FBI Director Christopher Wray has named James A. Tarasca as the special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division of the New York Field Office. He most recently served as a section chief in the International Operations Division.
Tarasca joined the FBI as a special agent in 1999. His first assignment was in the Orlando Resident Agency of the Tampa Field Office in Florida, where he investigated white-collar crime. After the 9/11 terror attacks, he was assigned to work counterterrorism matters throughout Central Florida. He also served as a firearms instructor and on the SWAT team.
In 2003, Tarasca joined the Hostage Rescue Team, the FBI’s full-time tactical counterterrorism unit. He participated in numerous domestic operations and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008, he was promoted to supervisory special agent and team leader.
In 2011, Tarasca transferred to the Philadelphia Field Office, where he was assigned to the Violent Crimes Task Force. In 2013, he was promoted to supervisory special agent of the task force, overseeing Hobbs Act, fugitive, bank robbery, and kidnapping matters. In 2016, he returned to Afghanistan to work counterterrorism and kidnapping matters.
In 2017, he was promoted to an assistant special agent in charge in the Counterterrorism Division of the New York Field Office and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. He led squads responsible for threat response, special events, Iranian threats, domestic terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, hazard materials operations, bomb technicians, and all matters at JFK and LaGuardia international airports.
Tarasca became a section chief in the International Operations Division in 2018, overseeing FBI operations in Europe and Asia, as well as the Global Readiness Unit.
He has earned two FBI Shields of Bravery, the 2015 FBI Director’s Award for Excellence in Leadership, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery. He has a bachelor’s degree in management and was a Pennsylvania State Trooper prior to joining the FBI.