A senior CIA official has died in an apparent suicide this week from injuries sustained after jumping off a building in northern Virginia, according to sources close to the CIA.
CIA spokesman Christopher White confirmed the death and said the incident did not take place at CIA headquarters in McLean, Va.
“We can confirm that there was an individual fatally injured at a facility where agency work is done,” White told the Washington Free Beacon. “He was rushed to a local area hospital where he subsequently died. Due to privacy reasons and out of respect for the family, we are not releasing additional information at this time.”
A source close to the agency said the man who died was a middle manager and the incident occurred after the man jumped from the fifth floor a building in Fairfax County.
Many agency employees are known to work under stressful conditions and high stress is considered a part of the profession, for the three general types of employees: Intelligence analysts and support personnel, technical services operators, and members of the clandestine services, the agency’s elite spying branch.
The agency also operates a number of top-secret facilities used by its clandestine service officers, including agency safe houses.
No other details of the death could be learned.
The agency is currently engaged in a high profile dispute with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D., Calif.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has said the CIA has blocked efforts by the committee to investigate harsh interrogation of terrorists.
Committee staff members working at a CIA facility in Northern Virginia to investigate agency interrogation practices also have charged that the CIA covertly searched the agency’s computers that were being used in the investigation.
The agency subsequently reported that several Senate staff members had improperly and possibly illegally removed classified material from the CIA. The FBI was asked to investigate the mishandling of classified information in the case.
The agency is under pressure from Congress to declassify a 6,000-page report on agency interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, used to glean information from al Qaeda terrorists captured after the 2001 attacks on Washington and New York.
The agency also this week came under scrutiny from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence over the agency’s role in obscuring the facts surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell told the committee that agency analysts concluded that a protest took place in advance of the attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.
Morrell testified that “subsequent information revealed this judgment to be incorrect.”
The CIA was operating a facility in Benghazi with a large number of agency personnel whose activities had not been made public.