The primary mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist, criminal and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners. In Poland the FBI collaborates with several agencies which include the Polish National Police Force, the Central Bureau of Investigation (Centralne Biuro Śledcze, CBŚ), and the Agency for Internal Security (Agencja Bezpieczeństwa Wewnętrznego, ABW) to resolve joint cases related to terrorism, cybercrime, money laundering, organized crime, violent crime, and fugitives. This collaboration exists not only in Warsaw but with Polish authorities throughout Poland.
For more than 70 years, the FBI has stationed special agents and other personnel overseas to help protect Americans back home by building relationships with principal law enforcement, intelligence, and security services around the globe that help ensure a prompt and continuous exchange of information. Today, the FBI has 63 legal attaché offices—commonly known as Legats—and more than two dozen smaller sub-offices in key cities around the globe, providing coverage for more than 180 countries, territories, and islands. Each office is established through mutual agreement with the host country and is situated in the U.S. embassy or consulate in that nation. The legal attaché program is managed by an Assistant Director who leads the International Operations Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
To accomplish these goals, each Legat works with law enforcement and security agencies in their host country to coordinate investigations of interest to both countries. Some Legats are responsible for coordination with law enforcement personnel in several countries. The purpose of these Legats is strictly coordination, cooperation and liaison; they do not conduct foreign intelligence gathering or counterintelligence investigations. The rules for joint activities and information-sharing are generally spelled out in formal agreements between the United States and the Legat’s host country.