Report: FBI Admits to Spying on Mandela During His First U.S. Visit

A South African leader in Mandela's circle provided information.

Posted: 05/30/2014 10:50 AM EDT
Report: FBI Admits to Spying on Mandela During His First U.S. Visit

The FBI has admitted to spying on Nelson Mandela during his first visit to the United States in 1990.

A memo exclusively retrieved by Al Jazeera from a May 30, 1990, FBI memo stated the federal agency hired a confidential informant affiliated within Mandela's entourage. This informant provided information about Mandela's travel logistics during his trip in June 1990.

The files show that Mandela had several death threats from skinheads, the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups. There were also assassination plots targeting him in Atlanta and Miami. Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral candidate Ryan Shapiro turned over the documents to the news outlet.

Al Jazeera reports

“What’s missing from these documents is often as illuminative as what’s disclosed,” Shapiro told Al Jazeera. “Not only did the FBI heavily redact and withhold documents, but there’s virtually no discussion of U.S. intelligence community involvement prior to Mandela’s 1990 release from prison.”

Shapiro is suing the National Security Agency, CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency for their records on Mandela.

Read full report here.

Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_

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(Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

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