Craig Whitlock

A - Q


Whitlock, Craig. "Adm. William McRaven: The Terrorist Hunter on Whose Shoulders Osama bin Laden Raid Rested." Washington Post, 4 May 2011. []

"As U.S. helicopters secretly entered Pakistani airspace [on 1 May 2011], the Joint Operations Center at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan was under the control" of Vice Adm. William H. McRaven. A former SEAL, McRaven "had tapped a special unit of Navy SEALs for the mission two months earlier" and "overseen weeks of intensive training for a covert operation.... In March, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he was recommending McRaven for promotion to four-star admiral and leader of the U.S. Special Operations Command."


Whitlock, Craig. "After a Decade at War With West, Al-Qaeda Still Impervious to Spies." Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2008, A1. []

According to U.S. and European intelligence officials, "U.S. spy agencies have had little luck recruiting well-placed informants and are finding the upper reaches of the network tougher to penetrate than the Kremlin during the Cold War."


Whitlock, Craig. "Defense Secretary Orders Review of Military Information Programs." Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2010, A4. []

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said on 23 March 2010 that "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered a review of the military's information operations programs in response to allegations that private contractors ran an unauthorized spy ring in Afghanistan.... The Defense Department's inspector general and other Pentagon officials have already launched investigations into [Michael D.] Furlong's activities. But Gates wanted a broader review, Morrell said." See also Walter Pincus, "Defense Investigates Information-Operations Contractors," Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2010, A17.

[MI/2010s/2010 & Ops/Afgh/10]

Whitlock, Craig. "Drone Base in Niger Gives U.S. a Strategic Foothold in West Africa." Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2013. []

The U.S. Air Force began flying unarmed Predator drones from a base outside Niamey, Niger, last month. The Predators "give the Pentagon a strategic foothold in West Africa. Niger shares a long border with Mali.... Niger also borders Libya and Nigeria.... U.S. officials said they share video footage and other intelligence collected by the unmanned aircraft with French forces and African troops -- including 670 soldiers from Niger -- who are fighting the Islamist insurgency in Mali. Liaison officers from Niger, France and Chad work alongside U.S. Air Force personnel who launch and land the drones from the base in Niamey....

"Two U.S. defense officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity..., said the Pentagon ultimately wants to move the Predators to the Saharan city of Agadez, in northern Niger.... The airfield in Agadez, however, is rudimentary and needs improvements before it can host drones, officials said. The U.S. military has used Agadez since last year as a refueling stop for U-28 spy planes -- small, piloted aircraft flown by private contractors. U.S. officials have hesitated to send those surveillance aircraft across the border into Mali because of fears that the crews could be taken hostage if the planes crash or are shot down."

[Recon/UAVs/10s; Terrorism/10s/13]

Whitlock, Craig. "The East Berlin Tunnel: Whose Ruse? In Cold War Spy Games, a Coup for the CIA Wasn't All It Seemed." Washington Post, 28 Jan. 2008, A1. []

The author rehashes the usual points of discussion that surround the Berlin Tunnel. The occasion for the article seems to be the apparent recent discovery of the release (which occurred in February 2007) of the CIA's internal history of the operation, The Berlin Tunnel Operation, 1952-1956. The CIA document is carried in three parts on the Washington Post's website:




It is also available at: and via search at:


Whitlock, Craig. "Germans Drop Bid for Extraditions in CIA Case: 13 Agency Operatives Charged in Kidnapping." Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2007, A9. []

German authorities confirmed on 23 September 2007 "that they have dropped their efforts to seek the extradition of 13 CIA operatives charged in the kidnapping" of Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, four years ago.

[CIA/00s/07; Germany/00s]

Whitlock, Craig. "How Crashing Drones Are Exposing Secrets about U.S. War Operations." Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2015. []

"Since January 2014, the Air Force has reported 14 crashes of Predator and Reaper drones that either destroyed the aircraft or inflicted more than $2 million in damage. Three of the accidents took place in Afghanistan, but six happened elsewhere in classified or undisclosed sites, a sharp increase from prior years." U.S. military drones are based in Afghanistan, "Turkey, Italy, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Djibouti.... In addition, the CIA has its own drone bases in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan."


Whitlock, Craig. "Italy Seeks Extradition of 22 CIA Operatives." Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2005, A19. []

On 11 November 2005, "Italian prosecutors ... formally requested the extradition of 22 U.S. citizens believed to be CIA operatives on charges that they seized" Egyptian cleric Abu Omar in Milan in 2003 and "flew him to Cairo, where he later said he was tortured.... The prosecutors' extradition request is now before Italian Justice Minister Roberto Castelli."

[CIA/00s/05/Gen; OtherCountries/Italy/PostCW]

Whitlock, Craig. "Jordan's Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA." Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2007, A1. []

"[A]ccording to documents and former prisoners, human rights advocates, defense lawyers and former U.S. officials," Jordan's General Intelligence Department (GID) has provided "a covert way station for CIA prisoners captured in other countries."

[CIA/00s/07; OtherCountries/Jordan]

Whitlock, Craig. "Lithuanian Resignation Tied to CIA Inquiry." Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2009. []

Povilas Malakauskas, director of the State Security Department, "resigned [on 14 December 2009], the apparent casualty of an official investigation into whether the Baltic country allowed the CIA to operate a secret prison for terrorism suspects."


Whitlock, Craig. "Navy Lands Drone Aboard Aircraft Carrier for First Time." Washington Post, 10 Jul. 2013. []

On 10 July 2013, the U.S. Navy landed the X-47B experimental drone on the flight deck of the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier. "In addition to meeting the challenge of landing on a large ship, however, [this] flight marked the first time that a military drone flew autonomously for an extended stretch of time, without any human direction."


Whitlock, Craig. "Obama says U.S. Warplanes Involved in Somali Rescue Mission." Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2013. []

In a letter to Congress on 13 January 2013, President Obama said "U.S. military fighter jets provided backup support to a failed French hostage rescue mission in Somalia" on 11 January 2013. The President said "U.S. combat aircraft 'provided limited technical support' to French forces," adding that "the U.S. warplanes 'briefly' entered Somali airspace but did not open fire.... The White House said Obama was obligated under the War Powers Act to notify Congress within 48 hours of the operation because U.S. military aircraft entered another country in support of a combat mission."


Whitlock, Craig. "Prosecutors: Italian Agency Helped CIA Seize Cleric." Washington Post, 6 Jul. 2006, A15. []

On 5 July 2006, Italian prosecutors said that they had "firm evidence" that SISMI, the military intelligence agency, "collaborated with the CIA to kidnap" Abu Omar in Milan in 2003. Two high-ranking Italian intelligence officials have been arrested and warrants issued for four unnamed Americans. Italian media identified the SISMI officials as "Marco Mancini, head of military counterespionage, and Gustavo Pignero, SISMI's chief for northern Italy at the time of the kidnapping."

[CIA/00s/06/Gen; OtherCountries/Italy/PostCW]

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