DOVER, Fla. The FBI agent who helped start the investigation that led to the resignation of David H. Petraeus as CIA director is a hard-charging veteran counterterrorism investigator who played a major role the foiled millennium terrorist plot in 1999, colleagues said Wednesday.
The agent, Frederick W. Humphries II, 47, is also described by former colleagues as relentless in his pursuit of what he sees as wrongdoing, which appears to describe his role in the FBI investigation involving Petraeus. Humphries suspected that the case involved serious security issues and was being stalled, possibly for political reasons a suspicion his superiors say was unjustified.
Fred is a passionate kind of guy, one former colleague said. Hes kind of an obsessive type. If he locked his teeth onto something, hed be a bulldog.
Humphries, who had not been identified until Wednesday, took the initial complaint from Jill Kelley, a Tampa, Fla., woman active in local military circles and a personal friend, about anonymous emails that accused her of inappropriately flirtatious behavior toward Petraeus.
The subsequent cyberstalking investigation uncovered an extramarital affair between Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, his biographer, who agents determined had sent the anonymous emails. It also ensnared Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, after FBI agents discovered what a law enforcement official said Wednesday were sexually explicit email exchanges between him and Kelley.
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said he had asked the Senate to postpone a confirmation hearing for Allens next assignment while the departments inspector general reviewed his email correspondence with Kelley, discovered by FBI agents investigating her initial complaint.
Pentagon officials said the review covered more than 10,000 pages of documents that included inappropriate messages. But associates of Allen have said that the two exchanged about a dozen emails a week since meeting two years ago, and that his messages were affectionate but platonic.
A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, disputed that Wednesday, saying that some of the messages were clearly sexual in nature. Investigators were confident that the nature of the content warranted passing them on to the inspector general, the official said.
The FBI director, Robert S. Mueller III, and the deputy director, Sean Joyce, briefed leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees about the investigation. Petraeus is expected to speak to the committees behind closed doors on Friday about the attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the events leading to his resignation are certain to come up.
A Pentagon official said the security clearance of Broadwell, a West Point graduate and officer in the Army Reserve, had been suspended pending the outcome of the FBI investigation. FBI agents on Monday night carried boxes of documents and a computer out of the house she shares with her husband and two sons. The law enforcement official said that Broadwell had cooperated with investigators in their effort to remove all classified material, which by law cannot be kept in an insecure facility.
The officials also said Kelley was no longer permitted to enter MacDill Air Force Base with a wave, as she has for years as a regular volunteer and visitor to ranking officers there. Now she has to get approval and sign in at the visitors gate.
Kelley, whose house has been besieged with reporters and television crews, has called 911 several times to complain about snooping reporters, according to tapes and transcripts of the calls posted on the Web. In at least one call, she asked for diplomatic protection, saying she is an honorary consul general, a designation she reportedly received from South Korean diplomats.
By all accounts, Humphries doggedly pursued Kelleys cyberstalking complaint.
Later, fearing that the case was being stalled for political reasons, Humphries in late October contacted Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., where the FBI agent had worked previously, to inform him of the case. Reichert put him in touch with the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, R-Va., who passed the message to Mueller.