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A ferocious dispute between the CIA and Congressional Democrats centers on an ultra-secret effort launched by agency officials after 9/11 to draw up plans to hunt down and kill terrorists using commando teams similar to those deployed by Israel after the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, according to a former senior US official.
Officials of the CIA's undercover spying branch, then known as the Directorate of Operations, on and off over the last several years repeatedly floated and revised plans for the such operations, which would involve sending squads of operatives overseas, sometimes into friendly countries, to track and assassinate Al Qaeda leaders, much the same way Israeli Mossad agents sent assassins to Europe to kill men they believed responsible for murdering Israeli Olympic athletes, the former official said. But several former and current officials said the highly-classified plans, which last week provoked into a bitter argument between congress and the CIA, never became "fully operational," and CIA Director Leon Panetta put an end to the program in June....