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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2010
1:24 PM

CONTACT: National Whistleblowers Center

Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903
lmw@whistleblowers.org

FBI Whistleblower Bassem Youssef Instrumental in Exposing Constitutional Violations That Threaten Our National Security

WASHINGTON - January 19 - In response to the front-page article appearing today in the Washington Post, the following statements were released by Stephen M. Kohn, attorney for Mr. Bassem Youssef (Chief of the FBI's Communications Analysis Unit/Counterterrorism Division) and National Whistleblowers Center Executive Director:

"Since 2005, when he first learned of the abuses reported in today's Washington Post, Mr. Youssef has attempted to ensure that the FBI complied with the law.  Between 2006-08 he provided extensive testimony before the DOJ Office of Inspector General.  In 2008 and 2009, his counsel provided three detailed letters to the Attorney General of the United States setting forth details on the misconduct committed within the FBI and urging that effective corrective actions be taken."

"The issues raised by Mr. Youssef and the ongoing investigations concern not only the protection of fundamental civil liberties and Constitutional rights, but also the security of the United States.  'Over-collecting' information on innocent Americans does not make the United States safe from terrorist attacks.  Abusive search tactics unrelated to real terrorist threats significantly interferes with our nation's security and it undermines properly targeted investigations essential for protecting the American people."

"Today we are urging every American to TAKE ACTION to protect Mr. Youssef and all other national security whistleblower from retaliation.  We are asking Congress to enact strong legislation (H.R. 1507) protecting whistleblowers in the FBI and other national security agencies."

 Mr. Bassem Youssef is the highest-ranking fluent Arabic speaking agent in the FBI.  In 1995 he was awarded the Director of Central Intelligence Award for his key role in one of America's most successful Middle East related counterterrorism operations.  In 1996 he was appointed by then-FBI Director Louis Freeh to serve as the first Legal Attaché for the FBI in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.   He is credited with establishing unprecedented access and cooperation between the FBI its Saudi counterparts.  After the 9/11 attacks Mr. Youssef alleged that he was discriminated against based on his Egyptian heritage. For more information on Mr. Youssef's background please click here.

Mr. Youseff's attorney Stephen M. Kohn is available for comment at 202-342-1903 or lmw@whistleblowers.org.

The Washington Post article is linked here.

The Action Alert is linked here.

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Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.


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