FBI’s New Genocide War Crimes Unit



The FBI is always involving themselves in what is happening in the world related to Crime and Law Enforcement and now has announced Their involvement in War Crimes.

Today, in an effort to raise awareness about these crimes and the FBI’s part in helping to combat them, we’re announcing the launch of our Genocide War Crimes Program website.

The FBI has had authority to investigate human rights issues since 1988, when Congress made genocide a crime under U.S. law.

The order stipulates that all government agencies must coordinate to enforce human rights laws within their own areas of responsibility.


The FBI—through the Department of Justice—supports the multi-agency Atrocities Prevention Board, recently created by Presidential Study Directive 10 to strengthen the U.S. government’s ability to foresee, prevent, and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.


Specifically, the work of the GWCU includes:

  • Domestically, conducting concurrent reviews of mass atrocity incidents.
  • Globally, focusing on the apprehension of internationally indicted war criminals. The FBI addresses all leads to identify any U.S. nexus to these war criminals and other perpetrators and provides support to other U.S. agencies and international partners in pursuit of human rights violators. This support takes many forms—including training, crime scene preservation, interviewing techniques, age-enhancing photos, fingerprint and other biometric identification services, and language services.


The FBI have 56 field offices around the country and our more than 60 overseas legal attaché offices around the world who receive information on human rights violations and violators based on the four statutes we cover.


While the term “human rights” has different connotations, the responsibilities of the Department of Justice—and the FBI—relate primarily to enforcement matters of four specific laws.

These four statutes typically grant the FBI jurisdiction when:

  • The perpetrator is a U.S. person,
  • The victim is a U.S. person, or
  • The perpetrator, regardless of nationality, is located in the U.S.


FBI Agent in the field

Genocide is defined as

Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.


Visit The New FBI Genocide Webpage

You can help. If you believe you may have information concerning a specific incident of genocide or a war crime, please submit that information to us at https://tips.fbi.gov/ or contact your local FBI office, domestically or internationally.

In addition to educating the public on its role, the website solicits information from victims and others about perpetrators of any mass atrocities that can be submitted to through tips.fbi.gov or by contacting an FBI field office or legal attaché office.

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