Thursday, June 7, 2007


US arrests former CIA leader in Laos

‘The ageing former leader of the CIA’s “Secret Army” in Laos was in an American prison last night, accused of mounting a coup against his and Washington’s old Communist enemy. General Vang Pao, 77, and nine other people were arrested in dawn raids by more than 200 federal agents in dawn raids across California.

The detentions were the culmination of ‘Operation Tarnished Eagle’, a six-month investigation into an attempt to bring down Laos’ Communist government.

According to prosecutors Vang Pao and his co-conspirators planned to spend almost USD 10 million (pounds 5 million) on weaponry including assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, Stinger surface-to-air missiles, mines and C-4 explosives.

They were recruiting a mercenary force to attack government buildings in the Lao capital Vientiane and “reduce them to rubble,” they said.’

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