Jejudo, South Korea
Though he's one of only six FBI agents with advanced Arabic skills, Youssef believes that, since 9/11, the FBI has blocked him from playing a significant role in the war on terror. He claims discrimination, and sued the FBI in 2003.
"To be totally set aside, blackballed since 9/11, makes absolutely no sense," he says.
Beyond Youssef's own employment claims, depositions of nearly a dozen top FBI officials in his case have exposed what critics say are serious shortcomings in the FBI's approach to counterterrorism. The taped depositions, which have never been aired before, seem to reveal a stunning lack of knowledge about some terrorism basics.
Dale Watson, now retired, was the FBI's top counterterrorism official before and after 9/11.
In a deposition taken on Dec. 8, 2004, Youssef’s lawyer Stephen Kohn asked Watson: “Do you know who Osama bin Laden's spiritual leader was?"
Watson: Can't recall.
Lawyer: And do you know the differences in the religion between Shiite and Sunni Muslims?
Watson: Not technically, no.
John Lewis was until recently the FBI’s deputy assistant director of counterterrorism. During his deposition on May 17, 2005, he was asked if he knew the difference between Shiites and Sunnis.
Lewis: You know, generally. Not very well.
I don't know what to say here.