On this day: October 4th

Islamic Jihad announces execution of CIA Officer William Buckley —1985

William Buckley had been serving as the CIA Beirut station chief since 1983 when he was kidnapped by operatives with the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. He had volunteered for the assignment following the 1983 Beirut Embassy Bombing, which had killed eight CIA employees and was the deadliest attack in the agency’s history. After enduring 14 months of captivity by the terrorist group, Buckley is presumed to have died from a heart attack in June 1985, many months before terrorists had declared him executed.

Buckley had distinguished himself as a company commander in combat in the Korean War, and went on to become one of the first Special Forces soldiers, commanding a Special Forces team before the Vietnam War. He served with MAC-V in Vietnam as a Lieutenant Colonel, and began working with the CIA during the war. The CIA has said that Buckley helped develop the precursors to the Counterterrorism Center at the Agency, and served in a variety of assignments around the world before assuming the role of station chief in Beirut at a time of heightened security risks.