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An FBI agent who served as a liaison to seven countries, including Saudi Arabia, before and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks filed a lawsuit Thursday saying the agency discriminated against him and undermined his work on the investigation into the attacks. The agent, Wilfred Samuel Rattigan, said the FBI violated his constitutional and civil rights because of his race, national origin and religious beliefs. He is seeking unspecified damages. He accused the FBI of repeatedly undermining his work, “even at the expense of compromising or delaying important investigations, including the 9/11 investigation.” Rattigan claims his superiors did not want “a black man and a naturalized citizen of Jamaican descent to succeed in the bureau,” particularly since he was working on such an important case. “This motivation reflects the ongoing legacy of racial discrimination that has roiled the bureau in the past 10 to 15 years,” according to the federal lawsuit against the Department of Justice. Rattigan also alleges that he was subjected to harassment and discrimination because he turned to Islam in December 2001. The government had no immediate comment, said Charles Miller, a Department of Justice spokesman in Washington, D.C. Rattigan said his responsibilities as a legal attach� included developing relations with local law enforcement officials in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Qatar. He helped officials arrange training at the FBI Academy and handled requests for assistance from other domestic and international FBI offices, according to the lawsuit. Rattigan said the workload increased substantially after the 2001 terrorist attacks, in part because 17 of the 19 hijackers were from the countries where he made contacts. As he requested additional assistance from superiors, “these requests, for the most part, fell on deaf ears or was turned down,” Rattigan said in the lawsuit. Since filing an internal discrimination complaint on May 6, 2002, Rattigan claims he has been subjected to harassment, retaliation and a demotion in rank. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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