Remembering CIA Monique N. Lewis (October 29, 1946 – April 18, 1983) [UPDATE : Whodunit? Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah’s operatives, or Fatah proxies?]

“We gather here today in recognition of Women’s History Month.  At this time, it seems only fitting that we remember our own.We honor today four of our women who made that supreme sacrifice: Barbara A. Robbins, Phyllis Nancy Faraci, Monique N. Lewis, and Deborah Marie Hixon.”

Tribute to Women Who Have Died


The Memorial Wall is a memorial at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It honors CIA employees who died in the line of service. There are 137 stars carved into the white Alabama marble wall. Eleven represent women.

April 18 2022 — Monique Lewis was just hours into her first day as a CIA officer when a suicide bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983. Her husband, James Lewis, a paramilitary officer there, was also killed. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

RELATED POST: Mother, Daughter, Sister, SPY – Women of the CIA

RELATED POST: CIA : A Few Good Women

RELATED POST: Jane Wallis Burrell — First CIA Officer to Have Died While in Service

RELATED POST: Remembering CIA Barbara A. Robbins (July 26, 1943 – March 30, 1965) [2019]

RELATED POST: Remembering CIA Monique N. Lewis (October 29, 1946 – April 18, 1983) — [2019]

RELATED POST: CIA : A Few Good Women – Deborah M. Hixon ( 15 Sep 1952 – April 18 1983)

RELATED POST: CIA : A Few Good Women – Phyllis Nancy Faraci ( 1939 – April 18 1983)

RELATED POST: On This Day — Remembering CIA Jacqueline K. Van Landingham (1962 – March 8 1995)

RELATED POST: Remembering CIA Leslianne Shedd (September 15 1968 – November 23 1996)

RELATED POST: Remembering CIA Molly C. H. Hardy [Dec. 15 1946 – Aug. 7 1998]

RELATED POST: Remembering CIA Rachel A. Dean (April 10 1981 – September 30 2006)

RELATED POST: On This Day — Remembering CIA Elizabeth Hanson ( February 14 1979 – December 30 2009 )

RELATED POST: On This Day — Remembering CIA Jennifer Matthews ( December 6 1964 – December 30 2009 )

RELATED POST: On This Day — Remembering CIA Ranya Abdelsayed (April 28 1979 – August 28 2013)

“They devoted their hearts and minds to a mission unlike any other, at an agency unlike any other, serving on the world’s most dangerous frontiers to defend our people, defeat our adversaries, and advance our freedoms. Their words and deeds will inspire us forever, and their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

CIA Director David Petraeus (2012 Annual Memorial Ceremony)

UPDATE (April 18 2022) — Whodunit? Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah’s operatives, or Fatah proxies?

The terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, on April 18, 1983, killed 63 people.

The attack was carried out as a suicide car bombing, in which a Chevrolet pickup truck that had been packed with about 2,000 pounds of explosives sped through the gate of the U.S. embassy in West Beirut and struck the building.

The resulting blast killed 32 Lebanese workers, 17 Americans, and 14 other individuals. Among the Americans killed were a journalist and eight members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). About 120 others were injured.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. However, on May 30, 2003, Judge Royce Lamberth of the US District Court in Washington, D.C. determined that the bombing was carried out by the militant group Hezbollah with the approval and financing of senior Iranian officials.

It is not immediately clear how Hezbollah, founded in 1985, could have been responsible for the 1983 bombing?

“We still do not have the actual knowledge of who did the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut Airport, and we certainly didn’t then.”

Caspar Weinberger — Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration from 1981 to 1987 (September 2001)

The U.S. embassy attack was followed in October 1983 by bombings of U.S. Marine and French military barracks. The attack killed 241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers. The incident was also linked to Islamic Jihad.

RELATED POST: The 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombing : Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad?

Five months following the second attack, the Lebanese government authority in West Beirut collapsed. In February 1984, U.S. officials announced the withdrawal of the U.S. troops, which was followed shortly thereafter by the pullout of Italian, British, and French troops. [Britannica]

[Did you know? On April 19 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 and injuring almost a thousand people. Initially, the FBI assumed that Hezbollah was behind the blast, due to the similarities with the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing.]

Robert Baer — a CIA agent in Beirut at that time — concluded in 1987 that Iran, employing local Fatah proxies (not Hezbollah’s operatives), was the key player behind the embassy bombing. The Agency never accepted his finding.

Many books and articles have been published on the Beirut attacks. But the truth is that, almost 40 years later, the culprits have not been identified with certainty.

The Beirut barracks bombing prompted a review of overseas security for the U.S. Department of State known as the Inman Report.

Eventually, this report led to the creation of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the Diplomatic Security Service within the U.S. State Department.


“Pompeo served as CIA director but doesn’t know the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing was carried out by Islamic Jihad. Hezbollah was founded in 1985.”

Ghoulia MacFarlane

***** ***** *****

“Mike Pompeo falsely blames #Beirut barracks bombing on #Hezbollah and thinks no one will notice. #FactsMatter”

Jeff Stein (@SpyTalker)

James Foley Lewis, (29 February 1944—18 April 1983) joined the United States Army on 28 February 1962 and qualified as a Green Beret. In 1967 he was serving with the MIKE Force in South Vietnam.

Due to his experience in covert paramilitary operations, Lewis was recruited into the CIA in 1970.

Following his return from Vietnam, Lewis attended George Washington University where he studied French literature, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1977. During this time he met Monique Nuet, a Vietnamese-born pharmacologist and they were married in 1977.

“Monique Lewis married an Agency employee and both were sent to Beirut. Monique told Agency friends how delighted she was at the prospect of working with her husband. Tragically, Monique and her husband were killed— the first time that both a husband and wife employed by the Agency have died while in the service of the CIA. Monique and James Lewis were only acknowledged as CIA employees in 2012.” [CIA Website]

In 1979 Lewis undertook Arabic language training in preparation for assignment to the Middle East. He was first assigned to Tunis and was then transferred to Beirut on temporary assignment on August 13 1982.

Lewis was appointed as Deputy Station Chief while his wife Monique gained security clearance and was due to start work as a CIA secretary on 18 April 1983.

Monique and James were killed on April 18 1983 when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the US Embassy in Beirut.

*****     *****      *****

A special page  “CIA Book of Honor” has been created. This will allow you to find easily the references to the stars we have already written about. I will try to keep this page up to date.

*****     *****      *****

A total of 63 people were killed in the explosion including Robert Ames, Kenneth E. Haas — the CIA Lebanon station chief — and thirteen other Americans.

Monique and James Lewis are buried at Arlington National Cemetery. They were only acknowledged as CIA employees in 2012. They are memorialized on the CIA Memorial Wall.


PS: Did you know Monique Lewis? Would you like to share a story? Just let us know.

“Beirut wasn’t sensible and it never did serve a purpose. It was goofy from the beginning.”

General Colin Powell


Women of the CIA — Newsweek

The Mystery of Jane Wallis Burrell: The First CIA Officer To Die in the Agency’s Service — CIA news & Information

Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Barbara A. Robbins — CIA Website

Barbara Robbins: A slain CIA secretary’s life and death — WP

Tribute to Women Who Have Died — STUDIES IN INTELLIGENCE

CIA discloses names of 15 killed in line of duty — LA Times

CIA Holds Annual Memorial Ceremony to Honor Fallen Colleagues — CIA Website

Phyllis (Nancy) FaraciHuman Rights & Democracy for Iran


Memorial Service 1983 — CIA Website

Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Jacqueline K. Van Landingham  — CIA Website

U.S. Seeking 3 Gunmen In Karachi — NYT March 10 1995

Remembering CIA’s Heroes: Leslianne Shedd — CIA Website


Keeping Secrets

Osama raid avenged CIA deaths, a secret until now — TODAY

CIA Adds Four Stars to Memorial Wall — CIA website May 21 2006

Khowst – 5 Years Later — Cia Website

Who was Elizabeth Hanson? — COLBY Magazine

Year Later, Some Details Emerge About CIA Officer Killed In Afghanistan — npr

Silent Stars — The Washingtonian

“Zero Dark Thirty” entertaining but inaccurate: ex-CIA agents — Reuters


Remembering CIA Monique N. Lewis (October 29, 1946 – April 18, 1983) [UPDATE : Whodunit? Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah’s operatives, or Fatah proxies?]

“Though he never said so explicitly, President Ronald Reagan ended America’s military commitment to a strategic mistake that was peripheral to America’s interests. Three-and-a-half months after the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. military personnel — and after repeatedly pledging not to do so — Reagan ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Lebanon.”

Foreign Policy

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