Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Former CIA Agent, Now in Havana, Discusses Gadhafi's 'Secret World'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Former CIA Agent, Now in Havana, Discusses Gadhafi's 'Secret World'

Article excerpt

MIAMI -- U.S. fugitive and renegade CIA agent Frank Terpil is still living in Havana and easily recounting his days helping former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to murder his political enemies, according to a recently released British documentary.

Co-producer Michael Chrisman said Terpil, 74, was interviewed at his Havana home in December and gave the impression of leading a somewhat bored life, "with little to do (and) spending much time frequenting Havana watering holes nursing a drink."

He has a much younger Cuban girlfriend, and asks friends and visitors to supply him with the occasional English language book, said Mr. Chrisman. The Showtime documentary is titled "Mad Dog: Inside the Secret World of Muammar Gaddafi."

The interview focused on Terpil's relations with the Libyan dictator, killed in a 2011 revolt, and not on his links to his Cuban hosts because "he was no doubt taking a gamble upsetting them by doing the interview," the co-producer added.

Terpil, a CIA operative who resigned from the agency in 1970, is one of more than 70 U.S. fugitives reported to have received safe haven in Cuba. Many are viewed by Havana as victims of U.S. political persecution, such as black-rights militant Joanne Chesimard.

He fled the United States in 1980 to escape a U.S. indictment on charges of conspiracy to murder and delivering more than 20 tons of plastic explosives to Gadhafi and turned up in Lebanon but eventually settled in Cuba.

Cuba's General Intelligence Directorate recruited Terpil, gave him the code name of Curiel -- guinea pig -- and used him in 1987 to try to recruit a CIA worker in the former Czechoslovakia, retired agency analyst Brian Latell wrote in his book, "Castro's Secrets: Cuban Intelligence, the CIA and the Kennedy Assassination."

The Canadian government announced in 1995 that its embassy in Havana had been told that Cuban authorities had arrested Terpil, but provided no details on the reasons for the detention or what happened to him afterward.

One foreigner living in Havana said that in 2000 a Cuban friend at a ballet performance pointed out a man sitting nearby and identified him as Terpil. …

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