FBI agents across the US say the partial government shutdown is affecting their ability to do their jobs, and, as a result, posing a threat to national security.
The FBI Agents Association — which represents the interests of more than 14,000 active and former FBI special agents — released a 72-page report on Tuesday detailing the impact of the shutdown on its members.
As the longest government shutdown in US history moves into its fifth week, FBI agents continue to work without pay due to their essential role in protecting national security.
"If the FBI and Department of Justice ... are not funded, the agents will
continue to face challenges in carrying out our mission to protect the nation," the FBIAA's report said. "One overriding fact is clear when you listen to FBI agents:
Financial security is national security."
In confidential accounts submitted for the report, several FBI agents detailed how the shutdown was undermining their ability to protect the country and hurting funding for crucial operations and crime and terrorism investigations.
Some agents expressed concern about the challenges they faced in protecting children in sexual assault and trafficking cases, while others described difficulties in getting dangerous gangs and drugs off the streets.
Those working in counterintelligence said the shutdown was affecting their ability to collect national security intelligence provided to policymakers, including the president. Others working in counterterrorism said they had lost invaluable confidential sources due to the inability to pay them during the shutdown.
Here are some of the agents' stories from the report.