With counterterrorism as its highest priority, the Federal Bureau of Investigations has devoted enormous resources to combat terrorists and their organizations, both in America and around the world. Since the attacks on America on September 11, 2001, the FBI has recruited the best and brightest to support its expanded Counterterrorism Division. Within this division is its Operations Branches 1 and 2, which handle all of its major field operations.
FBI Counterterrorism Operations Branch 1 and 2
Operations Branch 1 is dedicated to international terrorist operations. Operations Branch 1 conducts missions around the globe to combat the activities of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas. In order to facilitate greater inter-agency cooperation, Operations Branch 1 has a CIA officer as its Deputy Section Chief, while an FBI agent serves in a similar position in the CIA’s reciprocal branch.
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Operations Branch 2 includes the following departments:
- Weapons of Mass Destruction/Domestic Terrorism Section
- Communications Exploitation Section
- Terrorist Financing Operations Section
Operations Branch 2 deploys personnel to domestic and international locations to detect and dismantle terrorist networks that possess or seek a WMD. In an ongoing effort to disrupt and dismantle these networks, Operations Branch 2 works closely with international banking and financial institutions to cut off vital funding to terror cells.
Duties Performed by the FBI Counterterrorism Operations Branch
The Counterterrorism Operations Branch has helped transform the FBI from a reactive law enforcement agency into an agile, proactive agency that identifies national security threats as they develop. The Counterterrorism Operations Branch has been instrumental in deterring terrorists from penetrating the country’s defenses and striking at U.S. facilities, infrastructure or populations.
The members of Counterterrorism Operations Branch are expected to perform the following duties to the best of their ability.
- Take intelligence, actionable insights or strategic recommendations and formulate a tactical response to a WMD or terrorist threat
- Identify and apprehend suspected terrorists
- Question and elicit information about terrorist plans, networks and resources from terrorists, associates or financial supporters
- Identify and dismantle financial networks of terrorist organizations
- Work with the law enforcement agencies within a foreign country to capture suspected terrorists
- Investigate potential threats to national security as they emerge
- Cultivate relationships with international and domestic informants and intelligence assets
Counterterrorism Operations Branch Salary
The Counterterrorism Operations Branch includes Special Agents and a wide variety of support professionals. FBI Agents receive salaries associated with GS-10 up to GS-15 levels, while support staff is relegated to pay grades GS-7 up to GS-14. Intelligence analysts may cap their careers at the GS-14 level; Technical information specialist can be promoted to GS-12; and financial analysts may end their careers at the GS-13 level. While all Special Agents begin their careers at the GS-10 level, support staff can enter at pay grades higher than GS-7 if they possess advanced degrees or have prior experience in counterterrorism matters. All members of Counterterrorism Operations Branch receive salary adjustments for cost of living as well as overtime. The salary ranges associated with the pay levels in 2012 were