The foundation for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or more commonly known as the FBI, was laid in 1908 by Attorney General Charles Bonaparte. There was no official name for the division and its leader was only designated as the resident Attorney General. The fledgling Bureau consisted of 9 detectives, 13 Civil Rights Investigators, and 12 accountants. These agents were at first created for the purpose of investigating crimes within the Justice Department. Bonaparte ordered these new "Special Agents" to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch on July 26th, 1908. This day is considered the beginning of the FBI.

Today the agency employs over 30,000 and is continuously growing. No longer relegated to the Department of Justice, agents are at work everywhere in the country enveloping many facets of the law, with their headquarters in the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C. These facets include cyber crimes, counterterrorism, organized crime, and street crime such as homicides and serial robberies. Any crime that can be construed as damaging to the United States or her people is legally under the FBI's jurisdiction.

The FBI needs to keep up with the nation’s needs and was revamped after September 11th. The administration changed the primary goal of the Bureau to counterterrorism and it’s secondary goal to counterintelligence. The Patriot Act has also increased, albeit not without a healthy amount of controversy, the FBI’s investigative powers including those restricting wiretapping and cyber monitoring. The Bureau is now allowed to look into the government’s files on any person suspected of being affiliated with terrorists as well.

Recently, the FBI has come under some fire from the media and the American public. The 9/11 Commission turned its sights on the FBI after finding evidence that the FBI and CIA both had advance knowledge of the attacks and dismissed them as nothing more than rumor. The FBI has since tried to mold itself to the changes that were expressed in the commission’s statement but a few members expressed their feelings that the agency was resisting anything that would be considered a drastic change. The Patriot Act has also raised a few questions as well as a few enraged voices. Many feel that the Act is merely trying to give a government agency more control of the public than it had before.

One of the more popularly known aspects of the FBI is the Ten Most Wanted List. This is, quite obviously, a list of the ten most wanted people for crimes against the United States. Many listed have committed serial crimes such as killings, robberies, etc. At the FBI's website the complete list can be found as well as write-ups on each criminal, altered and unaltered photos, descriptions, and the reward amount for information that leads to the capture of these criminals.

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