On January 27th, a high-level delegation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) led by Mr Michael Welch, Assistant Director of the FBI’s International Operations Division, visited Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.
The main purpose of the meeting was to provide Mr Welch and his colleagues with a general overview of Europol and its crime-fighting capabilities. Mr Welch said that “the visit delivered a meaningful exchange and identified opportunities for the FBI to work even closer with Europol”. The FBI visitors met with representatives of Europol’s Serious Organised Crime unit, Counter Terrorism unit, and Information Hub. Additionally, they visited the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and its Document Forensic and Digital Forensic IT Laboratories. The delegation also had the opportunity to see the operational facilities of Europol, as well as the EC3’s Multi-Disciplinary Centre for Cyber Innovation.
The European Cybercrime Centre and the FBI are already working together on numerous operations in the field of online child sexual exploitation and cybercrime. Mr Troels Oerting, Europol’s Assistant Director and Head of EC3, stated, “We are very encouraged that the FBI Cyber Division has decided to post a dedicated Cyber Liaison Officer to EC3.” He added that “this will improve cooperation in cyberspace and our ability to secure citizens from cybercrime on both continents.”
The visit concluded with a meeting with Mr Rob Wainwright, Europol’s Director, who emphasised the vital importance of enhancing operational cooperation with the FBI as one of Europol’s crucial partners in the fight against transnational organised crime and terrorism.