162 Case 6 FBI New Haven Field Office—CART
Federal Bureau of Investigation—Overview
The FBI is the investigative arm of the Department of Justice and the
United States top law enforcement agency. Established in 1908, the Bureau
of Investigation had thirty-four agents who were responsible for investi-
gating violations of national laws in banking, naturalization, bankruptcy,
antitrust, and land fraud. Over the years, the agency grew in size and mag-
nitude, and its mission and strategic priorities changed in response to the
actions and events of the times. Today, the FBI has more than 28,000
employees, and its top three priorities are to protect the United States from
terrorist attacks, to counter foreign intelligence operations against the
United States, and to protect the United States against cyber-based attacks
and high-technology crimes. Table 6-1 summarizes the FBI’s growth and
change of mandate from its establishment to present day.
FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., provides administrative support
and direction for all FBI operations and investigations. Its four operational
divisions (Counterterrorism Division, Counterintelligence Division, Cyber
Division, and Criminal Investigative Division) offer support services to the
FBI’s field offices, satellite offices (referred to as resident agencies), and for-
eign liaison offices (referred to as Legal Attaché offices or Legats).
The intelligence and investigative work of the FBI is conducted out
of its fifty-six field offices and the 400 resident agencies that report to the
field offices. Each field office operates with a significant amount of
autonomy from FBI headquarters, establishing its own priorities based
on what it believes to be the most significant threats to its particular ter-
ritory.The FBI’s forty-five Legats support investigations and operations
around the world.
FBI Laboratory and CART
The FBI Laboratory is one of the largest and most comprehensive
forensic laboratories in the world. Established in 1932 to provide forensic
expertise to law enforcement agencies, the laboratory was established as
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FBI Laboratory and CART 163
TABLE 6-1 Summary of Growth and Change of Mandate
1908– Bureau of 34 (9 detectives, Investigate violations of laws
1910 Investigation 13 civil rights involving national banking,
investigators, bankruptcy, naturalization,
12 accountants) antitrust, and land fraud
1910– Bureau of > 600 Investigate violations of the
1921 Investigation (including Mann Act, Espionage Act,
approximately Selective Service Act, and
300 special Sabotage Act
agents) Investigate enemy aliens and
criminals who evaded the law
by crossing state lines
1921– Bureau of > 1,500 Investigate gangsters
1932 Investigation; (including Track criminals by means of
renamed > 450 special identification records (e.g.,
United States agents) fingerprint matching)
Bureau of Compile uniform crime
Investigation statistics for the
in 1932 United States
1932– United States > 7,000 Lead the national campaign
1939 Bureau of (including against rampant crime
Investigation; approximately Investigate kidnappings
renamed 1,000 special Arrest gangsters and
Division of agents) criminals who crossed
Investigation state lines
in 1933;
Federal Bureau
of Investigation
in 1935
1939– Federal > 13,000 Lead war-related
1945 Bureau of (including investigations (e.g.,
Investigation approximately investigate fascist and
4,000 special communist groups in the
agents) United States; investigate
acts of subversion, sabotage,
and espionage; investigate
potential threats to national
security; locate draft evaders
and deserters)
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164 Case 6 FBI New Haven Field Office—CART
ABLE 6-1 Summary of Growth and Change of Mandate
Participate in intelligence col-
lection using the Bureau’s Lab-
Carry out civil rights and tradi-
tional criminal investigations
1945– Federal > 16,000 Investigate acts of subversion,
1973 Bureau of (including sabotage, and espionage
Investigation approximately Investigate potential threats
6,700 special to national security and
agents) allegations of disloyalty among
federal employees
Arrest alleged spies
Investigate civil rights violations,
racketeering, and gambling
Investigate the assassination of
a president
Investigate individuals and
organizations who threatened
1973– Federal > 19,000 Conduct foreign
1979 Bureau of (including counterintelligence
Investigation approximately Investigate organized crime
8,000 special and white-collar crime
1979– Federal > 23,000 Conduct foreign
2001 Bureau of (including counterintelligence
Investigation 9,663 special Investigate organized crime
agents) and white-collar crime
Increase counterterrorism efforts
Conduct drug investigations
Investigate violent crime
2001– Federal > 28,000 Prevent terrorist attacks
present Bureau of (including Counter foreign intelligence
Investigation > 12,000 operations against the
special agents) United States
Protect against cyber-based
attacks and high-technology
Source: FBI History. Available: http://www.fbi.gov/fbihistory.htm.
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