Hezbol­lah mole

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

De­fense of­fi­cials say the ar­rest of a for­mer FBI spe­cial agent and CIA of­fi­cer for sup­ply­ing se­crets to the Ira­nian-backed ter­ror­ist group Hezbol­lah is an­other black eye for the bureau, which con­tin­ues to strug­gle at de­vel­op­ing an ef­fec­tive coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence ca­pa­bil­ity.

“This was a Hezbol­lah mole, and all you have to do is look at her clear­ance to see how bad this is,” said a U.S. de­fense of­fi­cial in­volved in intelligence mat­ters.

Le­banese-born Nada Nadim Prouty, who ob­tained U.S. cit­i­zen­ship by fraud, pleaded guilty Tues­day to charges she il­le­gally ob­tained clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion on Hezbol­lah, which is con­sid­ered the most deadly Is­lamist ter­ror group af­ter al Qaeda.

Fed­eral of­fi­cials seek­ing to limit the neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity on the case say it ap­pears mainly re­lated to Hezbol­lah fundrais­ing ef­forts in the U.S. that in­volved mil­lions of dol­lars go­ing to the Le­banese-based in­ter­na­tional ter­ror group.

But the dam­age could be ex­ten­sive be­cause of Miss Prouty’s ac­cess to clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion con­tained in both FBI and CIA data­bases. She held a “top se­cret-SCI” clear­ance, for “sen­si­tive com­part­mented in­for­ma­tion,” among the high­est-level clear­ances in gov­ern­ment.

Of­fi­cials said if it is de­ter­mined that clas­si­fied data was passed to Hezbol­lah, the losses could be ex­tremely dam­ag­ing and in­clude the com­pro­mise of both re­cruited agents as well as elec­tronic intelligence-gath­er­ing.

Court pa­pers in the case did not say Miss Prouty passed in­for­ma­tion to Hezbol­lah.

The FBI still is re­cov­er­ing from two very dam­ag­ing spy cases: The case of FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who was a long­time spy for Moscow, and Ka­t­rina Leung, who worked for decades as a sup­posed FBI as­set, but who even­tu­ally was found to be a Bei­jing spy.

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