The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a governmental agency belonging to the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency (counterintelligence). Also, it is the government agency responsible for investigating crimes on Indian Reservations within the US.
The FBI originated from a force of Special Agents created in 1908 by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. The two men first met when they both spoke at a meeting of the Baltimore Civil Service Reform Association. Roosevelt, then Civil Service Commissioner, boasted of his reforms in federal law enforcement. It was 1892, a time when law enforcement was often political rather than professional.
1924: J. Edgar Hoover was named Acting Director of the Bureau of Investigation. By 1924, there were 650 employees, including 441 Special Agents.
Also in 1932 the bureau established a technical laboratory, now based in Quantico, Virginia, to carry out forensic analyses of handwriting, fingerprints, firearms, and other sources of information relevant to criminal investigations. (The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, established by the bureau in 1999, enables law-enforcement agencies to store and exchange fingerprint records in digital format.)
The Bureau of Investigation was renamed the United States Bureau of Investigation in 1932; it received its current name in 1935. During World War II the FBI was responsible for tracking down military deserters and draft evaders and collecting intelligence.
The head of the FBI is Robert S. Mueller III. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was organized to investigate such federal criminal violations as kidnapping, bank robbery, and other big crimes. The FBI also handles investigations of terrorism and spying within the United States.
he FBI also provides the rest of the Intelligence Community with intelligence and foreign counterintelligence information from their investigations. Counterintelligence is where the FBI tries to catch spies from other countries who want to steal our country's secrets.
Eight Nazi agents who had planned sabotage operations against American targets were arrested, six of whom were executed (Ex parte Quirin). Also during this time, a joint US/UK code breaking effort (Venona)—with which the FBI was heavily involved—broke Soviet diplomatic and intelligence communications codes, allowing the US and British governments to read Soviet communications. This effort confirmed the existence of Americans working in the United States for Soviet intelligence
n the 1970s the FBI revamped its programs for selecting and training special agents and other officials. It also established guidelines to ensure that its investigations would not violate the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens. In the 1980s the bureau focused much of its attention on international drug trafficking and on white-collar crime. Beginning in the 1990s, it adopted programs to combat cybercrime, which was growing dramatically with the development of the Internet and the expansion of e-commerce.
In response to the September 11 attacks of 2001, the bureau revised its policies and structure and devoted additional resources to counterterrorism. Its powers to surveil U.S. citizens and foreign residents were significantly expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act (formally the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001).
COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO's of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations. In the early 1950s, the Communist Party was illegal in the United States. The Senate and House of Representatives each set up investigating committees to prosecute communists and publicly expose them.