Federal Bureau of Investigation

(redirected from FBI)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

Federal Bureau of Investigation

(FBI), division of the U.S. Dept. of JusticeJustice, United States Department of,
federal executive department established in 1870 and charged with providing the means for enforcing federal laws, furnishing legal counsel in federal cases, and construing the laws under which other federal executive departments act.
..... Click the link for more information.
 charged with investigating all violations of federal laws except those assigned to some other federal agency. The FBI has jurisdiction over some 185 investigative matters, among them espionage, sabotage, and other subversive activities; kidnapping; extortion; bank robbery; interstate transportation of stolen property; civil-rights matters; interstate gambling violations; and fraud against the government. Created (1908) as the Bureau of Investigation, it originally conducted investigations only for the Justice Dept. After J. Edgar HooverHoover, J. Edgar
(John Edgar Hoover), 1895–1972, American administrator, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), b. Washington, D.C. Shortly after he was admitted to the bar, he entered (1917) the Dept.
..... Click the link for more information.
 became (1924) director of the Bureau of Investigation, Congress gradually added one duty after another to the jurisdiction of the bureau and reorganized (1933) it with wider powers as the Division of Investigation in the Dept. of Justice. In 1935 it was designated the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI played an important role in raising the standards of local police units through its FBI Academy. Under Hoover's direction, it battled against such roving outlaws as John DillingerDillinger, John
, 1902–34, American bank robber, probably b. Indianapolis. Paroled after serving a prison term for attempted robbery, Dillinger organized a gang and terrorized the Midwest in 1933.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and "Pretty Boy" Floyd as well as against the organized crime of the prohibitionprohibition,
legal prevention of the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages, the extreme of the regulatory liquor laws. The modern movement for prohibition had its main growth in the United States and developed largely as a result of the agitation of
..... Click the link for more information.
 era. From World War I on, the agency also was active in intelligence work, investigating anarchists such as Emma GoldmanGoldman, Emma,
1869–1940, American anarchist, b. Lithuania. She emigrated to Rochester, N.Y., in 1886 and worked there in clothing factories. After 1889 she was active in the anarchist movement, and her speeches attracted attention throughout the United States.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and other political radicals, socialists, and Communists, Nazi saboteurs, and terrorists such as Osama bin Ladenbin Laden, Osama or Usama
, 1957?–2011, Saudi-born leader of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization devoted to uniting all Muslims and establishing a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

During Hoover's final years as director (he served until his death in 1972), the bureau became highly controversial and was the frequent target of attack from a wide variety of liberal groups. During the Watergate affairWatergate affair,
in U.S. history, series of scandals involving the administration of President Richard M. Nixon; more specifically, the burglarizing of the Democratic party national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C.
..... Click the link for more information.
 it was revealed that the FBI had yielded to pressure from top White House officials, acting on behalf of President Richard M. Nixon, to halt their investigation of the Watergate break-in. The FBI subsequently cooperated with the White House "inquiry" into the break-in, which was actually attempting a cover-up, and FBI Acting Director L. Patrick Gray destroyed files belonging to one of the convicted Watergate conspirators, E. Howard Hunt. Gray resigned (Apr., 1973) after his role became public. In June, 1973, Clarence M. Kelley was named director. He was followed by William H. Webster (1978–87), William S. Sessions (1987–93), Louis J. Freeh (1993–2001), and Robert S. Mueller 3d (2001–).

Bibliography

See H. A. Overstreet, The FBI in Our Open Society (1969); W. W. Turner, Hoover's FBI (1970); R. O. Wright, ed., Whose FBI? (1974); J. T. Elliff, The Reform of the FBI Intelligence Activities (1979); F. M. Sorrentino, Ideological Warfare: The F.B.I.'s Path toward Power (1985); B. Burrough, Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI: 1933–34 (2004); T. Weiner, Enemies: A History of the F.B.I. (2012).

References in periodicals archive ?
Other search tools include location, such as readily accessing all communications from a specific FBI office.
As it turns out, Samit strongly suspected that very thing in late August 2001--and could not persuade FBI headquarters to take action.
In none of its great historic cases--the gang-busting manhunts of the '30s, the atom spy cases of the '40s--did the FBI ever get the kind of breaks it got, and ignored, during the summer of 2001.
Specifically, the FBI and the AICPA together will deal with the scope of the problem, identify common accounting schemes, work effectively with each other and under the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and related rules and regulations.
The committee recommended setting narrow limits on what FBI examiners can say in court.
Since 1930, the FBI has administered the UCR Program and continued to assess and monitor the nature and type of crime in the Nation.
The FBI collects hate crime data regarding criminal offenses that are motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's bias against a race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin, or disability and are committed against persons, property, or society.
The new joint effort was launched publicly with the premiere of "Arresting Financial Fraud: The Inside Story from the FBI," a Web cast co-sponsored by both organizations, now available on CD-ROM from www.
1) The report went on to say that the FBI should build a reciprocal relationship with state and local agencies, maximizing the sharing of information.
The letter in its entirety is posted at the FBI IAA's website: http://www.
The FBI began investigating Jukes in March when a mother monitoring her son's Internet activity saw an inappropriate e-mail from him to her son.
We are exercising our rights under the FOIA to locate secret files the FBI has been maintaining on the Church.