RealNews

Agent Who Saw 9/11 Lapses Still Faults F.B.I. on Terror

The veteran F.B.I. agent who exposed the bureau’s failure to heed evidence of terrorist plots before the Sept. 11 attacks is now warning her superiors that the bureau is not prepared to deal with new terrorist strikes that she and many colleagues fear would result from an American war with Iraq. The agent, Coleen Rowley of the bureau’s Minneapolis field office, is not a counterterrorism specialist and does not have access to detailed intelligence about Al Qaeda and its planning. But she is a 22-year F.B.I. veteran who is intimately acquainted with the bureau’s inner workings and with the thinking of fellow agents, including agents who specialize in counterterrorism. In a letter last week to the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, Ms. Rowley said that he had a responsibility to warn the White House that the bureau would not be able to “stem the flood of terrorism that will likely head our way in the wake of an attack on Iraq.” Ms. Rowley created an uproar last year when she revealed how in the weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks bureau supervisors in Washington had blocked Minneapolis agents who wanted authority for a broader investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui, who has since been indicted as a conspirator in the attacks. Full Story

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