What Do FBI Agents Do?


Quick Answer

FBI agents, called "special agents," investigate national security threats, terrorism and federal crimes that take place inside of the United States. Working for the U.S. Department of Justice, they investigate more than 200 classifications of federal crime and handle cases that are too complex for state and local law enforcement.

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Full Answer

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the FBI employs more than 13,000 special agents who typically work with other federal agencies and local law enforcement departments to solve crimes. They concentrate on eight major areas: terrorism, cyber crime, counterintelligence, civil rights, organized crime, public corruption, white collar crime and violent crime.

Some of the crimes they handle include hate crimes, government fraud, bank robberies, kidnapping across state lines, human trafficking and violent crimes against children. They use state-of-the-art information technology, intelligence systems and scientific and forensic techniques to help stop crime. FBI agents train at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.

Originally called the Bureau of Investigation, the FBI was created in 1908 during the Theodore Roosevelt Administration. It was renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. As of 2014, the FBI has 56 field offices in major U.S. cities, 380 smaller facilities across the country and 60 international offices around the world.

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