Head of US counterterrorism agency resigns

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WASHINGTON, Oct 17 (Reuters) Vice Adm John Redd, the head of the US agency responsible for analyzing intelligence on terrorism and developing counterterrorism strategies, announced his resignation today.

Redd, first director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in a letter to staff he was stepping down as of November 10 for ''long-delayed surgery which I can no longer neglect.'' Redd needs replacement surgery on both knees, which would require a prolonged absence if he were to stay as director, center spokesman Carl Kropf said.

The counterterrorism center was created in 2004 as part of an overhaul of US intelligence and security agencies after the September 11 attacks in 2001. It serves as a clearing-house for intelligence on terrorism, produces daily intelligence reports and develops strategy for counterterrorism operations.

Redd, 63, has served as head of the center since August 2005.

Michael Leiter, the agency's deputy director, will serve as acting director until a replacement is named, Kropf said.

REUTERS CS BST0017

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