The Straits Times
Published on Nov 16, 2012

Shirtless photo a 'joke,' says FBI agent who began Petraeus inquiry


WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The FBI agent who began the investigation that led David Petraeus to resign as CIA director said that a shirtless photo he sent to a woman at the center of the probe was a "joke" sent to many friends, and was not meant to be sexual.

Frederick Humphries told the Seattle Times in an interview published Thursday that the photo in the unfolding adultery scandal that brought down Gen Petraeus was sent to Tampa, Florida, socialite Jill Kelley in 2010.

Mr Humphries, who has been identified in media reports on the scandal mainly as the "shirtless" FBI agent, was a "top-notch"operative, according to a prosecutor who worked with him on the"millennium bomber" case years ago.

Andrew Hamilton, now a senior deputy prosecutor for King County, Washington, said Mr Humphries was assigned to the case partly because he spoke excellent French. Ahmed Ressam, who was convicted of plotting to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999, claimed to be from Quebec and spoke French.