Ion Mihai Pacepa, former intelligence general and ex-spychief of the who defected from the communist Romania in the 70s, has died of COVID, aged 92.
Pacepa, who had battled various health issues in recent years, had been in the hospital for a while and in intensive care the past couple of days before succumbing to COVID-19. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou, and his daughter, Dana, wnd.com reported.
After two decades as head of Romanian espionage, in 1972 Pacepa became the communist Romania’s director of foreign intelligence and also top adviser to the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
While he was in West Germany in 1978 Pacepa went to the U.S. Embassy there and announced he want to defect to the U.S.
When Pacepa defected to the West he practically dismantled an entire enemy espionage service, so “Nicolae Ceausescu had a nervous breakdown, put a USD 2 million bounty on Pacepa’s head and dispatched multiple assassination squads – including the notorious terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, a.k.a. “Carlos the Jackal” – to the U.S. to find his former top adviser and kill him,” wnd.com recounted.
Pacepa lived in the U.S. for decades, but due to long-term security threats and assassination plots against him, he continued to live under cover of an assumed identity for the rest of his life.
Pacepa’s first book, “Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae & Elena Ceausescu’s Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption” became an international bestseller published in 27 countries.
One of Pacepa’s friends, professor Ronald J. Rychlak, author of the book “Disinformation” he wrote in collaboration with Pacepa, told an interview to Digi24 that the former head of the Romanian communist espionage was seldom considering to return to Romania, but that he was not sure if it would have been safe to come back or not, so he never did.