FBI Seattle launches online training to protect religious communities from potential threats

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Donald M. Voiret, Special Agent
in Charge of the Seattle Field Office.
SEATTLE, WA – The FBI’s Seattle Field Office, together with other federal agencies, launched an online training series Monday night for religious communities to prepare for potential threats to their houses of worship. 

Leaders from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; and the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Community Relations Service participated.

More than 90 participants joined the virtual introductory meeting, facilitated by Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and SAFE Washington.

Tentative training schedule (events are subject to change):
  • March 23: Building Security
    • Led by: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • April 6: Active Shooter
    • Led by: FBI Seattle
  • April 20: Domestic and International Terrorism
    • Led by: FBI Seattle
  • May 4: Hate Crimes
    • Led by: FBI Seattle, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington,
    • DOJ Community Relations Service
If you are interested in offering this training series for your house of worship, please e-mail seattle.fbi@fbi.gov

“A top priority for FBI Seattle is protecting against threats to Washington state’s faith communities,” said Donald M. Voiret, Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office.

“That’s why we are holding this event and others like it. We want our houses of worship to be equipped and our lines of communication open before a disaster strikes, and hopefully, with preparation, we can keep that from happening.”

“People gather in their houses of worship for prayer, fellowship, and community. Investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority for the Department of Justice, and we must ensure that people are safe,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. 

“I want to be sure our religious communities have the latest information on ways to secure their facilities, and deal with threats that may come their way. As we saw recently at a synagogue in Houston, training made a difference in the safe escape of those taken hostage.”

“The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is committed to working with our federal partners in supporting any effort to maintain safe and secure places of worship for our community,” said Patrick Massey Regional Director for CISA. 
“Our agency’s work providing security assessments for religious facilities underscores our commitment to building safer communities.”

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, call 911. If you believe you have been the target or victim of a hate crime or other civil rights violation, contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or the FBI Seattle Division at 206-622-0460 or submit a tip online at https://tips.fbi.gov.

Tips can remain anonymous and can be made in an individual’s native language.

FBI Seattle is one of 56 FBI field offices located in major U.S. cities with 9 satellite offices called resident agencies in Washington state. The mission of the FBI is to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.


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