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Terrorism Official Is Vacating His Post

From Associated Press

J. Cofer Black, the State Department official in charge of counter-terrorism, is leaving government in the next few weeks, his spokesman said Friday.

Black’s departure will end a 30-year government career that was spent mostly in the CIA’s operations office.

Black had told State Department officials before this week’s presidential election that he planned to resign no matter the outcome, spokesman Adam Ereli said Friday.

Black’s boss, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, has not revealed whether he wants to remain in office. Powell has responded consistently to reporters’ questions by saying his continuation in the Cabinet was up to the president.

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Bush, meanwhile, has not notified Cabinet officers whether he wanted them to stay.

Black, a native of Stamford, Conn., was a special assistant for counter-terrorism at the CIA and deputy chief of the agency’s Latin America division before joining the State Department in December 2002.

At the State Department, Black has been coordinator for counter-terrorism, responsible for dealing with international terrorism and improving cooperation with other governments.

“He is leaving the department to explore new opportunities,” Ereli said. “He is grateful for the honor to serve President Bush and Secretary of State Powell for two very satisfying and productive years.”

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Black held the rank of ambassador at large. He did not discuss his plans publicly.


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