Security at CIA headquarters breached in DecemberJanuary 22, 1997
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Central Intelligence Agency has confirmed a CNN Radio report that it suffered a serious security breakdown at its Langley, Virginia, headquarters two days before Christmas.
The breach occurred when a man drove a Ford pickup truck unhindered through a secured entrance at CIA headquarters about 8 p.m. EST on December 23.
After the truck passed through an inactive security barrier, the man parked on the steps of the agency's main building, where he was immediately arrested by CIA security agents.
The man's motivation was not clear, but CNN sources say he had no known terrorist connection. He was, however, described by the sources as a "disturbed individual." His name was not released.
The day after the incident, CIA Acting Director George J. Tenet sent a letter to all employees in which he said the agency was taking the incident very seriously. A number of new security measures were implemented, he said, with more in the works.
The incident occurred almost four years after a man shot and killed two agency employees and injured three others leaving the Langley compound. At the time, January 1993, CIA officials said security had been tightened to prevent any similar occurrence.
This new lapse in security is the latest in a string of missteps and embarrassments for the agency in recent years.
Most notably, career CIA agents Aldrich Ames and Harold J. Nicholson were caught spying for Russia in 1995 and 1996, respectively. The agency was also accused of covering up information on the murder of American citizens in Guatemala by local security forces on the CIA payroll.
The CIA's affinity for scandal has led to persistent calls from Congress for more oversight of the agency and an overhaul of its structure. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), a former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has even argued for the CIA's complete elimination.
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