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Extra Graphic On 10/15, new Baltimore, Albuquerque Field Offices will enhance FBI's counterterrorism mission. Read Director Mueller's remarks during Baltimore dedication.
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Retiring Chicago Special Agent in Charge Thomas Kneir, on what it's been like working for the FBI: "To say it's been interesting would be a huge understatement. You kind of get thrown into the middle of history."

Here's What It's Like: Up Close and Personal

Wayne Waggoner has had a fascinating life. He underwrote international insurance in the U.S. and abroad in the 1980s. In Brussels, Belgium, he managed the European Office of the State of Arkansas. He's consulted with the electric power industry in emerging Internet communication technologies. He's taught college classes and ESL part-time. And he's served as Economic Development Manager for the City of Little Rock. In fact, he has enjoyed calling Little Rock home for 18 years now.

But in 2001, he signed up as an FBI contract linguist--and found he simply loves the work.

We asked him why--and we asked him some other questions besides.

Mr. Waggoner: Why do I love the work? So many reasons.

Working in a fast-paced environment with multi-talented and multi-cultural teams of high achievers in the FBI is ideal for a "loves learning" generalist like me.

A linguist's work is intellectually stimulating in a calm, progressive fashion, as the "picture" of what is being investigated emerges through translation. With every word, I solve a piece of a phrase, to solve a larger idea, and on to the fully formed thoughts of individuals expressing themselves in furtherance of their objectives. This makes for a feeling of real productivity, spiked with the occasional thrill of solving something larger or more complex. From time to time I have been privileged to help solve some big questions, but I continually solve smaller, incremental questions--and that is very satisfying.

I also relish the occasional travel to different FBI field offices to assist with cases...but really value the job flexibility allowing me to stay home most of the time in a wonderful place like Little Rock.

Q: What is a typical working day like?
Mr. Waggoner:
I review various materials from multiple sources. They run the gamut of FBI investigations -- from small crimes that happen to include some communication in my foreign language, to outlandish international conspiracies or allegations of such. They might pertain to international white-collar crime, counterterrorism, or other intelligence community matters. Less often, I translate unsolicited tips or leads – maybe serious, but maybe from crackpots or bizarre minds... these can make for entertaining reading! When the materials turn out to be important, I produce reports for further review or action by FBI squads. Though I also produce straight document translations or verbatim transcripts of conversations, most often I write brief summaries of the information that is most pertinent and useful to ongoing investigations.

Q: Last question, Mr. Waggoner: your most exciting experience in the FBI?
Mr. Waggoner:
I will never forget it. Only a few months after the 9/11 attacks, I had been asked to come to New York. Reviewing some materials there, I recognized an implied national security threat. Quickly it was communicated to our government's highest levels...and soon after, I was able to recognize in news reports a very intelligent response to the unpublicized threat.

Links: Apply to become an FBI Contract Linguist

Recent Stories

Graphic link to Recent Stories
On 10/21, a Texas man is charged in connection with an attack on El Paso mosque.
On 10/19, six charged in Chicago in fraudulent document case.
On 10/19, 19 members of New Jersey's largest, oldest "Bloods" street gang charged in racketeering indictment.
On 10/19, two Virginia men sentenced for hate crime at historically African-American church.

On 10/14, increased reward offered for info re: 2003 ricin-laced threat letters in South Carolina and Tennessee. See also Reward Poster (pdf).

On 10/15, naturalized U.S. citizen sentenced in Virginia in terrorism financing case.
On 10/14, lawyer found guilty in San Francisco of stealing/misusing more than $2 million in clients' settlement funds.
On 10/14, Knoxville resident arrested for attempt to use explosives to damage a building.
On 10/13, federal authorities arrested an Iowa man for sending e-mail threats to a national Arab-American leader.
On 10/13, German company Bayer AG agrees to plead guilty in price-fixing conspiracy.
On 10/8, Nashville resident arrested by Joint Terrorism Task Force on weapons charges.

On 10/7, superceding indictment in Florida charges two men in terrorism conspiracy.

Photograph of Chris SweckerOn 10/7, FBI exec testifies before Congress on the Bureau's efforts to combat mortgage fraud.

On 10/6, British resident indicted in Connecticut on charges of providing material support to terrorists.

Photograph of Public Affairs Assistant Director Cassandra ChandlerOn 10/6, FBI exec takes "opposing view" on Bureau translation capabilities in USA Today debate.
The FBI and the Jamestown, NY, PD need your help in locating a missing woman and are offering a reward for useful information.
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