New national counterintelligence chief named

J.J. Green,

WASHINGTON – The U.S. has a new national counterintelligence executive.

Frank Montoya, Jr. joined the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Feb. 6 from the FBI’s Honolulu Division, where he was the special agent-in-charge. His appointment comes at a critical time, as cyber-attacks on U.S government and commercial systems are at an all-time high.

The Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX) sets the priorities for counterintelligence collection, investigations and operations, and conducts in-depth espionage damage assessments.

“Frank has a long and distinguished career in national security, domestic and foreign investigations and operations,” said James R. Clapper, director of National Intelligence.

A November 2011 report to Congress from the ONCIX warned of the growing sophistication of cyber-threats and officially named Russia and China as the main culprits of cyber-attacks on U.S. systems.

Montoya replaces Robert “Bear” Bryant who retired Jan. 15. Bryant had served at the ONCIX since September of 2009.

“Bear’s leadership of the intelligence community’s counterintelligence and security programs ensured virtually no counterintelligence-related concern was left unaddressed,” Clapper said.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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