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This is interesting. American Raymond Allen Davis, a former Special Forces soldier, is arrested for the murder of two men in Pakistan. Davis reportedly has a Glock handgun and multiple ID's. Davis identifies himself as a diplomat, as does the US State Department, but the Associated Press is quoting "unnamed sources" as reporting that Davis is in fact a CIA contractor. The US State Department says he has diplomatic immunity.

Pakistani security officials escort Raymond Allen Davis, a US CIA contractor, center, to a local court in Lahore, Pakistan, 01/28/11. (photo: Hamza Ahmed/AP)
Pakistani security officials escort Raymond Allen Davis, a US CIA contractor, center, to a local court in Lahore, Pakistan, 01/28/11. (photo: Hamza Ahmed/AP)



US Official Arrested in Pakistan Is Actually CIA Contractor

By Adam Goldman and Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press

21 February 11



This is interesting. American Raymond Allen Davis, a former Special Forces soldier, is arrested for the murder of two men in Pakistan. Davis reportedly has a Glock handgun and multiple IDs. Davis identifies himself as a diplomat, as does the US State Department, but the Associated Press is quoting "unnamed sources" as reporting that Davis is in fact a CIA contractor. The US State Department says he has diplomatic immunity. -- ma/RSN



n American jailed in Pakistan for the fatal shooting of two armed men was secretly working for the CIA when he was arrested, a disclosure likely to further frustrate US government efforts to free the man and strain relations between two countries partnered in a fragile alliance in the war on terror.

Raymond Allen Davis, 36, had been working as a CIA security contractor for the US consulate in Lahore, according to former and current US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk publicly about the incident.

Davis, a former Special Forces soldier who left the military in 2003, shot the men in what he described as an attempted armed robbery in the eastern city of Lahore as they approached him on a motorcycle. A third Pakistani, a bystander, died when a car rushing to help Davis struck him. Davis was reportedly carrying a Glock handgun, a pocket telescope and papers with different identifications.

The revelation that Davis was an employee of the CIA comes amid a tumultuous dispute over whether he is immune from criminal prosecution under international rules enacted to protect diplomats overseas. New protests in Pakistan erupted after The Guardian newspaper in London decided to publish details about Davis' relationship with the CIA.

The US had repeatedly asserted that Davis had diplomatic immunity and should have been released immediately. The State Department had claimed Davis was "entitled to full criminal immunity in accordance with the Vienna Convention" and was a member of the "technical and administrative staff" at the US Embassy in Islamabad.

The Associated Press learned about Davis working for the CIA last month, immediately after the shootings, but withheld publication of the information because it could endanger his life while he was jailed overseas, with at least some protesters there calling for his execution as a spy.

The AP had intended to report Davis' CIA employment after he was out of harm's way, but the story was broken Sunday by The Guardian. The CIA asked The AP and several other US media outlets to hold their stories as the US tried to improve Davis' security situation.

A US official says Davis is being held at a jail on the outskirts of Lahore where there are serious doubts about whether the Pakistanis can truly protect him. The official says the Pakistanis have expressed similar concerns to the US.

The State Department said the Pakistani government was informed that Davis was a diplomat and entitled to immunity when he was assigned to the US Embassy in Islamabad. "We notified the Pakistani government when he arrived in Islamabad," department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

Davis identified himself as a diplomat to police when he was arrested and "has repeatedly requested immunity" to no avail, Crowley said. The US Embassy said he has a diplomatic passport and a visa valid through June 2012. It also said in a recent statement the US had notified the Pakistani government of Davis' assignment more than a year ago. However, a senior Pakistani intelligence official says that Davis' visa application contained bogus US contact information.

Since Pakistani authorities took the ex-Special Forces soldier into custody Jan. 27, US officials said, the situation has slowly escalated into a crisis, threatening the CIA's ability to wage a dangerous war against al-Qaida and militants. Some members of Congress have threatened to cut off the billions in funding to Pakistan if Davis isn't released.

Davis was attached to the CIA's Global Response Staff, which provides security overseas to agency bases and stations, former and current US officials told the AP. In that role, he was assigned to protect CIA personnel. On the day he was captured, he was familiarizing himself with the area.

"Davis is a protective officer, someone who provides security to US officials in Pakistan," the U.S official said. "Rumors to the contrary are simply wrong."

In a YouTube video of local police interrogating him, Davis says he's a consultant and he's with the "RAO," a reference to the American Regional Affairs Office. Davis also said at one point he was attached to the US Embassy in Islamabad.

Working for the agency's GRS comes with risks - sometimes fatal ones. The head of security at the CIA's base in Khost, Afghanistan, was killed with six others in December 2009 after a suicide bomber detonated a powerful explosive under his belt.

The CIA has a major presence in Pakistan, where it runs the drone program in Islamabad and offensive operations against militants, al-Qaida and Pakistan's spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence.

Former and current US officials say the Pakistanis might have been stalling to release Davis so he could be extensively questioned, hoping he could provide more information about CIA activities in the troubled country or possibly even identify other agency officers.

The senior Pakistani intelligence official told the AP the two men in the response vehicle that went to aid Davis, killing the bystander, have left the country. The official said the Pakistani government's decision to let them leave was a concession to the US.

The US-Pakistani partnership had begun to fray in recent months. In late 2010, a pair of civil lawsuits filed in the US accused Pakistan's spy chief of nurturing terrorists involved in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Shortly after the lawsuits were filed, the name of the CIA's top spy in Pakistan was publicly disclosed and his life threatened. He was eventually pulled out of the country in December, a month before the scheduled end of his tour.

A former CIA officer said militants have also threatened the children of ISI officers. And the CIA in recent years has become increasingly concerned about the safety of its officers in outlying areas like Lahore and Peshawar, a former senior US intelligence source said. But the danger was more pronounced in Lahore, where the CIA learned there might be government elements willing to harm agency officers.

Former CIA officials said the agency officers could have been killed in 2009 when terrorists attacked an ISI compound in Lahore. CIA officers regularly met their counterparts at the compound but didn't have a meeting scheduled the day of the attack.

Further inflaming tensions, the wife of one of the men Davis shot committed suicide. She had said she feared her husband's killer would be freed without trial.

Military records show Davis, a Virginia native, served a decade in the Army, including five years with the 3rd Special Forces Group in Fort Bragg, NC, home to the Green Berets.

Davis also worked for Xe Services, the security contractor formerly known as Blackwater.

Davis and his wife run a Las Vegas-registered company called Hyperion Protective Services. The address for its headquarters is a mailbox at a UPS store in a strip mall. The truth about Davis' true employer briefly slipped out after a local television reporter in Colorado called his wife.

In a story posted on the website of Denver's 9News, the wife provided the name and number of a "CIA spokesperson" in Washington, DC But the story was quickly taken down, edited and then reposted with new language eliminating any reference to the CIA.

The incident in Pakistan also raises serious questions about how an armed CIA employee could become involved in a fatal shooting with street bandits and allow himself to be captured. Former CIA officers say they were taught to make their way back to the safety of the embassy or consulate in potentially dangerous situations, but the circumstances could have made that impossible in Davis' case.

Former CIA officials say this is not the first time an agency employee was detained in a foreign country. In the 1980s, a CIA officer with diplomatic immunity was abducted in Ethiopia after he was suspected of spying. The case was quietly resolved and the officer was eventually released.


Associated Press writers Oskar Garcia in Las Vegas and Anne Gearan and Matt Apuzzo in Washington and Kathy Gannon in Islamabad contributed to this report.

 

 

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+11 # Sean 2011-02-21 20:18
Why does this article contain the word 'captured'? He wasn't 'captured', he was ARRESTED...for shooting people in the street!
 
 
+7 # bookzen 2011-02-21 23:58
Davis runs a Las Vegas company called Hyperion Protective Services. He a hired gun. If U.S. Embassy personnel carry multiple IDs & Glock pistols we have a serious problem. Duplicity, however, seems to come easy to the U.S. State Department. Shameful!
 
 
+2 # tim 2011-02-22 01:17
Shot the bandits in the back per the NY Times.
 
 
+3 # Willard Wheelock 2011-02-22 08:50
Just another example of what this regime is capable of. Diplomatic immunity should be abolished in all countries. A crime is a crime. Look how many foreign criminals are let go here because of it. It is incidents like this that undermine what little if any trust the world still has in the USA.
 
 
+1 # robhood 2011-02-22 11:48
This is the kind of crap our tax dollars are wasted on! End All black ops budgets!
 
 
+1 # Capn Canard 2011-02-22 12:36
DIPLOMATS DO NOT CARRY WEAPONS. If this person were truly a diplomat he wouldn't have killed two men. The men is question might have had a reason to be very suspicious of Davis. He kills two and then cries for diplomatic immunity. This is criminal. We've got to get rid of mercenaries! This will destroy relations for a long time to come. Nice work, thanks Raymond Allen Davis for destroying any hope for diplomatic normality. I say let'em take his chances in a Pakistani court. If he is innocent he has nothing to hide.
 
 
+1 # sabiha1 2011-02-22 15:19
US double standards have been exposed. What justified Obama's immediate response verifying the spy's 'diplomatic' status and John Kerry's visit to Pakistan for Raymond Davis' release? Pakistan is infested with suchlike spies by whatever name they be called, and the overwhelming perception in Pakistan is that they are the trainers. financiers and arrangers of all the bombings and suicide bombings which have killed thousands of innocents in the recent past. They are not welcome in Pakistan. They also pose questions to the US taxpayers.
 
 
+1 # mtnview 2011-02-23 11:01
First report of this story, it was kinda obvious it was not an ordinary robbery and self-defense story. Duh. Congratulations to the AP and the UK Guardian for actually reporting, even with bias. More will come out, probably some "military contractor malfeasance", a blown assignment, and a failure to extract this agent quickly. Spies do not have diplomatic immunity in the US or in any other country.
 
 
-1 # mhog jones 2011-03-01 11:31
another agent of confusion off the streets...thank the sky gods. in 2007 Iraq it cost $35,000,000 to kill one insurgent; that cost has soured with the advent and deployment of "drones". it only costs an insurgent on the average $100 to kill a us serviceman. bankrupt America: call out the troops! rah rah rah (blah, blah, blah!)!
 
 
0 # aikidokurt 2011-03-01 11:35
another agent of confusion off the streets....
 
 
-2 # Dr William B. Mount 2011-03-11 13:24
US does not recognize Diplomatic Immunity for Ambassadors in the USA, why should Pakistan recognize US Immunity there?

Davis's records were released by Wikileaks by the way - former US military members who had their records sold for money by the VA.
 

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