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Bassem gets out from under a cloud

An internal investigation by the [FBI’s] Office of Professional Responsibility found “sufficient circumstantial evidence” that Special Agent Bassem Youssef was blocked from a counterterrorism assignment in 2002 after he and U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) met with FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to discuss Youssef’s complaints. […]


Youssef, who served as FBI legal attaché in Saudi Arabia for four years, earned raves for his work on the Khobar Towers bombing and other investigations, including praise for his “very, very high performance” by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh, according to court testimony and the report.


Youssef, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Egypt, says his expertise in Arabic, terrorism and Middle Eastern issues was ignored after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He began making formal complaints after being assigned to a budget unit in February 2002. He was later transferred to a unit that processed documents taken from Afghanistan and other overseas locations.


I knew Bassem from his work in the “unit the processed documents.” I know nothing of the details or the merits of his lawsuit, but do know that someone with his quals probably should have been doing something more substantial than . . . well . . . what he was doing in the unit in question. So what have we lost not putting him to maximum use these last few years?

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.