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Robert Levinson: US hostage has died in Iran, says family – BBC News


Former FBI agent Robert LevinsonPicture copyright
AFP

Picture caption

US officers suspected that Robert Levinson was kidnapped by Iranian intelligence

Outdated FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran 13 years in the past, has died in custody there, based mostly on assertion from his family.

“It is far inconceivable to record our anguish,” the family talked about, including that his lack of life considered if it might personal took place prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Levinson, the longest-held hostage in US historical past, disappeared in 2007 on the Iranian island of Kish.

His family affirm he was engaged on behalf of an unauthorised CIA mission.

He retired from the FBI in 1998, nonetheless had been working in Kish as a personal investigator, taking a witness at cigarette counterfeiting throughout the scenario, his confederate says.

US officers suspected he was kidnapped by Iranian intelligence forces to be light as a bargaining chip in dealings with Washington.

What did President Trump affirm?

President Donald Trump talked about on Wednesday on the White House: “I’ve been very unparalleled involved about that and he was a large gentleman and a large family.

“It won’t be taking a witness correct, he wasn’t neatly for years in Iran, or not it’s not taking a witness promising.”

The president added: “However Robert Levinson, who was outstanding, has been unwell for a protracted time. He had some robust issues prior to his detainment or grasp.

“It will not be taking a witness sizable, nonetheless I obtained’t gather that he is dead. They haven’t told us he is dead.”

In November, Mr Trump tweeted calling for Iran to show over Levinson.

What did the family affirm?

The Levinson family assertion on Wednesday talked about they’d just lately purchased information from US officers that had led them to protected he had died in Iranian custody.

“It is far inconceivable to record our anguish,” they talked about.

“Our family will drawl the comfort of our lives with out probably the most wonderful man now we personal ever recognized, a model unique indisputable fact that’s not possible to us.

“His grandchildren will by no design meet him. They will solely know him through the stories we relate them.

“If no longer for the merciless, heartless actions of the Iranian regime, Robert Levinson would be alive and dwelling with us lately.”

When was the hostage ultimate thought of alive?

The family, of Coral Springs, Florida, purchased proof-of-existence footage and a video in 2010 and 2011, though his whereabouts had been unknown.

Pictures emerged of him bearded and sporting an orange penal superior jumpsuit, a lots like these light by US detainees in Guantanamo Bay.

Round his neck hung indicators, one among which talked about, “why that you can no longer serve me”.

Specialists sure the video had been despatched through Pakistan, whereas the footage had been despatched from an net handle in Afghanistan.

Pashtun marriage ceremony track would possibly probably per likelihood be heard enjoying faintly throughout the background of the video, suggesting Mr Levinson would possibly probably per likelihood be held in both of those two worldwide areas.

Yet one more concept of US officers was that the Iranian authorities would possibly probably per likelihood personal routed the images externally in an effort responsible Mr Levinson’s disappearance on someone else.

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