Lebanese TV station reveals names of alleged CIA officers

Al-Manar TV logo

Al-Manar TV

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A Lebanese television station has aired the names of ten American diplomats, which it says are working for the United States Central Intelligence Agency under diplomatic cover. The identities of the ten diplomats were revealed on Friday by al-Manar, a satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah, the militant Shiite group that controls large parts of Lebanon. The station said that all ten alleged CIA agents, which include women, are stationed at the US embassy located in the Awkar area of northern Beirut. Their names were aired during a special investigative program broadcast on Friday night, which claimed to offer proof of CIA activities in Lebanon, in alleged collaboration with Israel’s intelligence service Mossad. The program featured animated sequences recreating meetings between CIA case officers and their paid informants, which allegedly took place in fashionable Beirut cafés and restaurants, such as Pizza Hut and Starbucks. The revelation by al-Manar follows last month’s acknowledgment by US officials that Hezbollah had indeed busted a Lebanese spy ring that had been set up and operated by the CIA in the Lebanese capital. The ring, which consisted of native Lebanese citizens, including allegedly “a doctor, a researcher and a journalist”, was apparently discovered after Hezbollah counterintelligence forces employed sophisticated telecommunications data analysis software, which flagged unusual usage patterns on phones belonging to CIA officers and agents. IntelNews has viewed the al-Manar broadcast that includes the identities of the alleged CIA officers. However, similarly to The Washington Post and The Associated Press, it is not revealing the identities of the US diplomats and potential CIA officers, because doing so would be punishable under US law. The Washington Post said it spoke to “former CIA officials”, who confirmed that at least one of the names mentioned in the al-Manar broadcast, that of the alleged CIA station chief in Beirut, “appeared to be accurate”. The Associated Press said that it was unclear whether American authorities had already exfiltrated the alleged CIA officers from Lebanon. Speaking last night, CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood refused to speculate on the accuracy of the al-Manar report, and cautioned US media that “Hezbollah is a dangerous organization, with al-Manar as its propaganda arm, [which] should cast some doubt on the credibility of the group’s claims”.

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