“FBI Director Christopher Wray described the rising threat of domestic terrorism to the public and our democracy. Senators on both sides of the aisle urged action to address the threat of domestic extremism,” O’Hare said. “The FBIAA calls on Congress to ensure the Bureau has the tools it needs by immediately passing legislation to attach penalties to the existing definition of domestic terrorism in the federal criminal code. “

Wray defended the FBI’s dissemination of intelligence before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and told the committee “we have significantly grown the number of investigations and arrests.”

He warned that domestic terrorism “has been metastasizing around the country for a long time now, and it’s not going away anytime soon.”

Wray to Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee about Capitol Attack, Domestic Extremists

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee.

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director Christopher Wray is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today, and senators are expected to grill him about the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, as well as the rising threat of domestic terrorism. 

The committee hearing marks his first testimony since the insurrection, which led to the deaths of at least five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

The FBI has come under fire for missing warning signs before the riot. 

Since the attack, the FBI has arrested more than 280 people accused of participating in the attack. 

Wray also is expected to be asked about the rising threat from white nationalists and other violent domestic extremists. 

During Wray’s last testimony before a congressional committee in September, he spoke about domestic extremists. 

“Trends may shift, but the underlying drivers for domestic violent extremism – such as perceptions of government or law enforcement overreach, sociopolitical conditions, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and reactions to legislative actions – remain constant,” Wray said told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Dennis Rice Tapped to Lead FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office

Special Agent Dennis W. Rice

By Steve Neavling

Dennis W. Rice has been named the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office. 

Before the appointment, Rice was serving as deputy assistant director for the Enterprise Cybersecurity Office at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

His career with the FBI began in 1997 in the St. Louis Field Office, where he investigated violent crime, organized crime, counterintelligence and cyber cases. In 2005, Rice was promoted to chief security officer and was the information systems security officer. Then in 2012, Rice became supervisory special agent of the counterintelligence and technical programs in St. Louis.

He also served as the crisis management coordinator and led a year-long active shooter training initiative in St. Louis.

In 2015, Rice was promoted to assistant section chief in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI headquarters, where he created the first joint operational section between the Cyber and Counterintelligence Divisions.

In 2016, Rice became assistant special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence and Cyber Division in the Los Angeles Field Office and was in charge of the West Covina Resident Agency.

Rice was promoted in 2018 to section chief in the Counterintelligence Division at headquarters and led several joint operations with USIC partners. 

In 2019, he became deputy assistant director of the Enterprise Cybersecurity Office in the Information Technology Branch at headquarters.

At Eastern Kentucky University, Rice received a bachelor of science degree in police administration. He also earned graduate degrees in computer resources and information technology and in security management from Webster University in Missouri. 

Before joining the FBI, Rice worked in the Somerset Police Department in Kentucky.