Episode 103: Bob Clifford – MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha

Retired agent Bob Clifford served with the FBI for 24 years. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, he reviews the organization and operation of the transnational gang MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha, the most dangerous gang in America. In November 2004, Bob Clifford was asked by then FBI Director Robert Mueller to accept a special assignment to FBIHQ to establish the FBI’s MS-13 National Gang Task Force, and served as its first Director. For the next 18 months, Bob led multi-agency and multi-national efforts to combat the infamous MS-13 and other violent transnational street gangs, to include several deployments throughout Central America to successfully garner international cooperation and intelligence-sharing. In addition to coordinating multiple law enforcement field operations, Bob was required to appear before White House, Congressional, and Cabinet-level officials on a regular basis. The task force is now known as the Transnational Anti-Gang (TAG) Task Force initiative. Bob Clifford was previously interviewed on Episodes 96 and 97 of FBI Retired Case File Review about his investigation and capture of the only surviving hijacker responsible for the hijacking of Egypt Air Flight 648.

Special Agent (Retired)
Robert Clifford
1/9/1989 – 6/30/2012









The following are FBI, magazine, and newspaper articles about the violent gang and the FBI’s MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha National Gang Task Force, now known as the Transnational Anti-Gang (TAG) Task Force initiative:

FBI Website – What We Investigate- Gangs

Business Insider – 9/26/2015:  Photos of the men of El Salvador’s Penas Ciudad Barrios — a prison so dangerous even the guards stay outside

Voice of America – 10/27/2009:  Latino Street Gangs a Major Law Issue in US

The Christian Science Monitor – 2/24/2005:  FBI confronts new gang threat


Washington Times – 5/4/2005:  Gang follows illegal aliens

MS-13 is the most dangerous gang in America. Many gang members got their start in violent prisons in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Bob Clifford was the first director of the MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha National Gang Task Force. Read more at FBI.gov.














Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. LuisaMay 10, 2018

    Jerri, you did an amazing job in this interview. I truly enjoyed learning about this problem.
    I became one of your avid listeners after I heard this Podcast. Looking forward to reading your books! Thanks!!!

  2. TracyFebruary 16, 2018

    Wow, you’re right about that picture. It’s shocking.

    1. Jerri WilliamsFebruary 16, 2018

      I’m told the guards don’t go inside. After living like caged animals, once they’ve served their time those prisoners will be released back into society.

  3. carcan pascalFebruary 15, 2018

    You must be proud to know all its major agents, you really lucky.

    1. Jerri WilliamsFebruary 16, 2018

      Yes, I am very fortunate to be a member of the FBI family. I’m thrilled to have the honor of presenting these case reviews to you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
Malcare WordPress Security