Former FBI Agent Levinson Dies in Iran Custody, Family Says

Nellie Chapman
March 26, 2020

The Levinson family thanked multiple US officials for their help, including FBI Director Chris Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and O'Brien, who before his post as national security adviser also served as the State Department's chief hostage negotiator.

A former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who mysteriously vanished in 2007 died in Iranian custody, his household concluded Wednesday, saying USA intelligence had led them to surrender 13 years of hope.

But Trump has disputed the claims that Mr Levinson is dead, in an unexpected turn of events.

They said: "It is impossible to describe our pain".

"We just lately acquired data from USA officers that has led each them and us to conclude that our great husband and father died whereas in Iranian custody", the household mentioned in an announcement. Documents his family obtained by an Iranian source and provided to ABC News last fall appeared to show that Iranian military prosecutors ordered him detained on the island on suspicion of spying and held him for months at a military airfield even after he slipped into a coma that they said was caused by his diabetes. "That is the very definition of cruelty".

But the family statement also said: "Those who are responsible for what happened to Bob Levinson, including those in the US government who for many years repeatedly left him behind, will ultimately receive justice for what they have done".

Levinson is one of a number of Americans who have disappeared in arch-enemy Iran, but his case has been among the most perplexing, with his family until now insisting he was alive. The US initially claimed he was there on his own initiative, but in 2013, the Associated Press revealed he had been sent on a mission there by Central Intelligence Agency analysts who had no authority to run espionage operations.

Salahuddin was wanted by the CIA for allegedly murdering an Iranian diplomat in Maryland in 1980, and Levinson hoped the mission to deliver him to the agency would secure him full-time employment with the CIA, the source told Fox News at the time.

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The statement is signed by "Christine, Susan, Stephanie, Sarah, Daniel, David, Samantha, and Douglas, and the entire extended Levinson family". Officials initially did not classify Levinson as a hostage and have consistently denied he worked for the government. "They will only know him through the stories we tell them".

"We are going to spend the remainder of our lives ensuring of this, and the Iranian regime should know we is not going to be going away".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an attempt to get Iran to release several USA hostages, offered a $25 million reward for information leading to Levinson's recovery and return but to no avail.

The footage raised speculation that he may have been held by extremists in Pakistan, but United States officials later discounted the possibility.

Our family also wishes to thank Congressman Ted Deutch, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Bob Menendez, and their staff members, who fought for Bob Levinson in every possible way.

"It's not looking great, but I won't accept that he's dead". Iran later clarified that the case was an investigation into his disappearance and not that Levinson was being prosecuted. And according to the other man, he was approached by Iranian security forces.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Iran last week freed a US Navy veteran, Michael White, who had apparently come to Iran to see a woman he met online and was jailed for online criticism of the regime.

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