Talk is cheap. DesLauriers background was not in counterterrorism before he became FBI-Boston SAC.
“The bombing is a different kind of case from the one DesLauriers spent his career investigating: a 25-year veteran of counterintelligence, he made his bones running operations against foreign spies, not tracking down and busting terrorists.
But the toughest part could have been getting FBI field agents to work with the CIA.
Throughout the Cold War, the FBI and CIA famously clashed over intelligence matters, and the 9/11 Commission Report found miscommunication between the agencies had contributed to missing the plot. So when the FBI counterintelligence division was told that it should roll up one of its most successful operations against unsuspecting spies and give them a free ticket home in exchange for some captured CIA agents, not everyone was happy.
Not all DesLauriers’ characteristics are well suited for counterterrorism. “He comes across as a bit bookish,” says the former senior Justice Department official. Obsessed about being read into the details of the cases, DesLauriers “could be criticized for overdoing it,” says Slattery, meaning his friend is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to being prepared. And where counterintelligence agents can spend years monitoring suspects without arresting them, counterterrorism cases can be rapidly changing.”