FBI has a lot of work to do
Thursday, June 14, 2007
(SNN Washington) Big Daddy Kane once said “Pimpin ain’t easy”, Kane should try working for the FBI.
The terror watch list compiled by the FBI has grown to 500,000 names, or about the population of Wyoming. To watch these 500,000 possible terrorists, the FBI has 12,000 agents, 33 of which have “a limited proficiency in Arabic.”
The FBI is working on the problem. During fiscal 2005, 1600 agents took language classes. After the classes nearly 120 agents completed the agency’s Arabic proficiency test, although many of them scored a zero.
The problem is simple, any potential FBI agent who speaks Arabic, Urdu or Farsi is more than likely on the terror watch list. However, FBI officials claim that the knowledge of Arabic is not critical in the International Terrorism Operations Sections.
One source inside the FBI says that the language barrier is a problem of perception. “Learning languages is all about fads in the FBI. Polish is the popular language right now, so all you hear around the office is “Pragnę Cię” and “Jestem zamężna.” “Many agents even waste their time learning Spanish. Who speaks Spanish in the United States? Jestem w ciąży.”