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He also said an FBI policy of promoting agents to its upper-management positions who have no “comprehension of the Arabic language” had resulted in the bureau’s failure to have a management capable of responding to “real-time potential threats or opportunities.” He said “an overdependency” of translators “can and does delay responses to situations that are time critical.”

“Subtle messages and information not capable of ready translation or that which would be obvious to a native speaker who is simultaneously involved in operational activities are regularly lost,” he said.

In January, the FBI said it had 46 agents and 285 language analysts who spoke at least conversational Arabic, “enough qualified personnel to do our job,” although it was continuing to recruit additional Arabic speakers.

Mr. Youssef, who was born in Egypt, has accused the FBI of improperly denying him promotions in the counterterrorism division — an accusation denied by the bureau. In July 2006, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that the FBI had retaliated against Mr. Youssef because of disclosures he made to the agency’s director and a member of Congress.

No trial date has been set.