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Retired FBI agent dead in Iran

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/26/20, 10:41 am

Robert Levinson went missing in Iran more than a decade ago and was the longest-held hostage in U.S. history, according to the FBI. His family revealed on Wednesday that U.S. officials think the retired FBI agent died in the Iranian government’s custody before the coronavirus outbreak. Iran has denied the claim.

What happened to him? Levinson retired from the FBI in 1998. He had planned to meet a source on the Iranian resort island of Kish on March 9, 2007, when he went missing. U.S. officials initially reported that Levinson was working independently, but a 2013 investigation revealed that CIA analysts with no authority to run espionage missions had sent him. After years of denying any knowledge of Levinson, Iran in November said it had an open case on his disappearance. A federal judge recently held Iran liable for his “hostage taking and torture.”

Dig deeper: From WORLD’s archives, read J.C. Derrick’s 2015 report on families of American prisoners seeking government intervention.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Thu, 03/26/2020 02:06 pm

    Sorrow for Levinson and his family.

    Bet there is a story here, maybe someone with good info will write a book.