Although the Federal Bureau of Investigations has long been concerned with nuclear, biological and chemical agents that could be used to kill or harm large numbers of U.S. residents, it wasn’t until the events of September 11, 2001 that the FBI made WMD related to terrorist threats its highest priority. In response to the rising threat of WMD proliferation and use, the FBI created the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate (WMDD) which coordinates all Bureau operations involved in disrupting and dismantling terrorist attempts to secure or use a WMD.
The Components of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate
The WMDD is primarily composed of three professional groups
- Intelligence and Analysis
- Investigations and Operations
- Countermeasures and Preparedness
These components span the entire Bureau’s prevention, analysis and response strategies.
The technology and materials utilized by terrorists to acquire or create a WMD is still difficult to obtain, but the potential for distribution grows as more governments destabilize and lose control over these weapons. Many groups like Hamas and Hezbollah are essentially state-sponsored and may soon gain access to nuclear weapons or other WMDs if their supporting governments acquire them. Other groups like Al Qaeda are intent upon acquiring similar weapons through financial transactions or theft.
Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate Job Description
In order to mitigate these many risks and eliminate the potential for one of these groups to attack the U.S., the WMDD vigilantly monitors key stockpiles, materials and experts around the world. Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate jobs consist of operations and technical staff who work closely with local governments to help maintain the security of WMD arsenals. In cases where governmental cooperation is not a possibility, the WMDD works with other federal and international agencies to monitor the status of prohibited weapons and materials.
The professionals of the WMDD are expected to fulfill these job duties:
- Monitor stockpiles of WMDs around the world
- Track the movement, activities and communications of WMD specialists, terrorists, and arms dealers
- Design and execute operations to secure or destroy WMDs that could fall into hostile hands
- Develop human and other intelligence assets within terrorist organizations and other hostile groups
- Coordinate with defense and federal agencies to disrupt and neutralize WMD operations that could harm the U.S. or its allies
- Restrict equipment, technology and knowledge to approved organizations and facilities
Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate Salary
The WMDD employs a wide variety of Special Agents as well as technical experts. While FBI Special Agents enter at the GS-10 pay grade, other professionals may enter at the GS-7, GS-9 or GS-11 pay grade. Agents have the potential for promotion to the GS-15 pay level, while others are usually capped at the GS-14 pay level. In 2012, the salaries associated with these pay ratings were:
All FBI employees’ salaries are adjusted for cost of living. Agents receive compensation for their mandated 50 hour work weeks and constant availability in the form of Law Enforcement Availability Pay, which is an additional 25 percent of salary. Technical professionals may also additional compensation for overtime, hazard or availability.