FBI Jet Veers Off Course

Tricked-out aircraft designated for counterterrorism often ferries director
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2007 10:14 AM CDT
FBI Jet Veers Off Course
FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 26, 2007, before the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee hearing on proposed fiscal 2008 appropriations for the FBI. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)   (Associated Press)

The FBI says it needs its $40 million Gulfstream V jet for counterterrorism missions, yet nearly one-quarter of its flight time consists of routine trips by director Robert Mueller, the Washington Post reports. A key Republican senator calls this use of the only agency aircraft capable of international flights "a good way to lose congressional approval of a necessary resource."

A bureau spokesman justifies the use, describing Mueller as "the CEO of the FBI's part in the war on terror." The agency acquired the jet to relocate terrorism suspects long distances on short notice without having to rely on military aircraft or sympathetic private-plane owners. Budget requests stress the jet’s performance in "fast-moving investigations and crisis situations" overseas. (More War on Terror stories.)

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