When the FBI shifted its focus to anti-terrorism efforts after Sept. 11, 2001, drug, organized crime and white-collar crime cases took the biggest hit, says Justice Department inspector general Glenn Fine. The Associated Press says the report issued yesterday provides the first detailed look at where the FBI has moved resources. The greatest reduction occurred in the organized crime and drug program, which lost 758 agents to counterterrorism between 2000 and 2003. The largest cuts took place in cases involving Mexican drug organizations. Another 321 agents were shifted from white-collar crime investigations – especially health care fraud – and 286 were moved from violent crime programs such as tracking down fugitives.
The FBI opened about 17,000 fewer cases in the programs most affected. Of those, the biggest change was the 11,600 fewer fugitive cases opened. Even though the FBI reduced by 26 percent the number of agents working bank robberies, there were 485 more such cases opened in 2003 compared with 2000.