Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who went missing in Iran in 2007, was secretly conducting an unapproved investigation for the CIA, according to new reports.
On Thursday it was revealed that an Associated Press report has tracked the connections between Levinson's trip and the CIA, in direct contradiction to the US government's public denials of him being in Iran under the auspices of the CIA. As recently as a month ago the government claimed he was on a business trip to Kish Island, Iran.
However, the new report discloses that Levinski was conducting an intelligence gathering mission on corruption in Iran. In doing so he was reporting to a top ranking "rogue" CIA analyst, Anne Jablonski, who had not been given authority to run the mission.
After a long inquiry Jablonski was later forced to resign, although a CIA investigation found she had not told her superiors about hiring Levinson for field work, a point she didn't reveal after stepping down either. Currently a yoga instructor who blogs about finding inner peace, Jablonski denies all wrongdoing according to the Daily Mail.
The report also alleges that the CIA paid Levinson's family $2.5 million to avoid a revealing lawsuit, and afterwards changed its rules regarding how analysts work with non-CIA members.
65 year old Levinson, who has not been seen since November 2010, is feared to be dead by many intelligence officials.
The report also claims AP first discovered Levinson was working for the CIA in 2010. Three times, the agency agreed to delay publishing the story because the US government said it was "pursuing promising leads" to free Levinson. Now as those efforts continue to prove unsuccessful it was decided to release the report.
A CIA statement read "we have no comment on any purported affiliation between Mr Levinson and the US government," although The Independent quotes CIA media spokesperson Todd Ebitz as saying the "government remains committed to bringing him home safely to his family."