Prepared Remarks of Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Announcing the National Counter-Prol

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the U.S. Department of Justice: WASHINGTON, D.C. Good morning everyone. Joining me on stage are: Julie Myers , Assistant Secretary for U.S...

ICE has doubled the number of agents assigned to export control cases; the FBI has enhanced its counterintelligence efforts against export violators; the Commerce Department has increased its successful investigations and prosecutions involving illegal exports by about 80% this past year; the DCIS and other Defense Department agencies have stepped up their investigative efforts to protect our military technology.

And, we at the Department of Justice have made export control our top counterintelligence priority. In fact, we have seen a 60 percent increase in the number of export control cases filed over the past year. In fact, you'll hear about developments in two cases that happened in just the past week the sentencing of a Pittsburgh company for lying to regulators about the illegal export to Pakistan of items used in nuclear reactors and missiles and the charges brought against two individuals in Utah for trying to export components for F-4 and F-14 fighter jets, technology that Iran desperately needs to maintain its air force.

While this increased enforcement activity is a step forward, we all believe that we need to undertake a stronger and more comprehensive response to this threat. Just as we mobilized after 9/11 to mount our effort against the threat of international terrorism, we need to mobilize and harness all of our counter-proliferation assets and focus them on the threat of technology proliferation.

We're doing that with this initiative, and we're doing it in a couple of ways.

First, we are building the expertise we need among the prosecutors to handle the increasing workload we're getting from the investigating agencies. Because these cases typically involve sensitive international issues, classified information and complex regulatory schemes, they can be extremely difficult to prosecute. Some prosecutors have a great deal of experience in these cases, while others do not. Under this initiative, we are expanding our training of field prosecutors around the country, and we recently appointed a new National Export Control Coordinator, Steve Pelak , to help manage the prosecutor training and to make sure that our prosecutors have the tools they need to handle these cases effectively.

Second, we are creating Counter-Proliferation Task Forces in districts around the country that will bring together the prosecutors, the investigative agencies, the export licensing agencies and the intelligence community to coordinate their efforts against export theft on both a strategic and an operational level. Just as we have done with the Joint Terrorism Task Forces and other coordinating mechanisms in the counterterrorism context, these task forces will help to institutionalize and ensure the coordination that is so absolutely vital to our ability to defend against technology proliferators.

I'd like to thank my colleagues here today, as well as the U.S. Attorneys and all of our other partners who are working so hard to build this coordination. Their efforts -- and the presence of my colleagues here today -- demonstrate both our recognition of the threat we face and our commitment to do everything in our power to prevent our sensitive technologies and military systems from falling into the wrong hands.

With that, I'd like to turn it over to the other representatives here who can discuss their role in this initiative and shed more light on some of the recent cases that have been brought. Afterwards, we'd be happy to take your questions.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice