Right Of The Star

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Deep Cover Iraqi Here in IL

Deep Cover Iraqi Spy Arrested (Captains Quarters)

Federal agents have arrested a Des Plaines, Illinois man as a deep-cover Iraqi spy living undercover in the US for eleven years, awaiting orders from his IIS handler that apparently never came:

After the arrest of Sami Khoshaba Latchin, 57, prosecutors said he became a naturalized citizen after making false statements to immigration officials in 1999 and planned to "lay low" until contacted by his Iraqi handler.

Latchin entered a not guilty plea at a hearing Monday.

According to a federal indictment returned July 21 and unsealed Monday, Latchin worked for the Iraqi Intelligence Service, known as the Mukhabbarat, the foreign intelligence arm of the Iraqi government.

The indictment said that in addition to failing to disclose his ties to Iraqi intelligence, Latchin, a Baath party member, lied about overseas trips he made in 1994, 1996 and 1997.

Latchin, who was born in Dohuk, Iraq, and has lived in the United States for nearly 11 years, told authorities he was traveling on vacation when, in fact, he met with his Iraqi intelligence handler and received payment for his services, the indictment alleges.

Now this seems fairly important regarding the Iraq question. If Iraq had sleeper cells in the US, with their agents waiting for instructions from their handlers, one has to wonder what those instructions eventually would be. Deep-cover agents are not typically used for information-gathering exercises -- they initiate aggressive action, and they're dangerous because they appear out of nowhere.

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