Given that the United States Government has stated publicly that it believes Robert "Bob" Levinson, the retired FBI Special Agent who was kidnapped by Iranian agents on Kish Island back in 2007, is most likely deceased, it is time for certain details to be disclosed. Bob's friends from his FBI service, who made sure that he was not forgotten, deserve no less. Given that there may be issues involving nonpublic or restricted information, I have taken the liberty of redacting the names of anyone who played a role.
While there has been a substantial amount of anger against the then-US Secretary of State for most likely failing to exploit an opportunity to recover Bob, which appears to have been vetoed for political reasons, the United States did attempt a rescue. Why it has never become public knowledge I cannot say.
First of all, be advised that I worked with Bob Levinson for several years, on a number of projects, teamed up with the late Thor Halvorssen. The subjects are best left out of this article, but just prior to departing for Kish Island, Bob met with a Confidential Informant who provided him with details about an Iranian government leader involved in the WMD program, and who might be persuaded to assist in providing actionable intelligence to the United States. Bob was, if anything, a multi-tasker. He had a number of things on mind for his Iran trip, and making contact with this potential source was one of them.
At a later date, while working on another matter, I was shown a list of compromised emails (with passwords) under surveillance by Cuba's intelligence services, working out of the CANTV (state-run telephone company) building in Caracas. Bob's RAL email was among them; was his upcoming trip to Iran disclosed in advance to Tehran? We cannot say, but he was one of the very few Americans on that list.
On to the story; several months after Bob was detained, the same Confidential Source happened to have contact with a field-grade military officer, and when the officer related his role, as paymaster for a special operations raid, to be conducted inside Iran, to retrieve a high-value American prisoner, the CI identified Bob by name, and the fact that he was the target was confirmed. I regret that any further details will expose these two individuals, but given that the CI knew the Iranian who Bob was targeting for enrolling as an Agency source, there was no mistake about who it was.
The officer advised that the mission, planned at an American facility in the Continental United States, was later cancelled when Bob was abruptly moved to another location, which was not known. Perhaps, since a sufficient amount of time has elapsed since Bob's kidnapping in Iran, the United States Government might want to release additional information to show that it did, indeed, make an effort to bering Bob Levinson home.
As to whether Bob is still alive in Iran, that mystery continues.