His first overseas assignments were in Africa, where the combination of dysfunctional governments, bloody tribal warfare and minimal interference from headquarters provided experience that would prove particularly useful in the post-Sept. 11 world. Many of the agency’s most accomplished counterterrorism operatives, including Black and Richard Blee, cut their teeth in Africa as well....
“It’s chaotic, and it requires you to understand that and deal with it psychologically,” said a former Africa colleague. Roger developed an “enormous amount of expertise in insurgencies, tribal politics, warfare — writing hundreds of intelligence reports.”
He also married a Muslim woman he met abroad, prompting his conversion to Islam. Colleagues said he doesn’t shy away from mentioning his religion but is not demonstrably observant. There is no prayer rug in his office, officials said, although he is known to clutch a strand of prayer beads.
“No officer in the agency has been more relentless, focused, or committed to the fight against al-Qaeda than has the chief of the Counterterrorism Center,” [CIA director David] Petraeus said in a statement provided to The Post.
It's a fascinating story, but if I were running the CIA, I think the one detail I would not want revealed about 'Roger' other than his real name is the fact that he is a convert to Islam. That's likely to enrage his targets even more.
Read the whole thing.
posted by Carl in Jerusalem @ 11:30 PM