- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 5, 2004

The post-September 11 FBI has — as promised — moved a ‘substantial’ amount of resources and manpower from traditional criminal investigative areas to counterterrorism activities, a report by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General said yesterday.

“Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the FBI has reprioritized its mission and shifted substantial resources from investigating traditional crimes to matters related to terrorism,” said Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. “Our detailed statistical review shows that FBI investigative activities in fiscal 2003 generally were in line with its post-September 11 priorities.”

During the past four years, the report said, the FBI allocated more than 560 additional field agent positions to terrorism-related matters. The report also identified “significant increases” in case openings for investigations involving al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and foreign counterintelligence cases.

FBI personnel reassigned to terrorism-related matters primarily were drawn from the bureau’s organized crime and drug program, the report said, noting that in fiscal 2003, 758 field agent positions were transferred from that program to counterterrorism.

According to a report, the FBI now classifies its cases and its use of personnel by means of a three-tier system, consisting of 12 programs that reflect general investigative and administrative areas, including domestic terrorism, white-collar crime, civil rights, organized crime and drugs; 51 subprograms that fall within 10 of these programs; and 759 other investigative classifications.

The report also compared the FBI’s planned allocation of field agents with its usage of those agents in fiscal 2003 in terrorism-related and non-terrorism-related matters. FBI allocated 2,811 agents for terrorism-related work and 6,124 agents for non-terrorism-related work in fiscal 2003 but used 3,656 and 5,245 agents, respectively.

The Inspector General’s investigation showed that 12 of the 30 FBI investigative classifications experiencing the largest reductions in agent resource utilization were related to organized crime and drug matters; eight classifications were associated with white-collar crime; six with violent crime; two with foreign counterintelligence matters; one with civil rights and others with domestic terrorism.

Mr. Fine said that within the 30 classifications, those belonging to the organized crime and drug program experienced a reduction of 767 agents from fiscal 2000 through fiscal 2003. The investigation found that the largest reduction in resources and manpower was in drug-related matters involving Mexican organizations, primarily affecting field offices along or near the southwest border of the United States, he said.

The report recommended that the FBI regularly conduct similar analyses of its agent usage and case openings to provide a data-based view of the status of FBI operations and assist managers in evaluating the bureau’s progress in meeting goals.

The released report was an unclassified version of a 486-page “secret” report given to the FBI. The full report also was released to the Justice Department and congressional oversight committees.

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