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Retired agent Thomas O’Connor served in the FBI for 22 years. Assigned to the Washington Field Office (WFO) on the Joint Terrorism Task Force, he worked both International and Domestic Terrorism cases during his Bureau career. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Tom O’Connor reviews investigations involving criminal activity and violence conducted by racially motivated and antigovernment violent extremists, to include neo-Nazi and other hate-based groups, as well as lone actors. He served as the WFO program coordinator for these matters.
Tom was the case agent for both the Pentagon lone offender shooting and the Family Research Council lone offender shooting. He was also a team leader on the Evidence Response Team (ERT). In this capacity, he has led forensic teams to multiple terrorist attacks around the globe. These deployments include the 1998 Nairobi Embassy bombing, two deployments to Kosovo in 1999 for war crimes investigations, the 2000 USS Cole attack in Aden, Yemen. SA O’Connor served as an evidence team coordinator at the 9-11 attack on the US Pentagon, responded to the 2006 attack on the US Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, and deployed six times to Iraq and three times to Afghanistan. SA O’Connor processed evidence at both the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and the Virginia Beach government building shooting. He specialized in post-blast investigation and shooting reconstruction evidence recovery.
Tom has provided instruction on Domestic and International Terrorism issues across the United States and overseas. An FBI “Master Police Instructor” and a certified Adjunct Faculty member for the FBI Academy, the Department of Justice awarded him their “Instructor of the Year” award in 2004. He is a 2011 graduate of the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies, Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where he continues to instruct as an Adjunct Faculty member.
Tom served as a member of the FBI Agents Associations (FBIAA) National Executive Board for three years, as the Vice President for seven years and President for 3 years. Since his retirement, he is the principal consultant for FEDSquaredConsulting. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on LinkedIn.
2/1997 – 9/11/2019
“Right-wing extremism, specifically white supremacist violence, is the number one threat to the United States.”—Retired Agent Tom O’Connor
The following are links to articles about domestic terrorism and violent extremist groups operating in the United States:
FBI Website: FBI Congressional Testimony 6/14/2019 – Confronting White Supremacy
THE SOUFAN CENTER – 4/28/2020: IntelBrief_ Game Not Over_ An Assessment of White Supremacist Online Gaming I
Washington Post – 9/9/2020: Why the FBI had to pretend Hamas wanted to plot with ‘big boys’ September 9, 2020