issue Forty one
Published 30 June 2006
NOTES FROM THE EDITOR
From printed data on a throwaway bus ticket, to one-way flights booked hurriedly over the Internet, Eye Spy looks at two very important 'paper friends' that can be priceless to the security services and
police during investigations - the ticket and receipt.
We also take a look at some techniques used in the world of espionage relating to 'bugging devices'. Besides spies, terrorists and serious crime gangs, criminals are turning to the world of bugging to obtain a variety of useful information from unsuspecting citizens. Tapping telephones lines in a matter of seconds will allow a criminal to listen to all sorts of information being relayed on the phone - including credit card transactions, holiday bookings, or even private meetings with someone else's
spouse! With this data in hand, the listener can use your credit card, have knowledge when your home is empty, and even blackmail is possible. Don't take our word for it, but tapping a telephone can be done (in some, though not all cases), in a matter of seconds.... and not just by government officers armed with warrants and access to a local phone exchange. This highly important feature allows the reader to understand the dangers posed by illegal bugging, what type of devices are used, and more relevant, what can be done to thwart such actions.
Few people will mourn the demise of one the most dreadful terrorists ever... Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. He was killed after specialist officers from Task Force 77 were provided with a plethora of clues and bits of information from various sources. It was an intelligence jigsaw that took TF77 some two years to complete. Eye Spy provides immaculate details of how Zarqawi was traced.
Despite this anti-terrorism success, there is still a clear and present danger. In Canada, a 20-strong al-Qaida linked terrorist group were arrested following a 12-month long surveillance operation.
'Surveillance Time' was the key in this affair, as officers used various systems at their disposal to gather all the necessary evidence required. This can't be said for an incident in England, where police were forced into immediate action. Two men suspected of building a chemical bomb were arrested. One suspect was tragically shot in the raid. After a seven-day investigation nothing was found and the men were released. The intelligence that led MI5 to the brothers was seemingly flawed, and the police
subsequently apologised. Given officers had more time to investigate, the incident would not have happened,
Eye Spy 41 is packed with numerous features, special reports and 'tips from the trade' that allows readers to grasp the enormity of the world of intelligence and of espionage. Some of the highlights follow....
THE BATTLE OF BUGS AND EAVESDROPPING
Wiretaps, targets and counter surveillance
According to senior counter-espionage and counter-terrorism officers, phone tapping and bugging is a valuable and necessary intelligence tool. Against terrorists and crime gangs, the intelligence gleaned by a simple listening device or camera can, and does, lead to arrests and the prevention of illegal acts.
Most law-abiding citizens believe evidence acquired covertly, including evidence from phone taps, should be used more freely and openly in court. Several civil liberties' groups are opposed to many aspects of government bugging, and many are against allowing covertly recorded conversations to be heard in court. 'Entrapment' is a word that comes to mind. Similarly, a major intelligence concern is that crucial techniques used by the security services to perform such tasks will be exposed. However, many methods used by surveillance officers, including concealing and operating bugs are already well known. Only compromise of a surveillance operation or the discovery of bugs by those under observance is problematic, according to undercover agents interviewed by Eye Spy.
Eye Spy takes a look at various tools and methods used by the security services to obtain vital intelligence; examines many aspects of bugging, undercover work and countermeasures. While this informative expose reveals just how vulnerable you are, it also provides a plethora of tips to help you defeat the criminal...
We also compare bugging devices available on the high street to those currently used by organisations like MI5 or the FBI. Some devices constructed by government laboratories cost millions to research, develop and build, yet in some cases a microphone and ordinary tape recorder are best suited to the job.
The Battle of Bugs and Eavesdropping is constantly evolving, and for those who believe the contents of this feature might thwart the security services, think again. Those charged with the defence of the realm employ a multitude of variants to obtain electronic intelligence. Yet the technology gap between equipment used by government officers and that being developed in countries like China and Russia is narrowing. Eye Spy questions if this gap will ever close.... the answer in Eye Spy 41!
How Task Force 77 Finally Trapped al-Zarqawi
Iraq's Prime Minister announced 'Zarqawi has been terminated.' Nouri Maliki's words were greeted with as much relief as applause at a press conference on 8 June 2006. Just hours earlier, US Special Forces - highly trained in intelligence gathering and surveillance, had followed a number of suspected
terrorists to a remote house in Hibhib about 40 miles north of Baghdad.
Army Intelligence had received a vital piece of information some months ago concerning an unidentified man who was often seen with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. That intelligence came from al-Zarqawi's home country - Jordan. Jordan's intelligence service GID, had infiltrated an al-Qaida terror cell and began gathering crucial leads and contacts. They were surprised to learn that the terror leader had a personal religious advisor - Sheik Abdel Rashid Rahman.
A special 'Zarqawi' task force, recently renamed Task Force 77, had been on the trail of al-Zarqawi for two years. The organisation included a contingent from the CIA and other defence intelligence officers. They believed if Rahman could be traced, he would lead them directly to al-Zarqawi.
This is the inside story of how al-Zarqawi was located from journalists and soldiers inside Iraq. An RAF Nimrod, US Predator drones, The Activity', Delta Forces and SAS were all involved. But the real story starts with a Jordanian intelligence surveillance operation.
WAR OF WORDS
Former MI6 Officer Starts 'Blogging'
The world's most secret service is bracing itself for possible security leaks, as former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson discusses a wide variety of topics, not least his long-running 'war of words', with department heads and legal officials on his new web site...
Jailed in 1998 for breaking the UK's Official Secrets Act, Mr Tomlinson has resided quietly in the warmer climates of Europe since fleeing to Russia in 2001 to publish his controversial and revealing book - The Big Breach. The book - initially banned in the UK - provides a deep insight into many
aspects of MI6 activities, including spycraft, recruitment techniques and, of course, some operations. The 'web blog', besides allowing users to interact, focuses on his time in MI6, but he has opened debates about Iraq, Fort Monckton (the operational MI6 training facility) and his long-running
battles with the government's Solicitor General. Intelligence watchers believe he is intent on taking revenge on the secret service which sacked him in 1995. Indeed, the soft-spoken former spy, who reportedly works as a yacht broker, began April's blog with a candid warning: 'Let the game
CIA's SPIDER'S WEB
EU minister accuses Europe of helping CIA terrorist transfer flights
Controversial Swiss politician and human rights activist Dick Marty, suggests that EU states including Germany, Italy and Turkey, as well as the UK, have constructed a 'spider's web' of deception in order to cover up their collusion with the US.
In November 2005, a group called Human Rights Watch, a New York-based watchdog said it had evidence that the CIA was conducting 'enhanced interrogation techniques' on prisoners in secret detention centres in Europe. The group said because of US laws forbidding 'torture on US soil' the CIA was covertly transferring suspected al-Qaida terrorists to countries where such provisions protecting human rights did not apply. Other human rights activists then began scouring reports dating back three years looking for evidence...
DIANA DEATH PROBE
New Evidence and Fresh Witnesses
Sir John Stevens, former head of London's Metropolitan Police leading the official British inquiry into the death of Princess Diana, has said his investigators have uncovered new forensic evidence and fresh witnesses. The statement follows new allegations that rear seatbelts in the Mercedes vehicle which crashed in Paris in August 1997, may have been tampered with.
There has always been speculation that Diana, Dodi and Paul died because they were not wearing seatbelts, indeed, the only survivor - bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones - was wearing his. The crumpled Mercedes S280 was brought back to Britain just last July, after spending eight years in France.
French detectives had literally sliced the vehicle in two during their investigation, but Sir John's team have been analysing each and every part meticulously.
Information has now emerged that the seatbelt mechanism in the rear of the vehicle may have been tampered with. It is understood specialists attached to Operation Paget have analysed seatbelt buckle fastening pins that could have been filed down. And though Diana and Dodi may or may not have fastened their belts, in reality, the safety units would have been useless.
THE BOMB MAKER
From IRA Courier to leading IED maker
It may not be received with acclaim by those with long-lasting memories of the conflict in Northern Ireland, but a new book by former British Army intelligence agent Kevin Fulton, has caused more than the odd ripple in Whitehall. Unsung Hero is a factual account of how Fulton, and other intelligence agents, infiltrated the IRA to its very hierarchy. Unfortunately, to keep his presence secret from the 'Provos', Fulton had to perform tasks that meant he had to participate in certain operations that
resulted in both military and civilian casualties.
'You cannot pretend to be a terrorist... I had to be able to do the exact same thing as the IRA man next to me. Otherwise I wouldn't be there.'
In the beginning he performed numerous 'courier runs' as a driver, but his self-taught skills as a master bomb-maker would ultimately cement his relations with the IRA. This is his story...
CANADA'S GUY FAWKES GANG - ALL ARRESTED
Parliament Primary Target
Canadian security services arrested 17 people - all thought to be part of an 'al-Qaida inspired group' on 2 June, following a year-long investigation that spanned several countries. Counter-terrorist officers swooped on addresses in Toronto, Mississauga and Kingston, a college town southwest of Ottawa. None of the men had previously known connections to the terrorist group.
One Canadian newspaper suggested Toronto's subway system was targeted, but this suggestion was dismissed by police. Intelligence sources close to the operation believe the suspects primary target were the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, and the Toronto branch headquarters of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS). During the anti-terrorist raids, computers, cell phones and electronic equipment were removed from a number of addresses.
The intelligence services had gathered a wealth of information on the men and youths via informants and surveillance units. However, the terror group's ambitious plot to strike various targets in Canada, was exposed via chat rooms and e-mail interceptions using the Echelon satellite system. Some internet exchanges were encrypted but easily decoded.
Undercover agents infiltrated the group after the internet chatter revealed they were determined to secure ammonium nitrate, a fertiliser that can be made into an explosive when combined with fuel oil. A plot was then hatched by the CSIS and Royal Canadian Mounties (RCM) that would 'enable' the group
to secure the material and detonators.
SECRET STAR WARS II
Pentagon readies bases in Europe
The Pentagon is pressing ahead with new anti-missile sites in Europe designed to stop possible future attacks by Iran against the United States and its European allies. The move comes at a time when intelligence analysts confirm Iran is making rapid progress on its long-range missile and submarine programme. Other secret estimates note that Tehran has virtually everything in place to manufacture its first nuclear warhead.
It is believed both Poland and the Czech Republic are among the nations under consideration to host at least ten defensive sites. RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire, England, is seen as crucial to the programme. The base has undergone massive reconstruction in the last three years and will afford
early warning intelligence. Full story....
THE WILSON PLOT
MI5 Responds to numerous allegations
One of the most persistent controversies involving MI5 - Britain's Security Service during the 1970s and 1980s, was the so-called 'Wilson Plot', in which officers of the Service were accused of having conspired against the Labour Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson. As a result of renewed interest in
the alleged plot MI5 posted its own response...
Spy Story... 28 Years Later
Twenty eight years ago, the FBI performed a most elaborate counter-espionage operation - code-named 'Lemon-Aid' to trap KGB officers intent on stealing valuable intelligence on the US Navy in New York and New Jersey. ''ello, Ed,' the note began. 'Please, read this letter very attentively. To-day, as
I have already noticed we have a lot of work to do: 1) Receive your material. 2) Make our first payment to you.'
'Ed' was actually Art Lindberg - a lieutenant commander in the Navy and a double agent. The remarkable story of how a Soviet spy ring was uncovered.
FLIGHT 77 PENTAGON CRASH
Released CCTV Security Tapes Destroy Last Remaining Conspiracy Theories
When al-Qaida terrorist Hani Hanjour - the terrorist pilot at the commands of American Airlines Flight 77 - crashed the hijacked airliner through the wall of the Pentagon, little did he know that besides worldwide condemnation, he would also spark a huge conspiracy theory that still persist today. However, many of the myths and rumours instigated by a variety of people, groups and unfortunately governments, may now be laid to rest thanks to the release of new and dramatic film footage.
Judicial Watch, an American public interest group, launched an action that prompted the Department of Defense (DOD) to release a videotape that shows Flight 77 striking the Pentagon on 11 September 2001. This footage had been confiscated within hours of the attack by the FBI. The Department of Defense admitted in a 26 January 2005 letter that it possessed a videotape responsive to Judicial Watch's request. However, the Pentagon refused to release the videotape because it was, 'part of an ongoing investigation involving Zacarias Moussaoui.'
'We fought hard to obtain this video because we felt that it was very important to complete the public record with respect to the terrorist attacks of 11 September'' said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.'
Though nearly all the victims were identified by DNA and other methods, rumours that a missile had been fired were prevalent. Sceptics claimed that there was 'no film footage' or that it was an impossible feat to fly the airliner into the building at such an angle. And then, of course, the lack of aircraft wreckage began more rumours. A great deal of focus on motorway (Highway I-395) cameras and nearby buildings ensued, but the DOD had withheld the tapes for analysis.
One of the film segments shows the nose of the aircraft as a thin white blur skidding into the southwest side of the building at ground level. A split second later a white flash is visible and then a huge orange fireball envelopes the area followed by plumbs of black smoke. There is little doubt this was a large airliner. The video shows a Pentagon police car passing in front of the camera and momentarily obscuring the impact point. A second or two later Flight 77 hurtled into the building.
Eye Spy examines the new footage and other theories associated with an attack that left nearly 200 people dead.
MINISTRY OF SOUND
Suspects discussed blowing up famous London nightclub
Covert MI5 recordings were played in court in the trial of six men accused of being members of a British al-Qaida sleeper cell. The men discussed bombing London's famous Ministry of Sound nightclub, and plotting to hijack a British Airways passenger airliner, the Old Bailey court heard.
American FBI informant, Jawad Akbar said they would not be blamed for killing innocent people but 'those slags dancing around,' [the nightclub] the jury heard.
The 12-month long MI5 operation had various locations and men under surveillance. During that period officers managed to place sensitive bugs to record hours of conversations. In one recording, Akbar and Omar Khyam, another member of the alleged al-Qaida-linked cell, appear to discuss possible targets. Secret Security Service recordings also reveal two members of the alleged terror cell discussing possible terror targets in the capital and across England.
NSA DATA INTEL MINING
Programme 'crucial to security' says new CIA Director
Former NSA director and new head of the CIA - General Michael Hayden - stated that America's current telephone surveillance programme was legal and purposely designed to ensnare terrorists - not spy on ordinary people. The furore of alleged warrantless 'phone tapping' comes at a time when a number of major phone providers have been accused of supplying hundreds of thousands of personal phone records to the NSA.
'Clearly the privacy of American citizens is a concern constantly,' General Michael Hayden told the US Senate Intelligence Committee at his confirmation hearing. 'We always balance privacy and security.'
The four-star air force general, who headed the super-secret agency from 1999-2005, also explained his vision for the CIA following the shock resignation of DCI Porter Goss. Full report...
The unlikely friends of the intelligence and police world
It comes in all shapes and sizes; some are about two inches square, while others, such as airline booking forms printed from the internet, are as large as the paper you are reading. Its material value is worthless, but a ticket, and more importantly, the data contained within, is priceless to the intelligence world. For investigators searching train wreckage after the 7 July London atrocities, finding such items proved spectacular. Tickets purchased at various stations (and recovered from the bodies of the bombers) led the police all the way to Luton, and the recovery of even more explosives. Ticket analysis on a vehicle recovered at the car park in Luton station provided more data. Soon the trail led back to Leeds and quite quickly all four terrorists were identified. Within hours the 'bomb factory' had been found and further investigations ensued. But what are the authorities looking for?
Each train and tube ticket contains priceless data. Officers can determine when and where a purchase was made. They immediately examine what type of journey can be made with each ticket. A 'return ticket', for example, could provide clues to the subject's ambitions; others may help identify what
stations the train stopped at. It's valuable, if not laborious data to explore.
Detectives can quickly probe the possibility that the target had been joined by a colleague, or indeed, alighted. With this intelligence in hand, the security services can recover CCTV from outlying areas (stations) to ascertain movements and other data, including if the subject was driven by a third-party to the site or met by friends and colleagues. Investigative work is methodical and professional, and in most cases way beyond the comprehension of those intent on illegal or devastating acts.
GALLANT FOX 06
Pentagon tests security for chemical and biological attacks
In May 2006, a full-scale bio-exercise in the Pentagon's car park looked at how the Pentagon police, in partnership with local emergency services, would respond to a biological attack at the home of the US Defense Department. Officials based the scenario on a suspected anthrax attack inside the
Pentagon that triggered sensors.
It's not the first time a simulated attack on the Pentagon has been played out. In June 2005, as part of the Gallant Fox III exercise, armed assailants attempted to gain access to the Pentagon building. Simulated gunfire from that scenario launched the exercise. Another 'incident' involved a suicide
bomber on one of the buses that service the Pentagon. Other scenarios were played out at the Navy Annex near the Pentagon and at one of the leased office spaces in nearby Crystal City.
NEW CIA SPYMASTER
Former NSA Director takes up his new posting
USAF General Michael V. Hayden, a career intelligence officer who has overseen some of the NSA's most secret and controversial surveillance programmes, has been appointed as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DCIA). He assumes control of one of the world's largest intelligence agencies from Porter J. Goss, who stepped down today after just 18 stormy months.
Eye Spy presents a gallery of previous CIA spymasters and looks at how Hayden will seek to enhance the CIA's spying operations.
What has a popular breakfast food to do with codebreaking?
David Hamer presents another 'Letter from Fort Meade' and discloses the unusual connection between codebreakers and Dundee Marmalade. It's a story that somehow is in keeping with the legend makers who for decades have plied their trade at the super secret NSA.
ALSO IN EYE SPY 41
GHOST BOMB. MI5 receive intelligence that suggests a chemical bomb has been built and will shortly be deployed in Britain. A police raid follows, a man is shot, but there is no evidence to be found. What went wrong and who supplied the flawed intelligence?
Eichmann papers. The CIA learned of the identity and whereabouts of escaped Nazi murderer Adolf Eichmann a full two years before agents from Mossad abducted him from his home in Argentina. Why didn't the CIA inform Israel sooner. Newly released intelligence files contain the answer.
THE EYES HAVE IT. A new hand-held IRIS scanner built in Leeds is set to become a 'must have product'. A standard, 256 Mb mobile phone memory card will be able to hold over 250,000 separate iris templates and form a database of 1,000,000 irises; it will take less than one second for it to verify an individual iris.
THE DARK SIDE. An extraordinary photograph showing a huge real-time surveillance centre that provides images from across the globe to intelligence analysts.
MI5 AT BREAKING POINT? A UK government minister lets slip that MI5 are currently involved with a staggering 20 undercover anti-terrorist operations in Britain.
MI6 AGENT? A former British Army intelligence agent alleges that Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness operated as an MI6 agent for years.
CHINESE SURVEILLANCE AIRCRAFT LOST. An advanced Chinese surveillance aircraft carrying over 30 leading specialists crashed into a mountain range killing everyone on board.
UNDERCOVER BOOK RELEASES. The latest intelligence, espionage and related books
EYE SPY PRODUCT REVIEWS. Eye Spy tests two security products - Homeguard and Rex.
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