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Government shutdown is compromising FBI counter-terrorism operations, report finds

The lack of funding is reportedly undermining active investigations and counter-intelligence activities.

WASHINGTON (AP Business Wire) -- The FBI Agents Association on Tuesday released a new report that provides first-hand accounts of how the lack of funding caused by the government shutdown affects Agents’ work and identifies the risks that may emerge as the shutdown continues. The report, Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of the Government Shutdown, is a compilation of stories submitted by Special Agents across the country. FBIAA members provided their perspectives for the report on a voluntary and confidential basis.

"As FBI Agents, our commitment to our work is unwavering," said FBIAA President Thomas O’Connor. "Agents are at work without pay to protect the American people. We continue to make the personal and professional sacrifices to do our jobs and protect this country. We are releasing Voices from the Field to ensure that our elected leaders and members of the public are aware that the resources available to support the work of FBI Agents are currently stretched to the breaking point and are dwindling day by day."

The report details of how a lack of funding caused by the government shutdown is undermining criminal, counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence operations; delaying and complicating child trafficking and exploitation investigations; harming cooperation with local law enforcement; reducing informant cooperation; and hindering a wide range of other efforts.

The report shows that Agents’ basic operations needs are being compromised as a result of prohibitions against buying pre-paid phone cards, booking air travel, and using official FBI vehicles (because there is no funding for gas). In addition, the report provides examples of personal hardships suffered by Agents’ families as Agents continue to work without pay.

“For us, the fight for funding is not political. It is a matter of completing our mission to protect this country from criminal and national security threats,” said O’Connor. “It's time for Congress and the White House to negotiate an agreement that protects national security and public safety so that Agents can get back to work," concluded O’Connor. “Our message is simple. For FBI Special Agents, financial security is national security. It is critical to fund the FBI immediately.”

To read the full report Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of the Government Shutdown, visit FBIAA.org or click here.

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