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What We Investigate

What We Investigate

Special agent inside exploded car (AP Photo)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.

Our work locally is led by our Springfield Joint Terrorism Task Force, created in 2002. The task force—made up of representatives of 30 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.

The work of the task force is bolstered by the Springfield 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. For more information on the FBI’s national efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, see our Counterterrorism webpage.

2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage

The FBI is the lead agency for exposing, preventing, and investigating intelligence activities in the United States. Intelligence compromises strike at the heart of our national security and impact our political, military, and economic strengths. The Springfield Division provides resources to support this critical mission.

For more information on the FBI’s national program, see our Counterintelligence webpage.

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.

The Springfield Division runs a Cyber Crimes Task Force focusing on Internet crimes against children and Internet fraud. See our Partnerships webpage for details. For more information on the FBI’s national efforts, see our Cyber Investigations webpage.

Criminal Priorities

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 the Springfield Division focus on violations of federal law by public officials in local, state, and federal government, such as bribery, contract and procurement fraud, antitrust, environmental crimes, election fraud, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

For more information on the FBI’s national efforts, see our Public Corruption webpage.

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 Springfield.

For more information on our overall efforts, see our Civil Rights webpage.

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 Springfield Division focuses on violent gangs and drugs through a variety of law enforcement partnerships. See our Partnerships webpage for details.

Learn more about our national work to combat organized crime and violent street gangs.

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 a squad dedicated to fighting white-collar crime in the Springfield region that focuses on various types of fraud, including health care fraud.

For more information, see our White-Collar Crime webpage.

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 Springfield, we work closely with a host of law enforcement partners to address the full range of violent crimes.

For more details on our overall national efforts, see our Violent Crime and Major Thefts webpage.