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FBI Investigates Agent’s Claims

May 23, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The FBI has requested an internal investigation into an agent’s allegations that the agency mishandled the pre-Sept. 11 terrorism investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui, officials said Thursday.

Agent Colleen Rowley, who works as a lawyer in the Minnesota office that first arrested Moussaoui last August, made the allegations in a letter Tuesday to FBI Director Robert Mueller and members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, officials said.

Mueller said Thursday he has referred the matter for investigation by the Justice Department inspector general, which independently investigates allegations of internal wrongdoing.

Separately, the Senate Intelligence Committee has begun investigating the agent’s claims.

``I immediately referred this matter out of the FBI to the inspector general for investigation,″ Mueller said in a statement. ``I respect that process and all the independennce and protections it affords.″

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