Washington – The US intelligence agency, CIA admits that its agents in the foreign countries have been killed or captured. Last week, top US CIA officials had warned CIA stations around the globe in this regard, reports The New York Times. Over the past decade, there were claims that China had dismantled the network of CIA agents. However, the message sent by top intelligence officials is considered as the first open confession.
Last week, top officials of the counter-intelligence mission of the CIA had sent secret cables to all of its stations and bases around the world. It said the CIA’s Counter-intelligence Mission Centre was working on numerous cases involving foreign agents. The message conveyed that these foreign agents could have been killed or captured. It mentioned the count of the agents and it is considerable. The fact that intelligence agencies across the globe usually do not confess such details in the cable draws attention.
Furthermore, the message mentioned that the foreign intelligence services were conducting an aggressive campaign against CIA agents. Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan have been mentioned while citing the foreign intelligence agencies. Agents who are part of the CIA network in these countries suffered huge losses. Simultaneously, it also mentions various struggles faced by the CIA.
The NYT also mentioned some decisions taken earlier by Sheetal T. Patel, assistant director for counter-intelligence of the CIA. That includes a warning to former CIA officials in January this year. Patel had warned former CIA officials against working for foreign intelligence agencies and about not talking to journalists. He is said to have warned current officers of the CIA too. A spokesperson of the intelligence agency has declined to comment.
Former officials and agents have claimed that underestimating foreign agencies was one of the critical factors for the killings. Former officials have criticized the CIA for disregarding foreign agencies’ ability to track down and target CIA agents. Concurrently, focusing on the threat of terrorism and using covert communication systems has proven expensive to the US intelligence agency.
In one of its articles, The New York Times claimed that the CIA needs to strengthen its network with the growing challenges of China, Russia and withdrawal from Afghanistan.