The news was conveyed to CIA employees in a note from Leon E. Panetta on his last day as the agency’s director.
“On this day, my last day as director, I welcome news that the broader inquiries are behind us,” he said. “We are now finally about to close this chapter of our agency’s history.”
Meanwhile, the Senate voted to confirm Mr. Panetta’s replacement at the agency, former Afghanistan commander Gen. David H. Petraeus, by a vote of 94-0.
“Mr. Durham has advised me of the results of his investigation, and I have accepted his recommendation to conduct a full criminal investigation regarding the death in custody of two individuals,” Mr. Holder said in a statement. “Those investigations are ongoing. The department has determined that an expanded criminal investigation of the remaining matters is not warranted.”
The Justice Department has not provided any details about the two incidents, which it will continue to investigate.
Mr. Durham’s inquiry examined 101 reputed instances of CIA abuse of detainees. After Sept. 11, 2001, the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel approved harsher interrogation techniques, such as simulated drowning for suspected terrorists captured in the war against al Qaeda.
The CIA also set up secret prisons in Europe and other parts of the world, where these detainees were interrogated.
Mr. Durham’s new investigation was of particular concern to the agency because of fears that it would place officers in double jeopardy. Some CIA officers have taken out special insurance policies to protect themselves and their families from civil and criminal prosecutions.