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FBI agent in Petraeus scandal has been a hero

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 12:16 am •  Published: November 15, 2012
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — FBI Special Agent Frederick Humphries II played a key role in stopping a terrorist attack aimed at blowing up Los Angeles International Airport just as the year 2000 dawned. He fatally shot a man who threatened him and other law enforcement officers with a knife during an altercation at Tampa's MacDill Air Force Base in 2010.

And now Humphries finds himself in the middle of the widening scandal that has resulted in CIA Director David Petraeus' resignation.

Humphries, 47, was the agent who initially saw the emails the FBI said Petraeus' biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell, sent to Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, a woman she apparently saw as a rival for Petraeus' affections. She also allegedly sent emails to Gen. John Allen, Kelley's friend and the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Concerned about the emails, Kelley contacted Humphries in June. The two had met at a 2011 FBI Citizens Academy, a program aimed at teaching the public and journalists about what the agency does and how it operates. Kelley was in the class, which Humphries lectured one night about terrorism, according to Natalie Shepherd, a Tampa TV reporter who was there.

Humphries, a former Army captain who worked in military intelligence, thought the emails raised serious concerns because the anonymous author knew the comings and goings of Allen and Petraeus, a former general who had preceded Allen in Afghanistan. His report back to the FBI started the investigation that led to Broadwell and uncovered her affair with Petraeus.

The FBI is reviewing Humphries' later 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.

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