November 13, 2007

Newsbrief: FBI Gumshoe Turned CIA Spook May Have Been Hezbollah Plant

Hatched by Dafydd

Not much to analyze yet on this one, but it's a case to keep an eye on: Will the drive-by media bother to further investigate this guilty plea -- given that the original administrative screwups happened under (ahem) the previous president?

A Lebanese-born C.I.A. officer who had previously worked as an F.B.I. agent pleaded guilty today to charges that she illegally sought classified information from government computers about the radical Islamic group Hezbollah.

The defendant, Nada Nadim Prouty, who also confessed that she had obtained American citizenship fraudulently, faces up to 16 years in prison under the plea agreement, which appeared to expose grave flaws in the methods used by both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct background checks on its investigators.

Prouty fraudulently obtained residency in 1990 by paying an American citizen to marry her. She obtained U.S. citizenship in 1994, then got herself hired in 1997 as a special agent of the FBI, largely (it appears) on her ability to speak Arabic.

Meanwhile, Prouty's ne'er-do-well brother-in-law (her sister's husband) had already become a fugitive from justice for "a scheme to funnel millions of dollars from his business to people in Lebanon;" but the FBI failed to discover that in her background check. The New York Times doesn't tell us who those "people" were, why they were to receive such largess, nor whether they were affiliated with Hezbollah; but they do note that the sister and the brother-in-law attended a Hezbollah fundraiser in August 2002:

The plea agreement noted, however, that Ms. Prouty’s sister and brother-in-law attended a fundraising event in Lebanon in August 2002 at which the keynote speaker was Sheikh Muhammed Hussein Fadlallah, the spiritual leader of Hezbollah. Sheikh Fadallah has been designated by the United States government as a terrorist leader.

In 2002 and 2003, Prouty romped through the FBI computers, conducting some highly suggestive and suspicious searches:

Ms. Prouty acknowledged two sets of illegal computer searches at the F.B.I. The first, in September 2002, involved case files that contained her name, her sister’s name or her brother-in-law’s name. The second, in June 2003, involved files from the national-security investigation of Hezbollah that was being conducted in Detroit, which has one of the nation’s largest Arabic-speaking communities.

She has pled guilty and could receive up to sixteen years in a federal slam.

So consider this a heads-up; let's all see if there is any media tracking of this extremely important story. And the first question will be... where does the NYT place it on the print version of the newspaper?

The second would be equally illuminating: Since this was a plea bargain, she must have been charged with more serious offenses that were pled down. What were those original charges? Did they include being a Hezbollah agent within the FBI and CIA?

Keep watching the spies...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 13, 2007, at the time of 7:43 PM

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The following hissed in response by: SlimGuy

I hope there is at least some internal "resume vetting" going on for any other similar situations and if located have their logins be redirected to bogus files that they might be seeking with individual customizations to act as tracers when the data pops up on the other end of the pipeline.

Also I don't care what your rank or position is, each should have random checks done of access patterns , social networks and even covert watch a whiles to make sure stuff is on the up and up.

The above hissed in response by: SlimGuy [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2007 9:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: necromancer

had to reconfigure type pad and get a new password. I like this blog a lot and a few others.
I didn't even get a chance to read even this article so can't say aye or nay.

The above hissed in response by: necromancer [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 13, 2007 9:21 PM

The following hissed in response by: Davod

I read that the plea bargain was for three to six months in prison.

The above hissed in response by: Davod [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 15, 2007 8:39 AM

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