Episode 016: John Cosenza – Extraterritorial Jurisdiction & Global Threats


Retired Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) John Cosenza served in the FBI for 22 years. John spent much of his career working counterterrorism cases and extraterritorial jurisdiction investigations. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, John explains how extraterritorial jurisdiction authorizes the FBI to investigate crimes against Americans on foreign soil, such as murders and kidnappings, if the crimes were based on an act of terrorism. These extraterritorial jurisdiction and counterterrorism cases took John around the world to numerous countries and international venues. He talks about one case in particular involving a Tunisian operative and a European terrorist cell that he worked out of Milan while assigned as the Assistant Legal Attaché (ALAT) in Italy. This case was unique in that it was worked jointly between the FBI and the Italian National Police, with assistance from NCIS. The successful investigation resulted in charges of conspiracy, arms and explosive trafficking, and the use of fraudulent documents.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge


John M. Cosenza

2/24/91 – 11/21/13

John Pic single - Copy








John traveled around the world working Extraterritorial Jurisdiction investigation. Below are links to numerous articles regarding the investigation, arrest and conviction of Tunisian operative Essid Sami Ben Khemais:

Arrested Italian cell sheds light on Bin Laden’s European network

Suspected Bin Laden Operative Put on Trial

4 Tunisians Convicted On Terror Charges

 From al Qaeda in Italy to Ansar al Sharia Tunisia

John displaying brand new credentials on graduation day at the FBI Academy.













Shooting range
John (in foreground) at firearms training in Ft. Dix, NJ.









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John visiting architectural ruins in Jerash, Jordan while working on an extra-territorial case.











John at the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia belaying between floors while collecting evidence on one of the top floors of the bombed building. The ends of the floors were unstable so working in teams, other agents strapped in as counterweights in case John or one of the other collectors fell.
















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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