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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FBI Chief: Terrorism Must Stop

WASHINGTON -- FBI chief Louis Freeh has said his upcoming trip to Russia and neighboring nations will target the growing organized-crime threat and the danger of nuclear weapons falling into criminal hands. Freeh, who will begin a 10-day fact-finding trip to nine European nations next Monday, said Wednesday he will discuss ways to improve cooperation, such as providing training for foreign police and sharing information on nuclear-weapon stockpiles. "This is a step that is long overdue," he told reporters at FBI headquarters. "We cannot take a chance that terrorists might steal a nuclear weapon and then use it against a nation, any nation. "The spread of organized crime must be stopped, for organized crime not only enslaves large numbers of people with drugs, but can even threaten the integrity of governments." Freeh, who will lead a U.S. delegation, said Russian organized-crime groups now total more than 100,000 members and have linked up with the powerful Colombian drug cartels and the Sicilian Mafia. He said the FBI was investigating as many as 40 cases of Russian criminal activity in the United States, running the gamut from fraud and narcotics to extortion. As part of the trip, Freeh said he plans to open the FBI's first office in Moscow on July 4, and he left open the possibility that more U.S. law-enforcement agents might be placed in other locations. He said the United States could provide training and equipment to what essentially were "rudimentary police organizations," adding, "They are learning how to police in a democracy, which is harder than in a totalitarian state." Although there has been no evidence that any group so far has tried to steal nuclear weapons from Russia or other ex-Soviet republics, Freeh said highly enriched nuclear material had been discovered missing and then later recovered. The trip also includes visits to Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and Austria. According Freeh will be senior State and Treasury Department officials.