FBI national director visits Indianapolis

Terrorism, cybercrimes are top priorities

INDIANAPOLIS - The national director of the FBI paid a visit to the Indianapolis office Wednesday to hold a meet-and-greet with his field agents and police officials from around Indiana.

James Comey is six months into his 10-year term as the national director. He said that both the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up and the last thing he thinks about when he goes to bed is terrorism.

Comey oversees a network of more than 120 field offices nationwide and around the world. Each one has two top priorities: counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence.

"Syria is proving to be a training ground for gathering from all over the world to meet fellow Jihadists and learn their techniques. We're very concerned about Americans and Europeans training there and returning," Comey said.

In Indianapolis, more than half of the local office devotes its attention to fighting white-collar crime, organized crime, criminal gangs and crimes against children.

The Indianapolis field office devotes nearly as much attention to fighting cybercrimes around the country and around the world. That's because the internet moves quickly without respect to time, place and international borders.

"Bonnie and Clyde could not rob, Dillinger could not rob 1,000 banks in all 50 states in the same day in his pajamas from a former Soviet country. That goes on today," Comey said.

In Indianapolis, the FBI is working with Department of Public Safety officials to quietly build a cyber-defense infrastructure to combat attacks on things like the city's power grid and communications facilities.

Officials said the technology has outpaced the capacity for local governments to thwart attacks.

"We have to look at cyber-type crimes for the security of our banking institutions, our major companies, our worldwide companies. But also for the individuals who live at home," Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs said.

Indianapolis-area law enforcement agencies and the FBI enjoy a national reputation for their ability to work closely and in harmony with each other -- a partnership that did not go unnoticed by the new director.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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