AP NEWS

FBI partners with Auburn as it creates new Alabama work base

February 8, 2020 GMT

The FBI is partnering with Auburn University as it expands its mission.

FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich visited Auburn recently to discuss the new relationship.

Bowdich discussed priorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation such as counterterrorism, cyber-crime, and counterintelligence, The Opelika-Auburn News reported.

The new agreement describes Auburn as a partner with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the agency expands its workforce and operations at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, said Amy Weaver, a university spokeswoman.

Auburn will help educate and train FBI employees. The FBI and Auburn also will share research and technology with an aim of advancing criminal justice and student and faculty opportunities, the newspaper reported.

The agency’s $1 billion investment to build a campus in Huntsville will involve moving more than 1,000 FBI employees from Washington, D.C., and potentially adding thousands of jobs to Huntsville’s economy.

The FBI’s main focus is centered on counterterrorism, Bowdich said during the Alabama visit. After the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the FBI changed and adapted to meet a changing world, he said.

“It would be very difficult, and I’m very measured when I say this, but it would be very difficult for a massive-scale attack like we had at 9/11 to occur given the way we have tied our intelligence apparatus together,” he said. “I’m not saying it could not occur — it could — but we stay vigilant throughout the U.S. intel community to ensure that it never happens again.”

Auburn President Jay Gogue and Bowdich signed a memorandum of understanding spelling out the new arrangement.

Bowditch was there with Gogue and moderator Frank Cilluffo, director for Auburn University’s McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security, to discuss the new memorandum and also to recruit.

He shared with the guests, Auburn faculty and students what the FBI looks for in recruits.