WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The CIA closed several front companies in Europe intended to build a new counter-terrorism platform because they failed to provide intelligence, a report says.
The CIA established 12 multimillion dollar front companies posing as investment banks and other companies in Europe following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday.
The "black" sites were to serve as a base for CIA officers to establish "non-official" cover while gathering information on al-Qaida and other terrorist operations, The Sun said.
The closure of 10 of the bases was a blow to the CIA's new counter-terrorism strategy, CIA officials critical of the strategy said. The bases were too far from centers of radical Islam and the size of the companies threatened to blow the cover of many CIA operatives, The Sun said.
Critics say the evolution of the strategy of the CIA to combat radical Islam is slow.
"I don't believe the intelligence community has made the fundamental shift in how it operates to adapt to the different targets that are out there," said Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee.
CIA officials said it is establishing new platforms designed to be more streamlined.