issue Forty three
Published 22 September 2006
FROM THE EDITOR
The manner in which MI5 and Scotland Yard dismantled a major USA airliner plot can be viewed in several ways, but foremost is the way in which both services acted to avoid casualties. According to police officials, had the suspects avoided detection, we would be looking at a casualty figure close to 4,000 and an aviation industry in absolute tatters. The alleged plotters intended to secret about 10 people on board flights out of Britain destined for several of America's primary cities. Contained within hand luggage, a number of fluids and trigger devices that would have defeated airport security measures. Eye Spy has learned that the infiltrators would have composed and detonated the devices as the aircraft made their final approach to airports in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco to name but a few. But thanks to a painstaking surveillance by MI5 and other agencies that started in August 2005, this staggering plot was defeated.
It's no consolation to the flying or travelling public that Britain's security services are monitoring several thousands of UK residents that could be involved or supporting people intent on terrorism. We understand that MI5 has 20 high-level operations currently on-going. The truth is, MI5 and the police must get it right every time - the terrorists only once... it is a sobering thought. In Eye Spy 43 our writers provide a step-by-step guide to what really happened from the moment a member of Britain's Muslim community raised concerns about a neighbour, to the night when Operation Covert was launched and 69 locations raided and searched.
This edition is packed with exclusive stories, but our thanks must go to three gentlemen in particular and the US Naval Institute Press for allowing access to information and images previously unpublished. Twenty years ago a breaking story in the US shocked the intelligence world. A US Navy intelligence analyst was charged with espionage. His name was Jonathan Pollard. Pollard had provided Israel with a million secret or classified intelligence documents from various agencies. Since then, the case has become legendary. One man at the heart of the investigation was Ron Olive. He obtained government approval to reveal the truth behind the case and a long list of intelligence failures. Olive provides Eye Spy with an overview of the case, and previously unseen surveillance photographs of Pollard removing files...
Many security operatives have ventured to Iraq to claim wages of between $500-$1,000 a day. It's a lucrative business but one that is dangerous. Eye Spy interviewed Captain James Stewart, a former British Army officer who spoke frankly about his 18 months in Iraq. For those who may be considering working in Iraq, or for readers who want to know the reality, this feature is a must.
Before digesting the full contents of Eye Spy 43, I must also thank NYPD detective Jay Goldberg. It's five years since terrorists attacked New York and Washington - a fact not lost on those who first ventured to lower Manhattan and tried to help. Goldberg took a number of photographs that day and granted Eye Spy permission to publish.
An overview of Eye Spy 42 now follows.
SKY SPIES: AIRLINE SECURITY AND TERRORIST PROFILING
It's one of the most controversial issues of the 21st century - is it possible to successfully profile terrorists before they board an airliner? This question has been raised on numerous occasions in the past. During Britain's conflict with the IRA, thousands of people travelling between the UK and Ireland were profiled, even though the IRA had already said it would not attack airliners. Most of the people under investigation were stopped and checked at UK entry points. Now the subject of profiling has again surfaced following the recent UK-USA airliner bomb plot. Politicians and the security services have again been invited to examine the issue, this time with more urgency. Eye Spy interviews Dr Jeremy Quayle one of the UK's leading experts in this field and reports on what is and can be done to help keep terrorists from boarding aircraft and other mass transit systems.
HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT: AIR MARSHALS AND UNDERCOVER WORK
Strange as it may seem, it's unlikely passengers boarding a US-bound airliner or leaving one from an American airport, would ever see an air marshal prior to actually boarding. That's not because of secrecy or any covert procedure - it is probably due to the fact that the marshal had already boarded the airliner earlier. Most passengers recognise that some international flights, for example - Heathrow to New York - will carry at least one security officer. It's not uncommon for passengers waiting in the departure lounge to try and 'identify' the shadowy figure who could, in the event of an incident, be their 'saviour'. Well, the truth is much more mundane. The marshal will have boarded, acknowledged the crew and senior cabin crew staff and will already be reading the aircraft safety literature or a magazine as the first passengers are shown to their seats.
However, after numerous complaints from air marshals and intelligence operatives, the United States has finally bowed to demands that air marshals should operate in ways well defined, used and trusted by those working undercover in other environments. Eye Spy takes a look at the undercover concerns of air marshals and the measures being taken to help them 'hide in plain sight'. A revealing feature.
INTELLIGENCE CRESTS: THE WORLD OF INTELLIGENCE CRESTS
Eye Spy takes a look at the fascinating world of intelligence crests, how they were created and the often misunderstood message contained within
Most intelligence and security services are visually represented by a unique crest, seal or logo. Look more closely and you will see the design contains certain objects, colour or symbols that reflect its function, origin and purpose. It's not unlike heraldry in fact, indeed, many crests are both suggestive and historic in that the design is more than just a visual blaze of colour, latin wording or crossed swords. The crest is a living creation. It's the same science behind a coat of arms, for example. Other crests carry initials, phrases or similar and include the date of when that service was created, or some other feature allied to its genesis.
Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6) uses the official Coat of Arms of the UK alongside modern letters 'SIS'. Inside the crest a shield supported by the Lion of England and by the Unicorn of Scotland. The lion being an animal of 'deathless courage' and the imaginary unicorn of 'extreme courage'. The motto of the UK's crest reads 'Dieu et mon droit' - French for 'God and my right' and dates back to the reign of King Henry V - 1413-1422. The motto of the Order of the Garter reads 'honi soit qui mal y pense' - 'evil to him who thinks evil'.
A design did surface a few years ago that supposedly 'represented' MI6. It was rather bizarre and showed a brain encased in a letter 'C' after Mansfield Cumming - its creator and first head. This too was 'topped off' with a crown. It's highly unlikely this is an authentic crest, but many would argue it is far more visible than the current SIS logo and an indicator that the service deals strictly with matters of intelligence.
Sometimes a crest will reflect culture, religion, political leanings etc. For example, the National Intelligence Agency of South Africa - NIA has recently chosen an 'all seeing native tribal eye' as distinct and colourful as any of the local art from the great continent of Africa. The crest is seen as distinctive to Africa. It seems a world apart, for example, from the crest of the National Reconnaissance Office - NRO of the United States. The NRO is an agency heavily involved with intelligence gleaned electronically and visually, perhaps more accurately - it has an association with satellites. Its crest shows planet Earth and what could be interpreted as a satellite trajectory. The NRO is a spectacularly powerful agency, and three years ago a strange 'visualisation crest' appeared. That showed a 'wise owl' in the dead of night and a statement - 'we own the night'. If this is an authentic crest - no-one from the NRO is saying!
In this colourful feature, which focuses on dozens of well known and not so well known crests, Eye Spy reveals the meaning and history behind dozens of service crests and the symbols, drawings and objects used in their creation. There also a reader offer to obtain our giant A2 (23 x 17 inch) high-quality poster featuring nearly 100 service crests. A fascinating and revealing article that is educational and unique.
TECHNOLOGY WARFARE AND PROFILE OF A CORPORATE SPY
Few people would dispute how significant a role technology plays in our lives and in defending a nation. Many believe that technology has become the foundation for an economic and military engine. Without a strong technology base, nations are extremely vulnerable. This brief will cover technology warfare as one of the 15 modalities of UnRestricted Warfare (URW). The concept of technology warfare is to gain a technological or economic advantage over your adversary through the unlawful acquisition of technology, information about technology or information about the technical capabilities of an adversary.
Coleman also looks at the fascinating world of corporate spying and the signs that someone amongst your own ranks or company is about to provide your competitor or a foreign agency vital information. Don't miss this thought-provoking feature from one of America's leading intelligence analysts.
The feature is part of Eye Spy's on-going series 'Understanding Intelligence' - Number eight.
INSIDE STORY: WHAT'S IT REALLY LIKE BEING A SECURITY OFFICER IN IRAQ?
When Coalition forces invaded Iraq and forced the collapse of Saddam's regime, huge amounts of money was needed to reconstruct the country's infrastructure. Of equal importance was protecting those charged with its rebuilding - the civilian workers rebuilding water plants or delivering supplies of petrol and food... and providing protection to Coalition heads and Iraqi politicians and businessmen. Enter the PSD's - or personal security details. Captain James Ashcroft served in the British Army for six years and like many who retire from the military or police, he joined a professional corporate security firm. In 2003, his firm joined dozens of other specialist agencies like Blackwater in supplying personnel to work alongside Coalition forces. He spent eighteen months in Iraq and has produced an excellent book on what it is really like to be a security contractor in the war-torn country.
Few people outside this environment, including journalists, have any idea of the type of work and the stress associated with protecting officials, convoys, power installations etc. However, Eye Spy was granted an exclusive interview with Captain Ashcroft before his next assignment. His views of the situation, the sights he encountered, and his thought-provoking comments may come as a surprise to many...
MOUSSAOUI'S SECRETS: HIDDEN FACTS AND FILES ON THE '20th' 9/11 HIJACKER
In documents recently published on the Internet by the US Government, it has been disclosed that Zacarias Moussaoui, who is serving a life sentence in a US maximum security prison for conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, possessed a five year reading pass to the British Library. The same library Karl Marx did research into Socialism in 1850 that led to the creation of the Soviet Union and Communist China. Eye Spy looks at Moussaoui's secret past and some of his writings produced in court as he faced charges of being the '20th 9/11 hijacker.'
UNSEEN IMAGES OF 9/11 - PHOTOGRAPHIC WORLD EXCLUSIVE
To mark the 5th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the USA, Eye Spy reproduces a collection of images stored on a camera by NYPD detective Jay Goldberg who was on duty that fateful day....
KGB DEFECTION: HOW THE BRITS HELPED A KGB OFFICER DEFECT TO THE WEST
Captain Aleksei Myagkov was a KGB officer attached to the 82nd Motorized Rifle Guards Regiment at Bernau, 17 miles from Berlin, in one of three battalions that formed a key part of the Soviet defensive wall on the Cold War front line. Its officers regularly participated in strategic planning, weapons deployment and battlefield exercises. He was also handsome, personable, smart and articulate, and one of the KGB's most effective internal security agents.
His considerable interpersonal skills allowed him to get close to Red Army officers and uncover their secrets - be they sexual, financial or military. Once this had been achieved, Myagkov used the information as blackmail and forced them to work for him spying on fellow officers in what he considered defence of the State. The endemic corruption he found within the Soviet military disgusted him. 'Every one filling their purses at the expense of others,' he said. It was as he recalled, 'like locusts in a field of maize.' Eventually he took his findings to KGB superiors who were largely indifferent to his reports. In 1972, the angry and idealistic Myagkov decided to teach them a lesson and the disillusioned 27-year-old KGB Captain became an agent for Western Intelligence.
For two years Myagkov supplied the West with regular high-grade military intelligence until the morning of 14 January 1974, a day which began an operation that was to last three weeks. Myagkov believing his undercover work had been exposed sent MI6 an 'SOS'... but he was unhappy about the Secret Intelligence Service's security. The Foreign Office changed tact and asked the British organisation known as Brixmis to get Myagkov out of Berlin.
Eye Spy presents an exclusive stunning Cold War spy case from those who helped the KGB official escape... and as usual, it was far from easy. The inside story from Brixmis... chilling stuff
OPERATION OVERT: THE AL-QAIDA PLOT TO BRING DOWN AIRLINERS
Al-Qaida has a reputation for not discarding failed plots. Its planners can adapt and 'reinvent' operations such as Bojinka - a similar plan hatched a decade ago - which is also featured in this edition . And it appears that an order was given as early as 2003 to try again, this time involving a group of young men from the south of England.
Several months ago the UK security services stated that 20 anti-terrorist surveillance operations were in motion, and while each was described as 'serious', intelligence experts were shocked at events about to unfold in southern England. On 9 August, Thames Valley police officers supported by anti-terrorist officials and MI5, raided several addresses in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Simultaneous raids were carried out in east London and Birmingham. Within 30 minutes 24 suspects were under arrest. As news of the raids spread, journalists realised this was no 'ordinary' police operation.
The Security Service (MI5), has a constantly evolving 'ladder' or chart where suspected terrorist planners move up and down a league table, depending on intelligence gathered by MI5 or Scotland Yard. That chart currently consists of at least 20 suspected 'premier plots' and a staggering 1200+ names attached to these and other operations. Following events in July 2005, it became clear some of the terrorist suicide bombers had been on that chart, though the conceived threat was not deemed high enough to place the men under 24-hour surveillance. Although MI5 suspected an attack on London was likely, the intelligence did not point to the four primary suspects. MI5's eyes were almost certainly elsewhere.
The facts behind an alleged terror plot to bring down several airliners.
IRAN'S URANIUM SEARCH: PLOT TO SMUGGLE URANIUM UNCOVERED
If those charged with examining the extent of Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions ever doubted Tehran's quest for a bomb, they should look no further than containers reportedly seized by customs officials in the Democratic Republic of Tanzania. The shipment had originated from supposedly defunct mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Interestingly, it was from these very same mines that material was extracted and used in the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. Eye Spy understands that the officials who found the covertly stored uranium, have been sworn to secrecy, however, one official said the consignment was taken away by US intelligence.
We also feature a puzzling report that a Ukrainian crime gang linked to that country's intelligence service has also provided technology that allows Tehran to build a nuclear bomb delivery system.
MOVE OVER STEALTH: US ROLLS OUT ITS NEXT GENERATION SUPER AIRCRAFT
It looks like a huge bird perched atop three utility poles inside a massive NASA wind tunnel - a 21-foot-wingspan prototype of what may be the shape of some aeroplanes in the future. The aircraft is the X-48B, an advanced concept, fuel-efficient blended wing body or BWB. It's called a blended wing body because it looks more like a modified triangular-shaped wing than the traditional aircraft, which is a tube and wing with a tail.
Photo special and a look at the aircraft it might replace - the B-2 Stealth.
MI5 AND US INTELLIGENCE: WASHINGTON PONDERS AN 'MI5-TYPE' DOMESTIC AGENCY
Following the successful MI5 and Scotland Yard operation to thwart a massive trans-Atlantic terrorist plot, many intelligence officials in the United States are studying the techniques used by MI5 that led to the arrest of over 20 suspects. Similarly, Michael Chertoff, the Director of US Homeland Security, has acknowledged that some investigative methods could be 'imported'. Britain's law which allows police to hold terror suspects up to 28 days without charging them, also interests US intelligence.
'The experience we had observing and working with the British certainly has underlined some possible advantages of some of the approaches taken in Britain,' Mr Chertoff told the London Financial Times. 'The British system in some respects is very nimble in terms of the ability to conduct certain kinds of... surveillance on very short notice. You have the ability in Britain to hold people for a brief period of time under court supervision before you charge them... In this case, that allowed the British government to do something that we might not have been able to do.' Eye Spy looks at why sooner or later the FBI will lose its role as America's domestic security agency...
BOMB IN A SUITCASE: LUCKY ESCAPE AS TRAIN BOMBS FAIL TO DETONATE
On 31 July 2006, two terrorists calmly walked into Cologne train station carrying suitcases packed with 25kg of explosives. At some stage of their journey the men exited two trains leaving the bombs behind. The bombs malfunctioned and failed to detonate, but were placed in 'lost luggage' by train guards unaware of their contents. Only when they were opened did officials realise they had a lucky escape. On Friday 18 August, less than three weeks after the event, authorities released surveillance video of the suspects. It brought an instant reaction and a man known as Youssef Mohamad was arrested in the north German Baltic Sea port city of Kiel. On 24 August, Jihad Hamad, 20, surrendered to police in northern Lebanon and was taken to Beirut. Eye Spy reveals the scale of the German inquiry and how by analysing thousands of hours of CCTV footage from various stations, did German intelligence identify the men.
ULTIMATE SURVEILLANCE CAMERA AND DVR PRODUCT REVIEW BY EYE SPY SPECIALISTS
Eye Spy readers often enquire about high-quality camera and film storage combinations - that are easy to use, conceal and download. One 'combination product' - COVERT BLACK recently tested by our staff - proved to be outstanding.
The quality of this colour covert button camera set is unmatched by any other system we have seen in this category. The camera is not one of the cheap button types produced in China or Taiwan with the need for an outside power source - it is manufactured in Japan, with a high resolution colour CCD camera module and a 4.3mm wide angle pinhole lens. This camera is 'plug and play' compatible with Eye Spy's superb PI Black portable digital video recorder (DVR) and is unsurpassed for set-up and ease of use. It's also compatible with all consumer VCR and DVD recorder units as well as most television sets. The DVR is small, lightweight with various options that make it the most flexible unit on the market - together they are known as COVERT BLACK.
IRAN'S SLEEPER CELLS: READY TO STRIKE IN UK
MI5 has warned UK Government ministers that Iran has sleeper cells already in the UK that are ready to attack if Tehran's nuclear programme is attacked
NIGHT VISION TECHNOLOGY
Israel has discovered advanced night vision goggles at several Hezbollah compounds following the end of hostilities in Lebanon. The equipment was originally supplied to Iran for tracking drug smugglers on the Afghan-Iran border. The goggles were marked 'Made in Britain'.
DIANA CAR CRASH: NEW TESTS ORDERED ON DRIVER'S BLOOD SAMPLES
French officials have ordered new tests be conducted on the blood samples of driver Henri Paul after it was confirmed the original investigation was flawed.
SURVEILLANCE DEATHS - RAF NIMROD CRASHES IN AFGHANISTAN
At least ten experienced electronic surveillance operators were killed when their Nimrod aeroplane suddenly developed a fault and crashed near Kandahar. Fourteen people in total died.
AL-QAIDA CHIEF CAPTURED: 'NUMBER TWO' IN IRAQ SEIZED
Hamid Juma Faris Jouri al-Saeedi, known as Abu Humam or Abu Rana, was captured as he hid among Iraqi families in a residential building, a security adviser said, accusing the terror suspect of trying to use 'children and women as human shields.' Saeedi was questioned by interrogators and revealed information that led to the arrest or killing of 20 high-level al-Qaida operatives.
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