Former CIA terrorist tracker Nada Bakos is now working to combat animal… (Los Angeles Times )
WASHINGTON — When Nada Bakos was a targeting analyst for the CIA, she spent four years piecing together bits of information in the hunt for one of the world’s most lethal terrorists.
Bakos, who retired from the CIA in 2008, now is teaming up with a cyber-security expert in a volunteer effort to use the Web to go after animal poachers.
“We’re going to look at online forums and identify the more active groups that use this for monetary gain,” Bakos said. “We’re going to look at their tactics, how they move the goods, how they accept payment.”
From 2002 to 2006, during her CIA tenure, Bakos helped track Abu Musab al Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. U.S. special operations forces killed Zarqawi in June 2006, shortly after Bakos left for another job.
Bakos spent a few years working for Starbucks in Seattle, and now is a private consultant. But she misses the hunt. And the Montana native has long been concerned about the killing of endangered animals.
For example, despite a decades-long ban on international trade in ivory, poaching of African elephants for their tusks has hardly abated. Last year a record amount of illegal ivory was seized around the world, according to TRAFFIC, a group that monitors the ivory trade. The group counted seizures of more than 23 tons, a figure it says probably represents about 2,500 elephants.