What We Investigate
What We Investigate
The FBI works around the globe to combat the most dangerous criminal and security threats facing our country—from international and domestic terrorists to spies on U.S. soil…from cyber villains to corrupt government officials…from mobsters to violent street thugs…from child predators to serial killers.
We currently have jurisdiction over violations in more than 200 categories of federal law. They generally fall under our three national security priorities and our five criminal priorities as follows:
National Security Priorities:
1. Protect the United States from terrorist attack
It’s our overriding priority—to head off terrorist attacks by identifying and disrupting the plots of international and domestic terrorist operatives and cells, by cutting off terrorist financing and undercutting other forms of support provided by terrorist sympathizers, by sharing information and intelligence with partners worldwide, and by providing strategic and operational threat analysis to decision makers and the wider intelligence community. The FBI also investigates matters involving the use or threatened use of weapons of mass destruction, including biological, chemical, and nuclear materials.
Our work locally is led by our Albany Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was launched in May 2002. The task force—made up of representatives of local, state, and federal agencies—runs down any and all terrorism leads, develops and investigates cases, provides support for special events, and proactively identifies threats that may impact the area and the nation. We also have satellite Joint Terrorism Task Forces working out of our Syracuse, New York and Burlington, Vermont Resident Agencies. See the Partnerships page for more information.
The work of the task force is bolstered by the Albany Field Intelligence Group, which centralizes and spearheads the analysis and sharing of terrorism-related intelligence (and intelligence on all major threats) both inside and outside the Bureau. The division also participates in the New York State Intelligence Center (NYSIC), a multi-agency initiative that gathers, coordinates, analyzes, and disseminates intelligence—including threats and vulnerabilities—to more than 540 federal, state, county, and local agencies across New York state. We also work closely with the Vermont Fusion Center, run by the Vermont State Police, which serves as a central information sharing point for Vermont law enforcement agencies.
For more information on the FBI’s national efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, see our Counterterrorism webpage. And see our for recent cases.
2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage
Today, more foreign spies—not just traditional adversaries but also allies, hackers, and terrorists—are trying to steal more of our secrets from more places than ever before. What do they want? Our country’s juiciest classified information, of course—from military plans to national security vulnerabilities to our own intelligence activities. But increasingly, they also want our country’s trade secrets—innovations that give us a leg up in the global marketplace—and seemingly harmless technologies that could be used to develop or improve weapons of mass destruction.
In Albany, we have a dedicated foreign counterintelligence squad that—in line with the FBI’s National Strategy for Counterintelligence—works to keep weapons of mass destruction and other embargoed technologies from falling into wrong hands, to protect secrets of the U.S. government (including the intelligence community) and critical national assets, and to help strengthen the national threat picture by proactively gathering information and intelligence. Our work includes knowing the key targets in our territory, developing strategic partnerships with area institutions, and disrupting the efforts of insiders and key nations.
3. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes
The FBI leads the national effort to investigate high-tech crimes, including cyber-based terrorism and espionage, computer and network intrusions, and major cyber fraud and identify theft. To stay in front of current and emerging trends, we gather and share information and intelligence with public and private sector partners worldwide.
In Albany, we have a squad that addresses cyber crimes and attacks, and we participate in the Capital Region Cyber Predator Task Force, the Southern Tier Cyber Predator Task Force, and the Albany chapter of InfraGard. See the Partnerships webpage for more information.
4. Combat public corruption at all levels
Corruption in government threatens our country’s democracy and national security, impacting everything from how well our borders are secured and our neighborhoods protected…to verdicts handed down in courts…to the quality of our roads and schools. And it takes a significant toll on our pocketbooks, too, wasting billions of tax dollars every year.
Our investigations in Albany focus on violations of federal law by public officials in local, state, and federal government—such as bribery, contract and procurement fraud, antitrust violations, environmental crimes, and election fraud, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
5. Protect civil rights
The FBI is the lead agency for investigating violations of federal civil rights laws…and we take that responsibility seriously. Specifically, we aggressively investigate and work to prevent hate crime, color of law abuses, human trafficking, and freedom of access to clinic entrances violations—the four top priorities of our civil rights program. We focus on all of these issues in the Albany Division.
6. Combat transnational/national criminal organizations and enterprises
Criminal organizations—from mob families to street gangs to drug trafficking outfits—sow violence and crime in our communities and create underground economies that undercut free enterprise.
Most of our work in this priority throughout the Albany Division focuses on violent gangs and drugs through a variety of law enforcement partnerships. See our Partnerships webpage for details.
7. Combat major white-collar crime
Fraud—the art of deliberate deception for unlawful gain—is as old as history; the term “white-collar crime” was reportedly coined in 1939 and has since become synonymous with the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals. Today’s financial criminals and con artists are more savvy and sophisticated than ever, engineering everything from complex stock and health care frauds and intellectual property rip-offs.
We have three squads that investigate the full range of white-collar frauds in the Albany region. The division specifically targets systemic abuses in the health care industry, such as large-scale billing fraud and fraudulent activities that threaten the safety of patients. We also pursue financial institution fraud involving losses exceeding $100,000. In cases of telemarketing and insurance fraud, we will generally become involved when there is evidence of nationwide or international criminal activities.
8. Combat significant violent crime
Even with our post-9/11 national security responsibilities, we continue to play a key role in combating violent crime in big cities and local communities across the United States. Beyond our work targeting violent gangs and other criminal enterprises, we focus on such issues as crimes against children (including online predators), crime on Indian reservations, the search for wanted fugitives, serial killings, kidnapping, murder for hire, bank robberies, and special crimes like the carriage of weapons on aircraft and crime on the high seas.
In Albany, we work closely with a host of law enforcement partners to address the full range of violent crimes. See our Partnerships webpage for details.