Tags: FBI | national | security | 911

FBI Now Says National Security Its 'Primary Function,' 12 Years After 9/11

Image: FBI Now Says National Security Its 'Primary Function,' 12 Years After 9/11 FBI Director James Comey

Monday, 06 Jan 2014 09:57 AM

By Courtney Coren

The FBI took a more active role in national security following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but until this summer the federal agency listed "law enforcement" as its primary function on the FBI Fact Sheet.

The FBI Fact Sheet now states that "the primary function of the FBI is national security," Foreign Policy magazine is reporting.

Since the events took place more than a decade ago, experts are puzzled about the timing of this change on the fact sheet.

"What happened in the last year that changed?" asked Kel McClanahan, a national security lawyer who reviews FBI Freedom of Information Act requests. "I think they're trying to rebrand. So many good things happen to your agency when you tie it to national security."

An FBI spokesman would not comment on the timing of the change, but said that it is an accurate reflection of the agency's work in counterterrorism.

"We rank our top 10 priorities and [counterterrorism] is first, counterintel is second, cyber is third," said Paul Bresson, FBI spokesman. "So it is certainly accurate to say our primary function is national security."

The number of FBI agents assigned to counterterrorism had doubled since 2001. However, there has also been a decrease in the number of agents investigating domestic criminal cases, by contrast, and in 2007 it was noted by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer that there was also a significant decrease in the number of white collar crime cases.


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