CIA Spies Captured in Middle East
Officials fear they will be executed
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 21, 2011 8:47 AM CST
Hezbollah fighters parade during a rally this month.   (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

(Newser) – More than a dozen CIA spies have been caught in Lebanon and Iran over the last six months, and the US worries they’ll be executed—or already have been. "If they were genuine spies, spying against Hezbollah, I don't think we'll ever see them again," an ex-CIA officer tells ABC News. The capture of the spies—who ABC describes as paid informants recruited by the CIA—marks a major setback for US intelligence efforts related to Hezbollah's plans and Iran's nuclear ambitions. And while some insiders point to the inherent risk of such work, others say "sloppy" methods are partially to blame.

“We were lazy and the CIA is now flying blind against Hezbollah,” says one former official. Hezbollah reportedly used double agents to discover the location where intelligence officials were meeting: a Beirut Pizza Hut. They soon started to "roll up" the US spy operation. Meanwhile, Iranian intelligence officials uncovered the online communication method that CIA-funded spies in that country used; it’s not yet clear how many were compromised, though it may have been dozens. Iran and Hezbollah leaders announced their infiltration of US intelligence months ago, but few paid attention at the time, ABC notes.

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
Feb 8, 2012 6:55 PM CST
Tough luck. But hey, you spy you die.
Nov 21, 2011 6:19 PM CST
This is good news, Iran and Labanon have every right to execute them, after all this is espionage were talking about here. Can't have any sympathy for people who want to go stir up problems in countries they have no buisness being in. Don't forget about the case of Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg & Julius Rosenberg, the US Government had every right to execute them. Eaither way it's up to Lebanon and Iran to deicde what's fair, not the United States. For those who may wondering how the spies were caught, "Hezbollah examined cellphone data looking for anomalies. The analysis identified cellphones that, for instance, were used rarely or always from specific locations and only for a short period of time. Then it came down to old-fashioned, shoe-leather detective work: Who in that area had information that might be worth selling to the enemy? his effort took years but eventually Hezbollah, and later the Lebanese government, began making arrests. By one estimate, 100 Israeli assets were apprehended as the news made headlines across the region in 2009. Some of those suspected Israeli spies worked for telecommunications companies and served in the military." This is a good article written by AP
Nov 21, 2011 5:51 PM CST
Obama deserves the death penalty. This is completely unacceptable. Unbelieveable. What have we become. First Fast and Furious, and now this. He has got to be held accountable for innocent lives that he shows flippant regard for. Disgusting.