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Readout of Disruptive Technology Strike Force One-Year Summit – Department of Justice

February 18, 2024

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On Feb. 7 and 8, the Justice Department’s National Security Division hosted a summit in Phoenix, Arizona, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the launch of its Disruptive Technology Strike Force – an interagency law enforcement effort aimed at preventing critical technologies from being acquired by authoritarian regimes and hostile nation-states.
Strike Force co-leads Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division and Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), were joined in Phoenix by U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino for the District of Arizona. Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco delivered virtual remarks to commemorate the one-year anniversary and highlighted all the progress that has been made since she first announced the creation of the Strike Force a year ago.
The two-day event began with a law enforcement-only day focused on case studies, best investigative practices, briefings on cutting-edge technologies, and one-year reports from all 15 of the local cells. On the second day, the Strike Force was joined by private sector and academia representatives from across the country for sessions describing the work of the Strike Force across multiple subject areas, corporate compliance, best practices for building trade compliance programs, and law enforcement outreach efforts. Along with U.S. government officials, the summit consisted of presenters from the private sector and academia, including officials from Arizona State University, which hosted the event at its Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Members of the Ukrainian government attended the summit as honored guests to present on the use of advanced technology by Russia in its unlawful and full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine, and how the work of the Strike Force can assist Ukraine’s war efforts. Yuriy Bielousov, the Head of the War Crimes Department in the Office of the Prosecutor General; Dr. Nataliia Nestor, the Deputy Director of the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise in the Ministry of Justice; and Vladyslav Vlasiuk, an advisor on sanctions in the Office of the President of Ukraine represented Ukraine at the summit. The three were among the Ukrainian officials with whom AAG Olsen and Assistant Secretary Axelrod met during their trip to Kyiv in late 2023. The Strike Force is grateful for its close partnership with the Ukrainian government.
During the event, AAG Olsen and Assistant Secretary Axelrod announced the expansion of the Strike Force to three new metropolitan areas and formally recognized the Defense Department’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) as a partner in the Strike Force. All five agencies that make up the Strike Force—the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the Commerce Department’s BIS, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and DCIS—were represented at the one-year summit.
In addition to the co-leads of the Strike Force, attendees included Ryan Buchanan, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia; Jill Steinberg, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia; Markenzy Lapointe, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Alamdar Hamdani, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas; Ismail Ramsey, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California; Joshua Levy, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts; Raj Parekh, the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Grant Fleming, the Deputy Director for Investigative Operations at DCIS; and James Mancuso, the Assistant Director for HSI.
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