The Federal Bureau of Investigation - Capabilities and Service
by Gideon T. Rasmussen - CISSP, CISA, CISM, MVP - Monday, 15 October 2007.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is an elite law enforcement organization. This article provides an overview of FBI teams, InfraGard and the FBI Citizens’ Academy.

I. FBI Priorities

Take a moment to review the list of FBI priorities. What you see might surprise you. Top on the list is terrorism, intelligence threats, etc. The FBI mission has changed in recent years.

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/national criminal organizations and enterprises
7. Combat major white-collar crime
8. Combat significant violent crime
9. Support federal, state, local and international partners
10. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI's mission.

II. Life of an FBI Agent

FBI agents have a simple mantra. Know your domain! Domain in the FBI vernacular refers to knowledge of an area’s threats, population and demographics. The FBI strives to develop alliances with American companies, universities, and research laboratories to protect targeted technologies. Establish a relationship with the FBI now, before an incident.

The FBI is also focused on situational awareness: Expect the unexpected; Know your adversary; Nothing is what it seems. Each FBI field office has several teams. FBI Agents are typically assigned to more than one (e.g. SWAT as an alternate duty). The services provided by the FBI are not without consequences. Since its inception in 1908, 50 FBI agents have been killed in the line of duty.

The FBI Deadly Force Policy is as follows: “Agents may use deadly force when necessary, that is, when an agent has probably cause to believe that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the Agent or other persons.” Use of deadly force is a last resort.


III. Teams

1. White Collar Crime Program

The WCC Program has many sub-programs most of which are focused on fraud. Fraud occurs in many businesses including corporations, securities and commodities firms, health care organizations, financial institutions, etc. Fraud is not a victimless crime. It affects stocks, pension plans, mutual funds and the people who invest in them. The FBI’s Certified Fraud Examiners have the depth and breadth of experience to conduct complex fraud investigations.

The FBI does not typically investigate fraud until it hits the $150,000 mark. In the near future, the threshold may be extended to $500,000 due to resource constraints. For more information, refer to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s “FBI's Terrorism Trade-off” article.

The WCC program includes mass marketing fraud and identity theft crimes. The FBI also investigates corruption of public officials at all levels of government.

2. National Joint Terrorism Task Force

JTTFs are a collective of counter terrorism units spread throughout the U.S. The primary goal of each unit is to prevent, disrupt and defeat terror operations before they occur. JTTF units consist of FBI agents and a combination of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials (e.g. the ATF, Federal Air Marshals, State Bureaus of Investigation, DHS, police officers, state law enforcement, etc.). JTTF members sign a memorandum of understanding to work under FBI leadership. Each unit is deputized by the FBI as federal law enforcement officers and work as one team.

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