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Tag: Robert Levinson

Family of Missing Former FBI Agent Sues Iran for Kidnapping, Torture

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran a decade ago, is suing the Middle Eastern country.

Levinson’s wife and children filed suit against Iran in U.S. District Court in Washington, CNN reports. 

The family filed suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, claiming “injuries suffered by each of them as a result of Iran’s unlawful acts of hostage taking, torture and other torts.”

If Levinson is still alive in Iran, he would be the longest held civilian by a foreign government. Iran continues to deny involvement in Levinson’s disappearance.

“Three weeks after his disappearance an Iranian government news outlet, Press TV, announced that he had been taken into custody by Iranian security authorities but was expected to be released shortly,” the complaint alleges.

“Despite this report, Robert Levinson was not released and the Iranian government began falsely denying any knowledge of his capture or whereabouts.”

FBI Agents Association Urges Trump Administration to Step Up Efforts to Gain Release of Former Agent Robert Levinson on 10th Anniversary of Disappearance

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI Agents Association, which represents more than 13,000 active and former FBI agents, marked the 10th anniversary of former FBI Agent Robert Levinson’s disappearance on Thursday by calling for the Trump Administration and the international community to increase efforts to gain his release.

“It’s time to bring Bob home to his family,” said FBIAA President Tom O’Connor  said in a statement. “FBIAA urges the Trump Administration and the international community to press Iran for information on his disappearance.  We are encouraged by the recent statement by a White House National Security spokesperson that Bob’s case is a priority and that the U.S. will never cease in its efforts to bring Bob home.  We ask anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to come forward to help reunite Bob with his loved ones.”

Levinson is a retired FBI Agent who served 22 years with the FBI and six with the DEA. He traveled to Kish Island, Iran as a private investigator and has not been publicly seen or heard from since his disappearance on March 9, 2007.

“Our message to Bob and his family is that his former colleagues have not forgotten him,” said O’Connor.  We continue to stand with the Levinson family.  Bob has missed a decade of accomplishments and milestones in the lives of his children and his wife, Christine.  We pledge to the Levinson family that we will not let the world forget Bob’s unjustified imprisonment and we will continue to work for his release.”

Not Forgotten: 9th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson in Iran

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This past Wednesday marked the ninth anniversary of the disappearance of  ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished after going to Iran. In hopes of keeping the issue at the forefront, the White House, State Department, FBI and family issued statements this week.

“Bob’s wife, children, and grandchildren have waited nine long years for the release of their loved one. Nine years is an incomprehensible amount of time for him to be missing without any word of his whereabouts,” FBI Director James B. Comey said in a statement. “The FBI family feels personally connected to ensuring Bob’s safe return and we are doing everything in our power to investigate all leads.”

In 2013,  the Levinson family acknowledged he was actually working as a freelance “spy” for a rogue CIA operation. The Iranian press initially reported after his disappearance that he was being held by Iranian authorities, but since then, the Iranian government has denied even knowing his whereabouts.  Some are skeptical of that, and some have wondered whether he’s still alive.

Still, the FBI has been operating under the assumption that he is still alive.

Levinson’s wife, Christine, issued a statement:

A few days ago, hundreds of people from around the country came together with our family in Florida to demand “Where is Bob Levinson?”  and ask how it is possible that, 9 years after being taken hostage in Iran, this wonderful man is still not home.  My children and I ask those same questions every day.

These past 9 years – 3, 288 days – have been harder for our family than anyone could ever imagine.  But, as difficult as it has been for us, we know that Bob is living a nightmare that is 100 times worse.  We need the United States government and the country of Iran to work together to resolve what happened to Bob and return him safely to his family.

The White House said:

“Today marks the ninth year since retired FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared during a trip to Kish Island, Iran. We continue to call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide assistance in his case, as agreed to as part of the prisoner exchange finalized earlier this year, so that we can bring Mr. Levinson home.

“Finding Mr. Levinson remains a top priority for the United States, and we continue to spare no effort to bring him home. Today the United States renews its unrelenting commitment to securing Mr. Levinson’s return. Our hearts remain with the Levinson family. They have endured the pain and suffering of his disappearance for far too long.”

And Secretary of State John Kerry said:

On the anniversary today of Robert Levinson’s disappearance from Kish Island, Iran, nine years ago, I want to underscore our commitment to locate Bob and bring him home.

For almost a decade, a beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather has been kept from celebrating family milestones most take for granted. No one should have to endure what Mr. Levinson and his family have endured for so long.

As the President has said, and as I have told the Levinson family when I have met with them, we will never forget Bob, and we will not rest until the Levinson family is whole again.

The U.S. government in its entirety will continue all efforts to locate Bob and bring him home. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has committed to cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Levinson, and we are holding Iran to its promise.

In March 2015, the FBI also announced a $5 million reward for any information that could lead to his safe return. We call on anyone with information about this case to contact the FBI at http://tips.fbi.gov or email the FBI at levinsonfbireward@ic.fbi.gov.

Information will be kept confidential and can be provided anonymously.

 

FBI Launches Facebook Page in Farsi to Solicit Tips for Missing Ex-Agent Levinson

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In hopes of finding a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran nine years ago, the bureau launched a Facebook page in Farsi for information about his whereabouts.

ABC News reports that the Facebook page is intended to get the attention of the Iranian public.

Levinson, 67, who went missing from Iran’s Kish Island in March 2007, was not among the prisoner swap between Iran and the U.S.

The FBI is offering a $5 million reward for information that would identify his whereabouts.

“The new Facebook page, as well as a missing-person poster and press release in Farsi issued last year, represents the most concerted effort so far to reach Iranians in their native language,” ABC News wrote.

Ex-FBI Agent’s Family Feels ‘Betrayed’ by White House Over Handling of Prisoner Exchange

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran nine years ago, lashed out at the Obama administration Monday for failing to notify them that their loved one was not part of a prisoner exchange.

In separate interviews, Robert Levinson’s wife, Christine, criticized the administration after they learned from the media – not the government – that her 59-year-old husband was not among the detained Americans released from Iran.

“We had to learn it from the TV ourselves, and that’s very disappointing and heartbreaking,” Robert Levinson’s wife, Christine, told the Associated Press.

Christine Levinson told ABC News that she felt “devastated” and “betrayed” by the White House.

“I thought after nine years that they would have enough respect for our family to at least tell us in advance that this is happening,” Levinson’s wife, Christine, told ABC News. “It could have been five minutes, but to find out on the TV for the whole family… was wrong. It was absolutely devastating.”

“I’m very disappointed. I feel extremely betrayed by them,” she said.

Levinson disappeared in Iran while on assignment for the U.S. government in 2007.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that he feels “horrible” for the family.

“I know it’s very, very difficult for his family to see these other people come back and to not have answers,” Kerry said.

Deal with Iran Leaves Behind Robert Levinson, Former FBI Agent Who Disappeared in 2007

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Iran freed five detained U.S. citizens Saturday, one family is still heartbroken.

Still missing is Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who disappeared off Iran’s Kish Island in March 2007.

“We are happy for the other families. But once again, Bob Levinson has been left behind,” the Levinson family said on Facebook. “We are devastated.”

His family said Levinson was discussed with Iran as part of a deal that led to the release of five Americans in exchange for the clemency of seven Iranians in the U.S., but Iranian officials insisted they don’t know where the 67-year-old is, ABC News reports. 

On Sunday, the FBI released the following statement:

Today, the United States celebrates the safe return of four American citizens detained by the government of Iran to their families and loved ones. Unfortunately, the family of retired FBI agent Robert “Bob” Levinson still waits. Bob went missing from Kish Island, Iran in March 2007, and for almost nine years now, Bob’s wife, children, and grandchildren have waited for the release of their loved one. Bob forever remains part of the FBI family, and we remain committed to bringing him home safely to the family who misses him so much. The FBI expects our Iranian counterparts to fulfill their commitment to locate Bob and help bring him home safely.

FBI Agents Association Wants International Community to Step Up Efforts to Release Former Agent Robert Levinson from Iran

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

On Saturday, the day the U.S. announced that Iran had released five people,  including a Washington Post reporter ,  the FBI Agents Association  (FBIAA) called on the international community to redouble its efforts to gain the release of former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007.

“FBIAA urges the U.S. and international community to press Iran for information on the disappearance of Bob Levinson,” said  FBIAA President Renaldo Tariche in a statement.  “We ask anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to come forward with any information that could bring Bob back home.”

Levinson is a retired FBI Agent who served 22 years with the FBI and six with the DEA.  Levinson traveled to Kish Island, Iran as a private investigator and vanished March 9, 2007. The FBI has been investigating the case.

“Bob’s former colleagues have not forgotten him.  We continue to stand with the Levinson family,” said Tariche.  “Bob, married for 38 years with seven children, has missed more than nine years of accomplishments and milestones in the lives of his children.   Each day brings renewed heartache to his family and friends.  We celebrate today’s release of Americans, but the world should not forget Levinson’s continued unjustified imprisonment and continue to work for his release.”

FBI Increases Reward for Missing Retired Agent Levinson to $5M

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson was kidnapped eight years ago this month while traveling to an Iranian island, making him one of the longest-held U.S. residents in history.

CNN reports that the FBI has increased the reward for information on Levinson, who also turned 67 this month, from $1 million to $5 million.

“Levinson traveled to Kish Island, Iran, on March 8, 2007, working on behalf of several large corporations, and his whereabouts, well-being and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance have been unknown since that time,” it said in a statement.

Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iran to cooperate.

“He has spent more than 2,900 days separated from those who love him, and is one of the longest held U.S. citizens in history. Year after year, the family has endured the pain of his absence. It is time for him to come home,” Kerry said.

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