This is not the kind of news you want to read with your latte. Via CBS News:
A senior State Department official who oversees counter terrorism programs was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of soliciting sex from a minor, reports CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan.
The department’s director of counterterrorism was charged with one count of attempting to solicit sex from a juvenile, and spent the night in Washington, D.C. jail.
According to police, Daniel Rosen, 44, was taken into custody at home after exchanging multiple online messages with an undercover detective from their child exploitation unit. The detective was operating a sting operation to bust online predators.
Court documents do not appear to be publicly available online as of this writing. However, the Fairfax County Police Department says that the charge was for “one count of use of a communications device to solicit a juvenile” and that Rosen will be extradited to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center at some point within the next 10 days. He will have a status hearing at the D.C. Superior Court in the afternoon of March 3. Click here for @wusa9 video coverage.
Below is a recap via Twitter. There was a DC man:
— Washington DC News (@washdcnews) February 25, 2015
Who turned out to be some official working in a high profile bureau:
Local news covered the arraignment, see Peggy Fox’s timeline on Twitter:
Judge: “given the gravity of the charge” and the “very very serious offense” no bond for Daniel Rosen @wusa9
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyTV) February 25, 2015
Also covered by CNN after bail denial. The larger problem cited by Dr. Lori Handrahan, the author of forthcoming book Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden National Security Risk which details America’s child sex abuse epidemic:
— Lori Handrahan (@LoriHandrahan2) February 28, 2015
The Daily Beast’s Shane Harris reports that at the State Department on Wednesday, “there was no official communication to staff about Rosen’s arrest, just an awkward silence.” He writes:
Those who know Rosen pushed back on initial reports that he was a senior-level official in charge of all counterterrorism programs at the State Department. His job was largely budgetary and bureaucratic, they said. Rosen had mastered the byzantine rules imposed on how a federal agency can spend money.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told The Daily Beast in a statement: “We are aware that a State Department employee has been arrested and charges have been issued. For issues related to Department personnel and for privacy reasons, we are not able to confirm the identity of the individual or specific charges.”
Psaki said the employee would be placed on administrative leave during the judicial process. “We are following standard procedure in this case,” she said.
Rosen’s publicly available LinkedIn profile says that he is the Director of Counterterrorism Plans, Programs and Policy at the U.S. Department of Statefrom August 2008 to present (6 years 7 months). Among the experience he listed is oversight of $300 million per year in CT programs related to Countering Violent Extremism, Antiterrorism Assistance, Counterterrorism Financing, Counterterrorism Engagement and Regional Initiatives and management of an office with over 20 personnel.
This case is serious and creepy but we should also note that the charge in the complaint is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in the court of law.
Meanwhile, the State Department’s telephone directory had been scrubbed. The updated directory dated February 25 lists the Bureau of Counterterrorism’s Director for the Office of Programs and Policy located at 2509 as currently “vacant.”