Dirty Deeds, Not Dirt Cheap (Reprise)

For 19 American intelligence operatives assigned to apprehend a radical Islamic preacher in Milan two years ago, the mission was equal parts James Bond and taxpayer-financed Italian holiday, according to an Italian investigation of the man’s disappearance. …

During January 2003, they were regular patrons at the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan, which bills itself as “one of the world’s most luxuriously appointed hotels” and features a marble-lined spa and minibar Cokes that cost about $10. Seven of the Americans stayed at the 80-year-old hotel for periods ranging from three days to three weeks at nightly rates of about $450, racking up total expenses of more than $42,000 there. …

Hotel records show that all but one of the Americans allegedly involved in the abduction stayed in Italy for a few days afterward. Four of them checked into luxury hotels in Venice. Two others spent a couple of days in the Italian Alps before leaving the country.