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CIA Urges Caution in Unusual Cable Sent To All Field Operatives
By Staff, Agencies
The Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] sent a top-secret cable to all of its stations and bases around the world urging operatives to be more careful as a growing number of US informants have been caught in recent years, according to The New York Times.
According to Times reporters Julian Barnes and Adam Goldman, the cable included the specific number of informants who were caught but did not reveal it.
For the past 20 years the CIA has focused on counterterrorism and has relied mostly on foreign informants, the report said. However, in recent years, the spy organization's focus has shifted to emerging world powers, mainly Russia and China, who, along with Iran and Pakistan, have advanced counterintelligence services and technologies that have become increasingly successful in tracking CIA case officers and thereby the agency's informants.
The cable did not only warn of tactical recalculations but mentioned a mistake in case officers' priority list. According to the Times, the cable included a warning that officers have been too focused on the "mission" - perhaps in order to amass successes - and have neglected procedures regarding proper screening of potential informants, a process that helps ensure the agency does not unwittingly recruit double-agents.
Such incidents have occurred in the past, according to the Times. The cable was therefore sent in order to avoid further discovery and perhaps further bloodshed.
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