FBI is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. FBI’s training programs include tactical training, leadership development, driving skills, and basic field training courses.
All special agents begin their career at the FBI Academy for 20 weeks of intensive training at one of the world’s finest law enforcement training facilities.
Welcome again to another fresh new episode of Morrongo TV
For today’s episode, we will have special access inside the training grounds of one of the most prestigious anti-criminality and anti-terrorism agencies in the world — The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or more commonly known as the FBI.
It’s not every day that we will be given a chance to see the strategies and skills they are using to pindown high-profile criminals and terrorists, so brace yourself wherever you are sitting right now and learn from the ways of the highly skilled and highly tough FBI agents.
Are you ready?
But before we walk you through these amazing strategies and skills, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and hit the notification button to see our latest offerings.
So, if you’re ready to learn key skills and strategies from the FBI agents themselves, then why in the world are we still here folks? Let us bang open the door and let us raid their training grounds!
At Number 7, Recognizing a Criminal’s Mind Through Their Gestures
A picture may paint a thousand words, but a gesture paints millions — and in high definition!
According to former FBI agent and body language expert Joe Navarro, criminals, especially the mob leaders, may appear tough and invincible outside (which are images they want to portray), but they are also humans like us, getting stressed and worried, and most of all, also feel fear.
Though he admits that there are no universal gestures that pinpoint specific thoughts or things, as any body language expert like him would say, gestures can help FBI agents bypass the outward layers of deceits that criminals try so hard to portray.
It allows FBI agents to have a decent picture of what’s inside a criminal’s mind to determine if they are lying or not. These gestures work like crumbs that would eventually lead FBI investigators to the answers they are looking for.
There are certain gestures that criminals usually can’t control like the furrowing of their brows that indicates worry, self-hug that indicates a desire to soothe oneself, the need to ventilate oneself which indicates stress, the pinching of the nose which means that a suspect is in a state of discomfort and the compressed lips which indicate stress.
These are the things that cannot be easily controlled at will. Criminals may have painstakingly planned their crimes or may have prepared succeeding plans to control certain situations, but their body’s natural gestures, which is a manifestation of what’s on their minds, are something that mortals like them cannot totally control.
For another nifty technique, let’s move on with our number 6: Bagful of Information.
One thing that FBI interrogators never forget to bring before they face any criminal suspects is a bagful of information about the suspect.
They make it sure that it is not only the real name, address and age of the suspect that they’ve got with them, but information that goes down below the surface like past criminal records, past whereabouts, interactions, purchased items, past disorders, and as much information as they can milk from the suspect — even before facing them. Again, we repeat, even before facing them.
It’s a painstaking process, but interrogators know that knowledge is a powerful and intangible weapon they can use on a suspect to intimidate him into telling the truth as soon as possible.
Based on their experiences, FBI interrogators have discovered a pattern of behaviors among suspects from the past criminal cases they’ve dealt with: the less the interrogators know about the suspects when they face them, the more the suspects are emboldened to create layers of lies which stretches the length of the case and delays the serving of justice.
But the opposite happens when an interrogator exhausts all the information he can get from the suspect and studies it thoroughly — even before facing the suspect.
This specific technique brings a chill to a suspect, which gives him the message that he cannot afford to lie because of the interrogator’s depth of knowledge about him.
Knowing that he would be implicated even more if he attempted to lie, he is now forced to tell the truth.
This technique is one of the most valuable techniques used by the FBI because it has the capability to hit 3 birds with one stone: It forces the suspect to tell the truth, it can help shorten the length of the investigation, which would lead to an earlier justice.
One important takeaway from this technique is that it pays to do your homework– most especially in a criminal investigation.
Number 5 Tactical Empathy
This technique is used to cater to a specific thing that we humans have in common: Emotions, and for FBI agents, it’s almost irrelevant if they are dealing with different kinds of suspects, because they are all humans, which makes them all the same.
That is why tactical empathy can be used in various types of suspects.
This technique is used to get the suspect’s trust by focusing on his specific concerns and needs, and to effectively do this, an interrogator must have a depth of knowledge about the suspect that goes beyond his mere name, address, and age.
This technique goes hand in hand with the technique we’ve discussed on our top 6
It’s a crucial technique that must be used with tactical empathy, but with this one, instead of using their bagful of information to intimidate the suspect, it is now used to earn his trust by searching and focusing on his authentic concerns.
FBI interrogators are not tempted to force their own needs during the interrogation process because they know that it would do more harm than good in solving their case.
Instead, they are strategically bringing the concerns of suspects to the table and empathize in these things, and interrogators are even willing to allot a long time to discuss what they can do with these concerns.
The goal here is to bring down a suspect’s high and thick invisible wall and to calm their defensive state, and interrogators can only do it by gaining the suspect’s trust.
FBI agents know that gaining a suspect’s trust is one of the best techniques they can use to let the truth flow out of the suspect’s mouth which could fill the missing pieces in an investigation
For Our Number 4: FBI’s Ways To Detect Lying and Deception
FBI agents are no seers, but their intense training has taught them how to determine if a certain suspect is preparing or already spilling false information.
Since interrogators are aware that if suspects know they are guilty of a crime, they will do everything to save themselves and spill as many lies as possible.
According to Jim Clemente, former FBI Supervisory and Special Agent and Profiler, they have key indicators that alert them when suspects are starting or are already lying.
One of the FBI’s first indicators is the suspects’ ‘Flight or Fight’ response. It is our body’s tendency to exert extra energy and movements when we are under stress.
It is our primitive brain’s way to protect us from danger; that’s why it gives our body extra energy to escape (flight) or wrestle with the present danger (fight).
This extra energy manifests as extra movements from the suspects under stress, which are clear giveaways about the fear they are feeling inside.
It’s really hard (or rather useless) to prevent these extra movements, like fidgeting hands from manifesting or pretend that it’s not manifesting, because it will not pass unnoticed from the FBI agents’ well-trained eyes.
Time for our Number 3 Cognitive Complexity
With FBI agents decades of experience investigating and interrogating suspects, whether high profile or low profile, they have seen a pattern on how they make their lies: They keep it very simple.
Their lies may be different, but they are typically caged into two senses: On what they see and what they hear.
For FBI agents, it doesn’t matter how their lies seem to be realistic, because they are trained to topple these lies by asking complex questions in which a lier would find hard to answer.
Their questions are complex in a sense that it goes beyond the sense of seeing and hearing; interrogators also ask specific things about smell, taste, and feeling, questions that would be easy to answer for someone who is telling the truth — and pretty hard for someone who is just making up stories.
With this, it’s better not to mess up with these guys because they are highly-trained fairy tale busters!
For our Number 2: ‘Back Stories’
FBI agents chose not to be hostile when suspects are laying out their stories, because they know that however well-planned those stories are, if they are lying, those would easily crumble with a simple, yet very effective technique
It goes hand in hand with cognitive complexity, (the one we’ve discussed on our Top 4) ,but in this specific technique, FBI interrogators ask suspects to tell their stories backward after they have laid it down in detail. If the suspects are lying on their story, they would certainly fail in this simple test.
But interrogators are aware that there are skilled suspects who can do this with ease, and when they encounter such suspects, interrogators will apply a slightly different technique, which would make it really hard for suspects to outwit: the shuffling of scenarios.
Let’s say that a suspect’s story is divided into five scenarios, which we can simplify by making them as ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘D,’ and ‘F.’
What interrogators would do is to shuffle these scenarios repeatedly to determine if a suspect is lying or not.
For example, the interrogators might ask:
What did you do before ‘D’? What are the next three things you did after ‘B’?
What are the last two things you did before ‘F’?
This kind of technique would send a real panic on a lying suspect, and he would certainly tell numerous inconsistencies in his story in no time.
And at last, for our Number 1!
A bit of a warning, though, because you may find this technique slightly weird: This technique is called ‘Make The Suspect Say No.’
But why would interrogators intentionally make the suspects say ‘NO’ if their main goal is to find the truth?
The answer lies beneath the psychology of these suspects.
These people — the suspects — obviously hate the feeling of being included as one of the suspects in a crime and hate it, even more, to be interrogated, which makes them powerless about the situation.
The next best thing they can do to be above or be “superior” in the situation is to conceal the truth, to withhold it as much and as long as they can.
But FBI agents are not bothered with the suspects’ great need to feel “superior” in the situation, in fact, it is a welcome response because this is where they can deploy their ‘weapon’ that takes advantage of this behavior: It’s called The ‘NO’ Weapon.
In this technique, interrogators intentionally ask questions where they expect a suspect to say ‘NO.’
But’s what the reason behind this?
This technique aims to make the suspects feel that they are above the situation and that their responses favor them. The interrogators want them to feel confident and secure to make them complacent along the way. In this way, suspects can accidentally give away the truths they are withholding during the interrogation.
But, of course, the first few responses of ‘NO’ from them would not immediately produce these results.
What this technique does is to gradually chip away the “walls” around the suspect and bring it down slowly, so it won’t make the suspects suspicious. While interrogators are doing their best to make the suspect feel secured to what he was doing, they can now maneuver without making the suspect suspicious or even more defensive.
This only proves that leaning on a suspect’s psychology is better than going against it.
These intriguing techniques have proven quite useful in pinning down criminals, terrorists and others to help prevent them from doing damage to innocent civilians.
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