FBI computers dismissed as useless
By James Doran
LONDON: The FBI’s computers are technologically inferior to those used by junior high-school students in America and agents find them useless for condu-cting background searches on suspected terrorists.
The revelation came as Coleen Rowley, the whistle-blowing FBI agent from Minnesota who claimed that the intelligence agency missed clues that should have given warning of the September 11 attacks, testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee.
Ms Rowley explained how it was impossible to search for documents with more than one term of reference. “You could look for ‘aviation’ and get thousands of responses or ‘school’ and get thousands of responses but not ‘aviation school’,” she told the panel of senators.
Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat on the panel, said that the cheap computer he had bought for his daughter was better than the technology the FBI was still using. “Junior high schools have better equipment,” he said.
Ms Rowley told the Senate yesterday that the FBI needed to maintain the “highest standards of integrity” to regain the trust of American citizens as the threat of more terrible attacks loomed.
She appeared before the committee one hour after Robert Mueller, her boss and the FBI director. He faced questions until early afternoon. —LT