RealNews

Top FBI Counterterror Official Announces Retirement

Veteran’s Departure, After Three Months on Job, Is the Latest in a String Since Attacks of Sept. 11. The FBI’s top counterterrorism official announced his retirement yesterday after just three months on the job, marking the latest in a wave of departures from the senior ranks of the FBI since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Larry Mefford, a 24-year FBI veteran who became executive assistant director for counterterrorism and counterintelligence in July, will leave at the end of the month to take a top security job for a large casino firm in Las Vegas, FBI officials said. Mefford is the third person in the past 18 months to hold that position, which FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III created to oversee terrorism and intelligence investigations. All the senior posts at the FBI have turned over at least once since the Sept. 11 attacks. The steady stream of departures has left the bureau “extremely thin in the experience department,” one FBI official acknowledged yesterday. The bureau has struggled to hold on to personnel amid grueling hours, intensive congressional scrutiny and a dramatic effort to remake the FBI into an agency focused on preventing terrorism. Full Story

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