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Robert F. Clifford Named 2004 Service to America Medals Finalist

Washington, D.C. June 18, 2004
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

WASHINGTON, D.C. -Robert F. Clifford, Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) assigned to the Legal Attaché in Greece, has been selected as one of eight finalists for the 2004 Service to America Medals.

The eight 2004 Service to America awardees are determined by a panel of national leaders, and will be announced at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC, on September 28, 2004. The Service to America awards were created in 2002 by the Partnership for Public Service, a non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to recruiting and retaining excellent personnel in the federal civil service and Atlantic Media Company.

Mr. Clifford has been nominated as a finalist for the award because of his liaison efforts within the counterterrorism arena. Agent Clifford started his career with the FBI as a Special Agent in 1989 in the Washington Field Office and served on the International Terrorism on the Extraterritorial Squad; U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia; Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters; Charlotte FBI where he supervised Foreign Counterintelligence matters, International and Domestic Terrorism investigations and more recently in 2000 he was assigned as Legal Attaché in Athens, Greece. Since November, 2000, Mr. Clifford has helped to significantly reduce the risk posed by Europe's most notorious and elusive terror group, "17 November." The terror group has carried out more than 100 attacks, killing dozens of people, including several Americans and causing millions of dollars in property damage since 1975. Because of their violent history, 17 November posed a great threat to the security of the upcoming Summer Olympics in Greece. Clifford changed this violent track record by reorganizing combative efforts, initiating productive investigative leads, and providing technical assistance and prosecutorial advice.

In June, 2002, the 17 November terror group was dealt a great blow because of Clifford's persistence. During that summer, a bomb went off and injured the terrorist who was planting it. The bomber confessed to being part of 17 November and worked with Clifford's team of investigators and the Greek Authorities to identify other members of the terror group. Because Clifford was able to capitalize on this break, within months, 19 key members were arrested. During the case's entire investigation and prosecution, Clifford worked closely with other investigators, prosecutors, and with the victims' families.

Clifford's efforts will be remembered for years to come and will not only be felt within Greece's borders, but world-wide. His accomplishments not only reduce security costs for the upcoming Greek Olympics, but also ease tension that has lasted for over three decades throughout Europe.