Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for April 1, 2010

Newsline: Security Breach Probed at State Dept.

A long-time State Department official with top security clearance is under investigation by his own agency for allegedly possessing and illegally transporting classified information, including “extremely sensitive” documents related to national security, according to court documents. Reginald Hopson, a 30-year veteran of the State Department, had been stationed overseas for the past 12 years, but he is now working in Washington, with his clearance suspended, as the investigation continues. Most recently, Hopson was “Information Management Officer” at the U.S. embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, where he was in charge of securing and managing classified information, particularly electronic information. Until August 2009, he was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Trinidad and Tobago. Before Hopson left for his post in South Africa, State Department investigators working on an unrelated case in Trinidad and Tobago discovered that he had brought sensitive documents to unauthorized locations.



Newsline: Iranian Diplomat in Pakistan Freed

An Iranian diplomat seized by gunmen in a little-known 2008 case in northwest Pakistan has been freed by Iranian agents “after complex intelligence operations.” Heshmatollah Attarzadeh-Nyaki, described as a commercial attaché, had returned to Iran. The broadcaster quoted Heidar Moslehi, the intelligence minister, as saying Iran had refused unspecified demands made by the kidnappers and “took the initiative” after Pakistan failed to help in securing the diplomat’s release. The Associated Press described the rescue as a “cross-border mission,” but also quoted an unidentified Pakistani official as saying Pakistan had helped secure the Iranian official’s freedom. The Iran diplomat was kidnapped in November 2008 while driving with a Pakistani bodyguard. Their vehicle was crossing a narrow bridge when attackers blocked their route with another car and opened fire, killing the bodyguard.