New FBI Chicago boss reveals threats; Bob Holley sees al-Qaeda, homegrown violent extremists as biggest concerns

December 2, 2013 (CHICAGO)

For just under seven years, the two faces of federal law enforcement in Chicago were Robert Grant and Patrick Fitzgerald.

Grant would arrest them, Fitzgerald would prosecute them.

Mobsters, terrorists and a sitting governor.

Zach Fardon became the new US Attorney in late October. Bob Holley is now the boss of the Chicago FBI.

"The work is amazing," Holley said.

Holley is no stranger to Chicago. He started his FBI career here and rose up through the ranks, eventually moving to Washington and overseeing all U.S.-based terrorism investigations.

Holley sees al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and homegrown violent extremists are the biggest threat.

In Boston, the Tsarnaev brothers carried out the marathon bombing. While they had ties to Chechnya there's evidence the older brother Tamerlin watched al-Qaeda recruitment vides on-line.

"The majority of these individuals we're seeing nowadays are self-radicalized through the internet," said Holley.

In a series of recent cases in Chicago, including an attempted bombing near Wrigley Field and another outside a downtown bar, the FBI has taken heat for inserting agents and providing fake explosives to see if the suspects would execute their plan.

"We found them, interjected ourselves so they would link up with somebody else who would provide them with materials they needed to carry out their attack. I'll make no apologies for that," Holley said.

The Chicago FBI office is legendary for making big, political corruption cases. Two governors, a Cook County Commissioner and countless small fish later, a "hint" that more cases are in the works.

"I wouldn't say there's a deterrence message, just based on some of the briefs I've received in the last week from my guys that work public corruption," Holley said. "I would just say we have some significant investigations going on here in the Chicago division."

A warning, backed up by 850 men and women working at the Chicago FBI.

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