Today's FBI Facts and Figures Graphic


Short History of the FBI
Working for the FBI
Public Corruption
Civil Rights
Organized Crime
White-Collar Crime
Illegal Drugs
Crimes Against Children
Environmental Crimes
Indian Country
Background Investigations
Law Enforcement Support
Internal Investigations

Director Mueller in Afghanistan
Director Mueller on a recent trip to Afghanistan.

Message from Director Mueller: Why a new FBI?

After the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it was clear the FBI needed to change from an agency primarily focused on bringing criminals to justice to one whose primary focus is the prevention of future attacks. This new approach required new leadership, a new organizational structure, new priorities, new technologies, and a new FBI mindset. Making these changes in a short period of time has not been easy. But the extraordinary men and women of the FBI have shown great strength, flexibility, and enthusiasm.

Director Robert S. Mueller, IIIToday’s FBI is not defined by boxes on an organizational chart, but by new ways of doing business—greater collaboration with our partners in law enforcement, less bureaucratic red tape, and more accountability at every level. At the same time, we have held onto the standards of excellence that have made the FBI the preeminent law enforcement agency worldwide.

Today’s FBI is better positioned to prevent future attacks, to protect America’s critical infrastructure, and to hunt down criminals who prey on our citizens. We are still changing, and our new flexibility will ensure that the FBI stays on top of current and future threats well into the 21st century.

—Robert S. Mueller, III


of the

July 26, 1908
No specific name assigned; referred to as Special Agent Force

March 16, 1909
Bureau of Investigation

July 1, 1932
U.S. Bureau
of Investigation

August 10, 1933
Division of Investigation
(The Division also included the Bureau
of Prohibition)

July 1, 1935
Federal Bureau
of Investigation

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the investigative arm of the US Department of Justice. The FBI’s investigative authority can be found in Title 28, Section 533 of the US Code. Additionally, there are other statutes, such as the Congressional Assassination, Kidnapping, and Assault Act (Title 18, US Code, Section 351), which give the FBI responsibility to investigate specific crimes.

FBI Agent badges

The FBI motto is “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity."

Pizza connection image
FBI participates in arrests in the 'Pizza Connection' case.

The mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.
The organization with these responsibilities has not always been called the FBI.


The FBI will strive for excellence in all aspects of its missions. In pursuing these missions and vision, the FBI and its employees will be true to, and exemplify, the following core values:
• Adherence to the rule of law and the rights conferred to all under the United States Constitution;
• Integrity through everyday ethical behavior;
• Accountability by accepting responsibility for our actions and decisions
and the consequences of our actions and decisions;
• Fairness in dealing with people; and
• Leadership through example, both at work and in our communities.

FBI Leadership
Past and Present

Since its creation in 1908, the FBI has had ten Directors:


Chief Examiner
Stanley Finch

A. Bruce Bielaski

William J. Flynn


William J. Burns

J. Edgar Hoover

Clarence M. Kelley

William H. Webster

William S. Sessions


Louis J. Freeh


Robert S. Mueller, III

1. Protect the United States from terrorist attack.
2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations
and espionage.
3. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks
and high-technology crimes.
4. Combat public corruption at all levels.
5. Protect civil rights.
6. Combat transnational and national criminal organizations and enterprises.
7. Combat major white-collar crime.
8. Combat significant violent crime.
9. Support federal, state, county, municipal, and international partners.
10. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI’s mission.

The FBI is headed by a Director who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. On October 15, 1976, in reaction to the extraordinary 48-year term of J. Edgar Hoover, Congress passed Public Law 94-503, which limits the term of each FBI Director to ten years.

Movie poster of The FBI StoryThe current Director, Robert S. Mueller, III, was confirmed as Director of the FBI by the Senate on August 2, 2001. He took the oath of office on September 4, 2001. Director Mueller previously served as US Attorney for the Districts of Northern California and Massachusetts and as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. Director Mueller has experience in the private practice of law and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. For three years, he also served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Director Mueller holds a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree in international relations from New York University,and a law degree from the University of Virginia.


Photograph of FBI Headquarters
FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
FBI Headquarters is currently located in the J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC The Special Agents and support personnel who work at Headquarters organize and coordinate FBI activities around the world. Headquarters personnel determine investigative priorities, oversee major cases, and manage the organization’s resources, technology, and personnel. Headquarters also has a role in gathering and distributing information. If a Special Agent in Boise, Idaho, has some information that would help an Agent in New York City solve a case, Headquarters is responsible for making sure the information gets from Boise to New York.
Photo of scientist in lab
In the late 1990s, the FBI put a professional scientist in charge of the Laboratory and instituted reforms to improve evidence handling and optimize research.

Headquarters plays a key role in fighting terrorism. It is the focal point for intelligence, not only from around the country, but from the CIA and various countries overseas. Headquarters takes the intelligence information it collects, analyzes it, and sends it to field offices, state and municipal police departments, and other federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security.

As the FBI has grown, some Headquarters functions have been moved to other locations. The Criminal Justice Information Services Division is located in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The Laboratory and Investigative Technologies Divisions are located in Quantico, Virginia. Other specialized facilities, such as high-tech computer forensics centers, are at various locations across the country.

In fiscal year (FY) 2003, the FBI received a total of $4.298 billion, including $540.281 million in net program increases to enhance Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, Cybercrime, Information Technology, Security, Forensics, Training, and Criminal Programs.

The nuts and bolts work of the FBI is done in its 56 field offices and their 400 satellite offices, known as resident agencies. It is the Special Agent in the field who looks for clues, tracks down leads, and works with local law enforcement to catch and arrest criminals. A Special Agent in Charge oversees each field office, except for the largest field offices, in Washington, DC; Los Angeles; and New York City, which are headed by an Assistant Director.

In addition to its field offices across the United States, the FBI has 45 offices known as Legal Attachés or “Legats” located around the world. Legats are our first line of defense beyond our borders. Their goals are simple—to stop foreign crime as far from American shores as possible and to help solve international crimes that do occur as quickly as possible.

To accomplish these goals, each Legat works with law enforcement and security agencies in their host country to coordinate investigations of interest to both countries. Some Legats are responsible for coordination with law enforcement personnel in several countries. The purpose of these Legats is strictly coordination; they do not conduct foreign intelligence gathering or counterintelligence investigations. The rules for joint activities and information-sharing are generally spelled out in formal agreements between the United States and the Legat’s host country. The entire worldwide Legat program is overseen by a Special Agent in Charge located at FBI Headquarters.

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Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte
Attorney General
Charles J. Bonaparte
Chief Examiner Stanley Finch

Chief Examiner Stanley Finch was first to head the new federal investigation agency.

On July 26, 1908, Attorney General (AG) Charles J. Bonaparte ordered a small force of permanent investigators (organized a month earlier) to report to the Department of Justice’s Chief Examiner, Stanley Finch. AG Bonaparte declared that these investigators would handle all Department of Justice (DOJ) investigative matters, except certain bank frauds. At first, little seemed to come of AG Bonaparte’s reorganization.

In 1909, this investigator force was named the Bureau of Investigation (BOI). At this time, it investigated antitrust matters, land fraud, copyright violations, peonage (involuntary slavery), and twenty other matters. Over the next decade, federal criminal authority and Bureau jurisdiction were extended by laws like the 1910 “White-Slave Traffic” Act that put responsibility for interstate prostitution under the Bureau for a time and the 1919 Dyer Act that did the same for interstate auto-theft. US entry into World War II in April 1917 led to further increases in the Bureau’s jurisdiction. Congress and President Wilson assigned the BOI’s three hundred employees responsibility for espionage, sabotage, sedition, and selective service matters.

The 1920’s brought Prohibition, the automobile, and an increase in criminal activity. Bank robbers, bootleggers, and kidnappers took advantage of jurisdictional boundaries by crossing state lines to elude capture. A criminal culture marked by violent gangsters flourished, but no federal law gave the BOI authority to tackle their crimes and other law enforcement efforts were fragmented. The Bureau addressed these matters as its jurisdiction permitted throughout the 1920’s.

In 1924, Attorney General Harlan Stone appointed John Edgar Hoover as Director. Director Hoover (1924-1972) implemented a number of reforms to clean up what had become a politicized Bureau under the leadership of William J. Burns (1921-1924). Hoover reinstated merit hiring, introduced professional training of new Agents, demanded regular inspections of all Bureau operations, and required strict professionalism in the Bureau’s work.

"Baby Face" Nelson
Legendary gangster "Baby Face Nelson"
John Dillinger
Notorious John Dillinger and his gang terrorized the Midwest from September 1933 until July 1934, killing 10 men, wounding 7 others, robbing banks and police arsenals, and staging 3 jail breaks. On July 22, 1934, Dillinger was shot and killed by FBI Agents outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

Under Hoover, the Bureau also began to emphasize service to other law enforcement agencies. The Identification Division was created in 1924 to provide US police a means to identify criminals across jurisdictional boundaries. The Technical Crime Laboratory, created in 1932, provided forensic analysis and research for law enforcement, and the FBI National Academy, opened in 1935, provided standardized professional training for America’s law enforcement communities.

In answer to the violent crime of the 1930’s, Congress began to assign and expand new authorities to the Bureau. The kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh’s baby son in 1932 led to the passage of the Federal Kidnapping Act, which allowed the Bureau to investigate interstate kidnappings. The 1933 Kansas City Massacre spurred the passage of the 1934 May/June Crime Bills. These laws gave the Bureau authority to act in many new areas, to make arrests, and to carry weapons. Renamed “Federal Bureau of Investigation” in 1935, the FBI dealt with gangsters severely, earning its anonymous agents the nickname “G-Men.”

As the gangster threat subsided, a threat of a different nature emerged. In 1936, President Roosevelt directed the FBI to investigate potential subversion by Nazi and Communist organizations. In 1940, he tasked the Bureau with responsibility for foreign intelligence in the western hemisphere and domestic security in the United States. In response, the Bureau created a Special Intelligence Service (SIS) Division in June 1940. The SIS sent undercover FBI Agents throughout the Western Hemisphere. These Agents successfully identified some 1,300 Axis intelligence agents (about 10% of whom were prosecuted). When President Truman ordered the program’s end in 1947, several former SIS offices became the backbone of the FBI’s foreign liaison efforts, now serving as Legal Attaché Offices. FBI efforts also thwarted many espionage, sabotage, and propaganda attempts on the home front, including Frederick Duquesne’s spy ring in 1941 and George Dasch’s band of saboteurs in 1942.

When Germany and Japan surrendered in 1945, concern about the threat of foreign intelligence did not end. Revelations that year from former Soviet intelligence agents like Igor Guzenko and Elizabeth Bentley, information gleaned from FBI investigations during and after the war, and decrypted/decoded Soviet cable traffic called “Venona” (available to the Bureau from 1947), convinced the FBI of the seriousness of the Soviet intelligence threat long before Senator Joseph McCarthy made his 1950 speech about communist “moles.” Under the Hatch Act (1940) and Executive Orders issued in 1947 and 1951, the Bureau exercised responsibility for ensuring the loyalty of those who sought to work in the government. The FBI played a critical role in US handling of the Cold War.

In the 1950’s, civil rights violations and organized crime became matters of increasing concern. As in the past, lack of jurisdiction hindered the Bureau from effectively responding to these problems when they first emerged as national issues. It was under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act that the Bureau received legislative authority to investigate many of the wrongs done to African Americans in the South and elsewhere. Under existing laws, the Bureau’s efforts against organized crime also started slowly. Then, with the 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act and the 1970 Organized Crime Control Act, Congress gave the Bureau effective weapons with which to attack organized criminal enterprises, Title III warrants for wiretaps and the Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

During the 1960’s, subversion remained a central focus of Bureau efforts. The counter-cultural revolution turned the Bureau’s attention towards violent student movements, as criminal groups like the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers engaged in both legitimate political action and illegal crime. The Bureau responded to the threat of subversion with Counterintelligence Programs (COINTELPRO) first against the Communist Party (1956), later against other violent/subversive groups like the Black Panthers and the Ku Klux Klan (1960’s). These programs resulted in the Bureau, at times, effectively stepping out of its proper role as a law enforcement agency.
During the 1970’s, Bureau actions, which were publicly revealed through a strengthened Freedom of Information Act (1966, amended in 1974), resulted in congressional investigations like the Church Committee and the Pike Committee hearings in 1975. In response to criticisms emerging from these revelations, the Bureau worked with Attorney General Levi to develop guidelines for its domestic counterintelligence investigations.

J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover served as FBI Director for almost 50 years.

In the wake of Director Hoover’s death in May 1972, Director Clarence M. Kelley (1973-1977) refocused FBI investigative priorities to place less emphasis on having a high number of cases and to focus more on the quality of cases handled. Working with the Bureau and Congress in 1976, Attorney General Edward Levi issued a set of investigative guidelines to address the concerns of Bureau critics and to give the FBI the confidence of having public, legal authority behind its use of irreplaceable investigative techniques like wiretaps, informants, and undercover agents. These investigative techniques were used to great effect in cases like ABSCAM (1980), GREYLORD (1984), and UNIRAC (1978). In 1983, as concerns about terrorist acts grew, Attorney General William French Smith revised the Levi Guidelines to adjust the Bureau’s ability to prevent violent radical acts.

Director William H. Webster (1977-1987) built upon Director Kelley’s emphasis on investigative “quality” cases by focusing Bureau efforts on three Priority Programs: White Collar Crime, Organized Crime, and Foreign Counterintelligence. Later, Illegal Drugs (1982), Counterterrorism (1982), and Violent Crimes (1989) were also identified as priority programs. This concentration of resources brought great success against Soviet and East Bloc intelligence as more than 40 spies were arrested between 1977 and 1985. The FBI also made breakthroughs against white-collar crime in investigations like ILLWIND (1988) and LOST TRUST (1990), and in organized crime cases like BRILAB (1981) and the PIZZA CONNECTION (1985).

During the 1990’s, criminal and security threats to the United States evolved as new technology and the fall of communism in the Soviet bloc changed the geopolitical world. The 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centers and the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building highlighted the potentially catastrophic threat of both international and domestic terrorism. The FBI responded to the emerging international face of crime by aggressively building bridges between US and foreign law enforcement. Under the leadership of Director Louis J. Freeh (1993-2001), the Bureau dramatically expanded its Legat Program (39 offices by fall 2000); provided professional law enforcement education to foreign nationals through the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest (opened in 1994) and other international education efforts; and created working groups and other structured liaisons with foreign law enforcement.

The Bureau also strengthened its domestic agenda. Responding to criticism of its actions in the 1993 standoffs at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, the Bureau revamped its crisis response efforts. The FBI’s commitment to law enforcement service was strengthened by the computerization of its massive fingerprint collection database, enhancements in the National Crime Information Center, and by the revitalization of the FBI Laboratory. In 1997, the Bureau hired its first professional scientist to head the Lab. The Lab tightened its protocols for evidence control, instituted organizational changes to optimize research specialization, and earned national accreditation.

On September 4, 2001, former US Attorney Robert S. Mueller, III, (2001 to present) was sworn in as Director with a mandate to address a number of tough challenges: upgrading the Bureau’s information technology infrastructure; addressing records management issues; and enhancing FBI foreign counterintelligence analysis and security in the wake of the damage done by former Special Agent andconvicted spy Robert S. Hanssen.

Then within days of his entering on duty, the September 11 terrorist attacks were launched against New York and Washington. Director Mueller led the FBI’s massive investigative efforts in partnership with all US law enforcement, the federal government, and our allies overseas. On October 26, 2001, the President signed into law the US Patriot Act, which granted new provisions to address the threat of terrorism, and Director Mueller accordingly accepted on behalf of the Bureau responsibility for protecting the American people against future terrorist attacks. On May 29, 2002, the Attorney General issued revised investigative guidelines to assist the Bureau’s counterterrorism efforts.

To support the Bureau’s change in mission and to meet newly articulated strategic priorities, Director Mueller called for a reengineering of FBI structure and operations that will closely focus the Bureau on pevention of terrorist attacks, on countering foreign intelligence operations against the US, and on addressing cyber-based attacks and other high technology crimes. In addition, the Bureau remains dedicated to protecting civil rights, and to combating public corruption, organized crime, white-collar crime, and major acts of violent crime. It is also strengthening its support to federal, county, municipal, and international law enforcement partners. And it is upgrading its technological infrastructure to successfully meet each of its priorities.

At the start of the new millennium, the FBI stands dedicated to its core values and ethical standards. Commitment to these values and standards ensures that the FBI effectively carries out its mission.

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What it takes to work for the FBI

Working for the FBI

Image of HRT training
Some Agents receive specialized training to become part of the elite Hostage Rescue Team.

As of June 30, 2003, the FBI employed 11,633 Special Agents and 15,904 Professional Support people. The FBI hires its own employees through recruitment efforts by the field offices and a centralized hiring system at Headquarters. Due to the FBI’s responsibilities in criminal law enforcement and in the Intelligence Community, all FBI employees, whether they are Special Agents or Professional Support, must qualify for a top-secret security clearance before they can begin their service. This qualification includes an extensive background investigation. The FBI does not make a final decision to hire an individual until all the information gathered during the background investigation is assessed. Once hired, all FBI employees must maintain their eligibility for a top-secret security clearance, undergo a limited background check every five years, and submit to random drug tests throughout their careers.

Some positions within the FBI also require a medical examination, and some require employees to sign an agreement stating their willingness to be assigned anywhere in the world.

FBI Employee Statistics (as of 6/30/2003)*
Number of Men
Percent of Total
Number of Women
Percent of Total
Total Group
Percent of Total
American Indian
All Minorities
Number of Men
Percent of Total
Number of Women
Percent of Total
Total Group
Percent of Total
American Indian
All Minorities
*Due to rounding, percentages may not total to 100 percent.
FBI Employees with Disabilities (as of 6/30/2003)
Special Agent
Support Personnel

Special Agents

FBI agent interviewing witnessFBI Special Agents are specially trained personnel, chosen from an extensive pool of applicants because they possess specific areas of expertise. To be an FBI Special Agent, an individual must:
• be a United States citizen;
• be at least 23 and not yet have reached his or her 37th birthday on appointment;
• have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited, four-year resident program at a college or university;
• pass a written examination;
• complete several in-person interviews; and
• pass a comprehensive medical examination, including vision
and hearing tests.

Applicants with these qualifications will be chosen if they have specific experience or expertise needed by the FBI. The criteria changes over time according to the FBI’s current priorities. Traditionally, the FBI seeks applicants with backgrounds in law enforcement, law, or accounting. Today, the FBI not only seeks applicants with these backgrounds, but also with expertise in languages, computers, and the sciences. For information on what specific skills the FBI is looking for today, check

Once chosen, applicants must complete an intensive, seventeen-week training program at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. This training program teaches new Special Agents the basic skills they will need to conduct effective investigations in all the FBI’s investigative programs, such as:

• Counterterrorism
• Ethics, with practical law enforcement applications
• Computer intrusions and fraud
Communications and interviewing
• Informant development
• Evidence collection and handling
• Equal opportunity employment and cultural sensitivity
• Counterintelligence
• Computer search and seizure
• Human behavior
• Communications and interviewing
• Constitutional criminal procedure
• Physical fitness and defensive tactics
• Firearms
• Practical problems
Firearms training at Quantico Firearms training at Quantico
What does the FBI look
for during a background

a person’s general attitude, trustworthiness, reliability, and discretion

Associates: types of people, groups,
and organizations the person has been associated with, focusing in particular on whether those associates are disreputable or known to be disloyal

Reputation: a person’s general standing in the community

Loyalty: the person’s attitude and allegiance to the United States

Ability: the person’s capacity or competence to perform well in an occupation

an irrational attitude directed against any class of citizen or any religious, racial, gender, or ethnic group

Financial Responsibility: whether lifestyle or spending habits are consistent with the person’s means

Alcohol Abuse:
excessive use of alcohol that impacts on a person’s behavior

Illegal Drug Use/
Prescription Drug Abuse: any use of illegal drugs or abuse of prescription medication

Trainees who complete the program are sworn in as Special Agents of the FBI. The new Agents then begin a two-year probationary period in which they must demonstrate the basic skills they learned at Quantico and learn advanced investigative techniques on the job from more experienced Special Agents. After the probationary period, Agents are required to keep their skills up to date through ongoing training. Agents may also choose to obtain special certification as a Special Agent Bomb Technician, a Technically Trained Agent, or a member of the elite Hostage Rescue Team.

The FBI’s current staffing needs and investigative priorities determine to which office a new Agent will be assigned. During their careers, Special Agents are required to relocate to other offices in order to meet the FBI’s needs.

Federal law requires that Special Agents retire by age 57. In rare circumstances, the FBI Director may grant one-year extensions, up to age 60, for a particular Special Agent.

Professional Support Employees

Technical Support EmployeeThe majority of the FBI’s workforce is made up of Professional Support employees, who work alongside and in support of Special Agents. Some Professional Support positions require only that an applicant be 16 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED; many others require college degrees, or even advanced degrees, and specific work experience. All Professional Support employees must complete the same application and go through the same background investigation process as Special Agents, but are not generally required to pass a written entrance exam or have a medical examination. There is no mandatory retirement age for most Professional Support employees.

Two employees in the labThe FBI offers some unique career opportunities for Professional Support Employees:

• The FBI Laboratory is staffed by experienced scientists and engineers from all applied science disciplines and supported by field office evidence technicians and photographers.
• FBI Headquarters divisions and field offices rely on the expertise of legal advisors, intelligence analysts, foreign language translators, fingerprint examiners, electronics technicians, surveillance experts, writers, and accountants to complete investigative tasks.
• Computer specialists, policy and management analysts, and other subject-matter experts handle the technical, administrative, and program-oversight responsibilities critical to FBI operations.
• Intelligence and surveillance experts help track criminals and terrorists, often using sophisticated equipment.
• Firearms experts work with guns and help train Special Agents.
• The FBI Security Division is staffed by experienced security specialists and technical experts from all security disciplines, including personnel, physical, and training, as well as information assurance and information systems security.
• The FBI has its own specially trained police force.
• The FBI also has a staff of well-qualified clerical workers and experienced craft, trade,
and maintenance personnel.

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Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia JTTF PatchCounterterrorism has always been a top priority for the FBI, but today it is the Bureau’s overriding mission to prevent acts of terrorism before they happen. This effort is managed by the Counterterrorism Division at Headquarters and carried out by every individual field office, resident agency, and Legat. Headquarters provides a team of analysts who work to put together bits of information gathered by the field offices. Headquarters also administers a national threat warning system that allows the FBI to instantly distribute important bulletins to law enforcement agencies and public safety departments. “Flying Squads” provide specialized counterterrorism knowledge and experience, language capabilities, and analytical support as needed to FBI field offices and Legats.

The FBI’s Counterterrorism Division collects, analyzes, and shares critical information and intelligence with the proper authorities to combat terrorism on three fronts: 1) international terrorism operations both within the United States and in support of extraterritorial investigations; 2) domestic terrorism operations; and 3) counterterrorism relating to both international and domestic terrorism.

An essential weapon in the battle against terrorists is the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). A National JTTF, located at Headquarters, includes representatives from the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, Customs Service, Secret Service, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Additionally, there are 66 local Joint Terrorism Task Forces where representatives from federal agencies, state and local law enforcement personnel, and first responders work shoulder-to-shoulder to track down terrorists and prevent acts of terrorism in the US

Counterterrorism Case: PENTTBOM
On the morning of September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m., hijacked American Airlines Flight #11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Twenty minutes later, another hijacked plane, United Airlines Flight #175, crashed into the South Tower. One hundred fifty-seven people were killed on the two planes, and thousands were killed in the towers and on the ground when the two towers collapsed. At 9:39 a.m., a third hijacked plane, American Airlines Flight #77, crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, killing 64 people on the plane and 125 on the ground. At 10:10 a.m., hijacked United Airlines Flight #93 crashed in Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania, killing 44 passengers and crew.

NYC Command Post after September 11, 2001
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City drove FBI personnel from the New York Field Office. Agents and support personnel quickly stood up a temporary command center and worked closely with law enforcement and first responders in the hours following the attack.

Within minutes of these attacks, the FBI’s Command Center, the Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC) was operational. SIOC provided analytical, logistical, and administrative support for the teams on the ground in New York, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon. A new command center in New York City had to be established because the FBI field office was too close to “ground zero.” Evidence response teams and the FBI’s Disaster Squad were deployed to the crash sites.

Efforts began as a search-and-rescue mission. As days passed, the crash sites became crime scenes, and the tedious process of evidence collection began. Focus shifted from rescue efforts to a large-scale, global terrorism investigation. The FBI quickly mobilized more than 7,000 employees to support the investigation — the most complex and comprehensive in its history. At the peak of the investigation, more than 6,000 Special Agents were working on the case. Over 250 Laboratory and other personnel and 20 Legats overseas were pursuing leads and coordinating investigative activities with their foreign counterparts.

FBI personnel worked around the clock, chasing down thousands upon thousands of leads and conducting hundreds of interviews. They searched through mountains of debris at ground zero and at the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island looking for clues, identifying remains, and examining vast amounts of evidence.

Several hundred Special Agents were sent around the world to pursue leads, to interview detained terrorist suspects in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, and other locations, and to support the work of national and international partners.

FBI investigators found letters handwritten in Arabic in three separate locations. The first was in a suitcase of hijacker Mohamed Atta, which did not make the connection to American Airlines Flight #11; the second was in a vehicle parked at Dulles International Airport belonging to hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi; and the third was at the crash site in Pennsylvania. Translations of the letters indicate an alarming willingness to die on the part of the hijackers.

Flight voice and data recorders from Flight #93 confirmed that the passengers engaged in a fight for their lives with their four hijackers, saving the lives of unknown individuals on the ground.

Within a matter of days, the FBI identified the 19 hijackers using flight, credit card, banking, and other records. On October 10, the FBI announced a new “Most Wanted Terrorists List.” On December 11, the Attorney General and FBI Director announced the indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui in connection with the attacks.

Counterterrorism Case: AHMED RESSAM
On December 14, 1999, Ahmed Ressam, a 34-year-old Algerian, was arrested at Port Angeles, Washington, attempting to enter the United States with components used to manufacture improvised explosive devices. He subsequently admitted that he planned to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on the eve of the Millennium 2000 celebrations.

Forensic scientists from both the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the FBI examined the evidence in this case. An FBI Laboratory Explosives Unit examiner compared evidence found in Ressam’s motel room with items seized in Post Angeles. The RCMP Laboratory identified the presence of explosives and developed a DNA profile from a pair of pants and shoes recovered in Ressam’s apartment. They also observed several holes in the pants that were consistent with an acid spill. With this information, the FBI Seattle Field Office examined Ressam’s legs and discovered a large burn. At the trial, a doctor specializing in burns testified that the burn on Ressam’s leg was consistent with an acid burn.

In the FBI Laboratory, a piece of hair was observed on a piece of clear tape inside one of the four time-delay fusing systems. The questioned hair was examined by the Trace Evidence Unit and determined to have the same microscopic characteristics as Ahmed Ressam’s hairs.

Picture of the Khobar Towers burning
The Khobar Towers bombing, Saudi Arabia, June 1996

Latent prints developed on the four timing devices and a map of Los Angeles showing three airports circled were associated with Ressam. A date book, on which 13 of Ressam’s fingerprints were developed, included the addresses of two bin Laden collaborators. It also contained the addresses of the firms that Ressam used to obtain the electronic components and precursor chemicals for the manufacturing of the explosives.

Additionally, credit card purchases at several electronics shops in Montreal, Canada, were discovered. An Explosives Unit examiner traveled to Canada and purchased the same items, demonstrating to the jury that Ressam could have purchased electronic components that were consistent with the components used in the construction of the time delay fusing systems recovered in the trunk of the rental vehicle.

After reviewing the items recovered in Montreal and Vancouver, the Explosives Unit examiner obtained several rolls of tape and a small piece of wire insulation for comparison. Subsequently, a forensic chemist determined that the packaging tape and clear tape recovered in Ressam’s Montreal apartment were consistent in physical characteristics and chemical composition to those removed from the time-delay fusing systems. Accordingly, the pieces of tape removed from the four time delay fusing systems could have originated from the roll of packaging tape and clear tape recovered from Ressam’s apartment. In addition, a small piece of wire insulation was recovered from the Vancouver motel room. The chemist determined that it was consistent in physical characteristics and chemical composition to the wires used in the time delay fusing systems.

Ahmed Ressam was tried and convicted in federal court of Conspiring to Commit an Act of International Terrorism and eight related charges. Ressam is scheduled to be sentenced in 2003.

In October and November, 2001, two waves of threat letters signed by the Army of God and claiming to contain anthrax were sent to abortion clinics and women’s health centers. The first wave was sent through the US Postal Service; the second wave was sent by Federal Express. To date, the FBI Laboratory has received over 200 of these letters. Chemistry Unit personnel examined the powders and determined them to be flour and chalk dust. None tested positive for anthrax.

FBI experts made a positive link between fingerprints on threat letters and fingerprints belonging to Clayton Lee Waagner, a 45-year-old fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Waagner was arrested on December 3, 2001.

Counterterrorism Case: BOMBING OF THE USS COLE

On October 12, 2000, the US Navy destroyer USS Cole was attacked by suicide terrorists who steered a small boat alongside the ship as it was refueling in the Yemini port of Aden. The small boat then exploded, tearing a hole 40 feet wide near the waterline of the Cole and killing seventeen US sailors.

The FBI quickly deployed over 100 Agents from the Counterterrorism Division, the Laboratory, and various field offices to Aden. Then-Director Louis Freeh soon arrived to assess the situation and to meet with Yemen President Ali Abdallah Saleh. On November 29, a guidance document was signed between the US State Department and the Yemeni government setting protocols for questioning witnesses and suspects. FBI and Yemini investigators proceeded with interviews, and a large amount of physical evidence was shipped back to the FBI Laboratory for examination.

FBI photographers took pictures of the crime scene that assisted in identifying the victims and provided detailed photographic information regarding the impact of the explosion. Later, FBI personnel from the Explosives Unit, Investigative Support Section, and Special Photographic Unit, as well as Bomb Technicians and Agents from the New York and Jackson Field Offices, traveled to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, where the Cole had been brought, to examine the ship for additional evidence.
The extensive FBI investigation ultimately determined that members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network planned and carried out the bombing.

Picture of USS Cole's damage
Picture of the Oklahoma City bombing aftermath
USS Cole
The Oklahoma City bombing aftermath, April 1995


As the lead counterintelligence agency within the United States Intelligence Community, the FBI has the principal authority to conduct and coordinate counterintelligence investigations and operations within the United States. The FBI is the only federal agency with a mandate to investigate foreign counterintelligence cases within US borders. Specially trained FBI counterintelligence experts monitor and neutralize foreign intelligence operations against the United States and investigate violations of federal laws against espionage, misuse of classified data, and other criminal matters relating to national security issues. The counterintelligence program is also involved in international terrorism threats, weapons of mass destruction threats, and attacks on the nation’s critical infrastructures (i.e., communications, banking systems, and transportation systems). Supported by other US agencies as needed, the FBI also conducts espionage investigations anywhere in the world when the subject of the investigation is a US citizen. The FBI’s counterintelligence program strives to be predictive and proactive and to maintain a protective umbrella around the nation’s critical technology, infrastructure, and information.

The theft of intellectual property and technology by foreign parties or governments directly threatens the development and manufacturing of US products, resulting in a weakened economic capability and diminished political stature for this country. In response, the FBI has dramatically increased the number of investigations aimed at stopping economic espionage.


On September 12, 1998, a major FBI foreign counterintelligence investigation culminated in the arrests of ten members of a Cuban spy ring operating in south Florida. The spy ring was targeting the region’s major US military installations, including the US Southern Command and the local Cuban émigré community. Three of those arrested were Cuban intelligence officers who had infiltrated the United States and assumed the identities of deceased American children.

Five spy ring members pled guilty and received sentences ranging from 42 months to seven years imprisonment. The remaining five, including the Cuban intelligence officers, were convicted of all charges, including Conspiracy to Commit Espionage, and received sentences ranging from 15 years to life imprisonment. One of the Cuban intelligence officers was also convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Murder for his role in the February 1996, destruction by the Cuban Air Force of two unarmed civilian planes of the Miami-based Brothers to the Rescue organization. He received two life sentences. In August 2001, the FBI arrested two additional members of the spy ring. Both entered into plea agreements and on January 4, 2002, received sentences of seven years and 42 months. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service provided significant support throughout the FBI’s investigation of the network’s activities against the US military.

Counterintelligence Case: TAIWAN’S FOUR PILLARS

FBI counterintelligence programs include efforts to stem the flow of US corporate secrets to foreign countries under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. Taiwan companies and individuals have been convicted of efforts to steal US companies’ proprietary or trade secret information since 1997. Dr. Ten Hong Lee of Taiwan’s Four Pillars Company allegedly received over $150,000 from Four Pillars for his involvement in the transfer of Avery Dennison’s proprietary manufacturing information and research data over the previous decade. In October 1997, Dr. Lee pled guilty to wire fraud charges in connection with his illegal conveyance of trade secrets from the Avery Dennison company to Four Pillars employees. In January 2000, the US District Court fined Four Pillars $5 million.

Counterintelligence Case: ROBERT P. HANSSEN
Robert Hanssen was a FBI counterintelligence officer who volunteered to spy for the Soviet Union in 1985. He gave classified FBI and US Intelligence Community information to the Soviets through letters and “dead drops” in the United States. The Soviets, who never knew his identity, gave him several payments of tens of thousands of dollars.

Picture of Foxstone Park sign
Foxstone Park, near Vienna, Virginia, was one of Hanssen's favorite "dead drop" sites.

Identifying and building a case against Hanssen was challenging because the FBI had to investigate a current employee who was trained and experienced in counterintelligence techniques. In late 2000, the FBI Laboratory was given a suspect bag containing several packages of documents, a tape recording, some computer diskettes, and an envelope wrapped in plastic. The thumbprint on the plastic wrapping matched Hanssen’s known thumbprint. The tape recording was enhanced by experts at the Laboratory’s Forensic Audio, Video and Image Analysis Unit and, after a foreign-speaking voice was edited out, Hanssen’s voice was tentatively identified. Next, the Laboratory’s Questioned Documents Unit examined the documents, did a handwriting comparison and found clues that the writing was Hanssen’s.

Covert surveillance that included photography, court-authorized searches, forensic computer analysis, and other sensitive techniques revealed that Hanssen had routinely accessed FBI records and secretly provided those records and other classified information to Soviet and Russian intelligence officers.
On February 18, 2001, the FBI was able to catch Hanssen in the act of filling a dead drop with classified materials for the Russians. He was arrested on the spot. On July 6, 2001, Hanssen pleaded guilty to 15 espionage-related charges.


Collage of woman at computerThe FBI plays two very important roles in cyberspace. First, it is the lead law enforcement agency for investigating cyber attacks by foreign adversaries and terrorists. The potential damage to the United States’ national security from a cyber-based attack includes devastating interruptions of critical communications, transportation, and other services. Additionally, such attacks could be used to access and steal protected information and plans. The FBI also works to prevent criminals, sexual predators, and others intent on malicious destruction from using the Internet and on-line services to steal from, defraud, and otherwise victimize citizens, businesses, and communities.

The Cyber Division at Headquarters manages investigations into Internet-facilitated crimes and supports Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Criminal investigations that call for technical expertise. In addition, most FBI field offices have specialized cyber squads. Cyber Action Teams or “CATS” are available to assist with specialized expertise anywhere in the world. FBI Regional Computer Forensic Laboratories throughout the country help state and local law enforcement solve cases where evidence is locked in a computer.

The FBI’s Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) operates as part of a cyber-community watch. The self-policing efforts of honest and vigilant Internet users result in potential fraudulent activity over the Internet being brought to the attention of law enforcement through the IFCC. The IFCC does much more than just collect complaint information. It ensures that the information, along with additional investigative information developed by IFCC personnel, is disseminated to the appropriate agencies and that identified fraud schemes are either prevented or mitigated. The IFCC processes and refers all complaints it receives, regardless of the alleged dollar loss. In its first year of operation, the IFCC received 36,410 complaints, resulting in 30,503 valid criminal complaints. The IFCC turns complaints into reports and forwards them to, on average, two or three law enforcement agencies. The referral process has spawned hundreds of criminal investigations throughout the country. The FBI uses the data to identify multiple victims, various crime trends, and same-subject cases, thus initiating the investigative phase of the IFCC’s operations.


Cyber attacks can take many forms, including worms, web site defacing, distributed denial of service (DDoS), and physical attacks. These attacks have been increasing at an alarming rate since the rapid growth of the Internet in the 1990’s. NET JAM is the code name for a series of DDoS attacks which began on February 7, 2000. This case was investigated by the FBI in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC, and several Legal Attache offices abroad.

DDoS attacks prevent victims from offering their web services on the Internet to legitimate users. A DDoS attack uses compromised computer networks to flood a victim’s computer network with massive amounts of data, overwhelming the victim’s computer network and causing it to stop operating.

During the investigation, the FBI determined that the perpetrator resided in Canada, and called upon the FBI’s Legal Attache in Ottawa to gain the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

On April 15, 2000, the RCMP arrested a Canadian juvenile known as Mafiaboy for the February 8th DDoS attack on CNN in Atlanta, Georgia. On August 3, 2000, Mafiaboy was charged with 64 additional counts. On January 18, 2001, Mafiaboy appeared before the Montreal Youth Court in Canada and pleaded guilty to 56 counts. These counts included mischief to property in excess of $5,000 against Internet sites, including, in relation to the February 2000 attacks. The other counts related to unauthorized access to several other Internet sites, including those of several US universities. On September 12, 2001, Mafiaboy appeared before the Montreal Youth Court in Canada and was sentenced to eight months “open custody,” one year probation, and restricted use of the Internet.


The FBI’s Houston Field Office initiated Operation CANDYMAN after an undercover agent identified three eGroups (Candyman, Shangri_la and Girls12-16), now called Yahoo! Groups, involved in posting, exchanging, and transmitting child pornography.

Through the issuance of a court order to Yahoo!, the FBI was provided 11,670 unique email addresses which participated in the three eGroups. Subsequent subpoenas, court orders and search warrants uncovered enough information to identify 1,822 domestic and 4,664 foreign subjects.

As of March 4, 2003, FBI field offices across the United States had executed over 608 searches, indicted 131 individuals, arrested 125, and obtained 69 convictions in connection with the Candyman investigation. Sixteen of the subjects arrested have admitted to the molestation of 58 children. Arrests have included teachers, a school bus driver, a fireman, a police and fire commissioner, a Big Brother/Big Sister caseworker and a cheerleading instructor.


In May 1995, the Baltimore FBI Office began an undercover operation—code named “Innocent Images”—to target people who use computers to receive and/or distribute child pornography and to recruit minors into illicit sexual relationships. Since then, the case has grown to become a national FBI initiative that addresses the sexual exploitation of children, particularly through the use of on-line computers. More than 2,000 people have been convicted to date.

In early 2002, a 15-year-old girl disappeared from her home. Her parents contacted the police and reported that their daughter was “on the Internet all the time and could possibly be missing due to Internet enticement.” The police requested FBI assistance. Two days later, the FBI received a telephone call from an anonymous individual stating he was on his computer, in a “sadomasochistic” chat room. The individual also stated the subject was bragging and sending real-time photographs of a young female he identified as his “sex slave,” who he was allegedly molesting and torturing.

The FBI determined the girl in the photographs was the victim. The Internet Protocol (IP) address of the subject was captured, and the Internet service provider was subpoenaed to obtain the identity and address of the subject. The subject’s home was identified.

The local FBI field office, along with the police, responded to the location, made forcible entry, and recovered the victim. No other individuals were located in the residence. The victim was restrained to a bedpost with a dog collar around her neck and a 22’ chain with two padlocks. She was clothed only in thong underwear and had visible bruises. She was taken to a local hospital.

The kidnapper was arrested at his place of employment without incident.


Pciture of money and laptopIn August 2000, the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) made a referral to the appropriate federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies regarding Jay Nelson, also known as (a.k.a.) Richard Nelson, doing business as Complainants alleged that Nelson was selling computer equipment via Internet auction sites, but ultimately failing to deliver the purchased merchandise. Investigation by the San Jose Police Department determined that Rick Pascale, originally thought to be a subject in an unrelated matter, was in fact one of several aliases used by Nelson. An investigation of Jay Nelson was initiated by the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) in Boston, Massachusetts. In November 2000, a search and seizure warrant was executed at Nelson’s residence, at which time several computers were seized. Nelson was subsequently arrested on January 30, 2001, but released on the conditions that he turn over any computers and agree not to use the Internet. On February 14, 2001, Nelson fled town one day prior to his arraignment. Nelson was then placed on the USPIS’s Most Wanted List. An investigation determined that Nelson was moving from town to town, staying at each location only long enough to perpetrate a new scam. On July 17, 2001 Nelson was arrested in Kissemmee, Florida. Nelson’s Internet fraud scheme victimized over 300 individuals resulting in monetary losses in excess of $1 million. The excellent communications between the IFCC and the USPIS resulted in linking seven separate cases to Nelson.

Public Corruption

The FBI’s highly sensitive public corruption investigations focus on all levels of government (local, state, and federal) and include allegations of judicial, legislative, regulatory, contract, and law enforcement corruption. Law enforcement corruption accounts for more than one-third of the current corruption investigations. These cases typically involve law enforcement officers accepting money to protect (or facilitate) drug-trafficking and organized criminal activity. Uncovering cases of public corruption is a unique FBI responsibility.

On April 8, 1999, Orange, New Jersey, Police Department (OPD) Officer Joyce A. Carnegie was shot and killed after confronting a robbery suspect. On April 11, 1999, Earl D. Faison was arrested as the suspect in Officer Carnegie’s murder. While in police custody, Faison subsequently died as a result of complications from asthma. Another suspect ultimately confessed to the murder.

Faison’s family alleged police brutality during his arrest and incarceration, and in April 1999, the FBI’s Newark Field Office initiated a Color of Law investigation. They conducted numerous interviews, crime scene analyses, and extensive use of the federal grand jury. On June 20, 2000, five OPD officers were indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of New Jersey. All five were convicted of beating Faison.

On October 19, 1999, Rafael A. Perez, a now former officer with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), began confessing to local prosecutors about a number of criminal acts performed by him and several other LAPD officers assigned to the Rampart District. The FBI initiated an investigation. In exchange for leniency on a state cocaine theft charge and immunity from prosecution for other local crimes, Perez began cooperating with local prosecutors. He revealed that on October 12, 1996, Javier F. Ovando, an arrestee who was unarmed and handcuffed, was shot multiple times by Perez and Nino Durden. After the shooting, the officers planted a sawed-off .22 caliber rifle on the victim, filed false criminal charges against him, and testified falsely at his criminal trial.

On February 9, 2001, Durden admitted his role in the shooting and subsequent cover-up involving Ovando. He entered guilty pleas and is awaiting sentencing.

On November 29, 2001, Perez was charged with firearms violations and conspiracy. He entered into a plea agreement with the government, admitted to his role, and is awaiting sentencing. Ovando served three years of a 23-year sentence before he was released.

Civil Rights

Picture of Ku Klux Klan membersThe FBI is the only federal entity with responsibility for investigating allegations of federal civil rights violations and abuses. In pursuit of this mission, the FBI investigates violence and hate crimes by individuals and/or members of racist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan. The FBI also investigates allegations of misconduct on the part of law enforcement officers, including physical abuse, infliction of summary punishment, and deprivation of rights through fabrication of evidence. The Bureau works with state and municipal law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and special interest/minority groups to improve reporting of civil rights violations and to design proactive strategies for identifying and mitigating systemic police brutality.

Other areas of emphasis are as follows: 1) enforcing the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which bars conduct that would obstruct access to reproductive health facilities; 2) investigating discrimination in housing; 3) enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; and 4) non-organized crime-related exploitation (involuntary servitude) of women and children.


On October 23, 1998, Dr. Barnett Slepian was fatally wounded by a single gunshot fired into his residence by an unknown sniper. Dr. Slepian ran a well-known medical clinic that provided abortions and other women’s health services. The shooting was similar to shootings in Rochester, New York, and three Canadian cities during the fall of 1997, in which abortion doctors were shot in their homes. The FBI field office in Buffalo, along with the Amherst Police Department and the New York State Police, immediately started an investigation into the shooting.

James Kopp was charged in a federal complaint and subsequent indictment with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution, and firearms charges. On June 7, 1999, he was added to the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list. In the course of an extensive fugitive investigation, the FBI used Title IIIs, substantial surveillance, and helpful witnesses, and worked closely with a variety of other domestic and international law enforcement agencies. These efforts led investigators to France, where Kopp was arrested.

On June 5, 2002, Kopp was taken into custody at Le Bourget Airport in Paris, France, by FBI Agents from the Buffalo Office and transported back to the United States. Kopp was convicted of second-degree murder on March 18, 2003, and is awaiting trial on a federal charge of interfering with the right to an abortion.


On February 28, 2001, the FBI Field Office in Honolulu began investigating the Daewoosa Company, which operated a garment factory on American Samoa and employed approximately 250 laborers from Vietnam. The investigation revealed that upon arrival in American Samoa, victims’ passports were confiscated by company employees, and they were forced to work to pay off smuggling fees of approximately $7,000. Daewoosa employees used threats, intimidation, and physical force to maintain control over the victims. Some female employees were sexually assaulted and forced to work as prostitutes, and those who became pregnant were either forced to have abortions or forced to return to Vietnam.

On March 23, 2001, Kil Soo Lee was arrested in American Samoa by the FBI Honolulu Field Office on charges of Involuntary Servitude and Forced Labor. Three subjects have entered guilty pleas to date, and the trial of Kil Soo Lee is expected in October 2002. FBI Honolulu is conducting a parallel investigation involving the white-collar crime aspects of the investigation with the assistance of the US Attorney’s Office.


In January 2001, the Mantiwoc Police Department in Wisconsin asked the FBI’s Milwaukee Field Office to assist in investigating a hate-related arson case. Their joint investigation uncovered a helpful witness who identified several individuals responsible for the arson. The investigation also determined that gasoline was used as an accelerant and that the fire was set at the only usable door of the home. Eight family members narrowly escaped through a window, but the residence was completely destroyed. According to the source, Andrew Franz had said that he started the fire to “get rid of the Asians living there.”

The investigation resulted in the identification and successful prosecution of seven individuals. All were either convicted or pled guilty to federal civil rights and arson charges and were all sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Andrew Franz received 20 years in prison.

Organized Crime

The FBI’s fight against organized crime is unlike other criminal programs. Instead of focusing on individual crimes, the FBI’s Organized Crime Program targets the entire organization responsible for a variety of criminal activities. The FBI has found that even if key individuals in an organization are removed, the depth and financial strength of the organization often allows the enterprise to continue.
The FBI focuses its efforts on structured criminal groups that pose the greatest threat to American society. These criminal enterprises include traditional, well-entrenched organizations such as La Cosa Nostra and Italian Organized Crime, Russian/Eurasian Organized Crime, Nigerian Criminal Enterprises, and Asian Criminal Enterprises. Additionally, because many organized crime groups are drawn to the lucrative profits associated with drug trafficking, the FBI also focuses investigations on the Cali, Medellin, and North Coast Colombian drug cartels, Mexican Drug-Trafficking Organizations, and organizations based in the United States.

The dismantling or disruption of major international and national organized criminal enterprises is an area of FBI expertise. The FBI is uniquely qualified to dismantle organizations because of the experience, training and expertise of its Agents, the FBI’s presence throughout the country, and its history as a methodical and thorough investigative agency. The FBI’s mission is accomplished through sustained, coordinated investigations and the use of the criminal and civil provisions of the RICO statute.


In the early 1990s, Vincent “Chin” Gigante, the Boss of New York’s Genovese LCN, was indicted and arrested as a result of the FBI’s investigation of LCN infiltration of New York City’s construction industry. Gigante was charged with ordering six murders — including that of Gambino LCN Boss John Gotti — and conspiring in three others; he was also charged with labor racketeering and extortion. Feigning mental illness, Gigante had his trial postponed twice, but in June 1997, after being ruled mentally competent, his trial began. Gigante was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. As a result of this investigation, 20 other LCN members were convicted and $4 million in illegally obtained LCN assets were forfeited.


Model of a crime scene
The FBI Laboratory creates crime scene models, like this one of a gang-related shooting, for use in court.

The FBI conducted an undercover operation targeting the drug-trafficking and money-laundering activities of the Colombia-based Diego Montoya-Sanchez organization. This investigation revealed that the Montoya-Sanchez drug-trafficking organization shipped cocaine via Ecuador to Mexico, where it was off-loaded onto trucks for land shipment to Florida, New York, and Montreal, Canada. The FBI used sources at the highest levels within Colombia and successfully engaged high-ranking members of the Montoya-Sanchez drug trafficking organization in a conspiracy to ship 2,000 kilograms of cocaine to the United States from olombia. The FBI worked with Colombian law enforcement in efforts to locate and arrest Montoya-Sanchez. This investigation served as a case study in international and interagency cooperation. The FBI and Colombian law enforcement worked seamlessly to conduct a highly complex and broad-ranging international investigation which, with the indictment of Montoya-Sanchez, significantly impaired and disrupted the ability of a highly effective transnational criminal enterprise to operate within the United States and Colombia. The increased coordination with foreign law enforcement agencies and entities ensured the operation’s ultimate success.

White-collar Crime

White-collar crimes are categorized by deceit, concealment, or violation of trust and are not dependent on the application or threat of physical force or violence. Such acts are committed by individuals and organizations to obtain money, property, or services, to avoid the payment or loss of money or services, or to secure a personal or business advantage.

The FBI investigates white-collar criminal activities, such as money laundering, securities and commodities fraud, bank fraud and embezzlement, environmental crimes, fraud against the government, health care fraud, election law violations, copyright violations, and telemarketing fraud. In general, the FBI focuses on organized crime activities that are international, national, or regional in scope and where the FBI can bring to bear unique expertise or capabilities that increase the likelihood of a successful investigation and prosecution. In the health care fraud arena, the FBI targets systemic abuses, such as large-scale billing fraud that is national or regional in scope and fraudulent activities that threaten the safety of patients. The FBI pursues financial institution fraud involving $100,000 or more. In cases of telemarketing and insurance fraud, the FBI will generally become involved where there is evidence of nationwide or international activities.


In March 2000, the FBI started undercover operation CYBERSTORM to find and prosecute individuals and groups involved in making and selling counterfeit software and illegally re-marking computer central processing units (CPUs).

Several cooperative witnesses told investigators that some individuals and companies in San Jose, California, were engaged in the illegal remarking and brokering of CPUs and the manufacture and sale of counterfeit computer software. Based on this information, as well as findings from a preliminary FBI investigation, numerous individuals and companies were identified as being involved in the production and distribution of re-marked CPUs and counterfeit software.

An undercover Agent started and ran a phony business engaged in the buying and selling of gray market CPUs and computer software. In order to be accepted by the computer industry, the Agent routinely purchased counterfeit products and sold legitimate computer components to targeted companies.

CYBERSTORM uncovered a large network of software pirates and manufacturers in California. On April 18, 2002, 27 individuals were arrested, and the counterfeit products recovered during the conduct of these searches were estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars.

In July 2001, the FBI’s Kansas City Division discovered that Robert Courtney, a pharmacist, was diluting doses of Gemzar and Taxol, two chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer patients. Agents set up a sting operation to purchase drugs from Courtney’s pharmacy and sent approximately six prescriptions to the Food and Drug Administration for testing. The tests showed that prescriptions prepared by Courtney, which should have had 100 percent of the prescribed drugs, actually had anywhere from 39 percent to less than 1 percent of the cancer drug.

On August 23, 2001, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Courtney and his pharmacy, charging eight counts of tampering involving serious bodily injury and twelve counts of adulteration/misbranding. On April 19, 2002, Courtney pleaded guilty to all 20 counts and agreed to accept a sentence of between 17 1/2 years and 30 years in prison, to forfeit all of his property, and to provide the government with a full accounting of all his criminal activities and the criminal activity of any other individual involved.


April 8 Realty fabricated and sold hundreds of false real estate loan file documents to over 100 real estate agents and investors in the Los Angeles area between 1997 and 1999. The FBI’s investigation included an undercover sting operation in which real estate agents and investors were videotaped purchasing fraudulent loan documentation as part of a joint Office of Inspector General, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and FBI housing fraud initiative. The supporting documentation used to qualify otherwise unqualified home buyers consisted of fraudulent W-2 forms, manufactured employee pay verification forms, altered bank statements, and fictitious letters of credit. In total, these fraudulent documents were used to secure over 1,000 US Government-insured loans. The investigation led to the guilty pleas of 18 real estate professionals involved in the fraud in 2001.


In 1996, TAP Pharmaceuticals earned $500 million on Medicare reimbursement for Lupron, a drug to treat prostate cancer. TAP is not directly reimbursed by Medicare for purchases of Lupron. Rather, Lupron is purchased by urologists from TAP’s sales representatives. The urologist then submits a claim to Medicare or any other insurance plan for reimbursement. Once the urologist is paid, the urologist then pays TAP for his purchases of Lupron. An FBI investigation revealed that TAP paid kickbacks to urologists. The kickbacks were paid in several ways, including unrestricted grants and free samples, free kits of Lupron, office equipment, software, and tickets to sporting and cultural events.

On October 3, 2001, TAP entered into the second largest health care fraud settlement agreement in the United States. TAP was sentenced to a $290 million criminal fine and accepted a $585 million civil settlement. In addition, TAP was required to pay interest of approximately $10 million as agreed to in the settlement. Four urologists were convicted in connection with this case for the selling of Lupron samples.

Significant Violent Crime

Combating significant violent crime is a traditional area of FBI expertise. The Bureau concentrates on crime problems that pose major threats to the integrity of American society, such as criminal street gangs, bank robberies, carjackings, kidnappings, interstate transportation of stolen property and motor ehicles, assaults and threats of assault on federal officials, assaulting the President, theft or destruction of government property, and fugitive matters.


Under the Fugitive Program, the FBI locates and apprehends individuals wanted in connection with substantive FBI investigations. The FBI also assists local and state law enforcement agencies in apprehending highly sought fugitives who may have fled across state lines or left the country. The primary emphasis is on fugitives sought for serious or violent criminal acts, including those engaged in large-scale drug trafficking.

The FBI is the primary federal law enforcement agency with statutory authority to investigate fugitive matters where the fugitive is wanted on state charges and has crossed state lines. The FBI’s policy and bjective in investigating fugitive matters is to effect the swift location and capture of fugitives, particularly those wanted in connection with violent crimes and substantial property loss or destruction. The FBI is increasingly tasked to assist with coordinating apprehension efforts of US fugitives abroad. These fugitives, who fled foreign jurisdiction and are believed to be in the United States, are wanted for crimes of violence, including murder, kidnapping, and robbery.

The “Top Ten” is a publicity program founded by the FBI in March 1950, along with the national news media. It is designed to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives who might not otherwise merit nationwide attention. The program concentrates on nationwide crime and terrorism, serial murders, and drug-related crimes. Since its creation, the Top Ten program has resulted in the location or apprehension of 446 fugitives.

Eric Franklin Rosser was wanted by authorities for his alleged involvement in numerous offenses, including the production of a videotape in Thailand which depicted sexually explicit conduct between him and an eleven-year-old girl. Rosser later distributed the videotape to a resident of Bloomington, Indiana. He also allegedly conspired to transport, distribute, and receive videotapes, photographs, and magazines containing child pornography involving female children between the ages of nine and eleven years old. Some of these photographs and visual depictions were placed on the Internet as a direct result of being smuggled, allegedly by Rosser, from the United States to Thailand. Rosser was indicted on March 21, 2000, in the Southern District of Indiana and charged with the production, distribution, receipt, and ransportation of child pornography. As an admitted pedophile, Rosser was considered dangerous, especially to children.

The FBI placed Rosser on its list of “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” on December 27, 2000. Rosser was also featured on the television program America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back. After the program aired, a viewer’s tip led authorities to believe that Rosser was in the area and, after surveillance was initiated, Rosser was seen walking on a city street and then entering a building. Law enforcement authorities followed Rosser into the building and proceeded to place him in custody. Rosser was taken into custody on August 21, 2001, at a business in Bangkok, Thailand. Members of the Crime Suppression Bureau of the Thai National Police, in cooperation with the FBI’s Legal Attaché Office in Bangkok, Thailand participated in the arrest.

Illegal Drugs

Illegal drug abuse and its consequences are devastating to our society and have been recognized as a national security threat by the President, the Attorney General, and the Director of Central Intelligence. While other law enforcement organizations seek to disrupt drug-trafficking organizations, the dismantlement of major international and national drug-trafficking organizations is an area of FBI expertise and core competency. Dismantlement means the targeted organization is permanently rendered incapable of being involved in the distribution of drugs. At a minimum, this requires three objectives be met: 1) the organization’s leaders must be completely incapacitated; 2) the organization’s financial base must be thoroughly destroyed; and 3) the organization’s drug-supply connection/network must be irreparably disrupted. The FBI’s approach gives the Special Agents in Charge of each field office the flexibility to address significant local drug problems, but they must do so in a manner that is consistent with and contributes to the dismantlement of national drug-trafficking organizations. The FBI is uniquely qualified to dismantle organizations because of the experience, training, and expertise of its Agents, the statutory jurisdictions at its disposal, the FBI’s presence throughout the country, and its history as a methodical and thorough investigative agency.

Photograph of helicopterThe FBI worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Internal Revenue Service to target a Dominican drug-trafficking organization operating in western New York. Through the use of a highly placed cooperating witness, a moneylaundering and drug related police corruption aspect to this case developed. Multiple wiretaps were put in place and an undercover operation was initiated. A wiretap, in conjunction with closed-circuit television, documented four Buffalo Police Department detectives breaking into an undercover residence for the purpose of stealing drug proceeds. They were ultimately arrested in March 2000. The four detectives were charged with stealing $36,000 from an undercover FBI Agent, possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony, and civil rights violations. After an eight-week trial, one police detective was found guilty of drug trafficking, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, civil rights violations, and obstruction of commerce. Two other detectives were convicted of theft of government property, while a fourth detective was acquitted on all charges. Three of the detectives were terminated by the Buffalo Police Department immediately following the verdict, while the acquitted officer was suspended awaiting termination.


This FBI-led investigation targeted the Jose Diogo Theriaga organization, a transnational methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as “ecstasy,” distribution and money laundering organization operating in Miami, Florida, and overseas. The Jose Diogo Theriaga organization sought to purchase nightclubs in Miami as a means to distribute MDMA and launder the proceeds. OPERATION X also focused on the illicit activities of the Julian Garcia-Herman Roif organization, a Colombian moneylaundering organization responsible for the laundering of millions of dollars of proceeds for drugtrafficking organizations operating in the Miami area. The FBI employed sophisticated investigative techniques against both organizations, including wiretap coverage of telephone and computer communications, controlled purchases of drug evidence, and the use of an undercover operation. OPERATION X was conducted in concert with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Customs Service, and the Dutch National Police. The FBI executed 14 search warrants, indicted and arrested 11 individuals, and seized $605,000, as well as executing search warrants on electronic and web-based mail accounts to gather evidence against the members of the criminal enterprise. This investigation exposed and dismantled a previously undiscovered major transnational criminal enterprise.

Crimes Against Children

Image of Crimes Against Children publicationThe FBI provides a rapid and effective investigative response to reported federal crimes involving child victims, such as kidnappings, sexual assaults, sexual exploitation of children, international parental kidnappings, and Child Support Recovery Act matters.

On-line child pornography and child sexual exploitation are the largest crimes against children problems confronting the FBI. To respond, the FBI started the Innocent Images National Initiative. Innocent Images is a proactive on-line undercover operation designed to prevent child pornography and child sexual exploitation committed via the Internet and on-line services, to identify and rescue witting and unwitting child victims, to identify and prosecute child sexual offenders, and to create an on-line environment where would-be offenders are deterred because of the possibility of communicating with undercover law enforcement Agents.

On April 25, 2000, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was notified of a potential International Parental Kidnapping case by Mary Hamouda, the mother of three children, ages ten, six, and four. Mary and her husband Mohamad Salah Hamouda were going through a divorce. Mary had physical custody and a final custody order had not been issued. The couple had a written agreement, arranged by their lawyers, that Mohamad would have the children from the evening of April 21, 2000, through the evening of April 22. On April 23, the children did not report for school. On April 27, Mary filed a complaint with her local police department regarding the kidnapping of her children. Mohamad had been born in Lebanon, and she feared that he most likely fled to that country. The next day a police sergeant brought the case to the attention of an FBI Agent detailed to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and asked the FBI for assistance. It was determined that Mohamad and the children had taken a flight to Lebanon.

The FBI contacted relatives of Mohamad, including his brother Samir. On June 12, Mohamad contacted his brother in the United States. Samir notified the FBI that Mohamad had called and was planning to call him again in approximately one hour. FBI Agents arrived at Samir’s home and spoke with Mohamad when he called to speak with his brother. Mohamad said he planned to return to the United States, arriving at Dulles Airport in Virginia on June 18. Upon his arrival, Mohamad was arrested and the children were re-united with their mother.


In the spring of 2001, a young girl playing outside her apartment in Louisiana was abducted by an unidentified man in a van. The local FBI field office quickly set up a 24-hour command center at the local police department. Neighborhood searches were conducted via the ground and air. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the America’s Most Wanted television show gave the case media publicity. A few days later an employee at a bus station recognized the girl and called the police. The girl was recovered alive—thanks to well-orchestrated, cooperative action between law enforcement, the media, and the public.

The investigation revealed that the kidnapper drove the girl to a remote hunting cabin where he repeatedly raped her. He then drove to a bus station with the intention of putting her on a bus back to her hometown.

The FBI believed this kidnapping might be related to another kidnapping which had occurred a month earlier. In that case, another young girl was taken from outside her Texas residence by an unknown white male. She was held at a remote cabin for six days, sexually assaulted, then driven back to her neighborhood and released.

Interviews of both girls revealed similarities in the description of the cabin.

Wanted poster for Richard Steve GoldbergA month later another Texas girl was reported missing to the FBI. She was last seen getting off a school bus and talking to a white male who was driving a white car. A witness observed the girl enter the car and drive away with the subject. Based on the similarities in the subject’s description, the FBI believed this incident was related to the two earlier cases. The FBI established a local command post.
Two days later a vehicle used during the abduction was described as being light colored with a Texas license plate. FBI Houston disseminated a composite of the kidnapper, and students from a Houston elementary school reported they had been approached by an individual fitting the suspect’s description. The students thought this man’s actions were strange and wrote down his license plate number. The FBI traced the car to its registered owner and interviewed him. They learned that the car was recently sold to a white male, possibly a transient, who paid cash for the car. No identifying information on the subject was obtained, which is apparently common practice in Texas. The seller of the car was shown a composite of the wanted subject and verified the composite resembled the person who purchased the car.

A search located a traffic citation for the suspect’s car issued a few months earlier in Texas to Gregory Cox.

A report of a suspicious vehicle near a remote cabin in Texas was received by the sheriff’s office. Law enforcement officers responded to the call and observed a compact car occupied by a young female and a male subject parked next to a small cabin. The female ran from the car toward the law enforcement officers. The male simultaneously got out of the car and ran away from the law enforcement officers. The male ran a short distance and then fatally shot himself in the head.

The suspect was later confirmed to be a known sex offender. Because his DNA was on file, the FBI Laboratory was able to link known DNA belonging to the suspect with unknown DNA samples obtained from the victims.

Environmental Crimes

Picture of Hazardous Materials Response Unit
Hazardous Materials Response Unit

Environmental crimes threaten the public health and natural resources of our nation. As environmental laws become more restrictive, authorized disposal sites close, the costs of legitimate disposal increase, and the financial incentive to illegally dispose of hazardous waste grows. At any given time, the FBI has approximately 450 pending environmental crimes cases—roughly half of which are Clean Water Act cases. Most investigations are conducted jointly with other federal agencies, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Coast Guard, as well as with state regulatory agencies.

Environmental crimes involve, among other things, air pollution, water pollution, and the illegal transportation, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. Because of the increasing number of environmental allegations received, the FBI must focus its resources on matters presenting the most serious threat to public health and natural resources. Accordingly, the FBI’s environmental crimes priorities include situations involving:

1) handling hazardous waste and pollutants in such a way as to place workers in physical danger;
2) environmental catastrophes that devastate the environment, place entire communities at risk, or cause deaths; 3) violations at federal government facilities; 4) businesses identified by regulatory agencies as having a long-standing history of violations or flagrant disregard for environmental laws; and
5) organized crime activities, generally in the solid waste industry.

Indian Country

The FBI has criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country for major crimes under the Indian Country Crimes Act (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1152), the Indian Country Major Crimes Act (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1153), and the Assimilative Crimes Act (Title 18, United States Code, Section 13). The 1994 Crime Act expanded federal criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country in such areas as guns, violent juveniles, drugs, and domestic violence. Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the FBI has jurisdiction over any criminal act directly related to casino gaming. The FBI also investigates civil rights violations, environmental crimes, public corruption, and government fraud occurring in Indian Country.

Background Investigations

The FBI’s Applicant Program manages background investigations on all persons who apply for positions with the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Justice, and the FBI. The program also oversees background checks for presidential appointees, White House staff candidates, and US Court candidates. Background investigations involve interviewing neighbors and coworkers of applicants and checking criminal and credit records.


The FBI works to enhance the criminal justice system’s effectiveness and efficiency at all levels: national, state, county, and municipal. One of the key ways the FBI does this is by serving as a national focal point for criminal justice information, providing accurate and timely services to local, state, federal, and international law enforcement organizations, the private sector, academia, and other government agencies.

Image of the new FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia
New lab building in Quantico, Virginia

Laboratory: The FBI Laboratory was created in 1932 and today is one of the largest and most comprehensive crime laboratories in the world. The Lab supports the federal and nonfederal criminal justice systems by conducting scientific analyses of physical evidence; providing specialized scientific and technical support to ongoing investigations; developing an automated database of DNA patterns from evidence and/or individuals for examination and comparison; providing expert testimony in court; developing a database and network software to match and exchange images of firearms evidence from violent crimes; and providing specialized forensic science training, analysis, and technical assistance to crime laboratory personnel and crime scene training to law enforcement personnel.

FBI employees analying fingerprints
The FBI has transitioned from a paper-based system for fingerprint matching to a completely automated system.

Investigative Technologies: The Investigative Technologies Division provides technical and tactical services in support of investigators and the Intelligence Community, including electronic surveillance, cybertechnology, and wireless and radio communications, as well as the development of new investigative technologies and techniques and the training of technical Agents and personnel.
Fingerprint Identification: The FBI maintains the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), a state-of-the-art automated system which accepts and processes fingerprint submissions and related transactions electronically, and serves as a repository for criminal history records, which are accessed by users when searching for arrest record information, and maintains the FBI’s national database of fingerprint features. IAFIS has the database of fingerprint features. IAFIS has the capability to process up to 62,500 ten-print fingerprint searches and 635 latent fingerprint searches daily. IAFIS is administered by the Criminal Justice Information Services Division, based in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

National Crime Information Center
: NCIC is a nationwide computerized information system accessed by more than 80,000 law enforcement and criminal justice agencies at all levels of government. It provides a computerized index of documented criminal justice information on crimes and criminals, and it includes locator-type files on missing and unidentified persons. NCIC averages 3.5 million transactions per day. This system includes the following files:

Gun File—records stolen and recovered weapons that are designed to expel a projectile by air, carbon dioxide, or explosive action

License Plate File
—records stolen license plates, acts as an early warning to police officers during traffic stops

Missing Persons File—provides centralized computerized system to help law enforcement locate individuals, including children, who are not wanted on any criminal charges

ATF Violent Felon File—lists individuals prohibited from possessing a firearm due to three or more felony convictions or serious drug offenses

Unidentified Persons File
—cross-references unidentified bodies against records in the Missing Persons File

US Secret Service Protective File—maintains names and other information on individuals who are believed to pose a threat to the President and/or others afforded protection by the US Secret Service

Vehicle File—assists in the recovery of a stolen vehicle, a vehicle involved in the commission of a crime, or a stolen part

Violent Gang and Terrorist Organizations File
—became operational in 1995 to identify violent gangs and their members; also contains records about terrorist organizations and their members

Wanted Persons File
—records individuals (including juveniles who will be tried as adults) for whom a federal warrant, a felony, or serious misdemeanor warrant is outstanding

Fingerprint Searches—stores and searches on the right index fingerprint; search inquiries compare the print to all fingerprint data on file (wanted persons and missing persons)

Convicted Sex Offender—records the names of individuals who are convicted sexual offenders or violent sexual predators

On October 21, 2000, David Starkey allegedly tried to abduct a woman at a shopping mall in Strongsville, Ohio. As the woman was getting into her car to drive home, Starkey pushed her in and got on top of her. Another shopper saw what was happening, grabbed the assailant, and pulled him out of the car. Although he fled, the suspect left behind a cigarette filter. The Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office extracted DNA from the filter and developed a DNA profile that was then searched in the Ohio State DNA database. The database search found a match with a DNA profile belonging to Starkey. The match led to Starkey’s arrest in May 2001 and a conviction in July 2001.

Image of DNA identification
DNA Identification

Case Study: DNA Identification
In February 2001, Alvin Avon Braziel, Jr., while serving time for the 1997 sexual assault of a child, was charged with capital murder and aggravated assault in a 1993 case. The Texas Department of Public Safety’s DNA database had linked Braziel’s DNA from the 1997 case to the DNA profile from the previously unsolved 1993 shooting death of 27-year-old Douglas White and the rape of his 24-year-old wife, Lori. According to detectives, the armed assailant approached the victims on the campus of Eastfield Community College, forced the couple to lie on the ground, shot Douglas in the back of the head and then raped his wife. Over the past seven years, police had investigated more than 200 leads and had 40 potential suspects submit to blood testing. Even the show America’s Most Wanted aired the case ithout results. Finally, the Texas CODIS database solved these brutal crimes.

On September 12, 1976, a 77-year-old white female was raped and beaten to death in her home. At the time of the initial investigation, fingerprint examiners from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) developed one latent fingerprint on a piece of glass and lifted seven other prints. They manually compared the latents against the New Orleans criminal fingerprint file without success. In 1979, the fingerprints were sent to the FBI for entry into an automated search system, but no dentifications were made.

In February 2001, NOPD’s Cold Case Unit retrieved the fingerprints from their archive and conducted state and local IAFIS searches. Again, no identifications were made. The NOPD submitted the fingerprints to the FBI Latent Print Unit requesting IAFIS searches. A latent print examiner then conducted IAFIS searches of two latent fingerprints. One of the searches identified a suspect. Seven more identifications were done manually. NOPD requested a copy of the report to obtain an arrest warrant. On November 2, 2001, the suspect was arrested and confessed. He had been released from jail on October 2, 2001. NOPD is now investigating three additional rapes/homicides that fit his modus operandi.

Image of bullets and shellsOn June 2, 2000, a male security guard was murdered. Then during a robbery, two male store clerks were murdered. Firearms evidence was recovered from both scenes and submitted for examination. The .40 caliber bullets and cartridge cases were entered into the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network. The ballistics examination indicated that the same gun was used at both scenes. These cases were also linked with an aggravated robbery that occurred on May 20, 2000. Further investigation linked an aggravated robbery that occurred on February 11, 2000, when a wallet was stolen and a credit card used.

Uniform Crime Reporting Program: A nationwide cooperative effort of city, county, and state law enforcement to report crimes. The Crime Index consists of eight crimes: violent crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The program issues an annual report called Crime in the United States that is intended to measure changes in the overall volume and rate of crime. You can purchase this report from the US Government Printing Office in either hard copy or CD-ROM.

National Instant Criminal Background Check System:
The Brady Act requires a background check on all persons who attempted to purchase a firearm. The FBI established the NICS Operation Center to enforce the provisions of the Brady Act and to manage, operate, and support NICS. The NICS mission is to enforce the Brady Act through a system that ensures the timely transfer of firearms to individuals who are not specifically prohibited under federal law, and that denies transfer to those who are prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm. The FBI conducts NICS background checks for all firearms purchases for 27 states and territories and for long-gun purchases in 11 states.

Law Enforcement On-Line: A national interactive, computer communications and information capability for duly-constituted law enforcement agencies or approved members of an authorized law enforcement special interest group. LEO provides a state-of-the-art Intranet to link all levels of law enforcement nationwide. LEO offers real-time chat capability, news groups, distance learning, and articles on law enforcement issues, to name a few.


“Throughout the law enforcement community nationwide and worldwide, you just say the word, ‘Quantico,’ and people automatically think leadership and excellence.”
— Bruce J. Gebhardt, Deputy Director

FBI National Training Plan

Photograph of Hogan's Alley
There is always a crime scene in Hogan's Alley, a simulated town used for operations training.

In the FBI, learning is a lifelong process for both Special Agents and support personnel. New Agents’ Training incorporates counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and cyber investigation matters into basic investigative courses so Agents are better able to recognize and address these intertwined threats. For example, training in financial crimes shows Agents how certain acts should be closely reviewed for possible money laundering activities by terrorist groups.

FBI support personnel enjoy a variety of training opportunities throughout their careers, including in-service training on counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cybecrime, and other matters; language training; distance learning via satellite; and courses offered through the FBI’s “Virtual Academy.”

College of Analytical Studies

The FBI’s College of Analytical Studies provides training for intelligence analysts using state-of-the-art computer tools. A variety of courses are offered to FBI personnel, members of Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the country, and Department of Justice analysts.

Photograph of students role playing at the FBI Academy
Role playing at the FBI Academy.

National Academy
Since 1935, the FBI has offered the National Academy program to experienced law enforcement managers nominated by their agency heads because of their leadership qualities.

The 11-week multidisciplinary program emphasizes leadership development. The University of Virginia accredits its academic courses. Courses offered include management science, law, behavioral science, law enforcement communication, and forensic science. More than 36,000 police managers have graduated from the FBI National Academy.

Field Police Training

A Special Agent at each FBI field office coordinates training programs for state and local law enforcement and public safety employees within that office’s territory. Course topics include hostage negotiation, computer crime, death investigations, violent crimes, criminal psychology, and forensics. In FY 2002, the field police training programs trained 48,021 law enforcement and public safety employees.

Leadership and Management Science Programs
The FBI conducts three five-day National Executive Institute seminars for heads of large law enforcement agencies each year. Since the program began in 1976, more than 800 top police managers have completed the seminar. In FY 2000, 59 police managers from mid-sized law enforcement agencies completed the FBI’s two-week Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS). The FBI also offers 18 Regional Mini-LEEDS/Command Colleges each year for the heads of small law enforcement agencies.

International Training and Assistance
In FY 2002, the FBI provided training to more than 8,050 police officers and executives representing
118 countries through courses offered at FBI facilities and at on-site in-country seminars. Courses were offered in Major Case Management and Terrorist Crime Scenes Investigation, among others. The FBI also administers an International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary, and supports a second Academy in Bangkok, Thailand. The curriculums of both International Academies are based on the FBI National Academy model.

Image of student taking firearms training Image of skid car Image of an agent-in-training practices hand-to-hand combat techniques
Students take firearms training at Quantico. 'Skid cars' are used to teach students how to handle a skidding vehicle. Extra wheels lift the car off the ground, causing main tires to lose traction with the road surface. An Agent-in-training practices hand-to-hand combat techniques.

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INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS: Ensuring Accountability

“The greatness of an institution can be measured by the strength of its internal investigations.”
—Robert S. Mueller, III

Annual Inspections

All FBI offices and programs are subject to regular inspections by the FBI’s Inspection Division to ensure their economic value and effective compliance with objectives, governing laws, rules, regulations, and policies. These reviews are also to ensure that FBI personnel conduct the organization’s activities in a proper and professional manner. The Division conducts organizational streamlining studies, program evaluations, and process-reengineering and improvement projects. The Inspection Division also ensures compliance with instructions and recommendations issued as a result of the inspection of field offices, Legats, and Headquarters, and is responsible for the coordination and processing of Intelligence Oversight Board matters.

Office of Professional Responsibility

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is part of the Office of the Director and is responsible for the investigation of, and the supervision of investigations of, allegations of criminal conduct and serious misconduct by FBI employees. Additionally, OPR is responsible for the adjudication of cases of administrative discipline based on its investigation, determining whether the allegations have been substantiated, and making written findings and recommendations regarding what, if any, disciplinary action is appropriate.

OPR is responsible for setting policy and establishing procedures regarding the disciplinary process and for monitoring its effectiveness to ensure that the ability of the FBI to perform its law enforcement and national security functions is not impaired.

OPR is responsible for the investigation and adjudication of allegations of wrongdoing on the part of FBI employees and for the resolution of internal disciplinary matters. It also has responsibility for the ethics training of all FBI employees throughout their careers.

The Inspector General

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG), established by the Inspector General Act Amendments of 1988, is an independent entity within the Department of Justice that reports to both the Attorney General and Congress on issues that affect the Department’s personnel or mission. The OIG is responsible for finding and discouraging waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct among DOJ employees and its programs, and also promoting integrity, economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in its operations. The OIG also enforces criminal and civil laws, regulation, and ethical standards within DOJ by investigating individuals and organizations that allegedly are involved in financial, contractual, or criminal misconduct in DOJ programs and operations. This year, the OIG will devote significant resources to reviewing DOJ programs and operations that affect its ability to respond to the threat of terrorism. The current Inspector General is Glenn A. Fine, who was confirmed on December 15, 2000. Inspector General Fine is a Harvard-trained attorney, an experienced prosecutor, and a long-time civil servant.

The Security Division

The FBI’s Security Division works to ensure a safe and secure work environment for FBI employees and others with access to FBI facilities, and to prevent the compromise of national security and FBI information. It works to prevent espionage and to protect personnel, facilities, and information from both external and internal threats.

The Security Division is responsible for ensuring the integrity and reliability of the Bureau’s workforce. It uses the product of personnel security investigations to determine whether someone can be trusted to properly protect sensitive or classified FBI information. It performs polygraph examinations to help determine trustworthiness and to support criminal investigations.

The Security Division manages programs to protect staff, contractors, and Bureau visitors. These programs include force protection, facility access control, incident reporting and management, and continuity of operations planning. The division also conducts security training to help prepare staff and contract personnel to execute their general and specific security responsibilities.

The Security Division manages programs, techniques, and processes to protect and defend information and information systems by assuring their integrity, authentication, availability, non-repudiation, and confidentiality. For documents in an electronic format, this process is accomplished through information systems certification and accreditation, access control and “need-to-know”, intrusion detection, as well as encryption and secure messaging. For hard-copy documents, the division sets policy that governs the protection of sensitive and classified documents.