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Posted at 1:57 PM ET, 04/21/2010

Report: Top Al-Qaeda Expert Leaves FBI

By Jeff Stein

One of the government’s top counterterrorism officials, Philip Mudd, has resigned from the FBI, it was reported today.

Mudd was a top specialist on al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups for the CIA before he came to the FBI as associate executive director of the National Security Branch in 2005.

Last year the White House picked Mudd to run the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence shop, but the nomination was derailed by accusations, largely driven by Hill Republicans, that the longtime intelligence analyst was intimately involved in the Bush administration’s harsh interrogation programs.

“This could be it for Mudd’s government career,” The Washington Independent’s Spencer Ackerman, who broke the story of Mudd’s departure, wrote today.

Ackerman reported that “Mudd confirmed in an email that he left ‘about six weeks ago,’ but didn’t immediately respond to additional questions about his departure.”

The FBI announced the appointment today of Sean Joyce, a longtime bureau agent who would have been Mudd's new boss.

Since last October, Joyce has headed the FBI's International Operations Division, where "he was responsible for more than 600 employees in 75 foreign and domestic locations in support of the FBI’s international mission to defeat national security and criminal threats..." the bureau said.

Mudd could not be immediately reached for comment.

By Jeff Stein  | April 21, 2010; 1:57 PM ET
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Mudd could probably get a gig as the head of a CIA base in a war zone. They seem to prefer REMFs to head up operational units.

Posted by: john_bruckner | April 21, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

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