FBI representative who interrogated Saddam Hussein leads airfield case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The FBI representative who interrogated Saddam Hussein alone for months after a former Iraqi leader’s constraint is now heading a review into a Florida airfield sharpened uproar blamed on an Iraq fight veteran.


George Piro, special representative in assign of a FBI’s Miami margin office, was Saddam’s solitary interrogator commencement in Jan 2004. In before interviews, Piro has pronounced Saddam did not know his loyal temperament — a Iraqi personality called him “Mr. George” — and that he acted as a high-level attach� who answered directly to then-President George W. Bush.

Now a 49-year-old Piro, a internal of Beirut, Lebanon, smooth in Arabic and Assyrian, is in assign of a FBI review into a sharpened during Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport that left 5 people passed and 6 wounded. Federal prosecutors have charged Esteban Santiago, 26, with airfield assault and firearms offenses that could move a genocide chastisement if he is convicted.

In announcing a charges filed Saturday, Piro pronounced his thoughts are with a victims and their families.

“I wish to safeguard these families that law coercion is operative tirelessly in sequence to safeguard probity is served,” he said.

Piro, an FBI representative given 1999, changed with his family from Lebanon to California’s San Joaquin Valley as a teenager. After high propagandize he enlisted in a Air Force, afterwards became a military officer for a decade in Ceres, California, followed by a pursuit as an questioner in a internal prosecutor’s office.

Once he assimilated a FBI in Phoenix, Piro was one of usually a handful of Arabic-speaking agents — a organisation that unexpected was in good direct after a Sept. 11, 2001 apprehension attacks and a successive U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2003, Piro was promoted to a FBI’s Counterterrorism Division during domicile in Washington, heading to his work as Saddam’s interrogator.

In after interviews, including a 2008 coming on CBS’s 60 Minutes program, Piro pronounced he met daily with Saddam in a windowless room and worked to benefit his trust by apropos his usually provider of necessities and such things as paper for Saddam to write poetry.

Eventually, Piro pronounced Saddam reliable that Iraq did not have weapons of mass drop before to a U.S. advance though competence find them in destiny to deter Iran and other threats. Saddam also denied any links to al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, Piro has said.

Saddam also favourite to gloat about how he transient U.S. airstrikes and capture, according to Piro.

“What he wanted to unequivocally illustrate is . . . how he was means to outmanoeuvre us,” Piro told “60 Minutes.” ”He got absolved of his normal vehicles. He got absolved of a protecting fact that he trafficked with, unequivocally only to change his signature.”

Saddam was after attempted and executed by unresolved in Dec 2006.

Santiago, a airfield sharpened suspect, also served in Iraq in 2010 with a Puerto Rico National Guard as partial of an engineering battalion, ensure officials said. Santiago after served in a Army Reserves and Alaska National Guard.

After Iraq, Piro changed on to tip FBI counterterrorism jobs in Washington, including a White House position involving high-value detainee inquire that works with several comprehension agencies.

Since holding a tip Miami FBI job, Piro has overseen work in some-more domestic areas such as health caring fraud, temperament burglary and taxation fraud, Ponzi schemes and debt rascal — all areas where South Florida is among a nation’s leaders. Bank robberies, aroused travel gangs, open crime and bootlegging of humans and drugs turn out most of a work for a Miami office’s roughly 1,000 agents and employees.

Since Friday’s shooting, Piro has been clever to contend no justification joining Santiago to terrorism has been found though such connectors have also not been ruled out.

“It’s approach too early in a investigation. We’re looking over all of his amicable media, things like that. It’s giving us a design of a individual, though it’s approach too early for us to order out anything,” Piro pronounced Saturday. “We’re posterior all angles on what stirred him to lift out this horrific attack.”


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