Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by William. William Wonders, “What is the FBI?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, William!

Have you ever heard of Watergate? How about Al Capone? Are you puzzled by  D. B. Cooper? These criminal investigations have interested people for years. Have you ever WONDERed who deals with these cases? It’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)!

The FBI is part of the US Department of Justice. It was formed in 1908. At that time, it was called the Bureau of Investigation (BOI). It was renamed in 1935. The FBI’s job is to enforce US laws. To do so, it carries out investigations to bring people to justice.

Most people don’t see FBI agents often. For smaller crimes, you’re more likely to connect with local or state police.  The FBI fights terrorism, protects civil rights, and guards against Cyber attacks. It also investigates kidnappings and many violent crimes. Sometimes, it works with smaller law enforcement offices on cases. It also works with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) often.

What’s it like working for the FBI? Are you picturing car chases and sting operations? You’re not far off! However, working at the FBI isn’t always exciting or dangerous. FBI special agents study and fight crime. They go undercover and are sometimes in dangerous situations. However, there are many other jobs at the FBI.

Can you speak more than one language? Are you good with technology? Are you observant? The FBI might have a place for you! All of these skills are helpful in FBI investigations. The FBI also needs people to work in administrative positions. It hires accountants and human resource experts, just like any other organization. There’s a job for just about anyone at the FBI!

The FBI has worked on many well-known cases. It arrested gangster Al Capone. It tracked down the crime couple Bonnie and Clyde. Years later, the FBI investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It also helped uncover President Richard Nixon’s part in the Watergate Scandal.

Still, some cases go unsolved. When three men escaped the island prison of Alcatraz in 1962, the FBI jumped on the case. It did the same in 1971 when a man calling himself D. B. Cooper jumped out of an airplane with a bag full of stolen cash. Both cases are still mysteries in 2019.

The FBI has also faced its fair share of criticism. Some US citizens feel it hurts their privacy. The FBI became very powerful under the leadership of Director J. Edgar Hoover between 1924 and 1972. Many people think it has too much power.

Still, the FBI is the largest investigative body in the US. It has put many criminals behind bars. Do you dream of being an FBI agent one day? Would you use technology? Do sneaky surveillance? What kinds of cases would you like to solve?

Standards: C3.D2.His.3, C3.D2.His.14, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.3, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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