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1438. Federal Explosive Statues -- Investigative Jurisdiction

Three investigative agencies have potential primary jurisdiction to investigate violations under the Federal explosives law: (1) the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); (2) the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and (3) the Postal Inspection Service. The FBI and ATF have concurrent statutory authority to investigate violations of § 844(d)-(i), pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 846, and have negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) delineating their respective roles. As a result of this MOU, ATF has primary jurisdiction to investigate regulatory violations of the explosives statute (§ 842); offenses against property used in commerce or affecting commerce (§ 844(i)); violations directed at Treasury buildings or functions; and, unless the explosives are mailed, interstate transportation of explosives with unlawful intent (§ 844(d)). The FBI has primary jurisdiction to investigate most other violations of § 844 (e.g., bomb threats under § 844(e), bombings or arsons of Federal buildings under § 844(f)), except those involving the use of explosives or the carrying of explosives in commission of a felony (§ 844(h)), which will be investigated by the agency having jurisdiction over the underlying felony. Unless otherwise directed by the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is responsible for exercising primary jurisdiction over all § 844 violations perpetrated by terrorist or revolutionary groups or individuals carrying out terrorist or revolutionary activities. The Postal Inspection Service has primary jurisdiction to investigate violations of 18 U.S.C. § 844 which are directed at United States Postal Service property or functions. See 39 U.S.C. §  404(a)(7).

[cited in JM 9-63.900]

Updated January 17, 2020