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Counterterrorism Fly Team

Counterterrorism Fly Team

FBI Counterterrorism Division Fly Team SealWho do we call when we need an infusion of seasoned counterterrorism investigators who can respond quickly to dangerous threats and major terrorist attacks around the country and across the globe? The FBI’s Counterterrorism Division Fly Team.

Genesis: On June 21, 2002, the FBI Director announced to Congress the establishment of the Fly Team as a significant counterterrorism initiative under the reorganization plan to refocus the Bureau’s mission and priorities following the 9/11 terrorism attacks.

What is it exactly? A small, highly trained cadre of counterterrorism investigators—including special agents and intelligence analysts—based at FBI Headquarters who stand ready to deploy anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.

Fly Team mission: To bring the FBI’s strategic and tactical counterterrorism capabilities to bear in partnership with other U.S. government agencies and foreign partner-nation entities in critical overseas locations to detect, penetrate, and disrupt terrorist networks.

What specific training and skills do Fly Team members have?

  • Counterterrorism subject matter expertise;
  • Advanced interview and interrogation;
  • Human intelligence operations;
  • Evidence collection and sensitive site exploitation;
  • Digital media exploitation and forensics;
  • Explosive post blast investigations;
  • Biometrics;
  • Advanced tactical and force protection skills;
  • Medical training;
  • Tactical evasive driving;
  • Hostage survival and resistance training;
  • Foreign language skills (Arabic, French, Somali, Spanish);
  • Foreign weapons knowledge and proficiency; and
  • Advanced surveillance techniques.

Fly Team Training

How often has the Fly Team been called? Since its creation, the Fly Team has conducted hundreds of strategic deployments throughout the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, the Horn of Africa, and the war zones of Iraq & Afghanistan. The Fly Team has also responded to numerous counterterrorism critical incidents over the years, with recent examples listed below:

  • Boston Marathon bombing;
  • Benghazi, Libya – U.S. Consulate Attack;
  • Nairobi, Kenya - Westgate Mall attack;
  • Kampala, Uganda – World Cup bombing; and
  • Abuja, Nigeria – Boko Haram kidnapping of school girls.