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CIA agent guilty in Hezbollah search

A former CIA agent pleaded guilty to searching FBI records for information on Hezbollah.

Nada Nadim Prouty of Vienna, Va., faces up to 16 years in prison, The New York Times reported on its Web site Tuesday, for unauthorized searches of FBI computer case files, including one pertaining to the Lebanese terrorist group that has warred with Israel since the 1980s.

The Lebanese-born Prouty, 37, also pleaded guilty Tuesday to fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship.

The Times reported that it was not clear why Prouty conducted the search for information about investigations into Hezbollah ties in the Detroit area in 2003, the year she left the FBI to join the CIA. However, the plea agreement noted that her sister and brother-in-law attended a Hezbollah fund-raiser in Lebanon in 2002. Another unauthorized search in 2002 involved her name, her sister’s name and the name of her brother-in-law, Talal Khalil Chahine.

Chahine had once employed Prouty in a chain of restaurants in the Detroit area. He is now a fugitive from charges that he evaded taxes by funneling funds to Lebanon.

Prouty joined the FBI in 1997.

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