295: Shannon McGarry – The FBI in Brussels and NATO

In this episode, Shannon reviews her assignment as an Assistant Legal Attaché to the FBI’s overseas office in Brussels, Belgium which covers four United States embassies located in Northwestern Europe: Belgium, Luxembourg, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU).

As a liaison officer, her responsibilities included establishing relationships with national and international executives and appointed officials; interacting with various government entities, educational institutions, and private industry to identify potential collaboration opportunities; and providing regular briefings on emerging threats, trends, and ongoing operations to ambassadors in all four embassies.

Shannon began her career as an electrical engineer for NASA where she specialized in microgravity and optical research at NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratory.

Retired agent Shannon McGarry served in the FBI for over 21 years.

After joining the FBI, Shannon’s first assignment was to the Washington, D.C. Field Office to work on a national security squad. She was later selected as a technically trained agent and supported all division national security and criminal investigations. She transferred to the FBI St. Louis Division as the Technical Advisor and promoted as the field Counterintelligence squad supervisor and formed the first Counterintelligence Task Force, which included multiple civilian and military agencies.

During her Bureau career, Shannon served in five different FBI Headquarters Divisions, the Cyber Division; Inspection Division; Counterintelligence Division; International Operations Division; and the Finance and Facilities Division.

After her overseas assignment as an ALAT with the FBI in Brussels, Belgium, she served as the Chief of Staff, Redstone Executive Management Team and as a special advisor for FBI HQ’s Office of Security Operations, her last assignment before she retired.

Currently Shannon, who still holds a Top Secret/NATO security clearance, is the President and Founder of McGarry Strategies, Inc., a boutique business intelligence consulting firm serving a limited client base with high-end technical expertise dedicated to furthering the mission of international and national stability and security.

Special Agent (Retired)

Shannon McGarry

3/1998 – 8/2019







“The two main entities that I was working with were NATO Office of Security and the Allied Command Counter Intelligence for NATO. There had been pretty robust communications, maybe a decade before. So part of that was to fix our communication and start sharing intelligence again.”—Retired Agent Shannon McGarry

The following are articles and photos related to the FBI in Brussels, Belgium, the FBI’s Legat program, NATO, and the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama:

FBI Website: International Offices

NATO Website: WHAT IS NATO? North Atlantic Treaty Organization

CNBC.com – 2020: FBI’s New ‘HQ2’ in Huntsville, AL

Click here for more FBI Retired Case File Review episodes with retired agents discussing their LEGAT assignments overseas.

Before becoming an agent, Shannon worked as an electrical engineer for NASA, specializing in microgravity and optical research.
Shannon with Legat Ron Comers (in front) and ALAT Kevin McGee (on right). Behind them is Jeremy Cannon, the LOA, and employees on temporary duty with the FBI in Brussels.
Shannon with FBI CFO Richard Haley and staff in front of the old NATO headquarters while in Brussels to visit the site of the new headquarters and assess potential security issues for the build out of the Redstone Arsenal, in Huntsville, AL.
Shannon became interested in an overseas assignment after a sabbatical at the Marshall Center in Germany.


































Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


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    1. Jerri WilliamsOctober 24, 2023

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