Regional FBI chief talks about Guam's agent expansion - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Regional FBI chief talks about Guam's agent expansion

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In a rare media opportunity, the head of the FBI's Honolulu district office, which also oversees Guam, met with local reporters Thursday. There is a growing presence of special agents here, but the FBI says it's not necessarily tied to an increase in crime or security threats.

Special Agent in Charge Paul Delacourt could not discuss specific cases, but says the FBI's role is to get out in front of potential threats, saying, "We look at serious national security threats, and we look at serious criminal threats, that would be public corruption and major fraud, as well as working with our partners on major drug crimes."

He added, "We're very concerned about the opioid epidemic that's plaguing the mainland now, and is beginning to show up on pacific islands. Of course we're concerned about methamphetamine importation."

The FBI is also the lead law enforcement agency in the war on terror, and  Delacourt says the battle has changed since the days of the 9/11 attacks. "We're looking at online radicalization, folks that are spending hours in their basements looking at Jihadi videos. ISIS has posed a different threat than Al Qaeda before it did."

Delacourt would not discuss numbers, but says there are more agents here than ever before, but that's due to organic growth, as the bureau restocks from prior deep personnel cuts. He says the FBI also likes that its workforce reflects the communities it serve, noting, "We do recruiting events here in Guam, we do them in Hawaii, we do them across the country, we're very interested in identifying candidates from across the spectrum."

Delacourt moves soon to the Los Angeles FBI office, where he will be the new chief of the most populated district, with 19 million residents.

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