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CIA sounds alarm over capture, killing of dozens of informants: report

The CIA has called on its frontline spies to step up their operational security around the world after dozens of informants have been arrested, killed or otherwise compromised in recent years, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

A cable sent last week from top US counterintelligence officials to every agency station and base included the exact number of human sources arrested or executed by rival services — a detail that is typically a closely guarded secret, the Times reported.

The document lays several issues at the feet of case officers responsible for recruiting new informants — including poor tradecraft, underestimating the counterintelligence prowess of foreign agencies, and focusing on recruitment without paying proper attention to potential risks. It goes on to remind officers to focus on those issues in addition to bringing new sources into the fold.

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