Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Supervisor: I Never Read Moussaoui Memo

The supervisor is not even repentant. I am sure he has had raises and promotions since 911.

AP - A terrorism supervisor in FBI headquarters dismissed a field agent's concerns about confessed al-Qaida member Zacarias Moussaoui in the weeks before Sept. 11, 2001, as "hunches and suppositions" during testimony at Moussaoui's death-penalty trial.

The supervisor, Michael Rolince, testified Tuesday that he had not even read an Aug. 18, 2001, memo written by Minneapolis agent Harry Samit, who arrested Moussaoui and was convinced from the outset that Moussaoui was a terrorist with plans to hijack aircraft.

Rolince, who headed the FBI's International Terrorism Operations section, said he was briefed on Moussaoui only twice by a subordinate in hallway conversations lasting less than a minute.

Rolince concluded that the bureau had a long way to go in building a case against Moussaoui, even though Samit had laid out in a nearly 30-page memo his reasons for believing that the bureau had built a sufficient case to launch an all-out investigation and obtain a search warrant for Moussaoui's possessions.

"What Agent Samit's hunches and suppositions were is one thing," Rolince said. "What we knew was clearly something else."

Samit's memo proved prescient. He correctly predicted two of the six specific charges to which Moussaoui pleaded guilty: plotting international terrorism and air piracy.

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