Rockford Native Among CIA Agents Killed by Double Agent

Family "very proud" of Elizabeth Hanson; Plans private memorial service

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 PM CDT
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Rockford Native Among CIA Agents Killed by Double Agent

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A Rockford native is one of seven CIA agents killed last week in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

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As a high school student, Elizabeth Hanson chose an inspiring quote about life's journey to run with her photo in the yearbook. She possibly never dreamed her path someday would take her from Rockford in northern Illinois to a remote base near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border where she worked for the CIA.

Hanson, 30, was among seven CIA employees who died Dec. 30 after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device.  The CIA employees thought the Jordanian man was a trusted informer, but it's been discovered that he was a double agent.

Her brother, Duane Hanson III, said the family plans to issue a statement soon about his sister, his only sibling. Until then, he said only that she was born and raised in Rockford, wasn't married or engaged, and that the family hasn't yet planned a memorial service. He said it would be a private service.

"We're very proud of her," he said.

A quote Hanson chose to run with her class photo was from novelist Ursula K. LeGuin: "It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."

The New York Times reported that Hanson's father said an agency official called several days ago to let him know that his daughter had been killed. He knew little of her work, other than that she had been in Afghanistan.

"I begged her not to go," he recalled, according to the newspaper.  "I said, 'Do you know how dangerous that is? That’s for soldiers.'"

Elizabeth Hanson would have turned 31 next month.

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