FBI Dir. Mueller Quietly Takes Off on Overseas “National Security Focused Trip” to Nations Including Yemen and Georgia

Robert Mueller III/file photo
Robert Mueller III/file photo
By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — At a high-profile Justice Department press conference Tuesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller was no where to be seen when officials discussed the arrest of the Times Square car bomb suspect.

In his place, was his deputy director John Pistole, who stood along side a host of high-ranking federal officials including Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Natpolitano.

Mueller quietly took off early in the week for what FBI spokesman Michael Kortan describes as a “multi-country national security focused trip.”

For security reasons, Kortan declined to be more specific. But he said the director would be returning home on Friday. Overseas  press reports showed his trip included stops in  the nation of Georgia and Yemen. The state run Yemini news agency Saba reported that Mueller met with Yemen President President Ali Abdallah Salih.

“During his meeting with President Ali Abdallah Salih, Mueller accentuated the USA’s readiness to broaden the horizons of cooperation with Yemen as well as its support to maintain Yemen’s security, stability and unity,” the news agency reported.

The news agency said Mueller congratulated Yemen on its preemptive operations against al Qaeda and “the President reiterated Yemen’s request to receive its individual detainees in Guantanamo camp to rehabilitate or try them based on their cases’ files.”

In the meantime, Kortan said Mueller has been interacting daily with Pistole and national security managers on the New York situation and “other matters.”

Leave a Reply