Date: Wed Jan 28 2009 - 21:59:49 EST
Former CIA station chief target of rape inquiry
* Story Highlights
* Source: Two Algerian woman say CIA officer raped them in Algeria
* Women say date-rape drugs were used in assaults
* Source: Man was relieved of job as CIA's Algeria station chief after
* Tapes showing apparently semiconscious women, sex acts found, source
By Kevin Bohn
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A former CIA station chief in Algeria is under
investigation by the State and Justice departments after being accused of
raping at least two women while he held the post, a source confirmed to CNN
The women told investigators that they think date-rape drugs were used in
the assaults, which are said to have occurred at the officer's official
residence, according to the source.
The allegations were made in the fall, when the unidentified officer was
still serving as station chief. In October, soon after the allegations were
made, the man returned to the United States for a previously scheduled trip
and was ordered not to return to his post, the source said.
A senior U.S. official confirmed that the case is under investigation but
refused to comment on the details.
State Department spokesman Robert Wood issued a brief statement in response
to a CNN inquiry, saying that "the individual in question has returned to
Washington and the U.S. government is looking into the matter," and
referring reporters to the Justice Department.
The women, who are Algerian citizens, brought their allegations to a U.S.
government official, and federal authorities then launched an
A search of the station chief's residence in Algeria was approved by a U.S.
District Court judge after a request from the Justice Department. The
search found pills believed to be of a type commonly used in date rape, the
In that search, authorities also found about a dozen tapes that are thought
to show the officer engaged in sexual acts, the source said, including some
in which women are believed to be in a semiconscious state. CNN's source
had not seen the tapes but had been briefed on their content. Some of the
tapes include date stamps indicating that the recordings happened when he
would have been serving in Cairo, Egypt, before his tenure in Algeria.
The investigation includes his time in both posts as well as other
locations where he traveled.
The identity of the officer could not be learned, and CNN was unable to
reach a representative of the officer. It is against the law to reveal
identities of covert officers.
When the allegations surfaced in the fall, they were viewed as
"tremendously explosive, no doubt about that," the source said, especially
because Algeria is a Muslim country.
The Justice Department and the CIA would not comment on the allegations or
"I can assure you that the agency would take seriously and follow up any
allegations of impropriety," CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said.
The officer has not been charged, the source said. The source would not
speak for attribution because the investigation is ongoing and the source
was not authorized to speak publicly.
One federal law enforcement source said that no developments or activities
relating to the case are "imminent."
A station chief heads the CIA's office in a foreign country, establishing a
relationship with its host intelligence service and overseeing agency
activities in the country.
CNN producers Jim Barnett, Pam Benson, Carol Cratty and Elise Labott
contributed to this story.
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