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Tenet Announces Death of CIA Officer in Afghanistan

February 7, 2003

Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet announced today that a CIA officer died yesterday in the line of duty in Afghanistan. Helge Boes, 32, an operations officer assigned to the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, was killed during a live-fire training exercise, when a grenade detonated prematurely.

Boes, a graduate of Georgia State University and Harvard University Law School, joined the CIA in January 2001 after working as an attorney in private practice.

In announcing Boes' death to the CIA's workforce, Tenet said the young Agency officer "found the call of public service to be irresistible" and he was "a standout from the start."

Tenet remarked: "Helge was everything a superior case officer should be: bright, energetic, and ever prepared to apply his skills where they were needed most. He believed deeply in our mission of defending freedom. And, in his all too brief time with us, he made powerful contributions to that cause."

"He was no stranger to Afghanistan and its dangers, having served there before and done outstanding work. In fact, he was on the weapons training range yesterday preparing for yet another intelligence collection operation. He died doing what he loved."

Tenet added, "The work he did, both at Headquarters and in the field, had as its aim the defeat of terror — a ruthless, vicious enemy of liberty and decency."

"For the life Helge led—one of courage and sacrifice, one of service without public reward—he has earned the gratitude of every American family."

Helge, a resident of Northern Virginia with his wife Cindy, was the son of Roderich and Monika Boes, Germany.

The circumstances surrounding his service to the CIA and his tragic death were such that CIA determined that his name could be released publicly without compromising security or any current intelligence activities. The Agency decision to publicly acknowledge Boes' service also was made with the knowledge and support of the Boes family.

Boes is the second CIA officer to die in the line of duty in Afghanistan.

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