To uphold the law through the investigation of violations of
federal criminal law; to protect the U.S. from foreign intelligence
and terrorist activities; to provide leadership and law enforcement
assistance to federal, state, local, and international agencies; and
to perform these responsibilities in a manner that is responsive to
the needs of the public and is faithful to the constitution of the
U.S.: this is the mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The agency now known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation was
founded in 1908 when the Attorney General appointed an unnamed force of
Special Agents to be the investigative force of the Department of Justice
(DOJ). Before that time, the DOJ had to borrow Agents from the U.S.
Secret Service to investigate violations of federal criminal laws within
it's jurisdiction. In 1909, the Special Agent Force was renamed the
Bureau of Investigation, and after a series of name changes, it received
it's present official name in 1935.
During the early period of the FBI's
history, it's agents investigated violations of mainly bankruptcy frauds,
antitrust crime, and neutrality violation. During World War One, the
Bureau was given the responsibility of investigating espionage, sabotage,
sedition (resistance against lawful authority), and draft violations.
The passage of the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act in 1919 further
broadened the Bureau's jurisdiction.
After the passage of Prohibition in 1920, the gangster era began, bringing about a whole new type of crime. Criminals engaged in kidnapping and bank robbery, which were not federal crimes at that time. This changed in 1932 with the passage of a federal kidnapping statute. In 1934, many other federal criminal statutes were passed, and Congress gave Special Agents the authority to make arrests and to carry firearms.
The FBI's size and jurisdiction during the second World War increased greatly...