The mystery “shirtless” FBI agent at the center of the Gen. Petraeus affair scandal has been ID’d as Frederick W. Humphries II, 47. Humphries took his friend Jill Kelley’s complaint about catty emails and parlayed it into an investigation that took down the CIA director by uncovering Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell.
Here’s what you should know about him.
1. He Helped Foil the ‘Millenium’ Terrorist Plot in 1999
Being a fluent Quebec-French speaker, Frederick Humphries was a key asset in the investigation into the so-called 2000 Millennium attack plots. Humphries went to high school in Canada, the operation in thwarting the attack was a joint operation between the FBI and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Ahmad Ressam, an Algerian man living Montreal, intended to blow-up Los Angeles LAX airport on New Year’s Eve 1999. The blast was forty times greater than a devastating car bomb blast. The explosives were hidden in the trunk of Ressem’s car and discovered when he crossed the border in Washington. Humphries was present in the interrogations of Ressam, and his partner Abdelghani Meskini.
2. He Fatally Shot a Veteran Who Attacked Him with a Knife
Back in May 2010 just when Frederick Humphries was transferred to the Tampa field office he was attacked by a disturbed knife-wielding Army Vietnam veteran named Ronald J. Bullock. The incident occurred just outside MacDill Air Force Base. He shot and killed the man, and the shooting was deemed to be a necessary use of force. This is the same base that Jill Kelley was given clearance to in her role as voluntary military liason. MacDill is home to U.S. Central Command, which overseas operations in Central Asia and the Middle East. Gen. Petraeus was based there when he met Kelley and her husband, who call the Petraeuses family friends.
3. He Testified in the High-Profile Terrorism Trial of Youssef Megahed in 2009
Humphries said the FBI believed Megahed was using his legal permanent resident status to buy guns and ammunition and obtain a gun range membership. Investigators recovered footage from a camcorder in Ishtay’s Temple Terrace bedroom that showed tightly focused shots of the Florida Aquarium, pillars along the Howard Frankland Bridge and airliners approaching Tampa International Airport, Humphries said. He likened the recordings to footage typically shot by terrorists who are scouting locations. Humphries said: “I don’t have a Ouija board or a crystal ball to determine what he would do.” Megahed was cleared, but Humphries maintained that he was a threat.
4. He’s at the Center of the Petraeus Scandal
Humphries is the friend of military liaison and power-playing Tampa socialite Jill Kelley to whom she brought her complaint about cat-fighty emails warning her to stay away from Gen. Petraeus. He passed the complaint to the Cybersquad, setting in motion the investigation that blew the lid off the Petraeus affair. The emails turned out to be from Petraeus mistress Paula Broadwell.
5. He Once Sent a Shirtless Photo to Kelley
Investigators discovered that Humphries had once sent a shirtless photo of himself to Jill Kelley, and the revelation made headlines amid speculation of a kinky relationship. But Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association General Counsel Lawrence Berger tells the New York Times the photo was sent years before Kelley contacted Humphries about the Broadwell emails — and that it was sent as a nonsexual joke:
That picture was sent years before Ms. Kelley contacted him about this, and it was sent as part of a larger context of what I would call social relations in which the families would exchange numerous photos of each other.
6. He Was Banned from Involvement in the Petraeus Case for Personal Involvement
Though Humphries was never officially working on the Petraeus case, he was sticking his nose in and was told to back off because he was personally involved. The shirtless pic would apparently speak to that.
7. He’s a Bulldog
A former colleague tells the Times:
Fred is a passionate kind of guy. He’s kind of an obsessive type. If he locked his teeth onto something, he’d be a bulldog.
8. He Leaked the Petraeus Probe to the Republicans
Humphries was of the belief that the Petraeus scandal case was being stalled due to the presidential election — a conspiracy theory now held by many. In October, Humphries contacted Dave Reichert, a Republican from Washington State, where Humphries was previously based. Reichert put him in contact with House Majority leader Eric Cantor, who in turn referred it to FBI director Robert S. Mueller III.
9. He’s Been ‘Reassigned’
The Times reports that Humphries’ conduct is under review by the bureau, but he has not been suspended. CBS reports he has been “reassigned.”
10. He Left the Army to Pursue Bigger & Better Things
According to the Seattle Times, Humphries was born in Steilacoom, Washington, and attended high school in Ontario, Canada. From high school he joined the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of captain in military intelligence. He became dissatisfied with what he viewed as a career as pencil pusher. Humphries won a scholarship to the University of Tampa where he majored in criminology. During one of his summers in college in interned in the Sheriff’s Office for Sangamon County, Illinois. His stepfather was the chief medical examiner of the county. While there he encountered FBI agents who were in the area investigating a missing person, and from there he decided he wanted to join the FBI.