Air Force tried to get CIA and FBI to cooperate on the Alaskan Stay-Behind network

vintagealaska-1200x400_q85_cropWhile the FBI’s Stay-Behind network in Alaska has been previously explored – including how it was partially driven to spite the CIA – the Agency’s role in the Cold War contingency has largely been kept secret. Previously classified records reveal that the military specifically sought to get the CIA involved in the earliest months of the program.

The extent of the Agency’s involvement remains unclear, as does whether or not the Agency ever interacted with the FBI on the project. Given Bureau’s animus towards the Agency – including, but not limited to the Alaskan project – it seems unlikely that the FBI would have reached out if they could have avoided it, though documents released in the CREST mention that it was “discussed informally.”

While the Bureau had been discussing programs to create “sleeper agents” in Alaska since as early as January 1950, it seems that CIA may not have been consulted until March. A memo with the subject “United States Armed Forces Underground Intelligence Activities in the event of Enemy Occupation of Alaska” from the Air Force’s Chief of Staff solicited the opinions of both the CIA and FBI Directors. The memo sought to establish a policy for the program in order to avoid duplication of effort or interference between the various agencies.


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