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A Hizbullah Mole? Case against CIA spy shocks counterintelligence community

(Newsweek) A former FBI agent who pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship and then improperly accessing sensitive computer information about Hizbullah was working until about a year ago as a CIA spy assigned to Middle East operations, NEWSWEEK has learned.

The stunning case of Nada Nadim Prouty, a 37-year-old Lebanese native who is related to a suspected Hizbullah money launderer, appears to raise a nightmarish question for U.S. intelligence agencies: could one of the world’s most notorious terrorist groups have infiltrated the U.S. government?

“I’m beginning to think it’s possible that Hizbullah put a mole in our government,” said Richard Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism chief under presidents Clinton and, until 2002, Bush. “It’s mind-blowing.”

A U.S. official familiar with the case said Tuesday that the government’s investigation has uncovered no evidence so far that Prouty, who was employed by the CIA until last week, had compromised any undercover operations or passed along sensitive intelligence information to Hizbullah operatives. After joining the CIA in June 2003, Prouty was an undercover officer for the agency’s National Clandestine Service, the espionage division, working on Middle East–related cases. She was reassigned to a less sensitive position about a year ago, after she first came under suspicion, officials said.

Prosecutors have not charged Prouty with espionage. Nonetheless, the case remains an “ongoing investigation” and “that is obviously something we’re looking at,” a senior law enforcement official said. Her lawyer declined comment today. Under the terms of her plea agreement, she faces six to 12 months behind bars and could be stripped of her U.S. citizenship.

The case is clearly a major embarrassment for both the FBI and CIA and has already raised a host of questions. Chief among them: how did an illegal alien from Lebanon who was working as a waitress at a shish kabob restaurant in Detroit manage to slip through extensive security background checks, including polygraphs, to land highly sensitive positions with the nation’s top law enforcement and intelligence agencies?

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November 15, 2007 - Posted by | Blogroll, Homeland security, news, personal, politics, random, religion, Terrorism, Terrorism In The U.S., Terrorism News, Uncategorized, War-On-Terror

1 Comment »

  1. What increases the shock to me that how light a sentence Prouty is receiving for her actions. I hope that nothing in the plea agreement precludes a later espionage charge.

    Comment by David Carroll | November 15, 2007 | Reply


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