Airlines, Others Sue FBI, CIA To Depose Agents In 9-11 Cases

By Chad Bray

Airline manufacturer Boeing Co. (BA), major airlines and several airport operators sued the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday in a bid to question current and former agency employees in connection with negligence litigation over the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks.

In separate lawsuits, the airlines and others are challenging decisions by the FBI and the CIA that prevent them from conducting depositions of those employees.

The airlines include AMR Corp.’s (AMR) American Airlines, UAL Corp.’s (UAUA) United Airlines, US Airways Group Inc. (LCC), Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), Continental Airlines Inc. (CAL) and AirTran Holdings Inc. (AAI).

The Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Logan International Airport in Boston, and the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, which operates Ronald Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., also are plaintiffs in the lawsuits.

The lawsuits, filed in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, are related to ongoing negligence litigation over the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C.

In the FBI lawsuit, the plaintiffs are seeking to conduct depositions of:

Scott Billings, a FBI special agent formerly assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force; Erik T. Rigler, a former FBI special agent; Michael Rolince, a FBI section chief for International Terrorism Operations Section from 1998 to 2002; Coleen M. Rowley, a former FBI special agent and Minneapolis Chief Division Counsel; and Harry Samit, a FBI special agent assigned to the Minneapolis Field office and Joint Terrorism Task Force in August and September 2001.The agents were involved in FBI investigations of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda and its operatives before and after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to the complaint.

In the CIA lawsuit, they are seeking to depose a former deputy chief of the CIA’s Osama Bin Laden unit code-named “John” and a FBI special agent assigned to that unit code-named “Mary.” They are believed to have information regarding two of the hijackers who carried out the attacks, according to the complaint.

Special Agent

Richard Kolko, a FBI spokesman in Washington, said he wasn’t aware of the lawsuits and the FBI wouldn’t comment on ongoing litigation.A call to the CIA’s public affairs office in Langley, Va., wasn’t immediately returned late Tuesday.