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FBI Makeover In The Works

FBI Director Robert Mueller is poised to announce a reorganization to strengthen the bureau's ability to fight terrorism.

Mueller is expected to dismantle the FBI's investigative services division, which does analysis and threat assessments, and redeploy the section's analysts to the FBI's counterterrorism, criminal, national security and other divisions.

The investigative services division was formed two years ago under Mueller's predecessor, Louis Freeh. The move was part of a restructuring to shore up the bureau's ability to identify and prevent terrorism and other crimes, rather than investigating crimes or attacks after they have occurred.

Analysts who pore through information collected in investigations were consolidated into one division. Agents say the system left divisions bereft of analysts to assist on individual cases.

Click Here for Complete CoverageMany FBI agents now based in Washington would be shifted to field offices under the reorganization.

Mueller also plans to hire an executive assistant director, the third- highest position in the bureau, who would help manage day-to-day operations and oversee various divisions.

The reorganization comes as the bureau struggles to solve the anthrax case and the Sept. 11 attacks and thwart new attacks on Americans. The terrorism investigation is the largest criminal probe in the bureau's history.

Mueller would brief reporters on the plan Monday, FBI officials said.

The FBI's reorganization is part of a sweeping wartime restructuring of the Justice Department announced earlier this month by Attorney General John Ashcroft. Ashcroft said he would shift 10 percent of the resources and jobs from the nation's capital to field offices, and add FBI agents, immigration screeners and prosecutors. The FBI is part of the department.

Ashcroft said the FBI would focus more on preventing terrorist acts and less on solving traditional crimes that local police could handle.

"We cannot do everything we once did because lives now depend on us doing a few things very well," the attorney general said.

The FBI has already shifted resources to focus on investigating and disrupting additional terrorist attacks, though agents continue to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks and anthrax cases.

The reorganization follows months of turmoil at the FBI and enables Mueller, who took over the FBI this year, to make his mark on the bureau.

The FBI is under investigation for a series of missteps, including lost Oklahoma City bombing documents, internal security following the arrest of FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who pleaded guilty to spying for Moscow, and lost guns and computers.

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