Sleeper Agents in the US

–Working in Key Positions in the Public & Private Sector

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

1 September 2004: The arrest yesterday of an Iraqi man living in Des Plaines, IL, a northern Chicago suburb, is a clear example of the warnings issued by Northeast Intelligence Network - sleeper agents living and working inside the United States.

In this case, Sami Khoshaba LATCHIN, 57, was arrested and charged with making false statements to immigration officials when applying for U.S. citizenship in 1998. More importantly, prosecutors allege that Latchin is a “sleeper agent” from Iraq, sent by Saddam Hussein to “embed” himself in our society and provide support and intelligence to other terrorists in the US and their state sponsors. Latchin, a resident of Bay Colony Drive located about 5 miles north of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, worked for a security firm at the airport. He received his first security badge at O’Hare airport, where he was working for a company called Secret Service, Inc. in May 1995.

His arrest came about 30 days after the indictment was unsealed, suggesting he is part of a larger investigation involving other sleeper agents and embedded terrorists. The indictment states that LATCHIN failed to disclose his membership with the Iraqi Intelligence Service and his affiliation with Iraq’s Baath Party and the Iraqi Intelligence Service known as the Mukhabbarat.

A review of the indictment finds that Latchin made three trips to Iraq between 1994 and 1997 since becoming a US resident, where he met with his Iraqi Intelligence handler and to receive payment on the first two trips in exchange for his information. Latchin entered a “not guilty” plea in federal court.

This case is a clear example of Iraqi agents entering the United States as political refugees when they actually have more nefarious plans. Following the first Gulf War, it is estimated that thousands if not tens of thousands of such “sleeper agents” have entered the US under false pretenses, lying in wait to assist or take part in further terrorist attacks inside the United States. In her book The Third Terrorist, Jayna Davis outlines this very practice, detailing the case of Hussain al Hussaini, a former member of the Iraqi military. Combining all information of related cases since the early 1990’s, it is clear that there is an organized effort to embed sleeper agents for activation at a later time, and to place these agents in positions of responsibility and trust.

Analysts of the Northeast Intelligence Network have found numerous connections between these various sleeper agents in terms of material and logistical support, financing, and the planning of future terrorist operations inside the US. Connections to the first World Trade Center bombing, to Oklahoma City, to the 1997 New York subway plot and through the attacks of 9/11 are beginning to crystallize. Upon closer scrutiny and analysis, ties can be made between the independent smattering of indictments over the last several years - connections that illustrate just how deeply our society is embedded with potential terrorists and supporters of terrorist organizations.

Slowly, it appears that the US Intelligence community is putting the pieces together. The question remains, however, can it be done in time?