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Gen. John Allen: How top US commander got caught up in Petraeus scandal (+video)

Gen. John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, is now the subject of an FBI investigation for alleged "inappropriate communications" with Jill Kelley, a married socialite in Florida. Gen. John Allen denies any wrongdoing.

By Kimberly Dozier and Pete YostAssociated Press / November 13, 2012

Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, listens during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington in March. The sex scandal that led to CIA Director David Petraeus' downfall widened Tuesday with word General Allen is under investigation for thousands of alleged "inappropriate communications" with another woman involved in the case. (

AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

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Washington

The sex scandal that led to CIA Director David Petraeus' resignation widened Tuesday, with the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan under investigation for alleged "inappropriate communications" with a woman who received threatening emails from Petraeus' former lover.

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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed that the Pentagon had begun an internal investigation into thousands of pages of emails from Gen. John Allen to a second woman involved in the Petraeus case.

Allen succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011, and his nomination to become the next commander of the U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe has been put on hold.

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In a White House statement early Tuesday, National Security spokesman Tommy Vietor said President Barack Obama has held Allen's nomination at Panetta's request. Obama, the statement said, "remains focused on fully supporting our extraordinary troops and coalition partners in Afghanistan, who Gen. Allen continues to lead as he has so ably done for over a year."

Meanwhile, FBI agents prepared a timeline of the Petraeus affair and searched the home of Paula Broadwell, the 40-year-old biographer with whom the 60-year-old Petraeus had an affair that led to his abrupt resignation Friday.

The resignation and his acknowledgement of an affair stunned Washington because of the former general's highly disciplined and well-praised career, which had led some to speculate whether a run for the White House would be in his future. The 60-year-old retired Army general headed U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan before taking charge of the CIA.

It was Broadwell's threatening emails to Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old Florida woman who is a Petraeus family friend, that led to the FBI's discovery of communications between Broadwell and Petraeus indicating they were having an affair.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Kelley and her husband held parties at their home for top US military officials, and have known David and Holly Petraeus for five years.

A Pentagon official said 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails and other documents from Allen's communications with Kelley between 2010 and 2012 are under review. He would not say whether they involved sexual matters or whether they are thought to include unauthorized disclosures of classified information. He said he did not know whether Petraeus is mentioned in the emails.

Allen has denied any wrongdoing.

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