May 27, 1908
A Sundry Civil Service Bill declared that Secret Service employees accepting assignments by any department other than Treasury (except in counterfeiting cases) would be suspended for two years. The provision became effective July 1. It prevented the practice of agencies like the Department of Justice (DOJ) from borrowing investigators for specific cases.
June 29, 1908
Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte ordered the creation of a special agent force in the DOJ. His order reassigned 23 investigators already employed by the Department and permanently hired eight more agents from the Treasury Department.
July 26, 1908
Attorney General Bonaparte ordered the special agent force to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch. This order is considered the formal beginning of the agency that became the FBI in 1935. In March 1909, Attorney General George W. Wickersham named this force the Bureau of Investigation (BOI).
June 25, 1910
Congress passed the White Slave Traffic Act, also known as the Mann Act. The new law significantly increased the BOI's jurisdiction over interstate crime.
April 30, 1912
Former Examiner A. Bruce Bielaski, Chief Finch's assistant since 1909, was appointed Chief of the BOI.
World War I began in Europe, placing additional responsibilities on the BOI. On April 6, 1917, Congress declared war on Germany and President Woodrow Wilson authorized the BOI to detain enemy aliens.
June 15, 1917
Congress passed the Espionage Act of 1917. The act forbade espionage, interference with the draft, or attempts to discourage loyalty. It greatly increased the BOI's ability to deal with espionage and subversion during the war, but a lack of personnel hampered Bureau efforts in enforcing the law.
June 30, 1919
Attorney General Palmer directed that the BOI be placed under the Assistant Attorney General's direction. William E. Flynn, former Chief of the Secret Service, was named Director of the BOI.
October 28, 1919
Congress passed the National Motor Vehicle Theft Act, also known as the Dyer Act. This act authorized the Bureau to investigate auto thefts that crossed state lines. Prior to the passage of this act, jurisdictional boundaries between states hampered the ability of law enforcement officials to thwart interstate auto theft rings.
August 22, 1921
William J. Burns, the head of a famous private detective agency, became Director of the BOI. Twenty-six year old J. Edgar Hoover was named Assistant Director.
May 10, 1924
Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone designated J. Edgar Hoover Acting Director of the BOI. By the end of the year Stone appointed him Director.
July 1, 1924
The BOI set up an Identification Division after Congress authorized "the exchange of identification records with officers of the cities, counties, and states." The Bureau established its fingerprint files in Washington, D.C., by consolidating collections from the former Bureau of Criminal Identification at Leavenworth, Kansas and those of the International Association of Chiefs of Police formerly housed in Chicago.
October 11, 1925
Auto thief Martin James Durkin shot and killed Special Agent Edwin C. Shanahan while Shanahan tried to arrest him. Agent Shanahan was the first BOI agent killed in the line of duty.
January 1, 1928
The BOI instituted a theoretical and practical training course for new special agents. During a two-month assignment to the Washington Field Office, new agents were instructed in Bureau rules and procedures, provided with practical exercises in crime investigation, and evaluated by experienced agents as to their qualities and potential.
June 11, 1930
Congress authorized the BOI's National Division of Identification and Information to collect and compile uniform crime statistics for the entire United States. Previously, this program was handled by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
March 1, 1932
The Bureau initiated the international exchange of fingerprint data with friendly foreign governments. Due to the rise of tension in Europe, this program was halted in the late 1930s. It was not re-instituted until well after World War II.
June 22, 1932
In response to the Lindbergh kidnapping case and other high profile kidnappings, Congress passed the Federal Kidnaping Act. The act gave the BOI authority to investigate kidnappings that were perpetrated across state borders.
July 1, 1932
The BOI became United States BOI or USBOI. Within a year it was named the Division of Investigation (DOI) when the Bureau of Prohibition was placed under the supervision of Director Hoover. The Prohibition Bureau was quickly phased out over the next several years; it was not merged into the USBOI.
November 24, 1932
The BOI established a Technical Laboratory in the Southern Railway Building at 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C. It provided services to the FBI and other federal, state, local, and even international law enforcement.
Gangster "Machine Gun" Kelly reputedly coined the nickname "G-Men" for FBI agents while being interrogated by DOI agents. The legend that Kelly shouted "Don't Shoot G-men, Don't Shoot," while he was being arrested is doubtful. The heroic "G-Man," short for Government Man, quickly became synonymous with FBI special agents in the public's imagination.
June 18, 1934
Congress enacted a series of anti-crime legislation over the months of May and June 1934 in response to crimes like the September 1933 Kansas City Massacre, where gangsters killed DOI Agent Raymond Caffrey, Jr. and other law enforcement officials. These May/June Crime Bills gave special agents the power of arrest and the authority to carry firearms. Previously, special agents could only make a "citizen's arrest," otherwise the agent had to call on a U.S. marshal or local police officer to take custody of a suspect.
July 22, 1934
John Herbert Dillinger, one of the most notorious gangsters of his day, resisted arrest outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago and was killed by special agents.
The Department of Justice Building at 9th and Pennsylvania Avenue was dedicated. FBI Headquarters occupied space in the building until the 1970s.
July 1, 1935
The DOI officially became the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the beginning of Fiscal Year 1936.
July 29, 1935
The FBI established a national police training program, the forerunner of the FBI National Academy, when it welcomed a class of 23 police officers for a 12-week course of instruction in scientific and practical law enforcement methods.
May 24, 1936
President Roosevelt called Director Hoover to a morning meeting to discuss his concerns about subversive activity in the United States. He asked Hoover to report on the activities of Nazi and communist groups. After receiving approval from the Attorney General and authority from the Secretary of State to conduct the investigation, Hoover notified his special agents in charge of the assignment.
President Roosevelt assigned responsibility for investigating espionage, sabotage and other subversive activities jointly to the FBI, the Military Intelligence Service of the War Department (MID), and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI).
June 24, 1940
The FBI established a Special Intelligence Service (SIS) at President Roosevelt's request. In connection with the SIS, the Bureau dispatched agents to countries throughout the Western Hemisphere (except Panama). FBI agents in South and Central America gathered intelligence information and worked to prevent Axis espionage, sabotage, and propaganda efforts aimed against the US and its allies. Special agents assigned to posts in Europe, Canada and Latin America began acting in an official liaison capacity. After President Truman closed the SIS in 1946 these agent liaisons formed the basis of the FBI's Legal Attache (Legat) Program.
August 31, 1940
The FBI created a Disaster Squad to assist civilian authorities in identifying persons who died in a Virginia plane crash. FBI personnel were among the victims.
January 1, 1941
The FBI seal, as currently depicted, came into limited use at this time. The prior seal had been the DOJ seal with an extra band for the FBI and its motto.
June 28, 1941
Special agents arrested German spy Frederick Joubert "Fritz" Duquesne and 32 other German agents following a two-year investigation. Agents successfully filmed members of Duquesne's ring as they provided information to William Sebold, a confidential FBI informant.
June 12, 1942
Four German saboteurs led by George John Dasch landed from a U-boat on the beach near Amagansett, Long Island, New York. Five days later, a second team of four German saboteurs, led by Edward Kerling, landed at Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida. Dasch turned himself in at the New York Field Office two days after landing. Within two weeks, the FBI captured all eight saboteurs.
May 30, 1945
Between January 1940 and May 1945, the Bureau investigated 19,299 alleged cases of sabotage. Sabotage in some form was found in 2,282 incidences, primarily acts of spite, carelessness, malicious mischief, and the like. During World War II, not a single act of enemy-directed sabotage was discovered in the United States.
Congress passed the Atomic Energy Act, making the FBI responsible for investigating persons having access to restricted nuclear data. The FBI was also responsible for investigation of criminal violations of this act.
March 21, 1947
Executive Order 9835 established the Federal Employees Loyalty Program. Upon agency request, the FBI investigated when derogatory information was found regarding government employees.
December 15, 1948
A New York grand jury indicted former State Department employee Alger Hiss for perjury. The charge stemmed from a congressional investigation of Communist subversion and espionage in the government.
February 2, 1950
British security agents arrested Klaus Fuchs after an investigation based on an FBI tip derived from Soviet telegrams decrypted and decoded by the Army Signals Agency with FBI investigative assistance; these decrypted, decoded cables are known collectively under the codename Venona.
March 14, 1950
The FBI initiated the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives Program in order to draw national attention to dangerous criminals who have avoided capture.
March 6, 1951
The trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, David Greenglass, and Morton Sobell began in U.S. District Court, New York City. All four were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage and sentenced on April 5.
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 1949 convictions of top communist leaders prosecuted under the Smith Act. Four of the eleven convicts jumped bail and hid in the communist underground for several years.
October 27, 1955
FBI Director Hoover, with the concurrence of the Attorney General, authorized official cooperation with reporter Don Whitehead as he wrote a history of the FBI entitled The FBI Story. The book became a bestseller and was made into a 1959 movie starring Jimmy Stewart as an FBI agent.
November 1, 1955
A United Airlines DC-6B exploded near Longmont, Colorado, killing all 39 passengers and five crew members. The FBI provided assistance from its Disaster Squad in identifying the deceased.
June 21, 1957
The FBI arrested Colonel Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, a Soviet espionage agent.
November 14, 1957
New York State Trooper Edgar Croswell uncovered a conference of crime bosses who had gathered from across the country on the estate of Joseph Barbara in Apalachin, New York. In response to the exposure of a nationwide criminal syndicate, Director Hoover instituted the Top Hoodlum program to develop information about prominent criminal leaders and their activities.
August 7, 1962
President John F. Kennedy signed National Security Action Memorandum 177. This memorandum enhanced the government's foreign police-training program. In connection with this program, Director Hoover agreed to accept up to 20 foreign police officers into each session of the FBI National Academy.
June 12, 1963
Medgar Evers, Mississippi Field Secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was killed because of his civil rights advocacy. The FBI arrested Byron De La Beckwith for the crime. He was indicted and tried twice in state court. The jury did not reach a verdict on either occasion. On December 18, 1990, a grand jury indicted De La Beckwith again. He was extradited from Tennessee to Mississippi and tried in 1993. The jury found him guilty.
November 22, 1963
Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the FBI to investigate the murder. At that time the FBI had no statutory authority to investigate presidential assassinations. Jurisdictional conflict between federal, state and local authorities created confusion in the investigation of the case.
June 21, 1964
Civil rights workers James E. Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner were murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Following the FBI's MIBURN investigation, eight men, including Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price and Sam Holloway Bowers, Jr., the Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the KKK of Mississippi, were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment under the federal civil rights statutes for the crime.
July 4, 1966
President Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FBI records eventually became subject to the FOIA.
January 1, 1967
The FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) became operational. Law enforcement officials from across the country could tap this electronic database of criminal histories and other information to identify suspects and learn more about persons arrested.
April 4, 1968
James Earl Ray assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. The FBI opened a special investigation based on the violation of Dr. King's civil rights so that federal jurisdiction in the matter could be established.
June 1, 1968
Congress enacted Public Law 90351 providing for the appointment of the FBI Director by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate to a 10 year term. The act was to take effect after Director Hoover's tenure.
October 15, 1970
Congress approved the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. This law contained a section known as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act or RICO. RICO has become a very effective tool in convicting members of organized criminal enterprises.
May 2, 1972
J. Edgar Hoover died in his sleep at the age of 77. President Richard M. Nixon appointed L. Patrick Gray III to be Acting Director.
May 8, 1972
The FBI Academy opened a new training facility on the US Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia.
April 27, 1973
William D. Ruckelshaus was appointed Acting Director of the FBI by President Nixon following the resignation of L. Patrick Gray III.
July 9, 1973
Clarence M. Kelley was sworn in as Director of the FBI. Kelley was a former FBI agent and had served as the Chief of Police of Kansas City, Missouri for many years before this appointment.
June 26, 1975
Special Agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams were murdered while conducting an investigation on an Indian reservation near Pine Ridge, South Dakota. American Indian Movement leader Leonard Peltier was convicted of committing the murders.
September 30, 1975
The J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building was formally dedicated. FBI Headquarters units had begun moving into the new building the previous November.
Attorney General Edward H. Levi issued guidelines for FBI intelligence activities. In April 1976, he issued guidelines for FBI domestic security activities. These guidelines were issued in response to congressional concerns raised by the Church and Pike Committees.
October 4, 1976
The FBI established an Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate charges of malfeasance against Bureau employees.
February 23, 1978
William H. Webster took the oath of office as FBI Director. Director Webster continued Director Kelley's emphasis on "quality" investigations.
April 3, 1978
The FBI Laboratory Division pioneered the use of laser technology to detect latent "crime scene" fingerprints. This date marks the first successful use of lasers to detect latent prints on case evidence.
June 7, 1978
A federal grand jury in Miami indicted 22 labor union officials and shipping executives for kickbacks, embezzlement, and other illegal activities, surfacing the UNIRAC undercover investigation. Eventually more than 110 convictions were recorded, including Anthony M. Scotto, longshoreman union leader and organized crime figure.
January 5, 1981
Attorney General Guidelines were issued concerning FBI undercover agents involving the investigation of bribery of public officials. The FBI's successful ABSCAM investigation had raised concerns that undercover efforts might lead to entrapment. This was not the case in the ABSCAM investigation. The courts upheld the convictions.
January 28, 1982
At the direction of Attorney General William French Smith, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began reporting to the Director of the FBI. The FBI and DEA were given concurrent jurisdiction over narcotics violations and have worked together on these matters since this time.
The Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) became fully operational. HRTs act in hostage situations throughout the country and are trained to handle negotiations as well as hostage rescue should those negotiations fail.
March 15, 1984
The FBI's GREYLORD investigation into judicial misconduct in Cook County Illinois yielded its first conviction, a former Deputy Traffic Court Clerk. Other convictions followed. Eighty-two judges, lawyers, clerks, and police officers pled guilty or were convicted in court.
April 9, 1984
DOJ announced charges in the "Pizza Connection" case. FBI agents and Italian law enforcement officials documented international connections between American and Italian organized crime groups in a large heroin distribution ring. Eighteen men were convicted including five organized crime family leaders.
July 10, 1984
The National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) was established at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia. Initially focusing on unsolved murders, the NCAVC used sophisticated behavioral science techniques and a complex computer system to assist state and local authorities to identify suspects and predict criminal behavior.
A series of high profile espionage arrests characterized 1985, "the Year of the Spy." In May, the John Walker Spy Ring was arrested. Former Navy personnel John Walker, Jerry Whitworth, Arthur Walker, and Michael Walker were convicted of or plead guilty to passing classified material to the Soviet Union. On November 21, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a Navy intelligence analyst, was arrested for spying for Israel. On November 23, Larry Wu Tai Chin, a former CIA analyst, was arrested on charges of spying for the People’s Republic of China since 1952. On November 25, a third major spy, former National Security Agency employee William Pelton, was arrested and charged with selling military secrets to the Soviets.
September 13, 1987
Fawaz Younis became the first suspected foreign terrorist arrested by the Bureau for a crime perpetrated against Americans on foreign soil. In March 1989, a US District Court sentenced Younis to 30 years for the hijacking of a Jordanian plane carrying two Americans.
November 2, 1987
William Steele Sessions took the oath of office as Director of the FBI.
February 7, 1988
The Fox Television Network premiered America's Most Wanted, a program that featured dramatizations of crimes committed by federal and state fugitives.
June 14, 1988
ILLWIND, an FBI investigation into widespread corruption in Department of Defense procurement, led to indictments of government officials and private contractors for fraud and bribery in 12 states and the District of Columbia
December 21, 1988
A Pan American 747 flight carrying 259 people exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all on board and 11 people on the ground. An extensive investigation by the FBI, U.S., and foreign police authorities followed.
The FBI's Computer Analysis and Response Team, or CART, became operational in the FBI Laboratory. CART provides timely and accurate examinations of computers and computer disks as a support to investigations and prosecutions.
March 11, 1992
G. Norm Christensen was appointed the first assistant director of the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division, which had been created the previous month to consolidate existing FBI services involving criminal histories, fingerprints, and crime reports provided to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.
The FBI Laboratory installed DRUGFIRE, a database that stores and links specific, unique markings left on bullets and shell casings after a gun is fired. Facts on spent ammunition recovered at drug-related shootings are stored in DRUGFIRE and used to link crimes committed with the same gun.
February 26, 1993
A bomb exploded under the World Trade Center in New York City leaving a five-story crater, killing six persons, and injuring over 1,000 others. The FBI, other federal agencies, and police authorities in New York worked together on this investigation.
February 28, 1993
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Agents raided a compound of the Branch Davidian cult, led by David Koresh. Known as the Mt. Carmel Church, the facility was located nine miles from Waco, Texas. The resulting confrontation resulted in the deaths of four ATF agents and six Branch Davidians.
September 1, 1993
Louis J. Freeh was sworn in as FBI Director. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, he was instrumental in the Pizza Connection prosecutions.
February 21, 1994
FBI agents arrested Aldrich Hazen Ames, a 30-year Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) veteran, and his wife, Maria del Rosario Casas Ames, on espionage charges. Ames' crimes began in April 1985, and resulted in at least ten Soviet sources of the CIA and FBI being killed. Other sources were imprisoned and more than 100 intelligence operations were compromised. Ames provided thousands of classified documents to the Soviet Union and later, the Russian Republic.
April 19, 1995
On the second anniversary of the Waco tragedy a truck bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 169 people and destroying the nine-story building. President Clinton designated the FBI as lead law enforcement agency in the case. The U.S. Marshals Service, the Treasury Department, and many other state and local agencies contributed to the investigation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also coordinated its efforts with the FBI, as did the armed forces, federal community mental health experts, and the General Services Administration.
June 16, 1995
The International Law Enforcement Academy graduated its first class of 33 law enforcement officials from former East Bloc nations.
December 8, 1997
The FBI announced its new National DNA Index System (NDIS). NDIS allows forensic science laboratories to link serial violent crimes to each other and to known sex offenders through the electronic exchange of DNA profiles. This same day, the FBI Laboratory announced its success in extracting a DNA profile using mitochondrial DNA (mDNA). mDNA analysis allows extraction of DNA from minute quantities of physical evidence like a strand of human hair.
August 7, 1998
Terrorist bombing attacks on U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam killed hundreds of U.S., Kenyan, and Tanzanian citizens. A Joint Terrorist Task Force, composed of the FBI and other federal, state, and local authorities, cooperated in the investigation.
April 1, 1999
Taiwanese-based Four Pillars Enterprises became the first foreign company convicted of economic espionage under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. This landmark investigation was conducted by the Cleveland Division.
April 5, 1999
"Top Ten" fugitives Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah were surrendered to Dutch authorities to be tried before a Scottish court for charges in connection with the December 21, 1998 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland.
June 7, 1999
Usama bin Laden was added to the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list. Bin Laden was charged in connection with the U.S. Embassy bombings in East Africa.
June 23, 1999
FBI personnel traveled to Kosovo to assist in the collection of evidence and the examination of forensic materials in support of the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic and others before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
January 19, 2000
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced indictments of Mokhtar Haouari and Abdel Ghani Meskini in the "Borderbom" investigation. The two were charged with collaborating with Ahmed Ressam and others in a wide-ranging terrorist conspiracy to bomb American sites during the January 1, 2000, millennium celebrations. The FBI/New York Police Department Joint Terrorist Task Force, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service, and Canada's Department of Justice assisted in the investigation.
May 8, 2000
The Internet Fraud Complaint Center, now the Internet Crime Complaint Center, was launched as a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. The center serves as a clearinghouse for triaging cyber crime complaints and works closely with a range of law enforcement agencies and private sector organizations.
August 15, 2000
Director Freeh revised the FBI disciplinary system to create a single system for all FBI employees, including those in the Senior Executive Service.
FBI investigators and other personnel were dispatched to Aden, Yemen, to assist in the investigation of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.
November 8, 2000
Former Senator Danforth, conducting an independent review of FBI actions in the Waco tragedy, released his final report exonerating the FBI of wrongdoing. In October, the Government Operations Committee had reached a similar conclusion.
January 5, 2001
The FBI publicly announced the National InfraGard program in the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center. The program centers on securely sharing information about computer intrusions and intrusion threats between business and law enforcement so that the confidentiality of potentially affected businesses is protected.
February 18, 2001
FBI Agent Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested for conspiracy to commit espionage. The affidavit in support of an arrest warrant for Hanssen charged that he had engaged in a lengthy relationship with the KGB and its agencies.
June 2, 2001
Louis J. Freeh retired as Director of the FBI.
September 4, 2001
Former U.S. Attorney Robert S. Mueller, III, took the oath of office as FBI Director. He had been nominated by President George W. Bush in June 2001 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on August 2.
September 11, 2001
Following the massive terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, the FBI dedicated 7,000 of its 11,000 special agents and thousands of FBI support personnel to the PENTTBOM investigation. "PENTTBOM" is short for Pentagon, Twin Towers Bombing.
Director Mueller ordered all FBI field offices to create joint terrorism task forces/regional terrorism task forces to coordinate counterterrorism efforts across the United States. The first such task force, in New York, was formally created in 1982.
October 18, 2001
In conjunction with the U. S. Postal Service, the FBI offered a reward of $1,000,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person who mailed letters contaminated with anthrax to media organizations and congressional offices.
President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act. This anti-terrorism law provided the FBI with additional resources to hire new agents and critical support personnel, employ court approved wiretaps against potential terrorists more easily, seek additional information about potential terrorists more easily, share criminal investigative information with counterterrorism investigators in other government officials, and work with other government agencies to secure our borders and curtail international money laundering.
Following the collapse of the energy trading company Enron, the FBI launched what would become the largest and most complex white-collar crime case in its history. Many Enron executives, including Chairman Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeffrey Skilling, were convicted or pled guilty in the case.
December 3, 2001
In response in to the 9/11 attacks, the FBI announced a series of organizational changes, including the creation of a Cyber Division, an Office of Intelligence (later renamed the Directorate of Intelligence), a chief technology officer, a Security Division, an Office of Law Enforcement Coordination, and new executive assistant director positions.
December 11, 2001
Zacarias Moussaoui was indicted for crimes relating to the 9/11 attacks. In April 2005, Moussaoui pled guilty to six charges against him in connection with his participation in the conspiracy. In May 2006, he was sentenced to life in prison.
January 16, 2002
Richard Colvin Reid, a British citizen and self-professed member of al Qaeda, was indicted for attempting to destroy American Airlines Flight 63 in flight with explosive devices concealed in his shoes. Reid, who later became known as the shoe bomber, pled guilty, and was sentenced to life in prison.
February 5, 2002
John Walker Lindh, an American captured while fighting U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was charged as an al Qaeda-trained terrorist who conspired with the Taliban to kill his fellow citizens. Lindh was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.
May 29, 2002
Director Mueller established a new set of 10 priorities for the FBI.
September 13, 2002
The Buffalo Joint Terrorism Task Force executed search warrants in an investigation centering on seven Yemeni-Americans living in Lackawanna, New York. These individuals traveled overseas in the summer of 2001 to attend a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, where they met Usama bin Laden. Six of the individuals were arrested in the U.S. and pled guilty to terrorism-related charges; the seventh was later arrested in Yemen.
October 24, 2002
An extensive investigation by Maryland and Virginia police, the FBI, and many other agencies led to the arrest of John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, who were responsible for a series of sniper murders in and around Washington, D.C. Among the casualties was FBI intelligence analyst Linda Franklin.
November 18, 2002
A court ruling enabled the FBI to share foreign intelligence information between criminal and intelligence investigations for the first time and allowed terrorism cases to be conducted with the full suite of criminal and intelligence tools and resources.
February 11, 2003
The National Virtual Translation Center was created by Congress to provide timely and accurate translations of foreign intelligence to U.S. intelligence agencies. The FBI serves as its executive agent, conducting background investigations on new hires, testing language skills, and providing space and other administrative support.
March 1, 2003
With the help of the FBI, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the operational mastermind of September 11 and other major al Qaeda terrorist attacks, was captured in Pakistan.
May 1, 2003
The Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) became operational under the leadership of the CIA, with the full partnership of the FBI. The TTIC was responsible for fusing threat information from the FBI and other agencies and providing analysis about the credibility of information and the probability of an attack. TTIC was merged into the National Counterterrorism Center in 2005.
May 31, 2003
A local police officer in Murphy, North Carolina arrested wanted bomber Eric Robert Rudolph, ending a massive five-year manhunt by the FBI and law enforcement authorities. Rudolph pled guilty in 2005 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
September 12, 2003
Each FBI field office was directed to create a Field Intelligence Group. These teams of agents, analysts, linguists, and physical surveillance specialists help pull together, synthesize, and share intelligence locally and nationally.
September 16, 2003
Director Mueller joined the attorney general and other government leaders in announcing the creation of the Terrorist Screening Center to consolidate terrorist watch lists and provide 24/7 operational support for thousands of federal screeners nationwide. The center began operations on December 1, 2003.
The FBI Laboratory launched the multi-agency Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center (TEDAC) to coordinate and manage a unified national effort to gather and exploit information on improvised explosive devices recovered in the U.S. and overseas.
April 22, 2004
The FBI launched Operation Fastlink, the largest international enforcement action ever taken to combat global Internet piracy. The FBI was assisted by law enforcement entities from 10 countries.
July 22, 2004
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, more commonly referred to as the 9/11 Commission, released its report. Among its many findings, the report provided recommendations to further strengthen FBI intelligence capabilities. The Bureau had provided a comprehensive summary of its reform efforts to the commission and the nation on April 11.
December 26, 2004
A major tsunami devastated significant parts of Southeast Asia, killing more than 200,000 people in 14 countries. In the aftermath, the FBI provided extensive help identifying the deceased and offered its victim assistance services. The Bureau also investigated numerous cases of relief fraud, especially computer-related spoofing and phishing scams.
August 31, 2005
The FBI disrupted an alleged extremist plot conceived in a California prison. Three U.S. citizens and one permanent U.S. resident originally from Pakistan were planning to attack U.S. military facilities, an Israeli consulate building, and several Jewish synagogues in the Los Angeles area.
September 12, 2005
The FBI established a National Security Branch (NSB) that combines the missions, capabilities, and resources of counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and intelligence elements under the leadership of a senior FBI official. In July 2006, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate was created within the NSB to integrate related components previously spread throughout the Bureau.
September 15, 2005
The FBI launched a tip line to collect information on public corruption and government fraud connected to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Immediately following the disaster, the Bureau sent more than 500 agents and other personnel to New Orleans to help secure the city, answer emergency calls, patrol the streets, identify victims, and conduct search and rescue operations. In ensuing months, the FBI investigated many cases involving related scams and public corruption activities.
November 15, 2005
The FBI unveiled the Top Ten Art Crimes list to highlight major cases of stolen works of art.
January 3, 2006
Following an FBI investigation, former political lobbyist Jack Abramoff pled guilty to fraud and other charges related to the corruption of public officials and his activities with American Indian tribes.
January 20, 2006
Eleven members of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front were indicted for a series of domestic terrorist arsons between 1996 and 2001.
The FBI launched its Cold Case Initiative, focusing on racially motivated killings from the civil rights era. Since then, special agents from more than a dozen field offices with the assistance of their law enforcement partners, communities, and the media expended thousands of investigative hours tracking down witnesses, pursuing leads, and locating family members who may never have known what happened to their loved ones.
October 11, 2006
U.S. citizen Adam Gadahn was indicted on treason and material support charges for providing aid to al Qaeda. He was the first person charged with treason since World War II. Gadahn has appeared in numerous al Qaeda anti-American videotapes and is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.
January 19, 2007
Congressman Robert W. Ney was sentenced on multiple charges in connection with the Abramoff scandal, including honest services fraud and making false statements to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The FBI provided assistance to law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, which resulted in the loss of 32 lives. The FBI also supported victims of the tragedy.
The FBI responded to the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, providing forensic and investigative support to the National Transportation Safety Board, which led the federal investigation.
January 22, 2008
Jose Padilla and two associates were sentenced on charges of conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim individuals in a foreign country and to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
August 6, 2008
FBI and Department of Justice officials announced that Army scientist Bruce Ivins was determined to have acted alone in the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five Americans. On February 19, 2010, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service formally concluded the investigation, releasing 30 FBI files totaling 2,720 pages.
Five extremists were convicted of conspiring to kill soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey. A sixth co-defendant had previously pled guilty. All six were arrested in May 2007.
March 12, 2009
Financier Bernard Madoff pled guilty to multiple counts of fraud and money laundering after bilking his clients out of billions of dollars. In June 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $170 billion.
August 5, 2009
Former Louisiana Congressman William J. Jefferson was convicted of bribery, racketeering, and money laundering. In November 2009, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison and ordered to forfeit $470,000.
September 24, 2009
Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old Colorado resident, was arrested for plotting to attack the New York subway system with explosive bombs. Zazi pled guilty to various crimes in February 2010.
May 1, 2010
An explosives-filled vehicle was found abandoned in Times Square in New York City. Working with New York Police Department detectives, the FBI identified Faisal Shahzad as the person who purchased the vehicle. He was arrested a few days later as he tried to leave the country and was later sentenced to life in prison for the attempted bombing.
June 27, 2010
The FBI arrested 10 agents of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service who had tried to disguise themselves as ordinary Americans during long-term, "deep-cover" assignments to gather U.S. secrets. Each subsequently pled guilty. The arrests were the culmination of an extensive, closely-held investigation known as Operation Ghost Stories. The 10 agents were transferred to Russia in exchange for four others. October 6, 2010
A total of 133 law enforcement officers and others in Puerto Rico were charged in Operation Guard Shack, a massive police corruption takedown based in San Juan. Those charged with drug trafficking crimes and the use of a firearm in the commission of those crimes included 61 officers from the Puerto Rico Police Department, 16 officers from other municipal police departments, a dozen Puerto Rico Department of Corrections officers, members of the National Guard, and two U.S. Army soldiers.
November 24, 2010
A federal jury in Norfolk convicted five men from Somalia for engaging in piracy and related offenses in their attack on the USS Nicholas. This was the first piracy trial conviction in the U.S. since 1820.
January 8, 2011
Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a political event in Tucson, Arizona, killing six people—including a federal judge—and wounding 13 others. Among those seriously injured was U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was the shooter’s apparent target. Loughner was arrested at the scene, and he was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
May 1, 2011
President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden—a Most Wanted terrorist and the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks—had been killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces.
June 22, 2011
James “Whitey” Bulger—a fugitive for 16 years and a Top Tenner for 12 years—was arrested in Santa Monica, California by an FBI-led task force. In the 1970s and 1980s, Bulger ran a violent criminal organization from South Boston. In 2013, he was convicted of murdering 11 people and committing other crimes; he was sentenced to life in prison.
July 27, 2011
Following a request by the President, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to extend Director Mueller’s term by two years. Mueller led the Bureau for exactly 12 years, stepping down on September 4, 2013, making him the second longest serving FBI Director in history. August 5, 2011
The FBI released its first mobile application—the Child ID App. The free tool enables users to electronically store photos and vital information about their children in case of emergency.
February 16, 2012
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called “underwear bomber,” was sentenced to life in prison for his attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009. Abdulmutallab planned to detonate the bomb during the flight and to kill the 290 passengers and crew on board. The bomb caught fire but did not fully explode; no one was injured.
July 1, 2012
The FBI deployed Sentinel, a digital case management system for Bureau investigations. Sentinel uses a web-based application for entering, reviewing, approving, and researching case and intelligence information. It also streamlines processes through “electronic workflow,” making new case information and intelligence available more quickly to agents and analysts.
September 11, 2012
The U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya was attacked, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. The FBI launched an investigation, using social media to solicit information from people in the region.
February 4, 2013
Working with local authorities, the FBI rescued a 5-year-old boy who had been held hostage in an underground bunker in Alabama for nearly a week. A 65-year-old man named Jimmy Dykes had abducted the boy after boarding his school bus and fatally shooting the driver; Dykes was killed during the rescue operation.
April 15, 2013
Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring hundreds. An investigation by the FBI, local police, and other agencies quickly led to the identification of two suspects—brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Tamerlan was killed while fleeing law enforcement; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was later indicted and convicted in court.
June 17, 2013
The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives program—an iconic symbol of the Bureau’s crime-fighting ability recognized around the world—reached a milestone with the naming of the 500th fugitive to the list. This individual, who was charged with sexually exploiting children, was captured a few days later.
September 4, 2013
James B. Comey was sworn in as Director of the FBI. Comey had previously served as a U.S. attorney in New York and as deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice.
May 19, 2014
Five Chinese military hackers were indicted on charges of computer hacking, economic espionage, and other offenses directed at six American victims in the U.S. nuclear power, metals, and solar products industries. This marked the first time criminal charges had been filed against known state actors for hacking.
June 2, 2014
The Department of Justice and the FBI announced a multinational effort to disrupt the GameOver Zeus botnet, believed to be responsible for the theft of millions of dollars from businesses and consumers in the U.S. and around the world. In a related action, U.S. and foreign law enforcement officials seized Cryptolocker command and control servers. Cryptolocker is a type of ransomware that locks victims’ computer files and demands a fee in return for unlocking them.