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A former CIA station chief in Algeria is under investigation by the State and Justice Departments for allegedly raping at least two women while he held the post, a source with knowledge of the investigation confirms to CNN. The women have told investigators they believe date rape drugs were used in the assaults which allgedly occurred at the officer's official residence, according to the source.
The allegations were first made in the fall of 2008 when the unidentified officer was still serving as station chief. Soon after the allegations were made, in October the man came back to the United States for a previously scheduled trip and was ordered not to return to his post, the source said.
A senior U.S. official confirmed the case was under investigation but refused comment on the details.
The women, who are Algerian citizens, came forward with the allegations to a U.S. government official and then an investigation was launched by federal authorities.
A search of the station's chief residence in Algeria was approved by a U.S. District Court judge after a request from the Justice Department. The search found pills believed to cause date rape, the source told CNN. In that search authorities also found about a dozen tapes which showed the officer allegedly engaged in sexual acts, the source said, including some in which women are believed to be in a semi-conscious state. CNN's source had not seen the tapes but had been briefed on their content. Some of the tapes include date stamps pre-dating his tenure in Algeria when he served in Cairo, the source said. The investigation includes his time in both posts as well as other locations he traveled to.
The identity of the officer could not be learned, and CNN was unable to reach a representative of the officer. It is against the law to reveal identities of covert officers.
When the allegations first surfaced last fall, they were viewed as "tremendously explosive, no doubt about that," the source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN, especially because Algeria is a Muslim country.
The Justice Department and CIA would not comment on the allegations or any investigation.
"I can assure you that the Agency would take seriously and follow up any allegations of impropriety," CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said.
State Department Spokesman Robert A. Wood told us, “The U.S. takes very seriously any accusations of misconduct involving any U.S. personnel abroad. The individual is question has returned to Washington and the U.S. Government is looking into the matter. I refer you to the Department of Justice for any further inquiries on this issue.”
The officer has not been charged, the source with knowledge of the probe told CNN. The source would not speak for attribution because the investigation is ongoing and he was not authorized to speak publically.
One federal law enforcement source says no developments or activities relating to the case are "imminent."
A station chief heads the CIA's office in a foreign country establishing a relationship with its host intelligence service and overseeing agency activities in the country.
CNN Producers Kevin Bohn, Jim Barnett, Pam Benson, Carol Cratty and Elise Labott contributed to this story.
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