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Investigating Problems Involving Foreign Nationals (From Transnational Crime: Investigative Responses, P 101-106, 1989, Harold E Smith, ed. -- See NCJ-120383)

NCJ Number
J R E Younger
Date Published
6 pages
Because sufficient written material and legal precedent are lacking on the investigation of foreign nationals who commit criminal acts in the United States, conventional means of investigation are problematic and often ineffective in crimes involving foreign nationals.
A major problem impeding the criminal investigation of foreign nationals in the United States is that no current laws exist against international terrorism. If an arrest is made, the perpetrator can only be prosecuted under existing Federal, State, or local laws if the terrorist or criminal act is committed within this country's jurisdiction. Key concerns for law enforcement personnel investigating foreign nationals are modern transportation, global communications networks, and the ability to transfer and launder finances. Other significant concerns are political relations between the United States and the country of the foreign national, the increasing sophistication of international criminals, and the level of cooperation among U.S. law enforcement agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the lead agency on all domestic terrorism, whether it be committed by domestic or international terrorists. Problems between the FBI and local law enforcement agencies concern liaison and the dissemination of relevant information. Local law enforcement agencies do not always have a need to know with regard to international terrorists and also have to consider their internal budgetary limitations. Greater coordination is needed, nonetheless, among U.S. police agencies and jurisdictions and between the United States and industrialized democracies (Europe, Canada, and Japan). In addition, increased expertise at the local level in penetrating foreign language and cultural barriers is essential. 3 references.