[NetBehaviour] Coleen Rowley's Memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Oct 8 11:53:12 CEST 2008

Coleen Rowley's Memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller
An edited version of the agent's 13-page letter

May 21, 2002

FBI Director Robert Mueller
FBI Headquarters Washington, D.C.

Dear Director Mueller:

I feel at this point that I have to put my concerns in writing 
concerning the important topic of the FBI's response to evidence of 
terrorist activity in the United States prior to September 11th. The 
issues are fundamentally ones of INTEGRITY and go to the heart of the 
FBI's law enforcement mission and mandate. Moreover, at this critical 
juncture in fashioning future policy to promote the most effective 
handling of ongoing and future threats to United States citizens' 
security, it is of absolute importance that an unbiased, completely 
accurate picture emerge of the FBI's current investigative and 
management strengths and failures.

To get to the point, I have deep concerns that a delicate and subtle 
shading/skewing of facts by you and others at the highest levels of FBI 
management has occurred and is occurring. The term "cover up" would be 
too strong a characterization which is why I am attempting to carefully 
(and perhaps over laboriously) choose my words here. I base my concerns 
on my relatively small, peripheral but unique role in the Moussaoui 
investigation in the Minneapolis Division prior to, during and after 
September 11th and my analysis of the comments I have heard both inside 
the FBI (originating, I believe, from you and other high levels of 
management) as well as your Congressional testimony and public comments.

I feel that certain facts, including the following, have, up to now, 
been omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mis-characterized in an 
effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment 
on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political reasons:

1) The Minneapolis agents who responded to the call about Moussaoui's 
flight training identified him as a terrorist threat from a very early 
point. The decision to take him into custody on August 15, 2001, on the 
INS "overstay" charge was a deliberate one to counter that threat and 
was based on the agents' reasonable suspicions. While it can be said 
that Moussaoui's overstay status was fortuitous, because it allowed for 
him to be taken into immediate custody and prevented him receiving any 
more flight training, it was certainly not something the INS 
coincidentally undertook of their own volition. I base this on the 
conversation I had when the agents called me at home late on the evening 
Moussaoui was taken into custody to confer and ask for legal advice 
about their next course of action. The INS agent was assigned to the 
FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and was therefore working in tandem 
with FBI agents.


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