The Wall Street Journal says that FBI officials are locked in a turf battle with other federal law enforcement agencies over perceived attempts to muscle into what the FBI considers its territory: fighting violent crime. In the past year, nearly two-thirds of the FBI’s 56 field offices have run into “severe” or “moderate” conflicts with other federal law enforcers, according to an internal survey conducted by the bureau.
The survey results provides a rare public look at the tensions that simmer beneath the surface as federal agents vie to make big arrests and win prestige and congressional funding. It shows the FBI fretting that smaller agencies—particularly Homeland Security Investigations and the ATF—are taking over cases the FBI should handle, sometimes causing confusion. The FBI and the ATF, both part of the Justice Department, have been butting heads for years. “Jurisdiction encroachment” by the ATF and “mission creep” by HSI were cited in an internal memo concerning the FBI survey.