Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA's First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain by Albert Lulushi

Operation Valuable Fiend: The CIA's First Paramilitary Strike Against the Iron Curtain by Albert Lulushi

Author:Albert Lulushi [Lulushi, Albert]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: 20th Century, Europe, History, Intelligence & Espionage, Political Science, United States
ISBN: 9781628723946
Google: gXvoBAAAQBAJ
Amazon: B00J75ISSA
Publisher: Arcade Publishing
Published: 2014-05-14T16:00:00+00:00

CIA map indicating the status of teams in Albania by the end of October 1951

By the end of October, it was clear that the Albanian security forces had effectively countered the OPC’s increased tempo of operations in the summer and fall of 1951. Out of forty-nine Fiend agents infiltrated in Albania since November 1950, only two were still alive in Albania and in communication with the Athens control center. Seven agents were confirmed dead and one was presumed dead; four were captured, tried, and convicted as spies; another nine were of status unknown but very much suspected of having perished, given Radio Tirana reports of additional unidentified agents killed; six agents had defected to Yugoslavia. From the ten agents who had been able to survive and exfiltrate to Greece, one four-man team, Cypress, had been practically on the run the whole time and, for lack of food, was forced to leave without accomplishing any of their mission objectives. Only Hamit Matiani at the head of his six-man team had shown the ability to move inside Albania and produce operational results.

The Office of Special Operations had experienced similar disappointing results with their teams and had decided to curtail their operations in 1952. As the head of the OSO Albanian project explained at the time: “No service could expect to any longer receive the outright support and cooperation of the Albanian people in the face of the reprisal measures adopted by the Sigurimi.”34

These disastrous results, described benignly as “adverse developments in the infiltration program” in the Fiend status report for October 1951,35 nevertheless triggered a complete review of the infiltration methods and objectives. The OPC dismissed all agents already trained but not infiltrated as a security precaution. They decided to build a new training center in Greece for future agents, located under the cover of a radar station on the Kalanisia Islands, just a few miles from Corinth.36

Other security measures discussed at the joint Fiend-Valuable meeting in Rome on October 22–24 went into effect immediately, including the complete separation of the project’s operational planning from NCFA influence and assistance. Moving forward, the CIA would rely principally on agents supplied from a new source that Yatsevitch had cultivated over the past few months, King Zog of Albania.


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