Our program last Friday 1/31/20 featured the FBI’s Supervisory Special Agent Dave Marshall. Originally a football coach in New York, Mr. Marshall is glad to have met a Texas girl and eventually settled here and joined the bureau.
To begin, Mr. Marshall met head on the various narratives in the news these days about the Bureau. He assured all that there is NOT a culture problem at the FBI. He affirmed that no matter which party is in power and no matter the individual residing in the White House, he and his colleagues respect the office of the President.
Special Agent Marshall provided a summary of the FBI presence in North Texas. There are about 30 supervisory agents like himself along with more than 200 special agents and 200+ support staff. As a leader of this group he noted that he asks his people to always be KIND, CONFIDENT and yet HUMBLE.
He made a special effort to note that the mission of the FBI is to DEFEAT bad actors and those who wish to harm our people or negatively impact the interests of our country. He reiterated that the mission is not to simply mitigate or deter enemies of the USA, but it is indeed to defeat them.
Next Mr. Marshall outlined the primary focus areas of the FBI. First, Counter-terrorism is the top focus. There are various ways this manifests itself in our offices and in our homes. He noted how vital it is the have strong and effective “cyber hygiene.”
Secondly, the bureau is working to develop counterintelligence. Specifically, he noted that the actors in this arena are: “China, China, some Russia, China, a little North Korea and then China and more China.” It was a bit shocking to hear how strongly he felt about what is happening with China. The theft of IP and product manufacturing is relentless.
Next was Cyber Security. That is, the illegal penetration of our systems and the unauthorized access of confidential data and financial accounts. “This is the most prolific issue that impacts every other issue. We are having a hard time keeping up.”
Finally, Mr. Marshall noted that they are certainly still focused on the more traditional Criminal activity. From white collar crime such as we have seen in the city of Dallas with some elected officials to participation in the Project Safe Neighborhoods there are many ways the FBI is confronting criminal activity in North Texas.
His closing thought was that as we look ahead, there will be rapid change in the threat-scape. Getting out in front of it or at least keeping up with it is a daily challenge. He assures us the FBI is up to the task.