FBI agent alleges firing due to religion


(JTA) — An FBI agent said he was fired because he is Jewish, saying he was unfairly under suspicion over lawful contacts with Israel and AIPAC officials.

The agent, suing in federal court as John Doe, said he was wrongfully under suspicion for what amounted to lawful contacts with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee after he was tied to the 2004 case in which two AIPAC employees and a Pentagon analyst were indicted on charges of espionage, the Courthouse News Service reported Wednesday. 

The Pentagon analyst, Lawrence Franklin, pleaded guilty to passing confidential information regarding U.S. foreign policy on Iran. The case against the AIPAC employees was dismissed.

In his complaint, the agent claims that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Justice Department "have allowed their personal, unfounded, and ill-informed biases regarding the country of Israel and the loyalty of Jewish Americans to improperly and illegally color their personnel decisions."

The agent also said he worked for the State Department as an analyst covering issues of Palestinian terrorism and Jewish extremism before moving to the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division in 2004.

He said the FBI revoked his security clearance and placed him on administrative leave without pay in 2005 after being told he was being investigated for espionage.

The agent was fired by the FBI in June 2008 and told he could not appeal the decision due to national security.

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