WASHINGTON – The FBI is expected this week to issue a scathing report on security problems discovered during an internal review of the Robert Hanssen spy case.
The report, to be delivered to Attorney General John Ashcroft by Friday, concludes after extensive debriefings with Hanssen that the FBI suffers from lax attention to technology and document security and has numerous management problems, sources familiar with the report told Fox News.
Former CIA Director William Webster, who is also a former head of the FBI, conducted the far-reaching review, and is expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next Tuesday.
Robert Hanssen was an FBI agent for 25 years, at times highly involved in counterintelligence operations, before being arrested as a spy for the Soviet Union and Russia. Last July, he pleaded guilty to nearly two dozen charges of selling U.S. secrets to the Moscow over 20 years.
Hanssen has nonetheless been sparring with his debriefers for months, and transcripts of the interviews reveal that his knowledge of top-secret FBI and CIA operations went well beyond his own "need to know" status, sources said.
Sources said Hanssen appeared to "play with his debriefers" and often sought to impress them with the vast amount of intelligence he claims to have compromised. Hanssen met with Webster's team four times over the last year.
Sources familiar with the Webster report say it will state that:
— the FBI has failed to resolve long standing internal security concerns;
— FBI computers, networks and encryption standards are outdated and vulnerable to compromise;
— FBI records storage and security is inadequate and vulnerable to compromise;
— FBI management and command and control operations are outdated and malfunctioning; and
— FBI morale in the field and management communications are faltering.
In October, Fox News was first to report that Hanssen had stolen top-secret U.S. law-enforcement software applications, as well as handbooks for the Community Online Intelligence Network, used by investigators to access various law-enforcement databases.
Hanssen sold the COIN applications to the Russians, and U.S. intelligence believes that the software was in turn provided to Al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden by Russian organized-crime figures.
Government officials say the software may enable bin Laden to track the international investigation of terror assets and keep his money from being seized.
The United States is not the only nation to use the COIN software.
Carl Cameron currently serves as Fox News Channel's (FNC) Washington-based chief political correspondent. He joined FNC in 1996 as a correspondent.