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James Comey Details FBI’s Efforts Against Terrorism, Cyber Threats in House Panel Testimony

James Comey
James Comey

FBI Director James Comey has told the House Committee on Homeland Security about the bureau’s efforts to counter terrorism and cyber threats as well as improve intelligence gathering.

Comey said in a written testimony published Wednesday that the Islamic State group has “aggressively” used social media platforms to spread messages of lone offender attacks and other violent acts against the U.S. and other Western countries.

He cited FBI’s collaboration with local and international organizations to gather and analyze intelligence data with regard to foreign terrorist groups such as the Islamic State organization and other “homegrown violent extremists.”

The bureau has set up an intelligence branch led by an executive assistant director and launched efforts to encourage intelligence analysts and agents to undergo courses and training exercises in an effort to improve FBI’s intelligence integration, collection and sharing operations, Comey said.

Comey noted that the bureau works with other federal and state agencies to investigate and share information on cyber threats through the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force and Cyber Task Forces.

He also mentioned the FBI’s use of investigative processes such as physical surveillance, electronic surveillance authorized by courts and forensics to prevent cyber attacks.

The bureau also has a 24-hour command center, CyWatch, that works to facilitate communication with industry, federal cyber facilities and other government agencies in the event of a cyber attack, he added.

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