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Federal Bureau of Investigation

935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20535


DIRECTORChristopher A. Wray
Deputy DirectorDavid L. Bowdich

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the Department of Justice's principal investigative arm. It is primarily charged with gathering and reporting facts, locating witnesses, and compiling evidence in cases involving Federal jurisdiction. It also provides law enforcement leadership and assistance to State and international law enforcement agencies.

The FBI was established in 1908 by the Attorney General, who directed that Department of Justice investigations be handled by its own staff. The Bureau is charged with investigating all violations of Federal law except those that have been assigned by legislative enactment or otherwise to another Federal agency. Its jurisdiction includes a wide range of responsibilities in the national security, criminal, and civil fields. Priority has been assigned to areas such as counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cybercrimes, internationally and nationally organized crime and drug-related activities, and financial crimes.

The FBI also offers cooperative services to local, State, and international law enforcement agencies. These services include fingerprint identification, laboratory examination, police training, the Law Enforcement Online communication and information service for use by the law enforcement community, the National Crime Information Center, and the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime.

Sources of Information

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that FBI records have been assigned to record group 065.


Career Opportunities

The FBI relies on professionals with diverse expertise and skills to analyze data for the intelligence community, safeguard national security, and support the structure of the Bureau. Information on career opportunities, including student internships, is available online.


In 2019, the FBI ranked 242d among 420 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.


Federal Register

Significant documents and documents that the FBI recently published in the Federal Register are accessible online.


Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA provides that a person may request access to Federal agency records or information. The FBI must disclose records that any person properly requests in writing. Pursuant to one or more of nine exemptions and three exclusions that the Act contains, a Federal agency can withhold certain records or parts of them. The FOIA applies only to Federal agencies and does not create a right of access to records held by the U.S. Congress, the courts, State or local government agencies, and private entities.


The FBI's electronic FOIA library, which contains nearly 7,000 documents and other media that have been scanned from paper and made into more accessible digital copies, is named the "Vault." The library includes new files that have been released to the public, but never added to the FBI website; dozens of records previously posted on the FBI website, but removed when requests diminished; files from the previous FBI FOIA Library; and new and previously unreleased files.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The FBI posts answers to FAQs.



The "FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin," reports, and other publications are available online.


The Sources of Information were updated 5–2020.