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Intelligence Philosophy

The mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.

To perform its mission, the FBI employs a number of core tools, including investigative techniques, forensics, information technologies, and strategic partnerships. Intelligence is also one of those core tools. As such, intelligence is an integral part of the FBI’s investigative mission. It is embedded in the day-to-day work of the FBI, from the initiation of preliminary investigations to the development of FBI-wide investigative strategies.

The tool of intelligence is more important than ever in today’s threat environment. The threats facing the United States are evolving. Threats are global, and often emanate from transnational enterprises that rely on sophisticated information technology. They transcend geographic boundaries, as well as the boundaries of authorities in the U.S. national security infrastructure. In this threat environment, having the right information at the right time is essential to protecting national security.

The FBI has a mandate from Congress, the President, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to protect national security by producing intelligence in support of its own investigative mission, national intelligence priorities, and the needs of other customers. The FBI must serve the American people with an enterprise-wide intelligence program that makes its investigations most effective for national security, homeland security, and law enforcement purposes, while meeting external needs for FBI information and analysis.