Double drug-rape disgrace of CIA’s top agent in AlgeriaMatthew Campbell
A CIA station chief in Algeria, who was accused of drugging and raping two Algerian women, filmed the attacks and stored images on his computer, an official investigation has discovered.
Andrew Warren, 41, seemed to have all the right qualifications as an undercover agent in the Middle East. An African-American schooled in martial arts, he is a convert to Islam who speaks six Arabic dialects.
His disgrace, however, has served only to inflame resentment of America at a time when President Barack Obama is trying to improve his country’s image in the Arab world.
American officials are seeking to determine whether there is a danger of any other victims stepping forward. Warren served in Egypt and Afghanistan before becoming the CIA’s top man in Algiers.
Local feelings are running high. “The rape of honourable women does not differ from the rape of nations,” said an editorial in a prominent Algerian newspaper last week.
Two Algerian women have testified to investigators that they were lured to Warren’s residence, plied with alcohol and raped. V1, as one of them is called in a report by the State Department’s diplomatic security branch, was invited to a party by Warren in September 2007.
He served her three whiskies with Coca-Cola before she felt sick. He escorted her to the bathroom. When she awoke the next morning, she was lying naked on a bed. She noticed a used condom in the bin.
V2, the other victim, visited Warren’s residence in February 2008. He brought her an apple-flavoured Martini and after drinking it she felt nauseous. He undressed her and put her in a bath, saying, “It will do you good.”
“I could still see,” she is quoted as saying in the report. “I could still hear and even speak, but I was incapable of moving a muscle.”
She came round later to find herself on a bed. She drifted in and out of consciousness while Warren raped her. V2 later informed her husband, but it took months for her to make up her mind to tell the American ambassador.
Recalled to Langley, the CIA headquarters in Virginia, last October, Warren admitted having sexual relations with the women but called it consensual.
This was undermined by images that investigators found on his computer and mobile telephone in which the women seemed as passive as dolls. Also found in Warren’s home was a handbook on the investigation of sexual assaults and quantities of Xanax and Valium, tranquillisers commonly used in date rape.
The scandal is a serious blow to the beleaguered CIA, which depends on cooperation with Algerian intelligence for the tracking of terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and suspected of a series of bombings in the country last year.
Al-Qaeda’s Algerian branch issued a statement savaging the “apostate Algerian regime” for letting the American “rapist” out of the country. It also accused the government of a “profound conspiracy with the leader of global infidelity: America”.