Role in tracking al-Qaeda operatives in the US
The Spy Factory, an episode of the PBS series Nova, included segments of interviews with Rossini, who described his experience serving as one of the two FBI liaisons to the CIA's Bin Laden Issue Station, an inter-agency team assigned to track Osama bin Laden and his associates. Rossini described being aware in January 2000 that two al-Qaeda members, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, had valid US visas. However, a CIA employee, Michael Anne Casey, stopped him from passing the information to FBI headquarters. Rossini knew that if he reported this information to his FBI colleagues he would be breaking the law. The two men turned out to be hijackers of American Airlines flight 77 on 9/11.
Rossini also claims Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, a manager at the Bin Laden Issue Station, covered for Casey by telling congressional investigators that she walked from her office to FBI Headquarters to deliver the information about al-Mihdhar having a US visa. FBI log books proved this claim false.
Criminal conviction and resignation from FBI
In late 2008 Rossini pleaded guilty to five felony counts for criminally accessing records in an FBI database more than 40 times in 2007. Many of the records were related to a federal investigation of Anthony Pellicano, a former high-profile private investigator. At least one of the records was provided by Rossini to associates of Pellicano and was subsequently used in a court filing by Pellicano's attorneys, leading to the discovery of Rossini's involvement. Rossini resigned from the FBI and was sentenced to probation, community service, and a fine by U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola on May 14, 2009.
- Bamford, James; Willis, Scott (February 3, 2009). "The Spy Factory". PBS. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- Nowosielski, Ray; Duffy, John (20 September 2011). "Secrecy Kills - Transcript". secrecykills.com. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011.
- Cook, John (22 September 2011). "Chief of CIA's 'Global Jihad Unit' Revealed Online". Gawker.com. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- O'Connor, Rory; Nowosielski, Ray. "Insiders voice doubts about CIA's 9/11 Story". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "A Review of the FBI's Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks" (PDF). Office of Inspector General. U.S. Department of Justice. November 2004. Retrieved 10 July 2013. Chapter Five of this report, pages 223-362, covers information about the Malaysia al-Qaeda meeting and al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar's travel to the US in January 2000. Rossini is called "Malcolm" in the report and his performance is evaluated on pages 356-7.