A senior FBI official Sunday denied reports that the CIA's station chief in Beirut was among the 258 passengers who died in the crash of Pan Am flight 103.
"I am authorized to say that the CIA station chief for Beirut was not on that aircraft," said Oliver Revell, executive assistant director of the FBI.He made his comments to CBS after appearing on its "Face the Nation" program. FBI spokesman Charles Steinmetz said CBS asked to tape his answer after the program's anchor, Leslie Stahl, realized she had forgotten to ask the question on the air.
Revell said a State Department regional security officer had been aboard the flight. NBC reported Friday that the CIA station chief, who was not identified, was aboard.
The State Department said Friday that three of its employees were aboard, two of them from Beirut. The two in Beirut were identified as Matthew Gannon of Orange, Calif., and Ronald Larriviere of Holyoke, Mass.
Gannon was returning home after completing an assignment in Beirut as a political officer. He had previously worked in North Yemen, Jordan and Syria.
Larriviere had been working in Beirut as a security officer, while the third employee, Daniel O'Connor, had similar duties in Nicosia, Cyprus, the department said. U.S. intelligence officers typically adopt diplomatic "cover" when working abroad.