WASHINGTON — America has long been an exporter of terrorism, according to a secret CIA analysis released yesterday by the website WikiLeaks. And if that phenomenon were to become a widely held perception, the analysis said, it could damage relations with allies and dampen their willingness to cooperate in “extrajudicial’’ activities, such as the rendition and interrogation of terrorism suspects.
That is the conclusion of the three-page classified paper produced in February by the CIA’s Red Cell, a think tank set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by then-CIA Director George Tenet to provide “out-of-the-box’’ analyses on “a full range of analytic issues.’’
Titled “What If Foreigners See the United States as an ‘Exporter of Terrorism?’ ’’ the paper cites Pakistani-American David Headley, among others, to make its case. This year Headley pleaded guilty to conducting surveillance in support of the 2008 Lashkar-i-Taiba attacks in Mumbai, which killed more than 160 people.
Such exports are not new, the paper said. In 1994, an American-Jewish doctor, Baruch Goldstein, immigrated to Israel, joined the extremist group Kach, and killed 29 Palestinians praying at a mosque, it said.
Marie Harf, CIA spokeswoman, played down the significance of the paper: “These sorts of analytic products — clearly identified as coming from the Agency’s ‘Red Cell’ — are designed simply to provoke thought and present different points of view.’’