Is INTERPOL Part of the FBI?

The FBI is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an American law enforcement agency. Interpol is an international organization that facilitates the exchange of information between national police agencies.

The main difference between the two is that the FBI is a domestic law enforcement agency and INTERPOL is international. The FBI operates within U.S. borders, while Interpol’s headquarters are in Lyon, France.

The FBI and INTERPOL are both police agencies that help to solve crimes. However, they are very different in their structure, how they work, and what kind of cases they pursue.

INTERPOL is an international organization whose purpose is to facilitate the exchange of law enforcement information between countries around the world. It has no powers of arrest or prosecution, so it works in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies (like the FBI) and agents (like the INTERPOL lawyers London)  to identify criminals and bring them to justice.

The FBI’s main responsibility is investigating federal crimes, like terrorism or drug trafficking, as well as national security issues like espionage or cybercrime. The FBI also works closely with local police departments to track down criminals who commit crimes within their jurisdictions.

The two bodies are related but distinct entities, each of which has its mission and obligations. INTERPOL’s primary role is to facilitate international police cooperation. It does this by collecting and disseminating information about wanted criminals and missing persons, facilitating the exchange of information between member countries, and providing training for law enforcement officials.

The organization also provides technical assistance and support in the development of police forces, including forensics services and training. In addition, INTERPOL can issue red notices—international arrest warrants—on behalf of member countries that request them, as well as process the removal of INTERPOL red notices.

Under What Circumstances Can the INTERPOL Work Together with the FBI?

INTERPOL and the FBI can work together in the following circumstances:

  1. When one of these organizations gets a request to help another country with an investigation, they can do so by sharing information. This can include anything from documents to witness statements, as well as any information related to the crime itself.
  2. Both organizations can share information about a specific case if one of them has already been working on it for some time and wishes for assistance from the other agency. This could include anything from witness statements to DNA samples or fingerprints, depending on what is needed at that time.
  3. INTERPOL has access to its database where all member countries can submit their information regarding criminal cases like these, which makes it easier for them to find out whether there are any similar ones in other countries that may be related somehow.”
  4. If there is a person who has committed a crime in another country and then fled to the U.S., where they may be hiding out.
  5. If there is an American citizen who has committed a crime in another country, and that country wants to extradite them to their own country for trial or punishment.


The fact-checking community should be careful when discussing issues related to international police cooperation, and make clear that INTERPOL is not part of the FBI when appropriate.

Kendall Coffey
Senior Partner
Mr. Coffey is a former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Florida (1993-1996); and served as Chair of, the Southern District Conference, Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission (April 2009 – January 2017).
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