Chief Operating Officer
Don Borelli is the Chief Operating Officer of The Soufan Group. Mr. Borelli is a 25-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he held high profile leadership positions, including Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and was responsible for top investigations and counterterrorism missions that spanned the globe. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a Washington DC-based non-profit organization devoted to research in the field of global security.
Prior to joining The Soufan Group, Mr. Borelli held the position of Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the New York JTTF, the largest and most dynamic JTTF in the FBI. In this capacity Mr. Borelli also served as the New York International Terrorism Program Manager, in which he was responsible for developing strategies to combat the terrorism threat to New York. While in this position Mr. Borelli oversaw hundreds of international terrorism investigations, including all extraterritorial investigations in Europe, Canada, and Africa.
As the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the New York FBI office, Mr. Borelli oversaw numerous significant and fast-breaking terrorism investigations, including the 2009 plot to bomb the New York subway system by Najibullah Zazi; the 2008 capture and extradition of Bryant Neal Vinas, who plotted with al Qaeda to plant bombs in the Long Island Railroad; the kidnapping of New York Times investigative journalist David Rohde in Afghanistan; and the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates.
In July 2010 Mr. Borelli led a team of more than 60 FBI Agents to Kampala, Uganda to assist the Uganda Police Force in their investigation of the simultaneous suicide bombing attacks during the final game of the 2010 World Cup Soccer game. This was the largest FBI deployment since the 2000 USS Cole bombing in Yemen.
Before his New York assignment, Mr. Borelli served in the FBI's Legal Attach Office in Amman, Jordan. During this three-year assignment as Assistant Legal Attach, Mr. Borelli was responsible for all FBI matters in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. While serving in this capacity, Mr. Borelli led an operation that yielded the return of an FBI Most Wanted Terrorist. He also assisted in the investigation of several significant IED attacks that occurred during his time in Amman. Mr. Borelli was awarded the 2006 Investigative Excellence Award from the FBI's Office of International Operations for his work in Amman.
Throughout his 25-year career with the FBI, Mr. Borelli has been involved in many of the FBI's most significant cases, including the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995 by Timothy McVeigh; the 1998 bombing of the United States embassy in Nairobi, Kenya; and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.
After September 11, 2001, Mr. Borelli spent approximately nine months in Pakistan, where his work helped uncover the location of a WMD laboratory outside of Khandahar, Afghanistan. Mr. Borelli also assisted in the arrest of al Qaeda 9/11 plotter, Ramzi Binalshibh, who was arrested in Karachi, Pakistan, on September 11, 2002.
Mr. Borelli has received numerous awards and commendations for his work as an FBI Special Agent. These include, notably, both the 2009 FBI Director's Award for Excellence in Investigation and the 2010 Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Investigation for his leadership in counterterrorism.
Mr. Borelli is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Mr. Borelli's diverse background includes certifications in Weapons of Mass Destruction and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT). He is also a Certified Police Instructor.