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FBI-INFO

Revised 06/05/15

This webpage will be devoted to explaining FBI abbreviations, acronyms, terminology, codes and standard forms used by the FBI.   It will be periodically updated to incorporate new information.

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS = ernie1241@aol.com 

FBI ABBREVIATIONS, ACRONYMS and TERMINOLOGY

This chart contains some of the more interesting and/or more common terms seen in FBI documents.  

   

TERM

Meaning

AAG

Assistant Attorney General

ADEX

Administrative Index (began 11/71) as successor to FBI Security Index and Reserve Index.  ADEX was discontinued in January 1976.

ADIC

Assistant Director in Charge

ADMINISTRATIVE PAGE

FBI reports usually contained data which was not to be shared outside the Bureau and that data was placed upon an “Administrative Page” that was detached when reports were sent to other agencies.  Typically, an Administrative Page contained the identity of T-sources and details regarding leads which should be pursued by specific field offices.   In some cases (particularly very lengthy serials), the information which normally appeared on Administrative Pages would, instead, be placed on “Cover Pages” at the beginning of Agent reports.

AEC

Atomic Energy Commission

AFB

Air Force Base

AFSA

Armed Forces Security Agency – the predecessor to National Security Agency

AG

Attorney General

AI

Agitator Index (began 8/4/67) as successor to Rabble Rouser Index.

AIRTEL

REURAIRTEL

An Airtel was an expedited form of communication between and among FBI offices and it was meant to apply to letters that should be typed and mailed on same day and usually sent by airmail.  Airtels were often classified and/or encrypted messages.  It originally was received as a teletype sent by airmail and, therefore, could be in teletype terminology.

 

“Reurairtel” was abbreviation for “regarding your airtel” referring to a previous communication sent to some office.

AL

Alien

ALEM PROGRAM

This program was initiated in August 1965 based upon information provided to the FBI by a KGB officer (stationed at the United Nations and serving as a Soviet diplomat) who became an FBI informant.  His FBI code name was “Fedora” and he is widely believed to be Yerbas Lichi aka Victor M. Lesovski or Lessiovski. 

The ALEM program apparently was designed to identify Soviet nationals through research into “INS cards” who “have entered the United States under assumed identities as (1) alien husbands of American wives or (2) male immigrants on first preference petitions due to professional and technical skills.”  According to one 1972 FBI document, about 2250 cases were opened under this program and it was supervised in the Special Case Unit of the Espionage Section by Special Agent G.M. Quinn.  [HQ 65-69532]

AMERICAN LEGION CONTACT PROGRAM

American Legion members were used by FBI as sources of information about security-related matters in their local communities.  This program began in November 1940 and ended in August 1954.

AMSD

Air Mail, Special Delivery

ARL

Anti-Riot Law Statutes

ASA

U.S. Army Security Agency

ASAC

Assistant Special Agent in Charge of a Field Office

ASCI

Assistant Chief of Staff For Intelligence (U.S. Army or U.S. Air Force)

ASN

Army Serial Number

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

FBI employee in Charge of each Division at FBI HQ as well as the New York and Los Angeles field offices

ATTORNEY GENERAL PORTFOLIO

A secret plan which originated in 1948 which provided for the detention of U.S. citizens deemed to be threats to national security in times of national emergency.  The detention program became known as the AG Portfolio and involved suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and use of a Master Search Warrant.  Also see: Security Index Program

AUSA

Assistant United States Attorney

BAMM

Black Afro Militant Movement (Alfred Featherstone)

BANPOP PROGRAM

There is a cryptic description of this program in one heavily redacted FBI document.  Apparently, it had something to do with discovering “funding Soviet illegals” through access to bank records. The program was terminated on August 15, 1972. [HQ 65-70741]

BAPBOMB

FBI case re: 1963 bombing of Birmingham AL church that killed 4 black girls

BATF

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms

BEM

Business Executives Movement For Vietnam

BLACK BAG JOBS

FBI burglaries used to obtain subscription and membership lists, financial records, correspondence and photographs of documents on targeted individuals and organizations.  Also known as surreptitious entries.  In 1942, a special filing procedure was introduced for information obtained through break-ins.  Field offices requests for permission were captioned “Do Not File” so that such documentary evidence would not be serialized or indexed in the FBI’s Central Records System.  Instead, such files were kept in the office of the Assistant Director having supervisory responsibility and the files were to be destroyed every six months.  [HQ 66-8160]

BLIND MEMO

Memo written by FBI employees but not containing any markings that refer to the FBI as the source.

BM

BM-THREATS

Bombing Matter

BNPA

Black Nationalist Photographic Album.  This album was established in 1968 and contained photos and biographies of prominent black leaders who travelled extensively

BOCOV

Communist Coverage Along Mexican Border (initiated 1948; HQ 100-356015)

BOSS

Bureau of Special Services – New York Police Department aka Bureau of Special Services and Investigations

BPP

BPP-CF

Black Panther Party / Black Panther Party—Cleaver Faction

BRILAB

Bribery of Labor Officials – FBI undercover sting operation which began in 1979 and targeted organized crime and corrupt politicians.

BUFILE

FBI HQ main file

BUG

A listening device usually referred to as MISUR (microphone surveillance) or ELSUR (electronic surveillance)

BULET

Bureau letter

BULKY EXHIBITS

Material obtained during the course of an investigation which is too voluminous to be placed inside main file and, thus, was kept separately in a Bulky Exhibit Room and filed by case number.

BWP

Bureau War Plans

CANIL PROGRAM

There is a cryptic description of this program in one heavily redacted FBI document.  Apparently, it had something to do with “uncovering Soviet illegals”.  [HQ 65-70719]

CAP

Congress of African People’s

CAS

Chinese Activities Summary [HQ 105-229211]

CENTRAL RECORDS SYSTEM

Primary filing system used by FBI

CHANNELIZE

Copies of memos which are placed into specific pertinent files

CHICOIN

Counterintelligence Operations Against Chinese Communist Intelligence Activities in the U.S. (began 5/65 = HQ 105-135614)

CHICOM

Chinese Communists

CHIEF CLERK

FBI employee responsible for indexing documents and routing files to appropriate employee(s)

CI

Communist Index – was established in 1948 for individuals who did not meet Security Index requirements but were suspected of being Communist sympathizers.  In 1960 it was changed to Reserve Index.

CI

Criminal Informant or Confidential Informant

CIC

Counter-Intelligence Corps of U.S. Army

CINAL

Current Intelligence Analysis – CINAL information was disseminated to Executive Branch officials

CIRM

Communist Influence in Racial Matters

CNDI

Confidential National Defense Informant

COBICS

Communist Bloc Information Collation System

COI

Conflict of Interest

COINTELPRO

Counterintelligence Program.   The FBI’s COINTELPRO program was designed to disrupt and neutralize individuals and organizations thought to be a security problem for our country.

COINTELPRO-WHG

Counterintelligence Program: White Hate Groups (began 09/64 as effort to neutralize white extremist organizations, leaders, and their adherents. About 17 FBI field offices were involved. Program was discontinued 4/27/71.)  [HQ 157-9]

COKMA

Coverage of Known Meet Areas (i.e. Surveillance of Soviet Agents/Sources) [HQ 65-73750]

COMINFIL

Communist Infiltration Of

COMINT

Communications Intelligence (NSA reports)

COMPIC

Communist Infiltration of Motion Picture Industry (HQ 100-138754)

COMPROS

Communist Prosecutions (aka Smith Act Trials)

COMSAB

Potential Communist Saboteurs (FBI program used to identify Security Index individuals who were thought to have potential for sabotage because of their training or their connection to key strategic industries and installations.)


CONF INFT

Confidential Informant.  The FBI uses various descriptive phrases to describe or evaluate their informants.  Among the most common:

·         Has furnished reliable information in the past

·         Of unknown reliability

·         Of known unreliability

·         Of known reliability

·         Has supplied insufficient information to determine reliability

In addition, a percentage of reliability could be used to describe informant.

CONFIDENTIAL

Document containing information related to national defense – provided by sources whose identities should not be revealed

CONFIDENTIAL SOURCE

Individuals who furnish the FBI information available to them through their employment or their position in the community. The FBI Manual of Instruction, circa 1975 cites as examples of confidential sources "bankers, telephone company employees, and landlords."

Confidential Source was established as a category in March 1950.  The FBI Manual of Instructions (Section 107-T) provides instructions to field offices regarding procedures to follow.   FBI HQ authorization was required to initiate contact with a CS involved with Communist or related investigations.  In these instances, field offices were required to submit detailed background information to HQ regarding the source's date and place of birth, citizenship status. residence, employment, credit and criminal record and military service record (if any).  In addition, a brief history of source's affiliation with CPUSA or other organizations and results of interview with him/her.   Bureau clearance was not required for CS contacted in connection with criminal matters.

CONTROL FILE

A control file is usually created only for the most important FBI cases and it contains instructions sent to field offices along with results of investigations.  Statistical information is often included in a Control File.

COORNAP

Adolph Coors Kidnapping Case [HQ 7-9575]

CORRELATION SUMMARY

A correlation summary was usually limited to large case files.  The summary lists all file and serial numbers along with a brief synopsis of their content which contain important information about a particular person.

COSMIC

NATO classification for highly secret documents.  Used over and above “Top Secret”.  HQ 62-9871

COVER PAGE

Summary memoranda or reports usually begin with page(s) which have administrative data, leads which should be pursued by specified field offices, and perhaps informant evaluations but the cover pages were not sent outside the Bureau.  Usually the cover page(s) were designated with alphabetic letters, “A” “B” etc.

CRD

Civil Rights Division – U.S Department of Justice

CROSS REFERENCE

aka see refs

A cross reference is a mention of a subject in a file on another individual, organization, event, activity, etc.

C-TE

Criminal Top Echelon Informants

CUSTODIAL DETENTION

Program which was initiated as result of directive of President Roosevelt in September 1939 to list individuals whom should be considered for apprehension and detention in event of national emergency. It subsequently became known as Security Index.  (HQ 100-358086)

CP or CPUSA

Communist Party USA

CR

Civil Rights

CRA-64

Civil Rights Act of 1964

CS

Confidential Source (usually given a source number)

DA / PDA

Double Agent / Potential Double Agent

DABURN

FBI code name for file pertaining to January 11, 1966 murder of Vernon F. Dahmer Sr. of Forrest County MS by several Klan members. Thirteen men, who were connected with the Ku Klux Klan, were eventually brought to trial in the late 1960s on charges that ranged from conspiracy to intimidate, to arson and murder. At that time, however, only four of the men were convicted and one entered a guilty plea. 


In the late 1990s three men, Samuel H. Bowers Jr., Charles Noble, and Deavours Nix, were arrested again in connection with the Dahmer murder. Sam Bowers, the Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, had previously been tried four times for the crimes committed on the Dahmer family, however each trial ended in a mistrial. Although Bowers was not present at the attack on the Dahmer home in 1966, he was accused of having ordered the attack to take place. In August of 1998, Bowers was tried for the fifth time in connection with the Dahmer murder, and this time he was convicted of murder and arson and received a sentence of life in prison.  Charles Noble was tried in connection with the Dahmer murder in 1999, however his trial ended in a mistrial. Deavours Nix died before his trial took place

DCI

Director, Central Intelligence Agency

DCII

Defense Central Index of Investigations

DEAD FILE

File created by field office when no immediate investigation is warranted but they anticipate opening case file in the near future

DECLASSIFY

Procedure to remove security classification (confidential, secret, or top secret)  from documents or files

DEPAMD

Deception Program For Anti-Missile Defense [HQ 65-66140]

DESECO

Development of Selected Contacts Against Soviet-Bloc Officials (initiated 12/57, HQ 105-71688). FBI interviewed Americans who returned from Soviet Bloc countries.

DETCOM

Detention of Communists -- Program to detain known or suspected Communist Party members in time of national emergency. [HQ 100-356062]

DID

FBI Domestic Intelligence Division (formerly Security Division)

DIO

District Intelligence Office (Office of Naval Intelligence)

DIP

Defectors-In-Place

DIVISION 5

FBI Domestic Intelligence Division (formerly Security Division or National Defense Division)

DO NOT FILE

Procedure designed to keep sensitive documents out of the Bureau’s normal Central Records System

DOUBLE ZERO FILES

00 Files are FBI Control Files – which concern policy and procedure

DPOB

Date and Place of Birth

EASTCON

East Coast Conspiracy To Save Lives

EBF

Enclosure Behind File – i.e. usually copies of publications which, due to space considerations, FBI HQ did not want to incorporate into the main file but would be filed separately “behind” the main file

EDP

Emergency Detention Program (also see: DETCOM).  The EDP was based upon Title II of the Internal Security Act of 1950. [HQ 100-398030]

EGIS

East German Intelligence Service

ELSUR

Electronic Surveillance Index – was a card file of subjects mentioned in electronic surveillances

EM

Extremist Matter

ENC or ENCL

Enclosure – such as a publication which was enclosed with a letter sent to the Bureau.  As a result, the serial number might reflect this:  HQ 100-1234, #8, enclosure – which means that serial #8 has an enclosure.

EO

Presidential Executive Order

EOD

Entered on Duty (date)

EPA

Extremist Photograph Album

ESP

Espionage

ESTABLISHED SOURCE

Any source with whom the FBI developed a relationship over time and who was trusted to keep relationship confidential.  Usually a Confidential Source rather than a paid informant.

EX or EX-CS

Extremist / Extremist Confidential Source

EXP PROC

Expedite Processing

EXTREMIST ACTIVITIES

Activities whose objective is overthrowing, destroying or undermining the U.S. Government by illegal means OR denying Constitutional rights to American citizens.  The FBI used “Extremist” to describe ethnic radicals, members of white hate groups, and black or native American radicals.  The FBI unit which covered these matters was originally called Racial Intelligence Section but changed to Extremist Section in September 1967.

FAG

Fraud Against The Government

FBI

IDENTIFICATION NUMBER

Usually associated with FBI “rap sheet” which lists arrests made by law enforcement agencies and ultimate disposition of cases.

FBW

Fraud By Wire

FEDORA

FBI Code Name for KGB Official Working at United Nations Who Was FBI Informant [HQ 105-104811]

FCI

Foreign Counterintelligence

FGE

Foreign Government Employee

FGJ

Federal Grand Jury

FINAL

Foreign Intelligence Analysis

FISUR

Physical Surveillance

FLD

Foreign Liaison Desk

FNU

First Name Unknown

FPC

Fingerprint Classification

FPC

Foreign Police Cooperation Program

FUDE

Fugitive / Deserter

G-2

Army Intelligence (Office of Assistant Chief of Staff)

GHETTO INFORMANT PROGRAM

Initiated June 1967 to monitor black radicals

GID

General Investigative Division / General Intelligence Division

GRU

Soviet Military Intelligence

GUS SURVEY

Program whereby FBI field offices examined mail in certain locations in attempt to locate mail intended for Soviet illegal agents.  [HQ 65-67003]

HEARNAP

Kidnapping of Patricia Hearst [HQ 7-15200]

HILEV

High Level (term usually used in connection with intelligence information such as HILEV items or data received from some source)

HSCA

House Select Committee on Assassinations [HQ 62-117290]

HCUA or HUAC

House Committee on Un-American Activities – succeeded by House Internal Security Committee

I

On FBI Search Slips – means “identical”, i.e. the file reference is about the person or organization which has been searched.  “NI” meant “not identical”, i.e. reference is to another person of same name.

IAC

Intelligence Advisory Committee [HQ 62-90718]

ICIS

Interdepartmental Committee on Internal Security

IDENTIFICATION DIVISION

FBI HQ Division which has control of fingerprints, wanted notices, and missing persons notices

IEC

Intelligence Evaluation Committee

IIC

Interdepartmental Intelligence Conference

IICC

Interagency Intelligence Coordinating Committee

INLET

Intelligence Letter through which FBI regularly furnished the President and Attorney General “high level intelligence data in the internal security field…on a continuous basis” starting in November 1969. The type of information provided included status of internal security cases, intelligence trends, foreign intelligence, inside information regarding demonstrations or civil unrest of more than local significance and “items with an unusual twist or concerning prominent personalities which may be of special interest to the President or Attorney General.”

INTC

U.S. Army Intelligence Corps

IOB

International Operations Branch

ISA 1950

Internal Security Act of 1950

IS-C

IS-SWP

SM-C

ANP-RM

FBI memos often contain abbreviations to indicate the nature of the matter being discussed.  In the examples at left the explanations are as follows:

IS-C = Internal Security-Communist

IS-SWP = Internal Security–Socialist Workers Party

SM-C = Security Matter, Communist

ANP-RM = American Nazi Party--Racial Matter

ISD

Internal Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice

ISL

Independent Socialist League

ITSP

Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property

JUNE MAIL

Separate filing method used by FBI starting in June 1949 to keep certain info confidential and not serialized in a Special Files Room – particularly information which the FBI obtained through wiretaps, black bag jobs, or extremely sensitive sources.

KBE

Key Black Extremist

KF

Key Figures

KFL

Key Facilities List

KGB

Soviet Committee For State Security

KHRUSVIS

Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev Visit to U.S. 1960 [HQ 62-104045]

LCN

La Cosa Nostra

LEGAT

Legal Attache offices – i.e. FBI offices operating in foreign countries (Beirut, Bern, Bogota, Bonn, Caracas, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, La Paz, London, Madrid, Managua, Manila, Mexico City, Ottawa, Panama, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv, Tokyo)

LHM

Letterhead Memorandum – FBI summary intended for other agencies but which conceals confidential sources.

LIAISON PROGRAM

Every FBI Field office kept lists of people whom were to be contacted on regular schedule for “good will” purposes and to obtain information from them.  Included airlines, banks, defense contractors, hotels, trucking companies, federal agencies, police departments, news media, etc.

LIAISON SOURCE

Officer or leader of legitimate civil rights organization who provided FBI with advance information concerning activities of his organization (as of March 1970, there were 1975 liaison sources)

LMRA-1947

Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947

LNU

Last Name Unknown

MAIL COVER

Procedure by which the Post Office recorded names and addresses of sender and recipient of letters

MAIN FILE

SUB-A FILE

SUB-B FILE

 

A “main file” usually contains all the memos and investigative reports about people or organizations to which the FBI gives specific sequential serial numbers and they are indexed in the FBI’s General Index aka Central Records System. 

The “sub files” designated “A” or “B” usually contain material which is similar to EBF’s, i.e. copies of publications authored or disseminated by individuals or organizations (such as their newsletters, pamphlets, press releases, etc). plus newspaper/magazine articles about the individual or organization. Most sub-files are designated “1A” and each individual item may be given a number such as “1A-1” then “1A-2” etc.  Some of the largest files also contain sub-B files and those follow the same pattern for each new item added, i.e. 1B-1, 1B-2, etc.

Note #1:  If an FOIA requester wants everything that the FBI has about a particular subject, the request should specify “main files” and “sub-files” OR “main files” and “sub-A” and “sub-B” files.  Often, the FBI will not process sub-files unless specifically asked.

Note #2:  There is another type of “sub-file” such as when, after the FBI HQ created a main file on a particular subject, it then also created additional files on the same subject but broken down into sub-files to capture information provided by specific persons or about specific geographical locations or other categories.  For example, a HQ main file on informants might be designated as HQ 66-45, but reports that came from one specific informant might be placed in 66-45, sub-264.

Another possibility is when files were created on a specific organization or subject (such as the Communist Party or the Citizens Council Movement or United Klans of America or the FBI's COINTELPRO programs) and then sub-files were created for pertinent information about specific cities, counties, states, or neighborhoods.  

For example:  the HQ main file on the Citizens Council movement is HQ 105-34237.  The HQ file on the Citizens Councils in Atlanta was HQ 105-34237-2 and for Knoxville was HQ 105-34237-24.  

The HQ main file on COINTELPRO-White Hate Groups is 157-9 but there are HQ sub-files for specific cities such as:  HQ 157-9-4 (Birmingham AL), and 157-9-9 (Chicago IL).

MDC

May Day Collective

MEDBURG

Burglary of Media PA FBI office in 1971

MEMORANDUM

Typically, a communication from FBI to other Justice Department officials such as Attorney General or from one FBI employee to another FBI employee

MIBURN

Mississippi Burning – 1964 Murders of Civil Rights Workers (Schwerner, Goodman, Cheney)

MID

Military Intelligence Division

MIDEM

FBI coverage of 1972 Democratic Convention demonstrators (Miami FL)

MIG

Military Intelligence Group (US Army)

MIPORN

Miami FL Pornography Case – Undercover operation into porn industry and film piracy

MISUR

Microphone Surveillance (often from illegal break-in or burglary)

MOCASE

Morros Case or Moscow Case – Soviet espionage network in U.S. during 1940’s involving FBI double agent Boris Morros. [HQ 100-352385]

MURKIN

Murder of Martin Luther King Jr. [HQ 44-38861, Memphis 44-1987, Atlanta 44-2386]

MYLETS

My Letters Dated…

NA

Naturalized Citizen

NAME CHECK

Requests from other agencies for loyalty information on its current or prospective employees

NAS

Naval Air Station [usually a reference to FBI reports sent to local Office of Naval Intelligence]

NB

Native Born

NCIC

National Crime Information Center

NEWKILL

FBI case pertaining to May 1971 murder of two New York City policemen

NI

Not identical

NIS or NISO

Naval Investigative Service Office (successor to ONI)

NMI

No Middle Initial

NMN

No Middle Name

NO CONTACT LIST

Critics of FBI or of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Whom Were Not To Be Contacted

NO SEGEGRABLE INFO

When the FBI decides to apply a literal interpretation of the subject of an FOIA request, it may not release entire pages or sections of a serial by claiming there is “no segregable material” or information.  For example:  if an FOIA request is made on Joe Smith and the FBI discovers a 50-page serial that includes references to Joe Smith on 11 pages, the FBI can choose to deny the other pages or heavily redact them claiming “no segregable material”.

NOI

Nation of Islam

NPAC

National Peace Action Coalition

NPR

Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico

NSA

National Security Agency

NSD

FBI National Security Division

NSWPP

National Socialist White People’s Party (successor to American Nazi Party)

O&C

 “Official and Confidential Files” were highly sensitive files which were kept in the office of FBI Director Hoover and Assistant Director Louis B. Nichols (over 250 folders)

See: http://www.marquette.edu/library/archives/Mss/FBI/FBI-series16.shtml

OASCI

Office of Assistant Chief of Staff For Intelligence (US Army)

OFFICE CONTACTS

Usually business people or others who could be relied upon to provide information.  Each field office had a contact program whereby they would establish liaison with local groups and enterprises in their community. These were mostly goodwill efforts, but did provide venues for the Bureau to talk about issues that might affect the group or its members, and to solicit their help in the form of confidential sources or panel sources.

ONI

Office of Naval Intelligence

OO

Office of Origin – i.e. the FBI office which opened the investigation and is primarily responsible for the case.  For example, New York City is the OO for the Communist Party USA so FBI files reflect “OO:NYC”

OPERATION SHAMROCK

Program under which the NSA received copies of most international telegrams leaving the U.S. from RCA, ITT, and Western Union. At one point, it was proposed that the FBI assume responsibility for this program.

OSI

Air Force Intelligence (Office of Special Investigations)

P&C

Personal and Confidential

PANEL SOURCE

Panel sources are defined as individuals who are not involved in an investigated group but who "will attend its public gatherings on behalf of FBI for intelligence purposes or as potential witnesses." Panel sources were first developed to meet the need for witnesses in the course of Smith Act trials of Communist Party members in the 1950s. In those trials, it was necessary to prove simple facts as to the existence of the Communist Party, the dates and places of public meetings held by the Party, and similar matters. To avoid surfacing and exposing regular FBI informants within the Party to establish such facts, panel sources were developed.

PCI

Potential Criminal Informant

PCPJ

People’s Coalition For Peace and Justice

PLAIN TEXT

Information Written Without Using Code

PLANT INFORMANT

Created in September 1940 to develop FBI sources of information in defense plants.  By September 1942 there were 23,746 Plant Informants in 3879 plants.  Program ended in March 1969.

PLP

Progressive Labor Party

PPA

Proletarian Party of America

PRELIMINARY INQUIRY

Preliminary inquiries were conducted by FBI to obtain information about a person or organization by using mostly public sources (such as media coverage, library resources such as Who’s Who directories) along with FBI informants and established sources in order to determine if a formal investigation was warranted because of suspected criminal or subversive activities or any potential violations of federal laws.  A preliminary inquiry often lasted only 1-3 months.

PRETEXT CALL

A pretext is an investigative technique used to obtain background and identifying information or photographs of an individual without identifying the FBI as the interested party. An example would be an Agent who makes a phone call to verify someone’s home address, where he/she can be reached, their employment, or their current location etc.  Sometimes calls are made just to record the voice of a suspect or to obtain literature regarding a new organization.  Pretexts can also be used to gain access to a property.  The FBI published a 35-page monograph in May 1956 entitled “Pretexts and Cover Techniques” which was used for Agent training purposes.

PRO

Prominent Person

PROSAB

Protection Against Sabotage of Strategic Air Command Bases

PROSECUTIVE SUMMARY

FBI field office report which summarizes evidence and availability of witnesses in a case under investigation.

PSI or PCI

Potential Security Informant / Potential Confidential Informant (persons designated as potential informants were not yet established as reliable information sources and that process might take a year for the FBI to make a conclusion with respect to their reliability.)

RA

Registration Act aka Foreign Agents Registration Act  of 1938 (usually pertains to cases of individuals who may not have completed required forms to register with U.S. Justice Dept because of their activities on behalf of a foreign government – such as seeking to influence legislation pending before Congress or providing public relations services for a foreign government.)

RA

Resident Agency (small satellite office of main FBI field office)

RABBLE ROUSER INDEX

Created in August 1967 (abolished April 1971) to identify individuals with propensity for inciting violence (later known as Agitator Index).  It was initially described as an Index designed to capture background information on individuals "who have demonstrated by their actions and speeches that they have a propensity for fomenting racial disorder."  {SAC Letter 67-47).

A subsequent SAC Letter (67-70) stated:

"A rabble rouser is defined as a person who tries to arouse people to violent action by appealing to their emotions, prejudices, etc., a demagogue. You will note that under prior criteria the Rabble Rouser Index served as an index only for individuals of national prominence with particular consideration given to those who travel extensively and was limited to those fomenting racial disorder.  It is the intent of this expanded criteria to have within each division as well as nationwide an index of agitators of all types whose activities have a bearing on the national security.  This would include, for example, black nationalists, white supremacists, Puerto Rican nationalists, anti-Vietnam demonstration leaders, and other extremists."

RACON

Racial Conditions

REBULET

Referring to previous Bureau Letter (with date)

REBUTEL

Referring to previous teletype from Bureau (with date)

REMYLET

Referring to My Letter (with date)

REPORT

Written document prepared by field office containing the results of its investigation.

REREP

Referring to Report By

RESERVE INDEX

Created in June 1960 and abolished September 1971.  One FBI memo describes Reserve Index as “comprised of individuals with subversive backgrounds not meeting the Security Index criteria but who in a time of national emergency are in a position to influence others against the national interest.  The RI is broken down into two sections, A and B, with A containing the names of those individuals who in time of national emergency are in a position to influence others against the national interest or are likely to furnish material financial aid to subversive elements due to their subversive associates and ideology."

Section A consisted of teachers, journalists, lawyers and other professionals.  Section B contained all other Reserve Index subjects.  Martin Luther King Jr. and Norman Mailer were on Reserve Index.

REURAIRTEL

Referring to Your Airtel

REUREP

Referring to Your Report

REURLET

Referring to Your Letter

REURTEL

Referring to Your Teletype or Telegram

RFMT

Radio Frequency Microphone Telephone Device

RI

Racial Informant

RM

Racial Matter

RNA

Republic of New Africa (Milton and Richard Henry)

RUC

Referred Upon Completion To Office of Origin – i.e. one field office has completed whatever it was asked to do and it is referring the matter back to the original office for any further action

RYM

Revolutionary Youth Movement

SA

FBI Special Agent

SAC

FBI Special Agent in Charge of a Field Office

SAC LETTER

Instructions to FBI field offices from HQ

SACB

Subversive Activities Control Board

SATPIA

Satellite Personnel Intelligence Assets

SBIS

Soviet Bloc Intelligence Services

SDS

Students For A Democratic Society

SEARCH SLIP

Lists file numbers and serials containing references to subject of search.  Could be limited to only “subversive” or “criminal” or “non-subversive” references.

SECTION

FBI files are organized into sections which usually contain about 200 pages of documents.

SECURITY FLASH

Procedure whereby field office asks HQ Identification Division if fingerprints of a Security Index subject have been received.

SECURITY INDEX

SECURITY INFORMANT

INDEX: List of persons who were subject to apprehension and detention during time of national emergency.  Previously called Custodial Detention List. At highest point, there were 26,000 names on the Security Index.

SECURITY INFORMANT:  See section 107G of FBI Manual of Instructions regarding procedures used by field offices with respect to handling their Security Informants.  HQ required field office Agents to contact their Security Informants every 2 weeks to obtain whatever information they had. Agents were required to prepare memo for their SAC to set forth "any personal weaknesses, domestic difficulties, indications of untrustworthiness or unreliability or other similar problems presented by the informant and the steps being taken by the Agent to prevent any such situations later becoming a source of embarrassment to the Bureau." [SAC Letter 55-13]

In 1960, the FBI had 433 live Security Informants inside the Communist Party.

For additional information see:

https://sites.google.com/site/ernie124102/cpusa/informants

SEE REF

Refers to index references to a subject which appear in files other than those created on that specific individual or organization.  Also known as xrefs or cross-references.  Typically, the FBI will not process “see refs” or cross-references when FOIA requests are made.  Instead, they only process “main files”.

SERIAL

Specific FBI document within a file.  Usually, serials are in chronological order.  Most serials are assigned specific numbers but there are also “unrecorded serials” which are not assigned a serial number but they usually appear in date sequence within a file.

SERIALIZE

To assign a specific serial number to a document in a file.

SGE

Security of Government Employees

SI

Security Informant

SI

Security Index Program [Began 06/40 as program to develop lists of individuals considered for detention in the event of a threat to the national security.  Individuals were added to SI based upon their membership and activity and/or association with subversive organizations considered dangerous or potentially dangerous to the internal security of the nation.  The Program required collection of sufficient information to justify apprehension and detention to minimize potential for espionage, sabotage, or subversion.  In its later years, the Index was broken down into three Priority groupings in accordance with the relative degree of dangerousness.  Priority I and II consisted of individuals in actual or potential leadership; Priority III was comprised of rank-and-file subjects. ]

SIO

Special Investigations Office

SIS

Special Intelligence Service (created during World War II for intelligence gathering primarily in Western Hemisphere countries.  Abolished in 1946.)

SM

Security Matter

SMC

Student Mobilization Committee To End The War In Vietnam

SODAC

Soviet Diplomatic Activities [HQ 65-30092]

SOG

Seat Of Government aka FBI HQ

SOI

Sources of Information

SOLO

Counterintelligence operation which developed high quality information about CPUSA, the Soviet Union and its satellites, and the world Communist movement largely based upon reports made by two high-level moles inside the CPUSA – Morris and Jack Childs – whose symbol numbers were CG-5184-S* and NY-694-S* respectively.

SOURCE

Source provides raw information on ad hoc basis but had no ongoing relationship with the FBI. Typically, a source could be a landlord or neighbor or employee of financial institution, employers, airline and hotel employees etc who provide information without a subpoena.  Also could be non-human (technical device).

SOVME

Soviet Messages Furnished To FBI By Bureau Sources [HQ 65-58068]

SPECTAR

Special Targets For Informant Development

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS LIST

Persons considered friendly toward Bureau interests who received Bureau publications and expedited replies to their inquiries.  Included politicians, news media employees, prominent business people, retired Special Agents, etc.

SPECIAL INQUIRY SECTION

FBI HQ unit that processed “name checks” for the White House

SPIA

Soviet Personnel Intelligence Assets

STOP NOTICE

FBI notice to an agency (such as Police Department or Immigration Service) to alert FBI if they had contact with specified individual.

SUB-FILE

A sub-section of a main file. 

SULET

Submit Letter

SUREP

Submit Report

SYMBOL NUMBER

Code used to disguise identity of FBI informants who provided “valuable and sensitive information on a regular basis.”  FBI Agents used symbol numbers in their investigative reports and memos without identifying the informant’s name.    Most symbol numbers consisted of three parts:

(1) the 2-or-3 character prefix which identified the FBI field office to which the informant reported such as CG for Chicago or DL for Dallas or TP for Tampa or WFO for Washington field office.

(2) the specific number assigned to an informant and

(3) the suffix which identified the type of informant – such as “C” for criminal and “S” for security and “R” for racial informant.

In addition, an asterisk added to a symbol number indicated that the informant should never be identified and was not available for court testimony.  One of the most important FBI informants was Morris Childs and his symbol number was CG-5824-S* which indicates that he was a Chicago security informant who should never be identified nor testify in court proceedings.

T-NUMBER

Temporary symbol number assigned to confidential information source mentioned in FBI report – such as T-1 or T-2.  A temporary symbol number applies only to the document in which it appears which means that the same confidential source could be assigned T-1 in one document and then be identified as T-7 in another document.  The specific identity of each T-source usually was provided on an Administrative Page attached to every FBI report.

Note:  A “T-number” can be assigned to a technique such as mail cover, trash cover, wiretap, or physical surveillance or even a burglary.  Illegal techniques were sometimes identified as “anonymous source” and then assigned a T-number.

In March 1955, FBI Director Hoover sent a memo to the Attorney General which made the following observations:

"In many instances, a source concealed by a temporary informant symbol is not a live informant, but, instead, is a technical surveillance, a microphone surveillance, a trash cover, mail cover, or other investigative technique...In an estimated 55% of the Security of Government Employee cases, the reports contain inanimate sources of this type whose identities are concealed by temporary informant symbols.  Other temporary informant symbols would pertain to such sources as live informants and neighbors or professional men who specifically requested their identities not be disclosed." [HQ 66-2542-3, serial #928, page 2; 3/1/55 Hoover memo to AG]

TELETYPE

Message transmitted by machine

TEPCI

Top Echelon Potential Criminal Informant

TESUR

Technical Surveillance (i.e. telephone wiretaps and microphone surveillance)

TF

Top Functionary

TGP

Theft of Government Property

THUMBNAIL SKETCH PROGRAM

Program initiated on 10/27/53 to insure that FBI field offices used current and uniform characterizations of subversive organizations in their reports.  About 425 organizations were summarized in Thumbnail Sketches.

TOPHAT

FBI code name for Lt. Gen. Dmitri Fedorovich Polyakov – a Soviet military intelligence official who was a double agent for the FBI for two decades. [HQ 105-18153]

TOPLEV

Top Level Intelligence (referring to key figures in criminal or subversive organizations)

TRASH COVER

FBI search for information by going through garbage

TROPUS

Travel of the President of the U.S.

TRUE COPY

FBI-typed copy of incoming handwritten letter

UACB

Unless Advised To The Contrary By Bureau

UCR

Uniform Crime Reports

UFAP

Unlawful Flight To Avoid Prosecution

UKA

United Klans of America, Inc. (led by Robert M. Shelton)

UN

Unknown

UNE

United Nations Employee

UNIRAC

Union Racketeering

UNRECORDED

A document in FBI file which was not given a serial number

UNSUB or UNSUBS

Unknown subject or subjects – i.e. the specific person(s) responsible for some criminal activity are not currently known

UPRF

Unlawful Possession or Receipt of Firearms

USA

United States Attorney

USCIB

United States Communication Intelligence Board (pertains to decoding diplomatic intercepts)

USEB

United States Evaluation Board

UTL

Unable To Locate

VAUGHN INDEX

Court Ordered Listing Which Itemizes Every Document Withheld From FOIA Requester and Includes Justification For Each Claimed Exemption

VB

Venceremos Brigade

VEGMDN

FBI Case Re: Las Vegas Money Skimming

VIDEM

Vietnam Demonstrations

VRA-65

Voting Rights Act of 1965

VVAW

Vietnam Veterans Against The War

WAS

With Aliases – i.e. person is known to use different names

WFO

Washington field office of FBI

WKKKKOM

White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi (Samuel H. Bowers = Imperial Wizard)

WRL

War Resisters League

WSA

Worker Student Alliance

YIP

Youth International Party

YSA

Young Socialist Alliance


Section V = FBI STANDARD FORMS

I don’t think anyone has ever compiled a comprehensive list of all standard forms used by the FBI – but I summarize below some of the ones I have come across:

FORM #

Subject Matter or Use

CC-320

Vocation Record [used to identify “specialized Bureau training and experience” including the specific training “schools” which Agents attended and specialized skills they had.]

DO-5

Director Office Record of Telephone Call or Visitor

DO-7

FBI Director Office Route Slip

FD-4

Field Office Internal Route Slip

FD-5

Serial Chargeout (document removed from one file and placed into another file)

FD-9

Request for FBI Identification Division to Furnish Criminal Record to Field Office

FD-36

Transmittal Instructions From Field Office [Instructions For Communications by Teletype or Airtel] in Plain Text or Code

FD-65

Fugitive Information

FD-71

Complaint Form (Public Contacts With FBI Field Offices – by phone, mail, or in-person)

FD-72

Report Form (For Field Office Report to HQ on Individual or Organization)

FD-73

Automobile Record Form

FD-115

Request to Post Office to Commence Mail Cover

FD-122

Field Office Recommendation For New Security Index or Reserve Index Card And Changes To Existing Cards

[SI Card identified person’s name, race, sex, date and place of birth, their residence and business addresses, whether native-born, naturalized, or alien and if they worked at a “Key Facility” that location was entered.  The security categories were: Communist, Socialist Workers Party, Independent Socialist League or Other (to be specified).  A “Tab For Detcom” option was included for apprehension and detention in time of national emergency.]

FD-128

Field Office Correction to Security Index Card

FD-142

Recommendation For Installation of Technical or Microphone Surveillance

FD-143

Justification For Continuation of Technical or Microphone Surveillance

FD-153

Interview Log

FD-154

Verification of Information on Security Index Card

FD-159

Record of Information Furnished Other Agencies

FD-160

Indices Search Slip – This form was sent to the Chief Clerk to request search of FBI indexes for criminal and/or subversive references on individuals or organizations or publications. A requester could ask to see a list of “all references” in FBI files or the search parameters could be limited to only “subversive references” or “criminal references” or specific case files (criminal or subversive).  The requester could also limit the search to specific years.

FD-165

Request That Security Flash Be Placed in Files Of Identification Division

FD-169

FBI File Information Furnished Orally to Another Agency

FD-186

Special Agent Personal Observation of Security Index Subject

FD-192

Inventory of Property Acquired As Evidence

FD-204

Cover Sheet to LHM [Usually contains “Synopsis” of information in the memo along with distribution of copies to other agencies (such as to Army Intelligence (G-2 or INTC=U.S. Army Intelligence Corps), Naval Intelligence (ONI, NISO, or NCIS), Air Force Intelligence (OSI),  U.S. Secret Service, INS, BATF, or other agencies.  The cover sheet normally reflects both the HQ and field office file numbers and name of Agent who prepared the report and the type of case being discussed.]

FD-205

Field Office Status Report [Form used by field office to tell HQ that deadline for submitting a report or for completing a case cannot be met and why.]

FD-209

Contacts With Security, Criminal, Racial Informants [Used to record contacts with informants and identify applicable file numbers and title/subject of case which information provided refers to]

FD-214

Suggested Bureau Indexing

FD-216

Summary of Information Received From Source

FD-221

Receipt for Money Received By Special Agent from SAC to Pay Source or Informant.  [Agent submits request to his SAC on FD-235]

FD-221A

Field Office SAC Request for Authorization To Pay Expenses Related To Informant

FD-221B

Receipt For Monies Paid For Services

FD-227

Field Office Request o HQ for Authorization of Mail Cover

FD-230

Certificate [Affirms individual not member of or affiliated with or associated with any organization on Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations]

FD-238

Security Informant Review Sheet [Checklist of items to be discussed with informant including background information required such as credit history, local criminal record, selective service status, armed services record, reliability, reputation. Informant also to be advised that he/she was not Bureau employee and their activities were voluntary, and informant should not retain copies of notes or reports and any payments made must be reported to IRS.]

FD-245

FBI File Cover Form [Form attached to front of each file section which lists the file number, the section number, and the serial numbers contained in that section.  Sometimes, it also lists other files which are pertinent to the case such as related files on individuals or the equivalent HQ file numbers.]

FD-245a

FBI File Cover Form For “Field Office Informant and Asset Files”

FD-249

Arrest Fingerprint Card

FD-256

Number 3 Card [Apparently intended for Agent use to list their anticipated activities for each day.]

FD-258

Applicant Fingerprint Card

FD-263

Cover Page of FBI Report [Usually contains “Synopsis” of information in the report along with distribution of copies (such as to other FBI offices, and/or to Army Intelligence (G-2 or INTC=U.S. Army Intelligence Corps), Naval Intelligence (ONI or NCIS), Air Force Intelligence (OSI),  U.S. Secret Service, INS, BATF, or other agencies.]

FD-266

Field Office Request for Information on Person From Another Field Office

FD-272

Cover Page for Report Being Sent Outside FBI [Form shows title of case, character of case, Agent who wrote the report, the investigative time period, the office of origin, and distribution of report and the identity of informants used for information contained in the report.  This cover page would be attached to FD-204 and probably was detached before mailing.]

FD-302

Interview Report in Security Type Investigations (Reports by Special Agents)

FD-305

Summary of Background Information and Subversive Activity on Person

FD-306

Cover Sheet For Informant Report or Material

FD-315

FBI Request to Immigration and Naturalization Service

FD-338

Authorization For Destruction of Individual Serials

FD-340A

Envelope [Envelope placed in front or back of files for storing evidence that may be needed in court proceedings such as photographs, surveillance logs, signed statements, etc.]

FD-341

Radio Equipment Maintenance Log

FD-348

Source Information Card

FD-350

Form for Mounting Newspaper Clippings

FD-353

Fingerprint Card

FD-365

Transmittal Form From SAC of Field Office to HQ

FD-366

Change of Address on Subject of Investigation


FD-376

Information Sent to Secret Service {Can be on potentially dangerous person “because of background, emotional instability, or activity in groups engaged in activities inimical to U.S.” or because of “threats or actions against persons protected by Secret Service” or person who made “threatening or abusive statement about U.S. or foreign official” or person who has participated “in civil disturbances, anti U.S. demonstrations or hostile incidents against foreign diplomatic establishments” or person who has “expressed strong anti-U.S. sentiments“ or “antipathy toward good order and government” or person engaged in “illegal bombing, bomb-making, or other terrorist activity”]

FD-397

Adding/Removing Subject to Rabble Rouser or Agitator Index

FD-401

Informant Progress/Justification Letter

FD-405

Status Report, Racial Informants, Extremist Groups (White-Black)—Racial Matters

FD-411

Selective Service – Case Closed Form

FD-503

Inventory Worksheet – For Court Ordered List of Documents

FD-553

US Army to FBI re: AWOL’s

FD-610

Route Slip From SAC of Field Office to Civil Rights Unit of Criminal Investigative Division

ND-5

National Defense Division Route Slip (1940)

ND-32

Security Division Route Slip (1942)

10 or 64

U.S. Government Memo

O-1

HQ Request That Field Office Submit Report or Explain Why Not Submitted; Status Report

O-7

Routing Slip To Field or Legat Offices

O-9

HQ Criticism of Field Office Handling of Case

O-17

HQ To Field Office re: Communication Containing an Error

O-25

Route Slip

O-73

Message Relay Form from Director to SAC’s and to Outside Agencies

2-11

In-Service Course [Form used to specify what type of courses an Agent was scheduled to attend – such as Security, Criminal or General]

3-43

Administrative Division Route Slip – Personnel Section

3-46

Administrative Division Route Slip -- Internal

4-11

Records and Communication Division Route Slip

4-22

4-22A

FBI Records Section – Search Form [Identifies files/serials identified as potentially responsive to search instructions and the type of search requested -- such as “all references” or just “subversive” or “criminal” or “non-subversive” or “main file” references.  Search instructions can be restricted to specific locality or to an exact name – or instructions can be more expansive such as requesting search for all name variations.]

4-76

Crime Records Section Route Slip

4-257

Authorization For Sending File to “Special Files Room” aka JUNE Mail

4-312

Incoming JUNE Mail and Date When Sent to Special Files Room in Records Branch

4-413

Serial Chargeout

4-528

Serial “Changed To”  form – for serial moved to another file

4-750

FOIPA Deleted Page Information Sheet

5-1

Central Research Section – Subscription Status [Used to communicate with field office regarding what publications and/or subscriptions HQ wanted field offices to obtain.  HQ memos usually were captioned “Publications—Handling of By Research-Satellite Section
 (or Central Research Section) and data was provided re: routing and distribution.

5-6

Domestic Intelligence Division – Internal Security Section – Route Slip

5-7

Domestic Intelligence Division Route Slip = Internal

5-9

Domestic Intelligence Division Route Slip – External

5-10

Domestic Intelligence Division - Research—Satellite Section - Route Slip

5-78

Domestic Intelligence Division – Subversive Control Section – Route Slip (later known as Extremist Intelligence Section)

5-103

Central Research Section Book Review Request Form

5-113

Domestic Intelligence Division – “Informative Note”

6-48

Fraud, Selective Service and Civil Section Route Slip

7-1B

Report of FBI Laboratory

8-3

Crime Records Division Route Slip

8-115

Correspondence and Tours Section Route Slip

17-1

FOIPA Form – Prior To National Security Classification Review

 

Section VI = FBI OFFICE CODES

FBI OFFICE CODES:

 Most FBI field offices were identified by their two-character abbreviations. [One exception is Washington field which was WFO.] A complete list appears here:

http://www.historyofphonephreaking.org/writings/htraff/fbi-office-abbreviations.php

Foreign offices (Legal Attaches) were identified by three-character abbreviations – such as MEX for Mexico City, Mexico or OTT for Ottawa, Canada.

 FBI CODED MESSAGES TO OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

CODE

Agency / Recipient

RUEBWJA

ATTORNEY GENERAL / DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL / ASST ATTORNEY GENERAL – CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION

ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL – CRIMINAL DIVISION OR INTERNAL SECURITY SECTION

U.S. MARSHAL’S SERVICE / INS

RUEBJGA

COMMANDANT, U.S. COAST GUARD

RUEBDUA

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

RUEASCI

DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

RUEBJGA

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

RUEAIIA

DIRECTOR, CIA

RUEKJCS

DIRECTOR, DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

RUEABND

DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION

RHEGGTN

ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

RUEOGBA

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

RUEANAT

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

RUEOIAA

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY

RUEOLKN

NAVAL INVESTIGATIVE SERVICE

RUEADWW

THE PRESIDENT / VICE PRESIDENT / WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM

RUEAUSA

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE (IF CLASSIFIED)

RUEVDFS

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE (IF UNCLASSIFIED)

RUEHSE

U.S. SECRET SERVICE

RUEHOC

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE

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