Senate Judiciary Committee Leadership Requests Inspector General Investigation of FBI Misconduct
Bi-Partisan Request Questions FBI Management of its Counterterrorism Program
Washington, D.C., February 16, 2006. The Chairman, Ranking Member and
senior Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee requested
the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (“IG”) to open a
formal investigation into FBI retaliation against agents who have
raised concerns about “deficiencies in the war on terror.” The
Committee members raised specific concerns over the treatment of Mr.
Bassem Youssef, a senior manager within the FBI’s Counterterrorism
Division. Mr. Youssef, who is the highest ranking Arab-American FBI
agent, made disclosures to FBI Director Mueller regarding “abuse(s) of
authority” and “substantial and specific danger(s) to the public”
caused by the FBI’s “mismanagement” of its counterterrorism program.
The letter was signed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen
Specter, the Ranking Member of the Committee, Patrick Leahy, and a
senior member of the Committee, Charles Grassley.
Mr. Stephen M. Kohn, an attorney for Mr. Youssef and the Chairman of
the Board of Directors of the National Whistleblowers Center, issued
the following statement regarding the Judiciary Committee letter:
Based on his extensive experience successfully battling Middle
Eastern-based terrorist organizations, Mr. Youssef developed
significant concerns that the FBI’s current management policies did not
adequately protect the American people from another terrorist attack.
Mr. Youssef raised these concerns with the Director of the FBI. After
raising these concerns, the FBI retaliated against Mr. Youssef and
stopped his transfer into the FBI’s elite anti-terrorism unit. Out of
spite, and contrary to the public safety Mr. Youssef was forced to work
at a job in which his extensive knowledge of the Middle East
counterterrorism operations and his fluency in Arabic were not
By retaliating against Mr. Youssef, the FBI “cut off its nose to spite its face.”