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Intel Analysts Around the Globe

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We now have intelligence analysts stationed in seven of our offices overseas.

“The best thing about my job? Knowing that what I do every day makes the world a little safer in a specific, tangible, safe-to-put-your-kids-on-the-school-bus kind of way.”

So says Brad, one of our 2,400 intelligence analysts. And when he says “world,” he means it: Brad works in our Legal Attaché office in London.

FBI analysts abroad?
That’s right. While most of our analysts work in the U.S., in recent years we’ve been assigning them across the globe for the first time in history—not only in London, but in Paris, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Baghdad, and Amman. We’re also actively pursuing additional positions in more counterterrorism-critical posts. These analysts support our agents overseas by assessing and sharing intelligence and running down important information right on the spot.

We talked with some of these analysts about their groundbreaking work.

So what’s a typical day like for an FBI analyst overseas?

“Hectic,” says Darlene in Mexico City, “but never a dull moment. One minute I might be responding to a threat or urgent report or drafting an intelligence product. The next, coordinating training for our international partners or meeting with my U.S. or global counterparts at other agencies.”

Assigned to Paris, Amber says she “monitors intelligence traffic across the Bureau’s four main programs—counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal. I also triage leads and taskings coming in, head the Embassy analytical working group, and draft and disseminate intelligence reports.” 

Susan in Tel Aviv explains: “It’s 24/7 for us. Some days, international flights arrive at 3 or 4 in the morning with suspicious passengers who must be vetted with our assistance. Or we might get an urgent call about someone trying to enter the country with 100 signed blank checks from a U.S. bank.” 

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What’s the best part of the job?

According to Markus in Berlin, it’s working closely with our foreign partners. “It’s interesting to see the differences between our two systems and understanding how interconnected our countries are…especially on issues like crime and terrorism that cross national boundaries.” 

“I like being able to leverage intelligence to aid cases,” says Nathan in Mexico City. “It’s gratifying to know that a person was arrested and will face justice or that a kidnapping victim is returned home safely due to the intelligence provided in the investigation.” 

How is working in a Legal Attaché different from working in the U.S.?

According to Nathan, “Time is much more crucial…threats must be dealt with immediately, and ensuring information gets into the right hands is essential.”

Amber calls herself a “field intelligence group of one”—always multi-tasking in response to the needs of the office.

Now, a question for you: want to join the ranks of FBI analysts?

The time is right. Since 9/11, we’ve hired huge numbers of intelligence analysts, and we’re not done yet. According to Keith Patrick, chief of our Intelligence Personnel Resources Unit, “our target numbers for the next few years will be high…we need hundreds more analysts.”

So if you’d like to be on the front line of protecting America’s national security, check to see if you’re qualified and apply for any open vacancies. It may well be the job of a lifetime!

Intelligence analysis careers at the FBI
- More "Up Close and Personal" stories

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