Remarks as Prepared For Delivery at Blackwater Press Conference

WASHINGTON , Dec. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following remarks are being released by the U.S. Department of Justice: WASHINGTON, D.C. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK ROWAN : Good afternoon. My name is Pat...

Following this incident, the Department of State requested that the FBI investigate the shooting. The FBI's Washington Field Office deployed an investigative team to Baghdad for 4 weeks of evidence collection and investigation. The FBI team was augmented by 2 agents from the Diplomatic Security Service of the Department of State.

To add to the difficulty of an already challenging case, FBI and Department of State personnel had to face the dangers of working extensively outside the green zone, they had to overcome language barriers and deal with Cultural and Religious sensitivities.

Since that first deployment to Baghdad , members of the investigative team, which included up to 10 special agents, returned to Iraq 4 additional times in furtherance of their investigation.

The FBI utilized every resource available to ensure that a comprehensive and thorough investigation was conducted. Those resources included forensic specialists from the FBI Laboratory, members of the Washington Field Office's Evidence Response Team, and Department of Justice attorneys.

As a result of the tireless dedication and extraordinary efforts of the team, over 250 interviews were conducted and more than 200 pieces of physical evidence were obtained to support the investigation.

As with most FBI investigations, we would not have been successful without the assistance of local law enforcement partners. We had the extreme good fortune of working with members of the Iraqi National Police. The assistance provided by the Iraqi National Police was instrumental to the success of our mission. These officers work under extraordinarily challenging circumstances every day and I extend my gratitude to them.

In addition to the Iraqi National Police, the FBI was supported by many members of the United States Military. Their assistance was invaluable in the protection of our personnel.

The FBI's Legal Attache in Baghdad and U.S. Embassy personnel provided unwavering support during each of our team's deployments to Iraq . The success of one of the FBI's most difficult investigations was truly a team effort with many components and challenges.

What was at stake here was not just an investigation into an alleged violation of federal law, but more importantly it was an investigation into the protection of basic human rights that should be afforded to all people, not just citizens of the united states.

The FBI is committed to investigating all allegations of violations of the rule of law, and defending individuals' civil rights and civil liberties whether at home or abroad.

Thank you. We will now take a few questions.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice