Of all the crimes committed within the United States, terrorism is doubtless one of the most horrid. Not only do acts of terrorism affect those targeted, but they also send shock waves through the nation, reverberating a message of fear. Unfortunately, that’s precisely the point. Bryan Paarmann was, for over a decade, a senior counterterrorism practitioner in the FBI and thus was often called upon to contribute to the response when the worst happened. As a crisis manager and senior executive in the FBI, Bryan Paarmann was intimately involved with and part of the larger FBI response to every major terrorist attack in the past ten years.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, there have been 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001. Of those, right-wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62, while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23. The number of fatalities attributable to each group is 106 and 119, respectively, while 52% of the total deaths occurred in a single event, the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016.
Bryan Paarmann understands the large-scale, lasting impact acts of terror have on individuals, communities, and society. It has been and is still his goal to help people better understand the context surrounding today’s threats, the misguided motivation for violence and terrorism as well as preventative measures to help stop these tragedies before they occur.
Bryan Paarmann joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1996, following in his father’s footsteps. His father had served in the FBI from 1953 to 1980 after serving in the military in World War II. While Bryan Paarmann worked his way through the ranks, his assignments grew in scope and responsibility within the FBI’s Criminal and National Security mandates.
One of the greatest honors of Bryan Paarmann’s career was his appointment to lead the NY Joint Terrorism Task Force, the largest, oldest, and one of the most active JTTF’s of the 102 that can be found nationwide. He became the FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office Counterrorism Division and the NY JTTF in 2017.
Although Bryan Paarmann honorably retired in 2019, he continues to provide informational and educational presentations to various groups, including law enforcement, military, civic organizations, trade groups, non-governmental organizations, universities, and colleges on the changing dynamic of terrorism threats and what can be done to prevent and mitigate them.