What is the FBI?
A: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States, and its principal federal
law enforcement agency.
Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the what?
A: The U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.
A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and
criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of what?
A: More than 200 categories of federal crimes.
Although many of the FBI's functions are unique, its activities in support of national security are comparable to those of what?
A: The British MI5 and the Russian FSB.
Unlike the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which has no law enforcement authority and is focused on intelligence collection abroad, the FBI is primarily a what?
A: A domestic agency.
How many field offices in major cities does the FBI maintain?
How many resident agencies in smaller cities and areas across the nation does the FBI have?
A: More than 400.
At an FBI field office, a senior-level FBI officer concurrently serves as the representative of whom?
A: The Director of National Intelligence.
Where does the FBI also maintain a significant
international footprint, operating 60 Legal Attache (LEGAT) offices and 15 sub-offices where?
A: In U.S. embassies and consulates across the globe.
These foreign offices exist primarily for what purpose?
A: For coordination with foreign security services and do not usually conduct unilateral operations in the host
The FBI can and does at times carry out secret activities overseas, just as the CIA has a limited domestic function; these activities generally require what?
A: Coordination across government agencies.
When was the FBI established?
A: In 1908 as the Bureau of Investigation, the BOI or BI for short.
When was its name changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI?
A: In 1935.
The FBI headquarters is where?
A: The J. Edgar Hoover Building, located in Washington, D.C.
In the fiscal year 2016, the Bureau's total budget was what?
A: Approximately $8.7 billion.
In 1896, the National Bureau of Criminal Identification was founded, which provided agencies across the country with what?
A: Information to identify known criminals.
The Departments of Justice and Labor had been keeping records on anarchists for years, but President Theodore Roosevelt wanted what?
A: More power to monitor them.
The Justice Department had been tasked with the regulation of interstate commerce since when?
A: Since 1887, though it lacked the staff to do so.
It had made little effort to relieve its staff shortage until what?
A: Until the Oregon land fraud scandal at the turn of the 20th Century.
President Roosevelt instructed Attorney General Charles Bonaparte to do what?
A: To organize an autonomous investigative service that would report only to the Attorney General.
Bonaparte reached out to other agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service, for what?
A: For personnel, investigators in particular.
On May 27, 1908, the Congress forbade this use of Treasury employees by the Justice Department, citing what?
A: Fears that the new agency would serve as a secret police department.
Again at Roosevelt's urging, Bonaparte moved to organize a what?
A: A formal Bureau of Investigation, which would then have its own staff of special agents.
The Bureau of Investigation (BOI) was created on July 26, 1908, after what?
A: After the Congress had adjourned for the summer.
What did Attorney General Bonaparte do using Department of Justice expense funds?
A: He hired thirty-four people, including some veterans of the Secret Service, to work for a new investigative agency.
Who was its first "Chief" (the title is now known as "Director")?
A: Stanley Finch.
When did Bonaparte notify the Congress of these actions?
A: In December 1908.
What was the bureau's first official task?
A: It was visiting and making surveys of the houses of prostitution in preparation for enforcing the "White Slave Traffic Act," or Mann Act, passed on June 25,
In 1932, the bureau was renamed what?
A: The United States Bureau of Investigation.
The following year it was linked to what?
A: The Bureau of Prohibition and rechristened the Division of Investigation (DOI) before finally becoming an independent service within the Department of Justice in 1935.
J. Edgar Hoover served as FBI Director from
1924 to when?
A: 1972, a combined 48 years with the BOI, DOI, and FBI.
He was chiefly responsible for creating what?
A: The Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory, or the FBI Laboratory, which officially opened in
It was part of his work to professionalize what?
A: Investigations by the government.
After Hoover's death, the Congress passed legislation that limited the tenure of future FBI Directors to what?
A: Ten years.
Early homicide investigations of the new agency included what case?
A: The Osage Indian murders.
During the "War on Crime" of the 1930s, FBI agents apprehended or killed a number of what?
A: Notorious criminals who carried out kidnappings, robberies, and
murders throughout the nation.
Other activities of its early decades included a decisive role in reducing the scope and influence of what group?
A: The white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan.
When did Hoover begin using wiretapping?
A: In the 1920s during Prohibition to arrest bootleggers.
In the 1927 case Olmstead v. United States, in which a bootlegger was caught through telephone tapping, the United States Supreme Court ruled what?
A: That FBI wiretaps did not violate the Fourth Amendment as unlawful search and seizure, as long as the FBI did not break into a person's home to complete the tapping.
After Prohibition's repeal, Congress passed the Communications Act of 1934, which outlawed what?
A: Non-consensual phone tapping, but did allow bugging.
In the 1939 case Nardone v. United States, the court ruled what?
A: That due to the 1934 law, evidence the FBI obtained by
phone tapping was inadmissible in court.
After the 1967 case Katz v. United States overturned the 1927 case that had allowed bugging, Congress passed the Omnibus Crime Control Act, allowing public authorities to do what?
A: To tap telephones during investigations, as long as they obtained warrants beforehand.
Beginning in the 1940s and continuing into the 1970s, the bureau investigated cases of what?
A: Espionage against the United States and its allies.
Another notable case was the arrest of whom in 1957?
A: Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.
The discovery of Soviet spies operating in the US allowed Hoover to do what?
A: To pursue his longstanding obsession with the threat he perceived from the American Left, ranging from Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) union organizers to
In 1939, the Bureau began compiling a custodial detention list with the names of those who would be taken into custody in the event of what?
A: War with Axis nations.
The majority of the names on the list belonged to whom?
A: Issei community leaders, as the FBI investigation built on an existing Naval Intelligence index that had focused on Japanese Americans in
Hawaii and the West Coast, but many German and Italian nationals also found their way onto the secret list.
Robert Shivers, head of the Honolulu office, obtained permission from Hoover to do what?
A: To start detaining those on the list on December 7,
1941, while bombs were still falling over Pearl Harbor.
Mass arrests and searches of homes (in most cases conducted without warrants) began a few hours after the attack, and over the next several weeks how many Issei men were taken into FBI custody?
A: More than 5,500.
On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing what?
A: The removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.
FBI Director Hoover opposed the subsequent mass removal and confinement of Japanese Americans authorized under Executive Order 9066, but Roosevelt what?
After the war, the FBI was assigned to protect whom?
A: Returning Japanese Americans from attacks by hostile white communities.