The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly setting up shop in the Republic of Cyprus, with the move taking place as US-Cypriot cooperation has been expanding on multiple levels.
According to daily Politis, a permanent FBI office with a legal attaché will be established in Cyprus in the immediate future, with the office known as “legat” running antiterrorism and anticrime operations within the US Embassy in Nicosia.
Politis reported on Sunday that FBI agents had traveled to Cyprus recently to be filled in, with the final decision said to have been taken place after the visit to the host country.
Politis says the FBI move to Cyprus comes after a request by the Cypriot government some two and a half years ago
A legat’s mission is to establish and maintain liaison with principal law enforcement and security services in the host country, making it easier for the FBI to combat international terrorism, organized crime, cyber crime, and other criminal matters, including the federal law enforcement’s mission to prevent terrorist attacks against citizens and interests of the United States.
FBI also carries out training of foreign citizens such as law enforcement officers, providing skills in both basic and advanced investigative techniques as well as principles that promote cooperation and aid in the collection of evidence.
The move comes as the FBI has been politically bruised by Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham, whose report this month on what has been dubbed Crossfire Hurricane said the bureau got it wrong and never should have launched an investigation into alleged Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Durham criticized the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign for its “serious lack of analytic rigor” and a “cavalier attitude” for accuracy.
Cyprus in the mix
Cyprus was also highlighted as a missing link in an investigation into the now-discredited Steele Dossier, with evidence about improper vetting of sources emerging during the trial of Russian analyst Igor Danchenko, who was acquitted last year.
During the trial prosecutors managed to air evidence that the FBI had failed to pursue leads as they sought out sources, including information obtained from a Russian national in Cyprus.
“We conclude that the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report,” Durham wrote.
The FBI has not disputed Durham’s report findings but said the bureau has already taken action and added safeguards in its investigations.
Politis says the FBI move to Cyprus comes after a request by the Cypriot government some two and a half years ago.
Currently FBI agents operate in Cyprus out of their Athens office.