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FBI History
 
History of the FBI

Change of Mandate: 2001 - Present

This is a photograph of FBI Director MuellerOn September 4, 2001, former U.S. Attorney Robert S. Mueller, III was sworn in as FBI Director (2001 to present) with a specific mandate to upgrade the Bureau's information technology infrastructure, to address records management issues, and to enhance FBI foreign counterintelligence analysis and security in the wake of the damage done by former Special Agent and convicted spy Robert Hanssen.

Within days of his entering on duty, however, the September 11 terrorist attacks were launched against New York and Washington. Director Mueller led the FBI's massive investigative efforts in partnership with all U.S. law enforcement, the federal government, and allies overseas. On October 26, 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the U.S. Patriot Act, which granted new provisions to address the threat of terrorism, and Director Mueller accordingly accepted on behalf of the Bureau responsibility for protecting the American people against future terrorist attacks. On May 29, 2002, the Attorney General issued revised investigative guidelines to assist the Bureau's counterterrorism efforts.

To support the Bureau's change in mission and to meet newly articulated strategic priorities, Director Mueller called for a reengineering of FBI structure and operations to closely focus the Bureau on prevention of terrorist attacks, on countering foreign intelligence operations against the U.S., and on addressing cybercrime-based attacks and other high-technology crimes. In addition, the Bureau remains dedicated to protecting civil rights, combatting public corruption, organized crime, white-collar crime, and major acts of violent crime. The Bureau has also strengthened its support to federal, county, municipal, and international law enforcement partners and has dedicated itself to upgrading its technological infrastructure to successfully meet each of its priorities.

At the start of the new millennium, the FBI stands dedicated to its core values and "Bright Line" ethical standards. Commitment to these values and standards ensures that the FBI effectively carries out its mission: Protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats; uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States; and provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.

Directors Then and Now
Photographs and biographies of FBI Directors since 1908
History of the FBI
Detailed description from 1908 to the present
- Origins:
    1908-1910
- Early Days:
    1910-1921
- Lawless Years:
    1921-1933
- The New Deal:
    1933-Late 1930's
- World War II Period:
    1930's-1945
- Postwar America:
    1945-1960's
- Vietnam War Era:
    1960's-1970's
Aftermath of Watergate:
    1970's
- Rise of International    Crime: 1980's
- End of the Cold War:
    1989-1993
- Rise of a Wired World:
    1993-2001
- Change of Mandate:
    2001-Present
- Text Only Version  
FBI Headquarters
The J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building from start to finish

Freedom of Information Act
Thousands of pages of frequently requested historical records

Historic Dates
Timeline of important events in FBI history

Hall of Honor
In honor of FBI Agents killed in the line of duty

Famous Cases
Including gangsters, spies, and Top Tenners
Heraldry of the FBI Seal
The significance of each symbol and color of the FBI seal