During the summer of 2019, I was selected as an embedded intern with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Manhattan, New York. For six weeks, I was embedded with the FBI Counter-Terrorism Team 6. Because of the support of the Carlucci Fellowship, this incredible experience was enhanced with the ability to bring my entire family with me.
As an active-duty military officer with 18 years of counter-terrorism experience with the Department of Defense, this experience with the Department of Justice and FBI broadened my understanding of the law-enforcement side of counter-terrorism. As more and more extremist are being caught and prosecuted here in the United States, this problematic and dynamic aspect of counter-terrorism is an essential and challenging policy issue. I saw this first-hand during my internship.
One highlight of my experience with the FBI in New York was the ability to be in a terrorism trial in the New York Federal Courthouse. This helped me understand the challenging aspect of terrorism cases and the unique responsibilities of the prosecution, defense, and a federal judge when trying an American citizen on terrorism charges and how incarceration, rehabilitation, and reintegration of a homegrown violent extremist all play an essential factor.
Additionally, working with the FBI agents and intelligence analysts in the JTTF office helped me understand the communication, targeting, and tactical methods of terrorist organizations in different regions around the world. This experience expanded my understanding of the transnational threat and operational reach of various terrorist networks. With full excess to the investigative infrastructure of the FBI’s JTTF, CT-6 and I were able to identify new cells inside an extremist organization that had not been identified as a threat before my time with the bureau.
While this experience with the FBI was incredibly unique and fascinating, one of the best parts of this summer internship was that my family could be with me in New York City. The experience has not only broadened my understanding of national security and counter-terrorism but expanded my family life balance. I cannot thank the Carlucci family enough for this fantastic experience.