home | about | documents | news | publications | FOIA | research | internships | search | donate | mailing list

Documenting the FBI: Declassified Documents Provide New Detail on Confronting the Terrorist Threat – from al-Qaeda to Skinheads

New Archive Posting Opens Window into Broad Range of Recent FBI Operations

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 386

Posted - July 19, 2012

Edited by Jeffrey T. Richelson

For more information contact:
Jeffrey T. Richelson - 202/994-7000

Related Archive Postings

The SOLO File
April 10, 2012

Saddam Hussein Talks to the FBI
July 1, 2009

The Deep Throat File
June 22, 2005

Nixon and the FBI
June 3 & 8, 2005

Also by Jeffrey T. Richelson

The US Intelligence Community
(6th edition, Westview Press 2011) available for purchase at Amazon.com.

Defusing Armageddon: Inside NEST, America's Secret Nuclear Bomb Squad
( W. W. Norton & Company, 2009) available for purchase at Amazon.com.

Bookmark and Share

Washington, D.C., July 19, 2012 – A new Web resource posted today by the National Security Archive offers a wide-ranging compilation of declassified records detailing the operations of a key component of U.S. national security. Among the new documents are internal reports on domestic terrorism that expand on what previously public intelligence assessments have revealed.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been one of the best known and most scrutinized components of the U.S. government for well over seventy years. As a result it has been the subject of non-fiction books, novels, a multitude of articles, films and television shows, and congressional hearings. In addition to its criminal investigative effort and pursuit of bank-robbers that propelled it into the news, the Bureau has also been heavily involved in counterintelligence, counterterrorism, foreign intelligence, and counter-subversion work. FBI successes, failures, and abuses have helped produce attention and controversy for the Bureau.

Today's National Security Archive posting of 38 documents - drawn from a variety of sources - provides a window into the Bureau's activities in those areas since, with one exception, 1970. The collection's aim is to present a foundation for understanding the scope and history of the organization, and in some instances to offer correctives to popular accounts. Freedom of Information Act requests yielded a number of the documents included in the briefing book, which are being posted here for the first time. Included are two intelligence assessments of the domestic terrorist threat - The Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland: An FBI Assessment (2004) and A Threat Assessment for Domestic Terrorism, 2005-2006 (2007) - which examine the threat from al-Qaeda and its supporters as well as from assorted home-grown terrorist groups.

The latter assessments offer a broader and more detailed view of the terrorist issue, including on al-Qaeda, than the key judgments of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate released by the Director of National Intelligence. The 2004 assessment stated that FBI investigations revealed "extensive support for terrorist causes in the US," although they also found little evidence of sympathizers being actively engaged in planning or carrying out terrorist attacks.

Additional details on some of the domestic threats mentioned in the 2004 and 2007 estimates can be found in other newly released assessments - such as those on white supremacist groups. Those assessments discuss the threats from 'stealth' fascists, white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement, and the possibility of white supremacists employing suicide terrorism to further their cause.

Also, included are detailed inspector general reports concerning the FBI's performance in the case of Robert Hanssen, the FBI official who spied for the Soviet Union and Russia, its handling of information related to the September 11 terrorist attacks, and its employment of national security letters. Finally, included are a number of Congressional Research Service studies on the Bureau's history and current activities, including its terrorism investigations.

* * *

Documenting the FBI

By Jeffrey T. Richelson

Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland: An FBI Assessment, April 15, 2004. Secret/NOFORN. Source: FBI Freedom of Information Act Release.

For almost eight decades the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been one the best known components of the federal government. The organization, or its long-time director, J. Edgar Hoover, have been the subject of a number of non-fiction books - ranging from the adulatory to the intensely critical. 1 There have also been assorted novels, films, and television shows in which the Bureau or Hoover were central elements. 2

Created in 1908, as an untitled Justice Department bureau, it became the Bureau of Investigation in 1909, the Division of Investigation in 1933, and the FBI in 1935. Today, the FBI consists of its headquarters in Washington, D.C., its training academy in Quantico, Virginia, other elements in Virginia, 56 domestic field offices, 380 resident agencies, and more than 60 legal attaché offices outside the United States. As of April 30, 2012, it had 35,850 employees (13, 851 special agents, and 21, 989 support personnel) and a budget of $8.1 billion. 3

It became best known, at least initially, for its operations directed against high-profile gangsters, such as the fatal shooting of John Dillinger on July 22, 1934, in front of Chicago's Biograph Theater by two of the Bureau's special agents. 4 Subsequently, the Bureau's prominence grew as a result of its national security activities. Over the years, those operations have included the gathering of foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, counter-terrorism, and combating, what were in the view of the Bureau (and others), subversive elements. 5

The documents posted today by the National Security Archive range from unclassified records to redacted versions of Secret or "Law Enforcement Sensitive" documents that were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act as well as from a variety of government web pages (including the Department of Justice and General Accountability Office) and private organization sites (including the Federation of American Scientists and Government Attic). The records focus on the Bureau's foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, and counterterrorism activities since (with one exception) 1970.

Thus, several documents focus on the FBI's foreign intelligence activities. One examines its operation of the Special Intelligence Service, which was active in Latin America during World War II (Document 9). Another discusses how the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested the FBI employ its "internal information program" to gather intelligence that would be useful in planning and executing a second attempt to rescue the American hostages seized in Iran in November 1979 (Document 2). Today, the FBI's extensive presence overseas, via its legal attaché program, the subject of a Justice Department inspector general report (Document 17), allows it to produce information relevant both to criminal investigations and U.S. foreign intelligence requirements.

The counterintelligence component of the organization's mission involves the related activities of investigating foreign intelligence services and their employees, both those employing diplomatic cover and those operating as illegals, and detecting Americans - including members of the FBI and CIA - who are providing classified information to those services. Thus, documents in the posting include the executive summary of an inspector general report on the activities and detection of FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who provided extraordinarily sensitive intelligence to the Soviet Committee of State Security (KGB) and the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) over two decades (Document 12).

The posting also includes an examination of the FBI's successes and failures. One involved the case of the CIA's Aldrich Ames, arrested in 1994, but not after he disclosed the identities of a number of CIA sources to the Soviet Union. (Document 6). In addition, there is the case of Katrina Leung (Document 25), who had sexual relationships with at least two FBI agents while appearing to provide information on developments within the government of the People's Republic of China - but actually serving as a PRC agent. Further, the posting includes the reports produced by several security reviews under taken by RAND and an outside commission in the wake of the Hanssen fiasco (Document 7, Document 10).

Also represented in the briefing book are a number of FBI intelligence assessments concerning terrorism. A 1970 analysis focuses on the Fedayeen terrorist group (Document 1) while a 1984 study (Document 3) describes Iranian and Iranian-linked institutions in the United States - including both official institutions and educational foundations - that had (or could have) served as covers for clandestine intelligence collection and support to terrorist activities.

Other more recent assessments have focused on both the international and domestic terrorist threats. Thus, a Secret/Noforn assessment from April 2004 (Document 19) focuses on the threats from al-Qaeda as well as from U.S.-based groups. It reported that the "motivation and commitment to lethality remains as strong as ever" among al-Qaeda's members, that the group continued to be interested in targeting international flights, and that few entities or individuals in the United States had direct connections to senior al-Qaeda leaders.

But while al-Qaeda was the greatest concern, the FBI also devoted analytical resources to evaluating the threat from a variety of domestic groups. A 2007 assessment (Document 30) noted the threat from animal rights extremists who "committed the overwhelming majority of criminal incidents during 2005 and 2006." Several reports concerned white supremacist groups - including their possible use of suicide terrorism (Document 28), their infiltration of law enforcement (Document 26), and the phenomenon of "ghost skins," (Document 27) who "strive to blend into society." According to the reports, suicide terrorism was seen "primarily as a means of uniting a fractured movement," while infiltration of law enforcement threatened the success of investigations and could "jeopardize the safety of law enforcement sources and personnel."

Beyond estimates of the terrorist threat, the documents posted today illuminate various aspects of FBI counter-terrorist operations and organization prior to 9/11 or in its aftermath. Thus, the Department of Justice's inspector general produced a lengthy report (Document 22) on the Bureau's performance with respect to the Phoenix memo (warning in 2001 about Osama bin Laden's possible plan to send operatives to the U.S. to train in civil aviation), the investigation of two hijackers, Khalid al-Mindhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, and of Zacarias Moussaoui. Another inspector general report (Document 32) focuses on the FBI's involvement in and observations of interrogations at Guantanamo Bay. In addition, the FBI's controversial, and at times inappropriate, use of National Security Letters is explored in a 2008 inspector general report (Document 31).

Other documents, produced by the Congressional Research Service as well as the Justice Department's Inspector General, explore FBI practices subsequent to 9/11 and, particularly, attempts to improve the Bureau's ability to perform its counterterrorist mission. Among the topics examined are the FBI's efforts to improve the sharing of intelligence (Document 15); to develop a highly trained, stable corps of intelligence analysts (Document 23); to better integrate headquarters and field office intelligence operations (Document 35); and to assess the impact of revised attorney general guidelines for domestic intelligence operations (Document 38).


Document 1: Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Fedayeen Terrorist - A Profile, June 1970. Secret.
Source: www.governmentattic.org

This monograph was prepared "to furnish Field Agents a profile of the fedayeen terrorist," a focus of major concern early in the modern era of international - and especially Middle East-based - terrorism. The study is based on the analysis of ten fedayeen terrorist attacks in Europe and other information available to the FBI. One motivation for its production was "persistent reports" that terrorist attacks in Europe would be followed by attacks in the United States.

Document 2: Joint Chiefs of Staff, Memorandum for the Record, Subject: Briefing of FBI Representatives, September 25, 1980. Top Secret.
Source: Digital National Security Archive

This memo discusses the briefing of FBI representatives by a member of the Joint Staff with regard to intelligence needs in support of operations against Iran - specifically with regard to plans to rescue American hostages.

Document 3: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Threat Assessment of Pro-Khomeini Shiite Activities in the U.S., February 24, 1984. Secret.
Source: www.governmentattic.org

This analysis consists of four key parts - an examination of the Shiite religion, a survey of official Iranian diplomatic establishments in the United States (including the Iranian mission to the United Nations, the Iranian interests section, the Islamic Education Center, and the Mostazafin Foundation), main Iranian Shiite organizations in the United States, and Iranian Shiite threats.

Document 4: General Accounting Office, International Terrorism: FBI Investigates Domestic Activities to Identify Terrorists, September 1990. Unclassified
Source: Government Accountability Office

This GAO study was conducted in response to a request by the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on civil and constitutional rights. The chairman was responding to information contained in documents released under the Freedom of Information Act that concerned FBI monitoring of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). The study focused on the basis on which the FBI was opening investigations, the scope and results of the investigations, possible FBI monitoring of First Amendment activities, and the reasons for closure of the investigations.

Document 5: Office of the Attorney General, Attorney General Guidelines for FBI Foreign Intelligence Collection and Foreign Counterintelligence Investigations, May 25, 1995. Secret.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

The guidelines in the document govern all foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence, foreign intelligence support activities, and intelligence investigations of international terrorism conducted by the FBI as well as FBI investigations of violations of the espionage statutes and certain FBI investigations requested by foreign governments. It also provides guidance to the FBI with respect to coordination with CIA or Defense Department activities within the United States.

Document 6: Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Department of Justice, A Review of the FBI's Performance in Uncovering the Espionage Activities of Aldrich Hazen Ames, Executive Summary, April 1997. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

This document is the unclassified version of the executive summary of a more extensive, and more highly classified report on the FBI's role in the Aldrich Ames investigation. While the investigation "found that the lack of knowledge and experience in counterintelligence work" among some FBI managers seriously hampered the FBI's effort in detecting Ames' espionage, it also found that once the investigation of Ames was initiated the FBI "allocated enormous resources" and pursued the investigation "efficiently and professionally."

Document 7: Commission for Review of FBI Security Programs, A Review of FBI Security Programs, March 2002. Unclassified.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

In its report, the commission, which was established in response to the discovery of FBI agent Robert Hanssen's delivery of "vast quantities of documents and computer diskettes" filled with national security information to the Soviet Union and Russia, identified "significant deficiencies" in FBI security policy practice -- noting that "security is often viewed as an impediment to operations." The report also contains a number of recommendations to improve Bureau security - including establishing an independent Office of Security.

Document 8: David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, FBI Reorganization: Initial Steps Encouraging but Broad Transformation Needed, June 21, 2002. Unclassified.
Source: Government Accountability Office

In testimony before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, the head of the General Accounting Office discusses several aspects of the FBI's proposed reorganization and realignment efforts -- including the broader issue of federal government transformation, the realignment of FBI resources, the elements of a successful transformation, and the importance of Congressional oversight.

Document 9: G. Gregg Webb, "New Insights into J. Edgar Hoover's Role," Studies in Intelligence, 48, 1 (2003). Unclassified.
Source: www.cia.gov

This article focuses on the FBI's operation of a foreign intelligence organization during World War II - the Special Intelligence Service - which focused on Latin America.

Document 10: Gregory T. Treverton, Richard Davidek, Mark Gabriele, Martin Libicki, and William (Skip) Williams, RAND Corporation, Reinforcing Security at the FBI, February 2003. Unclassified.
Source: FBI Freedom of Information Act Release

This RAND study was undertaken at the request of the FBI's Security Division and reports the results of RAND's assessment of the FBI's efforts to establish a security program that would dramatically reduce the risk of another security compromise similar to that involving Robert Hanssen.

Document 11: Todd Masse, Congressional Research Service, Domestic Intelligence in the United Kingdom: Applicability of the MI5 Model to the United States, May 2003. Unclassified.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks one suggestion for a possible change in the U.S. approach to domestic counter-terrorist intelligence was to remove such responsibilities (along with counterintelligence) from the FBI and create a separate organization along the lines of the British Security Service (better known as MI-5). This paper examines both political and organizational considerations relevant to the applicability of the British model as well as summarizing pending legislation.

Document 12: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice,A Review of the FBI's Performance in Deterring, Detecting, and Investigating the Espionage Activities of Robert Philip Hanssen, Executive Summary, August 14, 2003. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

This review is the unclassified version of two classified reports on the same subject - a 674-page Top Secret/Codeword level report and a 383-page report. This version consists of five chapters, which examine Hanssen's activities before joining the FBI and between 1976 and 1985; his career between 1985 (when he became supervisor of a technical surveillance squad in New York and offered his services to the KGB) and 1992; and deficiencies in the FBI's internal security revealed during the OIG investigation. It also offers recommendations for changes in the FBI's counterintelligence and security programs.

Document 13: Todd Masse and William Krouse, Congressional Research Service, The FBI: Past, Present, and Future, October 2, 2003. Unclassified.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

One part of this study is a review of the FBI's history, its current status, and its future. In addition, it examines four issues facing Congress with regard to the Bureau - whether the FBI can adapt to a terrorist prevention role; some of the FBI's criminal investigative work should be transferred to state and local law enforcement organizations; a statutory charter should be developed for the Bureau; and whether the planned collocation of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division and the Terrorist Threat Integration Center risks allowing U.S. foreign intelligence entities to engage in domestic intelligence activities.

Document 14: Office of the Attorney General, The Attorney General's Guidelines for FBI National Security Investigations and Foreign Intelligence Collection , October 31, 2003. Secret/Noforn.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

This document is the result of a review of existing guidelines for national security and criminal investigations that was carried out after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The new guidelines authorize FBI investigations of threats to national security; assistance to state, local, and foreign governments in relation to national security matters; foreign intelligence collection by the FBI; the production of strategic analysis by the FBI; and the retention and dissemination of information from those activities.

Document 15: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, FBI's Efforts to Improve Sharing of Intelligence and Other Information, December 2003. Redacted/Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

This audit focused on the FBI's identification of impediments to its sharing of counter-terrorism related intelligence; improvements in its ability to share intelligence and other information not only within the FBI but with the Intelligence Community as well as state and local law enforcement agencies; and the dissemination of useful threat and intelligence information to other intelligence and law enforcement organizations.

Document 16: National Commission on Terrorist Attack Upon the United States, Memorandum for the Record, "Interview of [Deleted]," December 29, 2003. Secret.
Source: www.cryptome.org

This memo reports on an interview with a FBI reports officer (whose identity has been deleted) by members of the 9/11 Commission staff. It provides background on the interviewee, while the subjects of the remainder of the memo include, but are not limited to, the Terrorism Reports and Requirements Section, terrorism reporting, general impressions of the FBI, as well as the role of the Office of Intelligence and of reports officers and their products.

Document 17: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, FBI Legal Attaché Program, March 2004. Redacted/Unclassified.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

This audit examines the type of activities performed by the FBI's Legal Attaché offices; the effectiveness of the offices in establishing liaison relationships with other U.S. law enforcement and intelligence organizations overseas; the criteria and process used by the FBI to locate offices; and the oversight and management of existing offices. The auditors reviewed operations at FBI headquarters and four of the Bureau's 46 attaché offices.

Document 18: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tactics Used by Eco-Terrorists to Detect and Thwart Law Enforcement Operations, April 15, 2004. Unclassified/Law Enforcement Sensitive.
Source: www.wikileaks.org

This assessment report focuses on sections of Earth First founder David Foreman's Eco-Defense; A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching - which discuss some of the covers Foreman believes are used by law enforcement to infiltrate radical environmental groups and the means of identifying undercover law enforcement personnel.

Document 19: Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland: An FBI Assessment, April 15, 2004. Secret/NOFORN.
Source: FBI Freedom of Information Act Release

This secret assessment concerns the threat from Al-Qaeda as well as domestic terrorists (including terrorists from the white supremacist, animal rights, and hacker communities). It includes an examination of "Islamic Extremist Terrorism Trends."

Document 20: Alfred Cumming and Todd Masse, Congressional Research Service, FBI Intelligence Reform Since September 11, 2001: Issues and Options for Congress, August 4, 2004. Unclassified.
Source: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organizations/39334.pdf

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks there were numerous proposals for reform of FBI intelligence operations. This study examines five options for Congress to consider - including creation of a domestic organization similar to the United Kindgom's Security Service (MI-5), transferring domestic intelligence responsibilities to the Department of Homeland Security, and creating a national security intelligence service within the FBI.

Document 21: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, Internal Effects of the FBI's Reprioritization, September 2004. Redacted/Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

This Inspector General report lays out the FBI's new priorities announced by the Bureau's director in May 2002: protecting the United States from terrorist attack, foreign intelligence operations, and cyber-based attacks. The report examines FBI changes in resource utilization from the 2000 and 2003 fiscal years to determine if the new priorities were reflected in FBI resource allocations.

Document 22: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, A Review of the FBI's Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks, November 2004. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

This 449-page report provides background concerning the FBI's counterterrorism effort, and examines three key aspects of the FBI's pre-9/11 work - its handling of the Phoenix communication and the Bureau's attention to the possible use of airplanes in terrorist attacks, its handling of the Zacarias Moussaoui case, and its performance with respect to two of the 9/11 hijackers (Khalid al-Mihhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi). It also provides several recommendations with regard to the FBI's analytical program, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process, and interactions with the Intelligence Community.

Document 23: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, FBI Efforts to Hire, Train, and Retain Intelligence Analysts, May 2005. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

This Inspector General audit examines the FBI's progress in meeting analyst hiring goals, analyst hiring requirements, establishing a comprehensive training program and reaching the training goals, analyst staffing and utilization in support of FBI activities, and retaining analysts. The auditors concluded that the FBI "made significant progress in hiring and training quality analysts, although significant issues remain[ed]."

Document 24: Alfred Cumming and Todd Masse, Congressional Research Service, Intelligence Reform Implementation at the Federal Bureau of Investigation: Issues and Options for Congress, August 16, 2005. Unclassified.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

This study attempts to assess the state of intelligence reform in the FBI, subsequent to the announcement that the Bureau would establish a National Security Service (which was ultimately known as the National Security Branch). It also discusses some of Congress' options and areas for oversight.

Document 25: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, A Review of the FBI's Handling and Oversight of FBI Asset Katrina Leung, Unclassified Executive Summary, May 2006. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

In May 2000, the FBI received information that Katrina Leung, one of the Bureau's most highly paid assets who was actively spying for the People's Republic of China against the United States. The Secret 236-page report that was the product of the resulting investigation is summarized in this executive summary, which reports on the FBI's Chinese counterintelligence program, the 18-year period in which Leung was operated by James J. Smith (who was also involved in "an intimate romantic relationship" with her), and the FBI's investigation of Smith and Leung. It also reports the OIG's conclusions and recommendations.

Document 26: Federal Bureau of Investigation, White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement, October 17, 2006. Unclassified/Law Enforcement Sensitive.
Source: FBI Freedom of Information Act Release

This assessment, drawn from open sources and FBI investigations, provides an overview of white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement. It reports the threats posed to intelligence collection and exploitation, as well as to elected officials and other protected persons. It also explains why different supremacist groups can benefit from a single penetration.

Document 27: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ghost Skins: The Fascist Path of Stealth, October 17, 2006. Unclassified/Law Enforcement Sensitive.
Source: FBI Freedom of Information Act Release

This intelligence bulletin focuses on 'ghost skins' - white supremacists who avoid giving any indication of their sympathy with Nazi beliefs and "strive to blend into society to be unrecognizable to the Jewish enemy."

Document 28: Federal Bureau of Investigation, White Supremacy: Contexts and Constraints for Suicide Terrorism, April 20, 2007. Unclassified/For Official Use Only/Law Enforcement Sensitive.
Source: FBI Freedom of Information Act Release

Suicide terrorism is defined in this study as instances in which a terrorist intentionally kills himself or herself while attempting to kill others or operations in which the terrorist expects to be killed by police or other defenders. It examines the prospects for organized suicide campaigns as well as for the white supremacist movement to generate lone offenders.

Document 29: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice,FBI's Progress in Responding to the Recommendations in the OIG Report on Robert Hanssen, Executive Summary, September 2007. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

In the wake of the discovery that Robert Hanssen had provided the KGB and then the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) with extremely sensitive information about U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence activities, the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General examined FBI security practices and 21 recommendations to improve the Bureau's internal security and its ability to deter and detect espionage by its own employees. This report assesses the FBI's response to some of those recommendations.

Document 30: Federal Bureau of Investigation, A Threat Assessment for Domestic Terrorism, 2005 - 2006, September 18, 2007. Unclassified/For Official Use Only/Law Enforcement Sensitive.
Source: FBI Freedom of Information Act Release

This study examines the activities, capabilities, opportunities, intent, and potential targets of a variety of domestic terrorist groups - including anarchist, animal rights, anti-abortion, Puerto Rican, and white supremacist extremists.

Document 31: Office of the Inspector General, Department of Justice, A Review of the FBI's Use of National Security Letters: Assessment of Corrective Actions and Examination of NSL Usage in 2006, March 2008. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

This extensive review covers several aspects of the FBI's controversial use of National Security Letters: corrective actions taken by the FBI and Department of Justice in response to an earlier Inspector General report on the use of NSLs; the FBI review of the earlier NSL report; NSL requests by the FBI in 2006; the effectiveness of national security letters as an investigative tool; Inspector General findings on the FBI's compliance with non-disclosure and confidentiality requirements; and the improper or illegal use of NSLs reported by FBI personnel in 2006. It concluded that the FBI and Justice Department had made "significant progress" in implementing the recommendations from the earlier report but also offered 17 additional recommendations.

Document 32: Office of Inspector General, Department of Justice, A Review of the FBI's Involvement in and Observations of Detainee Interrogations in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq, May 2008. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

This 438-page study consists of twelve chapters. Between the introductory and concluding chapters, it provides background on the FBI's post-9/11 role and interrogation policies, early development of FBI policies regarding detainee interviews and interrogations, the concerns of Bureau agents about military interrogation activities at Guantanamo Bay, the Bureau's response to the disclosures concerning Abu Ghraib, training for FBI agents in military zones, FBI observations regarding specific techniques used in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and the Office of Inspector General's review of alleged misconduct by FBI employees in military zones.

Document 33: Federal Bureau of Investigation, White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11, July 7, 2008. Unclassified/For Offical Use Only/Law Enforcement Sensitive.
Source: www.cryptome.org

This assessment, based on FBI case files from October 2001 to May 2008, examines why white supremacist extremist groups sought to increase their recruitment of current and former U.S. military personnel, the extent of their success, and the impact of recruitment on the white supremacist movement.

Document 34: Office of the Attorney General, The Attorney General's Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations, September 29, 2008. Unclassified.
Source: Department of Justice

These guidelines, according to the introduction, were designed to allow full utilization of "all authorities and investigative methods, consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States," to shield the United States from threats to national security (including terrorism) and the victimization of individuals by federal crimes.

Document 35: Strategic Execution Team, FBI, The New Field Intelligence, March 2008-March 2009, 2009. Unclassified.
Source: FBI Freedom of Information Act Release

This study explores domestic intelligence collection, in 2008-2009, by FBI field offices. It focuses on organization, roles and responsibilities, collection management, HUMINT collection, tactical intelligence, production and dissemination, measuring and tracking performance, and implementation.

Document 36: Vivian S. Chu and Henry B. Hogue, Congressional Research Service, FBI Directorship: History and Congressional Action, July 25, 2011. Unclassified.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

This report examines the history of the 1968 and 1976 legislation that is the basis for the current nomination and confirmation process for FBI directors. It also discusses the precedent for lengthening the tenure of an office and the constitutionality of extending Robert Mueller's tenure as director.

Document 37: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Anonymous' Participation in "Day of Rage" Protest May Coincide with Cyber Attack, September 14, 2011. Unclassified/Law Enforcement Sensitive.
Source: www.publicintelligence.net

This intelligence bulletin reports the FBI's assessment that the group of activist hackers known as Anonymous was likely to participate in the 'Days of Rage' protest in New York scheduled for September 17, 2011. The bulletin also notes past Anonymous activities that involved cyber attacks.

Document 38: Jerome P. Bjelopera, Congressional Research Service, The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations, December 28, 2011. Unclassified.
Source: Federation of American Scientists

This study focuses on key components of FBI terrorism investigations. It reports on enhanced investigative tools and capabilities, the revision of Attorney General guidelines for domestic FBI operations, intelligence reform within the FBI, and the implications for privacy and civil liberties inherent in the use of preventive techniques to combat terrorism.


[1] Don Whitehead, The FBI Story (New York: Pocket Books, 1959); Fred J. Cook, The FBI Nobody Knows (New York: Pyramid, 1972); Sanford J. Ungar, The FBI: An Uncensored Look Behind the Walls (Boston: Little, Brown, 1976); William C. Sullivan with Bill Brown,The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI (New York: W.W. Norton, 1979); David J. Garrow, The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr: From "Solo" to Memphis (New York: W.W. Norton, 1981); Richard Gid Powers, Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover (New York: Free Press, 1988); Ronald Kessler, The Secrets of the FBI (New York: Crown, 2011), and Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI (New York: Random House, 2012).

[2] Novels involving the FBI include those in the Ana Grey series, by April Smith, including White Shotgun (New York: Knopf, 2011) and Rex Stout's The Doorbell Rang (New York: Viking, 1965). Films include The FBI Story (1959), Manhunter (1986), Mississippi Burning (1988), and J. Edgar (2011). Television shows featuring the FBI include I Led Three Lives (1953-56), The F.B.I. (1965-74), The X Files (1993-2002), and Fringe (2008- ).

[3] "Quick Facts," http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/quick-facts, accessed May 27, 2012.

[4] Kessler, The Secrets of the FBI, pp. 194-195.

[5] The Bureau's COINTELPRO efforts are covered in Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Final Report, Book II: Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976).

Contents of this website Copyright 1995-2016 National Security Archive. All rights reserved.
Terms and conditions for use of materials found on this website.