Al-Qaida Killed Two CIA Officers 13 Years Ago
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
Matt Apuzzo co-wrote the story, and he joins me now. And Matt, the CIA hasn't confirmed this publicly, but you learned of their CIA ties through anonymous sources.
BLOCK: Correct. About a half-dozen, six or seven current and former U.S. government officials who, you know, intimately knew this issue and were pretty close to the two people who died.
BLOCK: And they confirmed it for you. You've been learning more about each of them. And let's talk first about 51-year-old Molly Huckaby Hardy and her career.
BLOCK: Well, Molly was a financial officer, and she did the books. She made sure all of the money added up. If they were going to be spending money to pay sources or get information, she made sure all that money added up. It's a really important, but often unsung, job in the agency.
BLOCK: OK. And then there's Tom Shah, 38 years old, and a really unlikely background for a CIA operative.
BLOCK: And Tom was actually in Kenya on a very secret, sensitive mission, one of the most sensitive missions that was going on in Africa at the time. He was there to recruit and to get information from a high-ranking Iraqi government official.
BLOCK: And they were doing that in Kenya?
BLOCK: Yeah. If you're meeting a source, you don't want to meet them in the Middle East where all of these, you know, Middle East intelligence agencies are running around. You want to get them out of there and go to Africa - where ideally, there are fewer prying eyes.
BLOCK: And Matt, we should explain, these two names were known. They're listed on the memorial, two victims in Nairobi. And within the agency, their CIA affiliation would have been known, too?
BLOCK: And in a lot of ways, they really - it really sums up the CIA career, right? You - not everybody who serves wears a uniform. And in a lot of times you're anonymous in life, and you're anonymous in death. And that's what a lot of these guys sign up for.
BLOCK: Would there be any risk, any danger in exposing their names now, 13 years after their deaths?
BLOCK: What we were trying to do was honor these people who have never had their moments to - you know, their families have never had the moment to say, this is what my mother was doing; this is what, you know, my husband was doing; this is what my son was doing. And you know, in a lot of ways, Memorial Day stories can do that for people who serve in uniform, but they don't often get to do that for people in the CIA.
BLOCK: Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press. Thanks for coming in.
BLOCK: Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.