Besides its function as a central agency, the Bundeskriminalamt also has to carry out law enforcement tasks in certain cases of international and serious crime. In this respect, it will conduct investigations either on the basis of its own (original) jurisdiction or if it tasked to do so.
The BKA has original jurisdiction to conduct investigations in cases of
- internationally organised trafficking in weapons, ammunition, explosives or drugs
- internationally organised production, or passing of, counterfeit currency
- internationally organised money laundering and, since the year 2002, in cases of
- internationally organised terrorism as well as
- particularly serious cases of computer sabotage.
If a German citizen is kidnapped or taken hostage in a foreign country, the BKA will also deal with the case provided that a competent state police agency has not yet been determined in Germany.
In addition, the Bundeskriminalamt will also conduct investigations if it has been assigned the case by the Federal Prosecutor General or by any other public prosecutor because of the importance of the matter.
When there are incidents of politically motivated crime, cases of spying against Germany, major cases of extortion, or wide-ranging economic offences that cause major damage to the economy, the following reports are often published: "The case is being handled by the Bundeskriminalamt", "The BKA has taken charge of the searches" or "The BKA has been tasked with the investigation".
When investigation of terrorist attacks of the “Red Army Faction” or of persons involved in the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 in New York and Washington are concerned: it is obviously the Bundeskriminalamt that takes charge of the law enforcement activities in Germany – with terrorist crimes, usually at the direction of the Federal Prosecutor General.