For Immediate Release
Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903
FBI Whistleblower Bassem Youssef Instrumental in Exposing Constitutional Violations That Threaten Our National Security
WASHINGTON - 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
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.
The Washington Post article is linked here.
The Action Alert is linked here.
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.