MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The agent who interrogated former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein after he was captured is heading the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s office in Miami.
According to our news partners, the Miami Herald, George Piro, 46, has replaced Michael Steinbach, a counter-terrorism specialist.
Steinbach had managed the bureaus South Florida office over the past year and is returning to Washington on Friday.
Piro is coming from Washington D.C. where he served as the deputy assistant director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate at FBI headquarters.
According to the FBI, in this role he would help, “lead the FBI’s efforts to deny adversaries’ access to weapons of mass destruction materials and technologies, detect and disrupt the use of weapons of mass destruction, and respond to weapons of mass destruction threats and incidents.”
He will now be in charge of more than 400 special agents from Key West to Fort Pierce and FBI legal attaches stationed in U.S. embassies throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, according to the paper.
Piro was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, and is a fluent Arabic and Assyrian speaker, according to the bureau. Before joining the FBI, he served as a police officer in California for nearly 10 years.
His fluent Arabic skill after 9/11 helped fuel his FBI career, leading him to eventually be selected as the bureau’s team leader in charge of Hussein’s interrogation.
Saddam Hussein was captured in late 2003. Piro spoke about his interrogations of Hussein in a CBS 60 minutes interview back in 2008.