State’s Diplomatic Security Unit Gets Buzz From Jolie Film


The State Department’s little-known law enforcement and protection arm, eager to raise its profile, is trying to take advantage of the buzz around Angelina Jolie’s film about journalist Daniel Pearl’s murder in Pakistan, the Associated Press reports. The department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) is trumpeting its role in the Pearl case ahead of the opening of “A Might Heart” on Friday. Randall Bennett, a Diplomatic Security agent in Karachi, Pakistan when the Wall Street Journal reporter was abducted there in 2002, played a key part in the hunt for Pearl’s kidnappers and killers. The bureau has arranged interviews with Bennett for news outlets and has posted a three-part video discussion with him on the State Department’s home page under the title “The Daniel Pearl Murder: A First Person Account.”

Unlike government agencies that promote themselves in Hollywood, the Diplomatic Security normally avoids publicity, concerned that attention might compromise its ability to work quietly behind the scenes. The bureau’s 1,500 agents provide embassy security, advise private U.S. citizens and companies, conduct criminal investigations, and hunt for fugitives overseas. “This is a unique situation since Randall was an integral part of the resolution,” said a State Department spokesman. “We want to say, ‘Hey! Here is one of our guys and he does great things.'”


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