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Online petition urges a return of an FBI office to the territory

Fa’afeo Lagafuaina,

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Just over 700 signatures — as of yesterday morning — have been signed on to an online petition, launched in May by local resident, Fa’afeo Lagafuaina, calling for the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation to re-establish an office in American Samoa.

“I believe the re-establishment of an FBI office in American Samoa would be beneficial for various reasons,” said Lagafuaina, responding to Samoa News queries.

For example, she said the presence of an FBI office can enhance law enforcement capabilities, support investigations, and help combat crime, including addressing issues such as drug trafficking, cybercrime (internet activity), and potential threats to national security (Chinese influence).

Additionally, having a local FBI office may facilitate better coordination with local authorities and provide resources for community safety and protection.

Asked as to whom the petition is directed, Lagafuaina responded: “To the people. To the people who have experienced injustice and to the people who are tired of the corruption.

“I believe most of our people on island… have accepted that corruption exists. A very few have spoken out against it while many have remained silent because they are afraid of the backlash,” she said.

“That's why we need to be encouraging to whistleblowers and those who speak up for justice and change,” she said. “We need to empower our people to speak up against corruption and wrongdoing now, otherwise our children will grow up in an unsafe corrupted environment.”

The FBI had opened a satellite office in the territory in 2006 but closed it in 2012 due to budget issues and many local residents voiced their disappointment over the move.

“I want people to understand that this petition isn't going to guarantee an FBI office here in American Samoa.  But I can guarantee you that we will do the work needed to ensure our voices will heard by the FBI, its oversight committee and the U.S Congress,” she said.

“So let's stay encouraged, pray for a positive outcome and most importantly let’s pray for our Leaders and the people of American Samoa,” she said.

As to the reaction from people to the petition since it was posted, Lagafuaina said that, there were over 26,000 views in one day since the petition has been launched, over 700 signatures already.  “Pretty good reaction,” she said.

The online petition includes a video message from Lagafuaina delivering  her remarks for about 2 minutes, on the reasons behind the petition, which as of yesterday morning had 767 signatures, with the goal of 1,000 signatures.

“I want to make American Samoa safer and more accountable. Join us in signing the petition to establish a permanent FBI office in our community,” she said in the video message and text of the petition.

“With meth, corruption, waste, and abuse plaguing our government and our island we need a solution,” she said, adding that American Samoa is the only U.S. territory without an FBI office. “That has left us vulnerable. We must have a permanent FBI presence to ensure protection and safety.

“By having the FBI on board, we gain access to their expertise and resources, enabling us to fight the war on meth and eradicate deep-rooted corruption. Their guidance and training will empower our local law enforcement to rise above these challenges. But we can't achieve this alone we need your help,” she pointed out.

“Together, we can bring accountability and justice to our beloved American Samoa,” she said and called on the community to sign the petition today and be a part of the movement that will make a lasting difference. “Your support matters, and we thank you for joining us on this important journey.”

The online petition ( link is posted to Lagafuaina’s Facebook page: