FBI, Interpol host symposium on critical infrastructure

The FBI and Interpol co-hosted an event this week to explore and share best practices for managing WMD and counterterrorism threats targeted toward critical infrastructure.

James Comey, the director of the FBI, spoke on Monday at the opening of the four-day International Law Enforcement Critical Infrastructure Symposium. The event, which was co-hosted by the FBI's WMD Directorate and Interpol, drew law enforcement officials from more than 90 countries, as well as domestic first responders, federal partners and corporate security officers.

The attendees sought to identify common approaches to protect infrastructure and key resources from WMDs.

"Today, critical infrastructure is all encompassing," Comey said. "It is everything to our country and our world-our dams, our bridges, our highways, our networks. We know these threats are real. We must together figure out ways to protect our infrastructure, to work together to strengthen our response to a terrorist attack, a tragic accident, or a natural disaster."

Comey discussed the importance of open communication and information sharing with U.S. partners. He said the FBI and Interpol are able to leverage 190 member countries to address challenges throughout the world. Comey also highlighted the work of the WMD Directorate.

"They integrate our counterterrorism, intelligence, counterintelligence, scientific, and technological components and provide timely analysis of the threat and response," Comey said. "The goal is to shrink the world to respond to the threat."

Comey said the greatest weapon in the fight against WMDs is unity, which occurs when countries and agencies share intelligence and cooperate.

"It is built on the idea that standing together, we are smarter and stronger than when we are standing alone," Comey said. "Because no one person-no FBI agent, no police officer, no agency, and no country-can prevent or respond to an attack on critical infrastructure alone."