FBI agent under review for conduct in Petraeus scandal is counterterrorism veteran

Published November 15, 2012

| FoxNews.com

The FBI agent whose actions started the investigation that eventually led to CIA Director David Petraeus' resignation was identified Wednesday as Frederick W. Humphries, who had met one of the women at the heart of the sex scandal last year, Fox News confirms.

Humphries, 47, is a veteran counterterrorism investigator in the FBI office in Tampa, Fla., where Jill Kelley, the woman he met, is a socialite with a high profile in military circles.

In early June, Kelley reportedly received the first of as many as five emails sent from different anonymous accounts alleging that she was up to no good. One of those mentioned Petraeus by name. Kelley had contacted Humphries later in June or in early July about the emails, which began the agency's investigation of the matter.

Petraeus, a former Army general, resigned last week after revelations that he had had an affair with another woman, Paula Broadwell, who is suspected of sending the harassing emails to Kelley.

The FBI is reviewing Humphries' conduct in this case, a federal law enforcement official said Wednesday. Specifically the bureau is reviewing a telephone call he made in late October to Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., to voice concern that the bureau was not aggressively pursuing a possible national security breach. Reichert arranged to convey the information to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, who checked with the FBI at that time. Cantor was assured the bureau was on top of any possible vulnerability.

Lawrence Berger, the general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said in an interview that his client, Humphries, did nothing wrong and should not be disciplined. "He's committed no misconduct," Berger said.

Berger tells Fox News that Humphries is still working and was unaware he was being investigated. He says his client was never even involved in the investigation involving Kelley, saying Humphries simply passed the information along to the cyber unit of the bureau.

Humphries was also accused of sending Kelley shirtless photos of himself, and FBI executives reportedly told Humphries to steer clear of the developing Kelley case because they had concerns he had become too personally involved. 

A shirtless photo has since emerged of him standing next to two dummies. His lawyer says the photos were "benign," claiming they were a joke and were sent years ago. Berger says Humphries, his wife and Kelley and her husband are social friends, and that his client never had any romantic relationship with Kelley or any interest in her romantically.

Kelley and Humphries met when she attended the bureau's Citizens' Academy, an FBI program aimed at showing members of the public at least some of what the FBI does and how it works, Berger said. The academy lasted from Sept. 13 to Nov. 30, 2011, the AP learned.

Humphries has had a long career with the FBI and among his accomplishments played a key role in stopping a terrorist attack aimed at blowing up Los Angeles International Airport in 2000. 

He joined the FBI in 1996 and first came to prominence in 1999 after an Algerian man was arrested by U.S. Customs agents as he tried to enter Washington state from Canada by ferry. Ahmed Ressam had white powder, chemicals and homemade timing devices in the trunk of his car.

Ressam claimed to be a French-speaker from Quebec. According to a 2002 Seattle Times story, Humphries, then the only French-speaker assigned to the FBI's Seattle office, was asked to question him. 

As soon as Humphries heard Ressam's accent and phrasing, he knew he wasn't from Quebec and told his colleagues to arrest him, the story said. It was later learned Ressam was part of an Al Qaeda plot to blow up the Los Angeles airport on New Year's Eve 1999.

By 2010, Humphries had been assigned to the FBI's Tampa office and was its liaison to MacDill, home to the military's Central Command.

On May 19, 2010, 61-year-old Army veteran Ronald J. Bullock, who was camping at the base, got into an altercation with base security.

Officials said Bullock sped off on a motorcycle, but was stopped by other security officers and Humphries as he tried to exit a gate. They said he got off the motorcycle and came at Humphries and the officers while brandishing a knife. Humphries fired, killing Bullock. The shooting was later ruled justified.

Fox News' Catherine Herridge, Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/14/fbi-agent-under-review-for-conduct-in-petraeus-scandal-is-counterterrorism/