Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
December 19, 2011
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Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
October 6, 1985
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000706870049-4.pdf63.34 KB
N Declassified and Approved For Release 2011/12/19: CIA-RDP90-00965R000706870049-4 ARTICLE ATEAUD ON PAGE _._ WASHINGTON POST 6 October 1985 CIA Moscow Informant Vanishes Source Says Disappearance May Be Related to Howard Case By Patrick E. Tyler wuhw4tm Pat Staff writer 5 A Central Intelligence Agency source in Moscow, de- scribed by agency officials as "an asset" who has pro- vided information to the United States in the past, has disappeared during the last month, a source in the in- telligence community said yesterday. The source said the disappearance in Moscow may be related to the breach of highly classified information by a former CIA clandestine service officer, Edward Lee Howard, 33, who fled his home in New Mexico two weeks ago after he was identified as a Soviet spy by a high-ranking KGB defector. However, the source cautioned, "the [asset's] disap- pearance is not necessarily linked to Howard. An awful lot of things have happened in the last few months." Referring to reports that a Soviet official working for the CIA was presumed executed based on revelations by Howard, the source said, "It's a long jump from 'dis- appearance' to execution. It's not particularly unusual not to hear from someone for a length of time." The source said that because the CIA "asset" disap- peared "in rough proximity" to the identification of Howard as a Soviet agent, intelligence officials assume there may be a connection. A source familiar with CIA penetration of the Soviet hierarchy said yesterday that Howard could have known the names or identifying characteristics of So- viet officials who provide information to the CIA. He also would have been familiar with the "trade craft" used to communicate with Soviet officials, the source said, including clandestine "drops" and use of special electronic equipment in Moscow. The source said historically that the CIA had ac- quired valuable assets in Moscow, it had never been able to penetrate the ruling Politbutn ' s staff. Howard was identified as a Soviet AL 'ht by Vitaly Yurchenko, a high-ranking official of the KGB who de- fected to the West in early August on a visit to Rome. Yurchenko is said to be undergoing debriefing by the CIA at an undisclosed location near Washington. An FBI affidavit unsealed Friday in Albuquerque said that after Howard was dismissed from the CIA in June 1983, he traveled to Austria 15 months later and met with "senior officials" of the KGB and provided, in ex- change for an undisclosed amount of money, classified data about intelligence sources and methods. An intel- ligence source said the meeting took place in Vienna. During the same period, Howard met at another lo- cation in Austria with two former colleagues who were then employed by the CIA. Howard told the CIA offi- cers that a year earlier, not long after his dismissal, he had contemplated walking into the Soviet Embassy in Washington to disclose U.S. intelligence secrets, but had decided against it. Howard was reportedly angry over his dismissal, which occurred after he failed a polygraph examination. Declassified and Approved For Release 2011/12/19: CIA-RDP90-00965R000706870049-4