(RepublicanPress.org) – The CIA uses informants across the world to gather intelligence information. Those people’s names are usually guarded at the highest levels. However, in recent years, the agency has lost many informants.
On October 5, news media outlets broke the story that intelligence community officials distributed a top-secret cable. The message stated the CIA-led Counterintelligence Mission Center (CIMC) uncovered dozens of instances of operatives from other countries arresting, murdering, or compromising foreign informants. A report from 2017 also revealed that in 2010, China managed to get the names of some of the informants and executed 12 of them.
BREAKING: A top-secret cable warned every CIA base last week about troubling numbers of foreign informants who have been killed, arrested or turned into double agents. Intelligence services in Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan have been hunting down CIA sources. – NYT
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) October 5, 2021
In an unusual move, the message included specific details regarding informants taken out by rival intelligence services. It also highlighted the struggles with overseas recruitment efforts.
Additionally, the cable detailed information regarding efforts by adversarial nations like China, Iran, and Russia to hunt down CIA informants and convert them into double agents who then feed information to adversaries about the US.
Noting that intelligence-gathering using informants is a high-risk venture, the message blamed the issue on field agents extending unwarranted levels of trust to tipsters. It also blamed efforts to move too hastily when recruiting operatives, a situation described as placing too much emphasis on “mission over security.”
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