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Interpol versus Federal Bureau of investigation Compare and Contrast Essay

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Updated: Sep 4th, 2019

Federal Bureau of investigation

The Federal Bureau of investigation, FBI, is a national security agency that is threat-based and intelligence-driven and the United States justice department’s primary investigative arm (Theoharis 206). It is also a member of the intelligence community in the United States with mandate to investigate particular crimes.

In addition, it supports other law enforcement groups through provision of services such as fingerprinting identification, lab processes and training. The FBI collects information, disseminates and carries out analysis of intelligence in order to accurately predict and prevent any security threats that United States could be facing (Theoharis 171).


The Federal Bureau of Investigation has its investigations divided into several programs with the major national security precedence on terrorism, counterintelligence and cyber crime.

Terrorism refers to domestic and global terrorism as well as weapons of mass destruction (Theoharis 172). Cyber crime refers to computer intrusions, online predators, piracy or property theft, internet fraud and identity theft (Theoharis 172).

Criminal priorities cover public corruption, civil rights, organized crime, white collar crime and violent crime plus major thefts (U.S.FederalGovernment.org).

Public corruption refers to government and election fraud as well as foreign corrupt practices. Civil right violations covers hate crime, human trafficking, racial discrimination and freedom to access health facilities. Organized crime covers Italian mafia, Eurasian, Balkan, Middle Eastern, Asian, African and sports bribery.

Violent along with major thefts include art theft, bank robbery, cargo and vehicle theft, violation of child rights, gangs, retail theft, theft of jewelry or gem, and crimes on cruise ships or Indian country (U.S.FederalGovernment.org). White-collar crime covers bankruptcy, corporate, healthcare, mortgage, mass marketing and insurance frauds and money laundering (U.S.FederalGovernment.org).

FBI has a philosophy of having close relations and sharing of information with other security agencies and intelligence at federal level, state level, local level as well as international level. Most of the investigations by FBI is in collaboration with other agencies of law enforcement or involve comparing investigations with other agencies for comparison.


The FBI does not have a shared database for use with other security agencies because its database is only accessible to its agents and any information is provided upon request. The FBI has its activities concentrated mostly in United States and it only cooperates with other security agencies during investigations or provides some technical assistance such as DNA tests of fingerprinting. It also does not provide training to other security personnel.


Interpol is a global police organization and has a hundred and eighty eight member countries. It enhances cross border communication of police, provision of support and assistance to all organizations, authorities plus provision of services aimed at prevention or fighting global crime.

Interpol provides secure services of police communication worldwide; the basis of effectual global law enforcement is the capability of exchanging crucial data fast and in a secure way resulting to the development of a round the clock global system of police communication. The communication system connects Interpol’s General Secretariat and member countries together with the National Central Bureaus along with the regional offices (Interpol.com).

There is global network information sharing by police. There is also instant access to Interpol’s database member countries. Member countries can offer consultative information to other approved security organs for example custom controls.

Interpol provides operational information services in addition to shared security databases (Interpol.com). It provides police with information for use in investigations or crime prevention.

It has databases that Interpol Bureaus in member countries could access including the I-link project, DNA profiles, and fastid, lost travel documents, Mobile Interpol Network Database, MIND/ Fixed Interpol Network database, FIND, stolen cars, suspected terrorists, information on criminals and fingerprints (Interpol.com).

The Mobile Interpol Network Database, MIND and the Fixed Interpol Network database FIND enables instant access of law enforcement to Interpol’s database (Interpol.com).

To prevent criminals, terrorists and unwanted persons from entering a country, the Interpol Network provides information on stolen or lost travel documents such as passports, visa and Identity cards which is then shared with immigration officers at airports and other points of entry. This makes it easier for front line officers to quickly verify if a travel document has been reported lost or stolen.

In order to keep the Information shared relevant and up to date, Interpol General Secretariat – IPSG, officers and member country’s National Bureau officers, all work together in the installation of the information sharing system and supporting its operations (Interpol.com). Technical support for the system is provided by the IPSG helpdesk. Interpol provides technical assistance to and “operational support” to the National Central Bureaus (NCB) (Interpol.com).

The support is mainly aimed at main crime areas of the organization which includes escapees, terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, human being trafficking, financial crime, high-tech crime as well as corruption (Interpol.com. In case of a disaster or an important crime there are Interpol response and disaster victim identification teams that could be sent to the area quickly.

It undertakes police training as well as development that involves the building capacity of law enforcement in the world. The aim is to assist member country officials enhance their operational efficiency, improve their skills as well as build the capacity to curb increasing global and sophisticated crimes (Interpol.com).

Nevertheless, interpol is limited in some ways because it does not have provisions to conduct wiretapping and it only works together with police officers without the involvement of the prosecution or attorneys’ offices.


Both have a headquarters office and offices in various locations worldwide. The FBI has headquarters in Washington; similarly, Interpol has its headquarters in France with National Central Bureaus in a hundred and eighty-eight member countries. Both share information with other law enforcement agencies.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation provides information about terrorists when working with both domestic as well as foreign agencies of law enforcement same as Interpol which offers information on crime to its member countries.

Both Interpol and the Federal Bureau of investigation have their focus on terrorism, foreign internet crime, counterintelligence, organized crime, narcotics or drug and violent crimes.


The federal bureau of investigation carries out investigation on possible federal law violations and works together with federal prosecutors in the justice department or the offices of United States Attorneys, whereas Interpol only works with the police offices. Interpol works together with officers in its member countries only.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has the capability of conducting wiretapping in combating terrorism or the most severe crimes whereas Interpol has no such provisions.

Interpol enables capability of exchanging information fast and in a secure manner between the secretariat and the National Central Bureaus whereas the FBI does not have a shared database but only provides information on request.

Finally, Interpol offers police training and other operational support services but the FBI does not but instead works together with other security agencies in United States or from other countries.

Works Cited

Interpol.com. Interpol’s four core functions. 2010. Web. <>

Theoharis, G. The FBI: a comprehensive reference guide. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group. 2009. Print.

U.S.Federal Government.org. What we investigate, 2010. Web.<>

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