9, 2001: Robert Wright, an FBI agent who spent
ten years investigating terrorist funding, writes a memo that slams the FBI.
He states, "Knowing what I know, I can confidently say that until the investigative
responsibilities for terrorism are transferred from the FBI, I will not feel
safe... The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify and prevent
acts of terrorism against the United States and its citizens at home and abroad.
Even worse, there is virtually no effort on the part of the FBI's International
Terrorism Unit to neutralize known and suspected international terrorists living
in the United States." [Cybercast News Service,
5/30/02] He claims "FBI was merely gathering intelligence so they would
know who to arrest when a terrorist attack occurred" rather than actually
trying to stop the attacks. [UPI, 5/30/02]
Wright's shocking allegations are largely ignored. He
is asked on CNN's Crossfire, one of the few outlets to cover the story at all,
"Mr. Wright, your charges against the FBI are really more disturbing, more
serious, than [Coleen] Rowley's (see August 28, 2001).
Why is it, do you think, that you have been ignored by the media, ignored by
the congressional committees, and no attention has been paid to your allegations?"
The Village Voice says the problem is partly because he went to the FBI and
asked permission to speak publicly instead of going straight to the media as
Rowley did. The FBI put severe limits on what details Wright can divulge. He
is now suing them (see also May 30, 2002). [Village
May 30, 2002: FBI Agent Robert Wright announces he is suing the FBI over a publishing ban. He has written a book but the FBI won't allow him to show it to anyone. He delivers a tearful press conference at the National Press Club describing his lawsuit against the FBI for deliberately curtailing investigations that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately he has been ordered to not reveal specifics publicly. [Fox News, 5/30/02] Wright claims the FBI shut down his 1998 criminal probe into alleged terrorist-training camps in Chicago and Kansas City. He uses words like "prevented," "thwarted," "obstructed," "threatened," "intimidated," and "retaliation" to describe the actions of his superiors in blocking his attempts to shut off money flows to al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist groups. He also alleges that for years the US was training Hamas terrorists to make car bombs to use against Israel, one of the US's closest allies. [LA Weekly, 8/2/02] FTW
August 9, 2002 (C): FBI agent Robert Wright is a whistleblower who claims the FBI shut down a criminal investigation into the operation of terror-training camps in Chicago and Kansas City, years before the 9/11 attacks (see June 9, 2001). It is reported that Wright submitted a formal complaint to the Inspector General's Office of the Justice Department, which probes agency wrongdoing and mistakes. Amazingly, he was turned away, and told to take his cause to Congress. The Inspector General's Office claims they do "not have the resources to conduct an investigation of this anticipated size and scope." Yet they've conducted similar investigations in the past, including a full-blown investigation into the FBI's alleged mishandling of evidence in the probe of Timothy McVeigh, the convicted Oklahoma City bomber. [L.A. Weekly, 8/9/02]