The FBI's counterterrorism agents lack the language skills and cultural understanding needed to succeed, an agency whistle-blower charged Saturday.
Bassem Youssef, a decorated FBI supervisor who was born in Egypt and speaks fluent Arabic, also said jealousy, discrimination and flawed directives hinder the FBI's attempts to fight terrorism.
"The FBI has publicly stated that expertise in working counterterrorism matters, and cultural understanding of the Middle East and the radical Islamic groups, as well as the language, are not necessary to run the counterterrorism division," said Youssef, speaking publicly for the first time on the subject Saturday at an American Library Association meeting.
Youssef, 49, the highest ranking Arab-American agent, has a discrimination lawsuit pending against the bureau. He has also raised concerns about the FBI's alleged misuse of warrantless searches.