The History and Operations of the FBI: 40 Surprising Facts

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1Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson

At the age of 14, Tom Anderson (also known as MySpace Tom) cracked the security of Chase Manhattan Bank and caused one of the biggest FBI raids in California history, but wasn't arrested due to his young age.

2. 60's counterculture singer Phil Ochs would go on paranoid drunken rants about the FBI watching him. After hanging himself in his sister's home it was revealed that the FBI had a 500-page file on him.

3. Samuel L. Jackson was a Black Panther who took administrators of his college hostage, and was threatened with assassination by the FBI.

4. 3 people tried to sell Coca Cola's secret ingredient to Pepsi, but Pepsi reported them to Coca Cola and the FBI.

5. Ronald Reagan gave information on fellow actors to the FBI, and later received political favors from J Edgar Hoover.

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According to the FBI Director, the FBI is having a hard time filling positions to help tackle cyber crimes because a lot of the nation’s top computer programmers and hacking gurus are also fond of marijuana.

7. The most sophisticated bomb ever encountered by the FBI destroyed Harvey's Wagon Wheel Casino in Lake Tahoe in 1980. The device included 28 toggle switches, a float switch, tilt sensor, other sensors, spring switches, casing screws and joints, and a few surprises.

8. The U.S. Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before the year 2000.

9. A prolific art forger named Mark Landis has donated works to dozens of museums. When the FBI found out, they couldn't convict him of any crimes because he never received any money or other benefits for his forgeries.

10. Between 2005 and 2006, the FBI mined grocery store records for falafel purchases to find Iranian terrorists.

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11Census Bureau

Census Bureau

In 1980, 4 FBI agents went to the Census Bureau's Colorado Springs office with warrants but were forced to leave. Courts upheld that "no agency, including the FBI, has access to Census data."

12. The FBI suspected "It's A Wonderful Life" movie was Communist propaganda when first released.

13. The FBI sent a letter to Martin Luther King Jr. suggesting that he commit suicide within 34 days or have his sexual exploits exposed to the nation.

14. The FBI spent two years analyzing the lyrics to Louie Louie for obscenities. The results were inconclusive.

15. According to FBI statistics, violent bank robberies are incredibly rare. In fact, most bank robberies (61%) involve a single person handing the teller a note and then walking out without incident.

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16Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway grew paranoid and talked about FBI spying on him later in life. He was treated with electroshock. It was later revealed that he was in fact watched, and Edgard Hoover personally placed him under surveillance.

17. The FBI accidentally registered an internal interrogation manual with the Library of Congress. Anyone with a library card is able to read this secret government document.

18. The FBI maintains their own Bitcoin wallet that consists of seized Bitcoins.

19. John Delorean (designer of the Delorean DMC-12 "back to the future" car) was arrested for conspiracy to traffic narcotics, after being set up by FBI. Delorean was saved from prison after publisher Larry Flynt obtained and released tapes and documents that proved his innocence.

20. In 2003, fed up with being interrogated by the FBI on suspicion of terrorism, artist Hasan Elahi created a website to document his location at all times. It's still running.

21Joseph D. Pistone

Joseph D. Pistone

An FBI agent named Joseph D. Pistone also known as "Donnie Brasco" infiltrated the mob for 6 years to the point that he was going to be "made" but was pulled out because his superiors decided that the operation was becoming too dangerous.

22. The FBI and government are allowed to lie in courts for the sake of "national security".

23. Helen Keller's outspoken political radicalism throughout her adult life resulted in the FBI tracking her for years.

24. Actor James Woods observed and reported suspicious behavior from four passengers, with no apparent luggage, casing the plane. Six weeks later, these same passengers carried out the 9/11 attacks. The FBI received Woods' FAA report the evening of September 11.

25. The FBI tried to infiltrate a mosque in Irvine by sending one of their agents (Craig Monteilh) to incite terrorism. The people of the mosque reported him to the FBI instead.




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