The Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
The agency now known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation originated from a force of Special Agents created in 1908 when Attorney General Charles Bonaparte appointed an unnamed force to be the investigative force of the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Before that time the Department of Justice often had to borrow Agents from the U.S. Secret Service to investigate violations of federal criminal laws within its jurisdiction. On July 26, 1908, Bonaparte ordered the Special Agents to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch. This is celebrated as the beginning of the FBI. Both Attorney General Bonaparte and President Roosevelt, who completed their terms in March 1909, recommended that the force of 34 Agents become a permanent part of the Department of Justice. Attorney General George Wickersham, Bonaparte's successor, named the force the Bureau of Investigation on March 16, 1909. At that time, the title Chief Examiner was changed to Director of the Bureau of Investigation.
When the Bureau was established, there were few federal crimes. The Bureau of Investigation primarily investigated violations of laws involving national banking, bankruptcy frauds, antitrust crime, naturalization, and neutrality violation. With the April 1917 entry of the United States into World War I (1914-1918), the Bureau was given the responsibility of investigating espionage, sabotage acts, sedition (resistance against lawful authority), and draft violations. When the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act was passed in October 1919, by which the federal government could investigate criminals who evaded state laws but had no other federal violations, the Bureau's jurisdiction was further broadened.
The years from 1921 to 1933 were sometimes called the "lawless years". After the passage of Prohibition, which made it illegal to sell or import intoxicating beverages, in 1920, the gangster era began. Criminals engaged in kidnapping and bank robbery, which were not federal crimes at that time. This changed in 1932 with the passage of a federal kidnapping statue. In 1934, many other federal criminal statues were passed, and Congress gave Special Agents the authority to make arrests and to carry firearms.
During the period of World War II, the FBI's size and jurisdiction greatly increased and included intelligence matters in South America. War for the United States began December 7, 1941, when Japanese armed forces attacked battleships and military facilities at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States immediately declared war on Japan. At this time the FBI was in a wartime mode. FBI Headquarters and the 54 field offices were placed on 24-hour schedules. On December 7 and 8, the FBI arrested previously identified aliens who threatened national security and turned them over to military or immigration authorities. With the end of that war (1945), and the arrival of the Atomic Age (also referred to as the "Cold War"; involving the threatening expansion of the former Soviet Union), the FBI began conducting background security investigations for the White House and other government agencies, as well as probes into internal security matters for the executive branch of the government.
Civil rights and organized crime became major concerns of the Bureau in the 1960's (by that time the number of Agents stabilized at about 6,200). At the same time, Congress gave the FBI new federal laws with which to fight civil rights violations, racketeering, and gambling. By the late 1960's, the confluence of unambiguous federal authority and local support for civil rights prosecutions allowed the FBI to play an influential role in enabling African Americans to vote, serve on juries, and use public accommodations on an equal basis. In the 1970's counter terrorism, drugs, financial crime, and organized crimes became new concerns. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Statue of 1970 allowed organized groups to be prosecuted for all of their diverse criminal activities, without the crimes being linked by a perpetrator or all-encompassing conspiracy. Along with greater use of Agents for undercover work by the late 1970's, these provisions helped the FBI develop cases that, in the 1980's, put almost all the major traditional crime family heads in prison.
The FBI Headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. They have nine divisions and four offices. These divisions and offices provide direction and support services to 56 field offices and approximately 10,100 Special Agents and 13,700 other employees.
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United States intelligence agencies, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special agent, United States Secret Service, FBI Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, FBI Criminal Investigative Division
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