Law Dictionary

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Agency

legal Definition of Federal Bureau of Investigation

Justice Department agency charged with conducting investigations in cases involving federal jurisdiction. The FBI gathers and reports facts, locates witnesses, makes arrests, and compiles evidence for the U.S. Attorney General's office in Washington, D.C., and for U.S. Attorneys' offices in the federal judicial districts of the nation. Its jurisdiction includes a wide range of responsibilities in the criminal, civil, and security fields, with priority assigned to organized crime/drugs, counterterrorism, white-collar crime, foreign counterintelligence, and violent crime. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the FBI's intelligence functions and information sharing were significantly broadened, leading to the establishment in 2005 of the FBI's National Security Branch, which includes the Counterterrorism Division, Counterintelligence Division, Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, Counterproliferation Center, and Terrorist Screening Center. The FBI operates Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) in cooperation with the intelligence community, the military, and state and local law enforcement agencies. The FBI is the lead federal agency in the investigation of cybercrime, including intrusions, online sexual exploitation, fraud, and terrorist computer activity.

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