FBI whistleblower 'vindicated' over intelligence services failings

Andrew Buncombe
Saturday 15 January 2005 01:00
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The credibility of Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator who claimed that evidence gathered before 11 September revealed al-Qa'ida was planning to attack America, was boosted yesterday by a report issued by the US Justice Department.

The credibility of Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator who claimed that evidence gathered before 11 September revealed al-Qa'ida was planning to attack America, was boosted yesterday by a report issued by the US Justice Department.

A report by the department's senior oversight official, Glenn Fine, said that other accusations made by Mrs Edmonds relating to poor standards in the FBI's translation department and possible espionage, were supported by witnesses and other evidence. The official said even today the FBI had not properly investigated the claims. "We found that many of Edmonds' core allegations relating to the [espionage allegation] were supported by either documentary evidence or witnesses other than Edmonds," the report said.

Last year Mrs Edmonds, 34, a former contract linguist who had "Top Security" clearance, revealed to The Independent that information she saw while working at the FBI showed there was a substantial amount of evidence gathered prior to 11 September that suggested al-Qa'ida was planning to attack.

Mrs Edmonds was fired from her job in March 2002 after she complained to the FBI about shoddy wiretap translations and informed them that an interpreter with a relative at a foreign embassy might have compromised national security by blocking translations in some cases and notifying some targets about US surveillance of them.

Yesterday's report said the FBI failed to investigate these matters. Mrs Edmonds said she felt vindicated and would be calling on Congress to pursue the matter. Shehas filed a federal lawsuit seeking to retain her job.

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