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FBI criminal cases drop by half due to anti-terror focus, DOJ report shows

[JURIST] The number of criminal investigations conducted by the FBI has almost been cut in half since 2000, due to the fact that the bureau made fighting terrorism its top priority after September 11, according to a new audit by the US Department of Justice [official website]. According to Inspector General [official website] Glenn Fine, the most declines were found in drug investigations, organized crime, bank robberies, civil rights, health care fraud, corporate fraud, and public corruption. Gang activity was the only area where criminal investigations increased. The audit [PDF text] indicates that in 2000, the FBI opened 62,782 criminal investigations, compared to 34,451 in 2004, a drop of 45 percent. State and local law enforcement officials have said that they try to fill in the "investigatory gaps," but have had difficulty taking over complex financial fraud cases. AP has more.

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