News sources claim Michael D’Andrea was killed for his part in the assassination of popular Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
By Donald Jeffries
Was Michael D’Andrea, described by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency as “the head of U.S. intelligence operations against Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan,” killed recently when the Taliban shot down a U.S. military plane over the Afghanistan city of Ghazni? According to Russian sources, the plane carried an advance command center, leaving all of its equipment and information in the Taliban’s hands.
D’Andrea, referred to as both “Ayatollah Mike,” and “the Prince of Darkness” by the Tasnim News Agency, has been given the credit for the Jan. 3 assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. D’Andrea had run CIA programs in the Middle East since 2017, and was allegedly responsible for the murders of an estimated 300 Iraqi demonstrators as well. U.S. military forces dropped a record number of bombs on the Taliban during 2019.
Social media was also abuzz with the accusation that D’Andrea, in one poster’s words, “had masterminded the murder of Imad Mughniyeh, former Hezbollah chief of staff, back in 2008.”
The same individual, Aad Brasco, also tweeted that “U.S. Special Operations Forces and Afghan commandos were able to recover the remains of the USAF pilots & CIA officers near the crash site. They initially were forced to retreat at dawn when the Taliban tried to ambush them near the plane wreck.”
As might be expected, the truth about the crash is proving difficult to determine. The U.S. government has predictably been circumspect in its comments, but both the Taliban and Iranian media have claimed that large numbers of Americans were killed, including “many CIA” officers. American officials, on the other hand, would only admit that a Navy SEALS team had recovered the remains of two unidentified crew members from the plane. They also claimed to have recovered the flight data recorder, totally contradicting reports by Russian and Iranian sources that advanced information from the plane was in the possession of the Taliban.
Newsweek reported: “The SEALs destroyed what was left of the aircraft with explosives before moving out of the area, a common practice for special operation forces to prevent sensitive equipment from being captured. A follow-up airstrike may occur if commanders determine too much of the aircraft remains intact, the official said. A statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said the remnants of the aircraft were destroyed.”
The Baghdad Post ran a profile article on D’Andrea in June 2017. In it, they mentioned other unflattering nicknames his CIA colleagues had given him, such as “the undertaker” and “the dark prince.” Apparently, he was also the real life inspiration for “the Wolf” character in the fanciful 2012 film about the alleged capture of Osama bin Laden, “Zero Dark Thirty.”
D’Andrea toiled in relative obscurity for the Agency for 36 years until being outed by The New York Times, who credited him with having “presided over the growth of CIA drone operations.” The Times, referencing his nickname “Ayatollah Mike,” quoted a CIA lawyer as saying D’Andrea “can run a very aggressive program, but very smartly.”
D’Andrea is said to come from a family with extensive past ties to the Agency. At the height of the Iraq War, D’Andrea was the most senior CIA official in Baghdad.
D’Andrea supposedly converted to Islam after the war, when he met and married a Muslim woman. His reputation among his colleagues was ugly. He was considered difficult to work with and for. Nevertheless, former deputy director of the CIA Michael Morell told the Baghdad Post that D’Andrea was “one of the finest intelligence officers of his generation.”
A Newsweek article quoted U.S. Army Col. Sonny Leggett, who tweeted, “The crash is under investigation; there are no indications the crash was caused by enemy fire. We will provide additional information as it becomes available. Taliban claims that additional aircraft have crashed are false.” The magazine further reported that, “While it is not immediately clear what caused the plane to crash, U.S. officials told Newsweek that one early working theory is that bad fuel could be the cause but added that further investigation would be needed. One U.S. defense official also told Newsweek the pilot of an A-10 Warthog reported fuel-related problems on Monday.”
Whatever happened, it occurred at a time when American and Taliban negotiators were said to be on the verge of agreeing to a peace deal in Qatar.
More than 2,400 Americans have died in Afghanistan since 2001, with more dying in 2019 than in any year since combat operations seemingly ended in 2014.
While mainstream media outlets predictably claimed about contrary reports, “Like all good propaganda, the story was mostly false,” the CIA refused to comment publicly about D’Andrea.
If he wasn’t on board the plane, and thus presumably still alive, shouldn’t it be easy to produce him, and dispel the rumors?
Donald Jeffries is a highly respected author and researcher whose work on the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations and other high crimes of the Deep State has been read by millions of people across the world. Jeffries is also the author of three books currently being sold by the AFP Online Store.