FBI's Mueller pledges better cooperation between police and FBI on Sept. 11 investigation
Monday, October 29th 2001, 12:00 am
News On 6
TORONTO (AP) _ FBI Director Robert Mueller pledged better cooperation between police and the FBI working on the investigation into the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
In a speech Monday at the International Association of Police Chiefs, being held in Toronto, Mueller acknowledged that offers of help from police have in some cases been wrongly turned down.
``That is unacceptable,'' he said, to resounding applause from police representing forces in all 50 states, Canada and Europe.
In response to complaints from police forces in the United States, Mueller said he and Attorney General John Ashcroft have been working closely with police representatives to ``explore ways to improve our relationships.''
``In cities where we don't have joint anti-terrorism task force teams, we will put them together quickly so we can begin sharing information,'' Mueller said.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told a congressional hearing Monday that the FBI should be required by law to share their intelligence with local police and government officials, especially in a crisis.
``We need the information and we need it right away,'' Giuliani said at a field hearing of the House terrorism subcommittee at New York City Hall. ``We need real-time information about what is happening.'' He said the FBI should be willing to give top security clearances to more people to allow information to be handed over.
The FBI's Mueller suggested local law enforcement cover local leads in the investigation wherever possible and said the FBI would get them the information they needed in a timely manner.
However, Mueller said the FBI does not have as much information as local forces may think they do on suspects. In some cases, the FBI has little more than names and aliases of individuals wanted for questioning.
The meeting, planned long before the attacks, is the first major gathering of law enforcement officials since Sept. 11. Ashcroft is scheduled to address the convention on Tuesday. The five-day conference started Saturday.