Robert Levinson Biography
Robert Levinson (born March 10, 1948) is an American former Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who disappeared mysteriously on March 9, 2007 in Kish Island, Iran. He may be held captive by the government of Iran. On November 26, 2013, Levinson, if he is still alive, became the longest-held hostage in American history, surpassing Terry A. Anderson. According to his family, he suffers from type 1 diabetes, gout, and hypertension. His passport has never shown up in any other country.
Former FBI agent Robert Levinson was last seen in Iran 12 years ago when he disappeared in what has been revealed as a rogue CIA operationhttps://t.co/tsLXkJju6O
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) November 5, 2019
Robert Levinson Disappearance
U.S. officials believed Levinson had been arrested by Iranian intelligence officials to be interrogated and used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Washington. But as every lead fizzled and Iran repeatedly denied any involvement in his disappearance, many in the U.S. government believed Levinson was probably dead. He was last seen alive in photographs from April 2011, wearing an orange jumpsuit and holding signs apparently asking for help in broken English.
On December 12, 2013, the Associated Press (AP) reported that their investigations revealed that Levinson indeed had been working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), contradicting the U.S.’s statement that he was not an employee of the government at the time of his capture, U.S. officials had publicly insisted that Levinson went to Iran as a private investigator working a cigarette smuggling case. AP had first confirmed Levinson’s CIA ties in 2010. He was on an unauthorized intelligence-gathering mission about the Iranian regime for the U.S. government. When his case came to light inside the U.S. government, it produced a serious scandal. Levinson’s travel was planned by three CIA officials who did not follow the proper vetting process or seek the necessary approval for the mission from their supervisors. Kish Island in the Persian Gulf is a free-trade zone, meaning Americans do not need a visa to enter, a tourist destination and stronghold of international organized crime. In 2008 the CIA forced the CIA officials to turn in early resignations and disciplined seven others after an internal investigation determined they were responsible for sending Levinson on the mission to Iran. Levinson’s source on Kish was Dawud Salahuddin, an American fugitive accused for the killing of the prominent former Iranian diplomat Ali Akbar Tabatabaei in 1980. The exiled Tabatabaei was holding meetings of a counter-revolutionary group at his US home at the time.
Iran acknowledges for the first time it has an open case before its Revolutionary Court over the 2007 disappearance of former FBI agent Robert Levinson on an unauthorized CIA mission to the country, the Associated Press reports citing a filing to the UN.https://t.co/gHK9fyay6q
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) November 9, 2019
Robert Levinson Acknowledgement by Iran
Iran acknowledged for the first time in a filing with the United Nations that there is an “on going case” in the Public Prosecution and Revolutionary Court of Tehran for retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing in the country during an unauthorized CIA mission in 2007, stoking questions about his disappearance.
“According to the last statement of Tehran’s Justice Department, Mr. Robert Alan Levinson has an on going [sic] case in the Public Prosecution and Revolutionary Court of Tehran,” the filing with the U.N.’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances said. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the filing Saturday.
The US is now offering a $20 million reward for information on retired FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007.
“We miss him every single day and hopefully with this new reward in place, we will be able to get him home soon,” says his wife, Christine. pic.twitter.com/Hm3kHIUtYg
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 5, 2019
Iranian officials did not say how long the case has been open or how it started.
Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the State Department would offer $20 million on top of a $5 million reward already posted for information leading to Levinson’s recovery and return.
“The Trump administration has made clear that the regime in Iran must release all missing and wrongfully detained Americans, including Robert Levinson, Xiyue Wang, Siamak Namazi, and others,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We will not rest until they are reunited with their families.”
If Levinson is alive, he would be the longest-held prisoner in U.S. history.
Levinson traveled to the country as a private investigator in 2007 ostensibly to investigate drug smuggling. While in the country, he met with American fugitive Dawud Salahuddin, whom the CIA was hoping to recruit as an asset, a source told Fox News at the time. After the meeting, Levinson went missing.