FBI Citizen's Academy educates on counterintelligence threat, what you need to know
SAN ANTONIO - To keep the community safe, FBI agents risk their lives every day.
However, what many may not realize, is just how close to home the counterintelligence threat really is.
“So much you think you know and then you go through a program like this and you realize you know nothing all,” Cassandra Littlejohn, a member of this year’s FBI Citizen’s Academy.
The academy helps educate citizens. A realistic scenario where each member is given a part. One could be a spy or an agent.
“Something like you're at a conference or so forth and again it is in plain view…What these foreign intelligences will do it in broad daylight they will conduct their operational activities in broad daylight. It's everybody. Everybody is a target,” says Frank Cucinotta, Supervisor Special
Cucinotta says it's easy for the community’s safety to be at risk.
“Everybody across the entire community is a target because everybody has a family member or a friend that has access to classified or trade secrets, or intellectual property,” adds Cucinotta.
The supervisor also says it’s important to understand how information gathered by an enemy can be used against the community.
“They are targeting more than just military they are also targeting intellectual property, trade secrets.
We lose about $400 billion a year in intellectual property.”
Another big factor, is the cyber world.
“That's a much easier way for them to get the information without being compromised,” adds Cucinotta.
Participants of the academy say it is very information and eye opening.
“We are living in our own world, and they bring you up to date with what's going on,” says Pedro “Speedy” Gonzalez, another attendee.
Overall, it’s important to be aware and to educate others as well.
It builds that bond between the community and the leaders in the community it really gives them the insight to understand what we do as the FBI,” adds Littlejohn.
To sign or nominate someone for the the upcoming Citizen’s Academy, head online.