issue Fifty three

 

      

 

  • Published 8 January 2008

     


Editor's Brief Notes:

It's not often an opportunity presents itself to quiz a former head of the CIA's Soviet Counterintelligence Desk, thus  when we learned Tennent H. Bagley was willing to be interviewed, Eye Spy made the necessary arrangements.

Bagley has been in the news recently over some serious revelations made in his book 'Spy Wars', including how he and former DCI James Angleton, believed the Soviets had successfully planted a KGB officer in the heart of the US intelligence machine. This was primarily to spread disinformation and conceal other stunning affairs. The 'plant' was allegedly Yuri Nosenko - an intelligence officer who seemed to no very little about his comrades and their secret work against the West. But it was also the timing of the defection that so interested Bagley - just weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. And was there a KGB-Nosenko connection with the president's murderer - Lee Harvey Oswald? Oswald, a former US Marine had spent nearly three years in Russia before turning up in Mexico. No small wonder then that followers of the J.F.K. assassination have flocked to the stores to purchase Bagley's book.

The reaction from the intelligence world to 'Spy Wars' has been mixed. A number of intel lectures in the USA were cancelled, while former counterespionage officials describe it as 'poison' (some before they had even read its contents). However, dig a little deeper, digest Bagley's revelations, many make sense.
In our exclusive interview with Bagley that features in Eye Spy 53, these and other matters are discussed, including British spy cases, and various aspects of CIA tradecraft.

We also conclude our series on disguise techniques and present details of a major Chinese espionage operation against the super secret NSA (and its genesis which began five years ago). There's also the start of a new series - Intelligence - Strange But True - as we examine many puzzling, coincidental, quirky, and remarkable incidents that have befallen the men and women who work in this industry. The series starts with a US agent who was accused of having found a
 unique method to carry secret messages... Enjoy this review of issue 53, better still, take out a subscription - Eye Spy is fantastic value for money.


Mark Birdsall
Editor

A BRIEF REVIEW OF EYE SPY 53 FOLLOWS


A DEPARTMENT OF CYBER DEFENCE? THE TIME HAS COME

The world realised when the country of Estonia recently experienced the first cyber war, we had entered a new age of conflict. The Estonia attack was
 unprecedented in size and scope and should alarm every nation around the world. Offensive cyber weapons have been developed by multiple countries that
 could create havoc and damage to our information infrastructure. 'Cyber Arms' have become easier to obtain, easier to use, and much more powerful. These weapons come at a fraction of the cost of traditional weapons such as tanks and missiles. Therefore, country or group sponsored attacks against information systems using computer viruses and other techniques should be considered an act of war. As such, governments must be proactive and establish parameters, definitions and regulations surrounding cyber war.

Intelligence analyst Kevin Coleman believes a worldwide organisation should be created to combat the growing threat of cyber attacks. A fascinating feature that has a worrying conclusion... for everyone.



THE CIA'S BRAIN DRAIN PROGRAMME IRAN'S NUCLEAR SCIENTISTS 'TAPPED'

Details of a super-secret CIA programme initiated by intelligence recruiters designed to lure Iran's top nuclear scientists to the United States...


INVOLUNTARY EXECUTIONER A NEW THEORY ON THE LITVINENKO ASSASSINATION

A recent BBC documentary based on the research of Sunday Times correspondent, Mark Franchetti, has thrown up a surprising new scenario in the assassination of Aleksander Litvinenko in November 2006....

The documentary, called 'Britain's Most Wanted', suggested that prime suspect and former KGB man Andrei Lugovoi, could have been used by forces in Moscow to get to Litvinenko, without him knowing he was about to deliver a 'fatal blow'. The new theory, according to Franchetti's sources, is that Lugovoi was sent to Britain on a fact-finding mission about Litvinenko's liaisons with suspected Chechen terrorists. Lugovoi was reportedly 'selected' because he could get close to Litvinenko.
 

Before Lugovoi set off for London and his encounter with Litvinenko, he was given a substance that he believed was a 'truth serum' or 'debilitating drug'. This was to be slipped into Litvinenko's tea as they chatted about various topics. The agent, therefore, would have had no idea he was actually depositing Polonium-210 in Litvinenko's tea.

Eye Spy
 examines the theory and also looks at comments made by Lugovoi in response to this story. There's also news of a new witness and evidence that suggests that the planning behind the operation to kill Litvinenko began years earlier. A spectacular Russian intelligence success? Don't miss this. 



POINT BLANK - THE CAPBRETON INCIDENT WHEN SURVEILLANCE GOES WRONG

High-ranking members of an ETA terrorist cell shot dead two unarmed surveillance operatives from the Spanish Guardia Civil (SGC) in the French resort of Capbreton, some 12 miles from the southern city of Biarritz, France on 1 December 2007 (40 miles from the border). It was the first deadly attack since the Basque separatist group abandoned its ceasefire.

An attack on Madrid Airport in December 2006 - which left two persons dead - was a sure sign ETA was still very active. The SGC officers were shot dead at point-blank range after reportedly being recognised or overheard discussing the surveillance at a cafe. The case once again illustrates the dangers of such work...

Eye Spy looks at how events unfolded....


TOO HOT TO HANDLE LEAKS, CUSTOMS, NUCLEAR BOMBS AND THE KHAN NETWORK

On 5 December 2007, police searched the home and car of Atif Amin, a senior UK Customs investigator who headed Operation Akin - the secret British investigation that probed links between UK companies and Abdul Qadeer Khan and his underground nuclear network. It is understood, warrants citing the Official Secrets Act were presented. Amin probed Khan's network as early as 2000, but the 'rogue trader' was not closed down until 2003. The incident seems connected to the book - 'America and the Islamic Bomb'... more on this interesting story
 

THE FBI'S FIRST SPY CASE INVESTIGATION HOOVER DIDN'T WANT

It was the FBI's first major international spy case: on 2 December 1938 - less than a year before World War II broke out in Europe - three Nazi spies were found guilty of espionage in the United States. The man who had exposed the spy ring, Guenther Rumrich, was eventually given a reduced prison term for his cooperation. Far from being hailed a great success, the FBI acknowledged it had made mistakes. Four times as many spies had escaped, including most of the senior Nazi planners. The Bureau was 'roundly criticised in the press,' and for good reason. Senior officials today admit, '...we were simply unprepared at that point in history to investigate such cases of espionage.'

It was a complex affair that began in February 1937, when the crafty Guenther Rumrich - a naturalized American citizen recruited by German intelligence - was arrested by the New York Police Department for the US Army and the State Department, following a tip-off by British intelligence. The charge: impersonating the
 Secretary of State in order to get blank US passports.

Rumrich was willing to talk, and confessed that he was acting on behalf of Nazi agents. He also said he would provide the name of 10 to 15 spies working for
 Germany... A fascinating story prepared by FBI writers and historians.


WORLD EXCLUSIVE
INTERVIEW WITH TENNENT H. BAGLEY

Eye Spy's much awaited interview with the former head of the CIA's Soviet Counterintelligence Desk. As a preamble to the interview, Bagley explains why he
 chose to write Spy Wars:

EXTRACT: 'In December 1961, at a time of great tension in the Cold War with Khrushchev rattling sabers over Berlin, a KGB officer named Anatoly Golitsyn defected to CIA and gave startling indications of KGB successes in recruiting Western officials. Only a few months afterwards, there arrived on temporary mission in the West yet another KGB officer, Yuri Nosenko, volunteering his services to CIA in Geneva.

'Coming from inside the KGB's directorate that worked against foreign intelligence inside the USSR, Nosenko brought quite different, and more comforting versions of certain operations that Golitsyn had partially exposed. Nosenko was unwilling to defect or to meet CIA inside the USSR, but agreed to make contact whenever he travelled to the West.

'A year and a half later Nosenko came out again, this time having changed his mind and defecting outright. This was just weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald, who had earlier defected to and spent three years in the Soviet Union.  Nosenko claimed astonishing direct knowledge of Oswald's sojourn there, and could report with authority that the KGB had taken no interest in Oswald, much less had it had any hand in his later act....'

INTERVIEW EXTRACTS:

EYE SPY: The CIA's best secret sources inside the USSR were Lt. Col. Pyotr Popov and Colonel Oleg Penkovsky, both of the GRU (Soviet military intelligence). Both were exposed and executed. The Soviets claimed that both moles had been unearthed by routine surveillance of Western diplomats in
 Moscow. But you believe this was not the case. How so?

THB: I explain in my book the compelling reasons to disbelieve the story that Nosenko (among others) conveyed to us to mislead us about when and how the KGB really detected Popov and Penkovsky. I cite circumstances that leave little doubt that both were betrayed by one or more KGB moles in CIA. By looking behind a couple of Nosenko's tales we were able to identify the CIA man who apparently betrayed Popov. It was the man CIA had sent to Moscow to support the Popov case there....

EYE SPY: Spy Wars has attracted criticism from some people in the intelligence community. We understand planned lectures have been cancelled and skulduggery is afoot. A former FBI CI officer called Spy Wars 'one of the most dangerous and disruptive books that could have been published in any time, particularly in 2007. In fact... radioactive poison.' KGB defector Oleg Kalugin called the book 'absurd... trash.' We were surprised by this language - it seems to have touched a raw nerve. Are some former 'players' embarrassed that they may, after all, have allowed a KGB officer to provide so much disinformation?

THB: Yes, my book touches sensitive nerves. It threatens the intelligence community's abiding faith in Nosenko's bona fides. You could feel that sensitivity in the surprising words that you mentioned. Three veterans, one each from the FBI, CIA and KGB, were venting their emotions when they called my book 'radioactive poison' and 'trash' - they certainly weren't reviewing it, as they pretended, because not a single one of the three 'reviewers' had even read it. The FBI veteran admitted to friends he hadn't read more than 40-odd pages of this 'radioactive poison.' KGB veteran Kalugin, who had long been assuring Westerners that Nosenko genuinely defected, trashed the book for what he called its lack of understanding of the KGB and Soviet system. If he had read it, he would have been aware of the input into it by KGB veterans, some of whom knew more than he did about these KGB operations.

An explosive interview - not to be missed.....
 

CIA RENDITION TAPES MELTED

TERROR TALES DESTROYED

The CIA destroyed two videotapes showing the interrogation of leading al-Qaida terrorists.  Eye Spy looks at the debate which followed the announcement by DCI Michael Hayden that his personnel took the decision to protect the identity of an interrogation team. Has the CIA a case to answer? Or is it just a storm in a teacup?
 

RED SKIES
DARING CHINESE SPIES RAID NSA 'CROWN JEWELS'

China's spies create front company to penetrate and acquire intelligence from top secret NSA facility in Hawaii

On 30 August 2007, the National Security Agency/Central Security Service announced the expansion of its operations facility on the Pacific island of Hawaii (Field Station Kunia, Wahiawa). The move was to 'evolve a global cryptologic enterprise that is resilient, agile, and effective in prosecuting a dynamic threat
 environment', according to a press release. The new operations upgrade was hailed as a significant chapter in the evolvement of the world's most secret
 agency. Lieutenant General Keith B. Alexander, USA, Director, NSA/Chief, CSS, said. 'What will rise from this site, is NSA's commitment to continue to provide our national and tactical decision-makers with the best cryptologic support possible. This building, its design, its infrastructure, its capabilities, and its location will support and protect an unparalleled intellectual combine.'

The enormous 400 million square foot building, officially called a 'Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility' (SCIF), also incorporates a detached 600 square foot shredder facility and a new 'Antenna Farm Building'.

Eye Spy learned that China, recognising the huge facility was aimed predominantly at the Asian Theatre, decided to create a translation contract firm, effectively a 'front company', that was officially registered in the USA. Beijing believed that more Chinese translators would be required due to the increase in signals traffic consumed by Field Station Kunia. It was a ruse that worked - at least temporarily until US counterintelligence discovered China was offering employees free trips 'back home to the mother country' - a sure sign they were trying to turn them.

But what of the genesis of the case? Eye Spy discovered that several years ago, defence budget details containing the price of Kunia's upgrade, were published and freely available on the Internet. Thereafter, China's spy agency began its clever ruse.

Unmissable and exclusive background to this remarkable story of espionage....   


CRABB MYSTERY SOLVED?
SOVIET DIVER CLAIMS HE KILLED MI6 DIVER

It's a story Eye Spy has followed for a number of years - the strange death of an MI6 officer who died during a covert operation to spy on a visiting Soviet warship to Portsmouth in April 1956. Now a new 'witness' has emerged.... his killer

Commander Lionel 'Buster' Crabb, who was 47 at the time, led an 'unauthorised' Royal Navy mission to examine the advanced hull of a visiting Soviet warship in
 April 1956. The vessel was part of a goodwill flotilla carrying none other than Nikita Kruschchev and other Soviet ministers to the UK for meetings with Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden. Crabb disappeared and it sparked one of the most enduring spy mysteries of all time. There were rumours he had been captured, shot, drowned and even killed by his own side - all of which were unproven.

Now Eye Spy meticulously examines the claim made by a former Russian diver that he cut the throat of Crabb who was trying to fix a bomb to the underside of a Soviet  warship, and explains why this man's story should not be taken too seriously....
 

IRAN'S NUCLEAR CON-FUSION
US NIE COULD BE DISTRACTION

A controversial assessment made by 16 US intelligence agencies that states Iran stopped its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, is still causing confusion.
 According to senior intelligence officials, the programme remains on hold, and appears to contradict an earlier assessment made two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb. The NIE is at odds with intelligence gleaned by Israel's Mossad. It is understood notes recovered from an Iranian engineer contained on a laptop in 2004, led to a major intelligence operation launched by the CIA and NSA. Intercepted conversations between 'furious' Iranian military officials who complained Iran should not stop its weapons programme, also complemented the material. The CIA thought long and hard about the possibility that the Iranians were trying to dupe Langley with a distraction operation, but in the end analysts decided Iran's nuclear weapons programme had
 stalled.

Some intelligence watchers, however, believe that the NIE could well be a distraction operation.


DISGUISE TECHNIQUES Part 3
CLOAKING TRICKS, DECEPTIONS AND ILLUSIONS

Eye Spy continues its journey into the intelligence tradecraft of disguise - and discusses various points with an intelligence expert trained in this fascinating
 art...

EXTRACT 1: Antonio J. Mendez, was a brilliant CIA master of disguise, who often drew upon the expertise of Hollywood to create various disguises. He's been described as the man who helped CIA officers disappear into the world's back alleys, but even he admits: 'It's not just the makeup... disguise is not just the face you present. It's the 6,000-year-old secrets, the capability to create illusions. The essence is illusion and deception.'

EXTRACT 2: Other one-time props occasionally used to deflect or attract attention are white sticks signifying a blind or poor sighted person or someone wearing dark glasses. Crutches, walking sticks, plaster casts, wheel chair-bound persons and even walking a dog can lessen a persons 'threat level'. However, they can also make a person more visible - especially to an aware surveillance team. It's all about context. Using most of these props in a hospital environment would hardly attract a glance - not so in a busy shopping street where persons would be forced to move aside. It's because of this, some operatives are reluctant to use such tactics.

EXTRACT 3: Many case or field intelligence officers do not like to use disguise techniques to conduct their business, but there are a multitude of reasons why it happens. Using doubles, for example, which often begins with 'making an impression'...

EXTRACT 4: One often overlooked aspect of disguise, especially in the 'double' or 'switch' element of disguise tradecraft concerns the person being left or right-handed. A professional observer will strive to note if a person is left or right-handed by monitoring certain actions. Moments when such intelligence can be gleaned will always present themselves: the target could visit a cafe and hold his coffee cup; eat in a restaurant; write a cheque in a bank; present a credit card in a store; open a car door or put money in a parking meter etc. Similarly, they could carry a case or bag over a certain shoulder - if there are any major deviations with a double here, it could spell serious trouble. It's the tiny things that can often ruin a deception of this kind, and one reason why this obvious, yet crucial element, if ignored, can make or break an operation.

EXTRACT 6: How a person 'holds' the disguise together is vital. And regardless of what many disguise experts say - it is advantageous if a person is able to hold their nerve.

Props can be a terrific tool, but these must look realistic and be fully maintained. For government disguise experts the scope for creating a disguise is endless. From plastic surgery that will change appearance, to using drugs to increase the melanin count in the skin thus making the person darker, intelligence services, especially in the West, have units dedicated to this tradecraft.


NORJAK COLD CASE
FBI RE-OPENING FILE ON THE SUITCASE BOMB HIJACKER

One of the great unsolved mysteries of aviation crime is being reinvestigated by the FBI. It involves an unidentified man aged about 40, who parachuted from a hijacked airliner somewhere between Seattle and Reno in November 1971. Donning a trench coat and loafers, he jumped - making off with about $200,000 in ransom cash - a fortune in those days. The case, codenamed NORJAK by the FBI, has featured in documentaries, books and magazines, and saw hundreds of would-be 'investigators' wander under the aeroplane's flight path into remote wilderness seeking the money which has never been found.

Eye Spy examines the case and looks at the new methods available to the FBI which might just help explain what happened to the man known as 'Mr Cooper'... and all that loot.


FANTASY ISLAND
DEMYSTIFYING BRITAIN'S SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

As MI5 and MI6 recruitment programmes continue apace, more doors are being opened that allows ordinary mortals a glimpse of what it's really like to work for a secret service. But for some job seekers expecting to engage in a 'fantasy island' type operation, the reality is somewhat of a let down.

EXTRACT: The MI6 recruiter quickly bounced away the James Bond perception: 'This is the biggest myth at the service. We do not have a licence to kill, we do not carry Berrettas. That's simply not true,' he said. 'And for the record, there is not, no never was a licence to kill.'


SIGSALY
LONDON CALLING WASHINGTON

'What did Horace say Winnie?'... Certainly a phrase unlikely to be familiar to today's BBC audiences but one that was heard often, spoken by comedian Harry Hemsley, during World War Two. The question might also have been posed during the war period by anyone attempting to eavesdrop on an encrypted
 conversation using the voice scrambling equipment [VOCODER] known as SIGSALY, developed by the Allies specifically for telephone communications between the other 'Winnie', Prime Minister Churchill, and President Roosevelt.

David Hamer looks at this most vital communication system that helped secure links between London and Washington.


STRANGE BUT TRUE
NEW SERIES: A SUITABLE PRESS

Eye Spy's new series on case files and incidents that are very strange indeed. Our first feature involves an elderly US female agent who inadvertently performed an every day act and almost paid the price with her life. Somehow a 'secret message' managed to get on a most surprising part of her person...


THE DUQUESNE SPY RING
SECRET HISTORY FILES

On 2 January 1942, 33 members of a Nazi spy ring headed by Frederick Joubert Duquesne were sentenced to serve a total of over 300 years in prison. They were brought to justice after a lengthy espionage investigation by the FBI. William Sebold, who had been recruited as a spy for Germany, was a major factor in the FBI's successful resolution of this case through his work as 'Harry Sawyer' a double agent for the United States.

A fascinating 'slice of history' that also covers the life of Nazi spy Frederick Joubert Duquesne.


REAL CYBER WAR GAMES
NEW INTEL UNIT TO DEFEND DIGITAL BATTLEFIELD EUROPE

In 1983, with the Cold War still going strong, a movie called War Games depicted an eccentric computer hacker named David Lightman, played by Matthew
 Broderick. With dogged determination to play a military-generated 'game' - Global Thermonuclear War - David managed to hack into the North American Aerospace Defense Command computer system and almost caused an actual nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

Now a US military unit has created a real cyber-threat intelligence cell to detect, monitor, trace and ultimately expose the hackers and their associates...


BEST OF THE REST

FSB SPIES IN GERMANY

According to Germany's BfV spy chief, Heinz Fromm, one in every three Russian diplomats is a spy - that's about 120 - four times as many as are operating in Britain. Just what are they looking for?

FALLING DOWN
An interesting story about a former CIA rendition aircraft that crashed in Mexico... carrying four tons of Cocaine

RUSSIAN SPY REPORTS
Annual release shows upsurge in Western spy attempts

FSB head Nikolai Patrushev said his country had disrupted 100 attempts by foreign intelligence service to spy on Russia. A look at those he identified and who is really behind the operations.

AN IRANIAN MYSTERY
The strange disappearance of former FBI man in Iran

A look at the disappearance of former FBI officer Robert Levinson in Iran, and attempts by his wife, Christine to locate him.

SCOTLAND YARD OFFICER CLEARED
Several senior police officers involved in the operation that resulted in the death of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, have been cleared of any wrong-doing.

SPY FLIGHTS
North Korea accuses USA
Officials in Pyongyang say they monitored over 2,000 US and South Korean spy flights over the territory in 2007.

SADDAM'S US SPY
18 months for Iraqi intel agent

A former Iraq national who moved to the United States in the early 1970s, spied on behalf of Saddam's spy agencies.

IRAQ LINKS TO FAILED 2007 UK BOMBINGS
Evidence has emerged that the failed 2007 London and Glasgow bombers are associated to a shadowy al-Qaida outfit in Iraq. If this is true, last year's attacks were the first ever organised by persons in the Middle East on UK soil.

RADIOACTIVE SMUGGLERS
Russia's FSB has released details of a staggering number of attempts to smuggle radioactive materials in and out of the country.


UNDERCOVER BOOK RELEASES
The latest intelligence and tradecraft books

SPECIAL OFFER
Order any book from our Undercover Book Release feature in this edition of Eye Spy and receive absolutely FREE (including postage and packing), our fantastic World of Intelligence Crests Poster II!

SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT
NEW PRODUCTS
Eye Spy's regular feature showing some of the most popular equipment available to the trade and public alike. From personal security to high-end transmitters for specialist tasks, you will find the latest products and some firm 'industry standard' favourites here.
 

Issue 53
 

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