issue seventy one
Published 24 December 2010
Each edition of Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine is 84pp - full colour throughout. The images contained in this
brief overview are low resolution
AL-QAIDA HELPED BY RELEASE OF US CABLES
FROM THE EDITOR
A Top Secret Interpol signal was sent to various European and US intelligence services in late November. It contained critical information by way of informed sources in Iraq. The main thrust of the report focused on a number of al-Qaida operatives who had been despatched to carry out suicide bombings in several capital cities - one of which was Stockholm, Sweden. We have all seen the pictures coming out of the Scandinavian country concerning a failed car-bombing operation intended to kill hundreds of Christmas shoppers. Thankfully the bomber, Taimor al-Abdaly, who actually resided in the UK, failed to detonate properly his explosives. Now the search is on for other suicide bombers who may already be in place and for their support network called the 'Northern Project'. There is a real threat this festive season.
In recent weeks al-Qaida operations have taken place across the globe. From November's failed attempt to blow up cargo aeroplanes enroute to America from Middle East and Europe, to serious plots being disturbed in Belgium, France, Germany and America. And in Spain and Thailand, a clever crime gang with links to al-Qaida has been arrested. This outfit was supplying roaming operatives with high quality bogus passports, new identifies and new residences. There is simply no respite for the international intelligence community.
And just a short note on WikiLeaks' release of the illegally acquired US cables. There is absolutely nothing in the documents which I have read that surprises me. Is some of the material useful to terrorists - definitely. And what will happen if it can be proven that the release of these documents has led to the death of a US or British soldier in Afghanistan, or anyone else for that matter? Has its creator Julian Assange and his inner circle of backers a secret agenda? - watch this space. Utterly irresponsible.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF ISSUE 71 NOW FOLLOWS
MI6: MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
Britain's Secret Intelligence Service and the CIA were recently duped by a Taliban 'actor' who managed to secure around $500,000 in cash for the extremist movement with promises of access to Mullah Omar. In this informative feature, Eye Spy examines how MI6, using all its experience in creating communication back-channels, was charged with an almost impossible task given the unreliability of contact men in the region.
A series of calamitous errors and incorrect information briefs wrecked a covert MI6 operation to split the Taliban from its al-Qaida neighbour. The primary man relied upon to make contact was known to MI6...
THE GENEVA SANCTION
Incident in Room 317
The Mossad intelligence service has been in the news of late - connected to three assassinations, one of which allegedly took place over 20 years ago. The name Uwe Barschel might not be familiar to most people, but his death in a Geneva hotel in 1987, holds as much intrigue to Germans as does the case of Litvinenko to Britons. Barschel was linked to the Iran-Contra affair, and somehow ended up dead - fully clothed in a bathtub.
Now, a forensic investigator using new techniques has announced he believes Barschel was murdered. And of course, all eyes are on the Mossad again.
Eye Spy examines in detail if this strange case is representative of the work of the Israeli spy agency, why Barschel might have been targeted, and its probable threads to some well known intelligence agencies...
Al-Qaida's Port of Entry
Several people suspected of creating an al-Qaida umbrella group in Belgium, have been arrested following a year-long surveillance operation which spanned a number of countries in Europe. The group was allegedly on the verge of launching a terrorist attack in Belgium, with much speculation that their target was the headquarters of NATO, situated in the Haren area of Brussels.
Eye Spy investigates how the group is using port cities as access routes to the continents of the world....
US DIPLOMATIC CABLES
There was quite a media rush to publish the contents of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables obtained illegally by the WikiLeaks web site. Surprisingly, most intelligence watchers who have examined the communications agree on one major point, there is virtually nothing of surprise in the material. What is apparent is a dark hidden agenda...
EXTRACT: Diplomats talk with each other at official meetings, conferences, over a drink, in the company of friends, at trade fairs etc. Adding 'raw' comment to official letters happens every day, on occasions it is a person not a department expressing an opinion. The material is often frank, particularly so in some instances, perhaps offensive, yet it is often 'off the cuff', but this happens across the globe, and is not some sort of virus only carried by US diplomats. Eye Spy was told by a senior UK intelligence source, 'there must be thousands of officials from countries all over the world, who are now trying to recall what they wrote or said about a topic or individual.'
As for the 'revelation' that Secretary Hillary Clinton asked some members of the US diplomatic corp to gather intelligence at the United Nations, everyone in the industry knows that the UN headquarters is a 'melting pot' of espionage. The problem for Clinton, is she signed the - National HUMINT Collection Directive on 31 July 2009. And this in turn was forwarded to US embassies across the world. There is often a blurred line between the diplomatic and intelligence world, and this...
FLYING AIR YEMEN
US eastern seaboard targeted again: major cities continue to be al-Qaida's 'holy grail', as new generation of terror planners seek to defeat porous international aviation security measures
EXTRACT: Five years ago, a London-based CIA officer learned that al-Qaida plotters had approached baggage hold workers at various premier airports, including Heathrow. The intention was to insert a bomb inside the luggage compartment, or ignore an item from a connecting flight. However, with stringent security measures in place, the plan stalled, thus other forms of attack were sought. This resulted in an even more audacious plot to blow up a dozen or so airliners simultaneously over the Atlantic. The destruction would be so great and the wreckage virtually unreachable, that the authorities would be hard pressed to understand what had happened, let alone discover how the terrorists had achieved such a 'feat'.
By chance, GCHQ and NSA codebreakers intercepted a number of puzzling communications from the greater London area which prompted MI5 to investigate. Additional intelligence was gleaned from elsewhere. A location in the city was survellied and it soon became obvious a major plot was forming. A terraced house - frequented by suspected terrorists was bugged by MI5, and the intelligence gleaned sent shudders through Downing Street and the White House. The goal of the plotters was to kill 3,000 people...
This revealing feature provides an excellent overview of a recent attempt to blow-up US-bound aeroplanes in a most audacious al-Qaida operation. Plus our investigators explore the central figures behind the terror group responsible for this plot, and a number of other 'test operations' which probed poor aviation security measures...
Eye Spy provides additional commentary from a former British military intelligence undercover agent and an expert in bomb-making - improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
CREATING THE NEW JACKALS
Numerous al-Qaida operatives are now carrying some of the best quality-bogus passports ever created - complete with new identities
Spanish and Thai security services have disrupted an intricate al-Qaida-linked operation to clone passports for its overseas operatives. At the same time as counter-terrorist officers raided addresses in and around Barcelona, police in Thailand arrested several people as they attempted to cross the border to Laos through the northeastern province of Nong Khai.
Eye Spy reveals how this huge joint-international operation actually began after vital intelligence was gleaned by the CIA and the Indian Intelligence service - RAW.
The case is also one of the first indicators that al-Qaida has established excellent liaisons with organised crime gangs....
Dark CIA Moment Replayed
Eye Spy feature on a new movie - Fair Game - that covers the Iraq-Niger yellowcake papers, but focuses also on the shadowy events that led to the 'outing' of CIA NOC operative - Valerie Plame.
EXTRACT: It was one of the Agency's most difficult periods, let alone tasks - trying to secure intelligence on a shadowy nuclear trade deal involving Niger and Iraq - this within its wider remit to find WMD evidence in its secret Iraq weapons' search programme.
The countries had reportedly signed a document that would allow the export of yellowcake - used in the enrichment of uranium to take place. Washington asked one of its most experienced African and Middle Eastern diplomats to take a closer look; former ambassador Joseph Wilson. But he found absolutely nothing, this despite a number of documents which seemed to confirm Saddam was indeed moving or trying to secure yellowcake....
HESS AND THE MI6 STING
John Harris, author of an important new book on Rudolf Hess and his flight to Scotland, has secured new evidence that suggests this part of WWII history might have to be re-written...
EXTRACT: Haushofer chose to use the Thomas Cook postal service which allowed regulated correspondence between inhabitants of belligerent nations and on 23 September 1940, the letter was duly posted. The Roberts family had been friends with the Haushofers since before the 1914-1918 war.
Unfortunately for Haushofer (and Hess) the letter was efficiently intercepted by the British censor prior to reaching Cambridge and copies sent to MI5 and MI6. The letter still remains on file at the National Archives in Kew.
The problem that confronted Hess, was that the British Government would not negotiate. Churchill had demonstrated his resolve to fight on by destroying the French Navy at Oran. That is why Hess had to approach persons other than those in a governmental position; he knew that the sitting British government favoured American support to a negotiated Anglo-German settlement.
However, he also knew that there were important persons within the British establishment who favoured a negotiated settlement with Germany....
HANDS OF THE MOSSAD?
Two key Iranian nuclear scientists were targeted as they drove to work in Tehran. The attacks, according to intelligence sources, bore all the hallmarks of a Mossad operation, though were not necessarily carried out by its direct employees.
The incidents come just weeks after a cyber attack on Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant stalled its opening, and the assassination of Dr Moussad Ali-Mohammadi, another nuclear scientist on 12 January 2010 (see Eye Spy 67). In this instance, the scientist was killed walking to work - a bomb exploded as he passed a parked motorcycle. That bomb was detonated by a cell phone at around 7.30am.
In the latest incidents, which also took place around 7.30am, and amid rush hour traffic, motorcyclists attached explosive devices to the victims' cars and fired automatic weapons before fleeing the scene.
An elementary particle physicist and a member of the scientific board of Beheshti University, died in the blast that tore through his car near the intersection of Imam Ali and Artesh freeways. His wife and driver were also wounded in the attack.
Now Eye Spy has discovered the deceased was also involved in another government programme, the details of which are published here.
RUSSIA'S SECRET UNDERGROUND
In the first book from inside Russia on the influence and role of the Russian security services for more than 15 years two remarkable Russian journalists have charted how the KGB rose from the Soviet ashes and, assisted by Vladimir Putin, recreated itself as the Federal Security Service - the FSB.
In a riveting investigation Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, two intrepid journalists who have written on Russia's security services for more than a decade, penetrate the secret world of the FSB, to illustrate how the agency has become, in the words of former FSB director Nikolai Patrushev, Russia's 'New Nobility'. Soldatov and Borogan's book, The New Nobility, shows how Russia's new secret service was given unprecedented powers and emerged a more shadowy and powerful force than its predecessor, the KGB. In this dramatic excerpt from the book the authors describe the FSB's unknown secret complex hidden beneath the streets of Moscow...
EXTRACT: When he was 12, Mikhailov and some friends undertook their first journeys into the sprawling mass of tunnels, sewer systems, and natural passages beneath Moscow. It wasn't long before they made their first major discovery: a Stalin-era underground bunker deep below Leningradsky Prospect.
In the mid-1990s, Mikhailov was an international media celebrity. He had become an underground guide whose signature tours ended with his emergence through a tunnel into prominent Moscow locations such as the centre of Red Square....
In this feature, MIKE FINN examines the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme, better known as HAARP, and the perception it is related to mind control principles
EXTRACT: We know from the 'Moscow Signal' (see Eye Spy 68) incident that such signals can be transmitted from a nearby building or van, but in today's world such technology has moved on by leaps and bounds.
Among the many possible methods available for consideration are mobile phone, television and radio, technology such as the H.A.A.R.P. (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme)....
AT CYBER DEFCOM 1
Recent Attacks Change Mindset of NSA
Earlier this year US Cyber Command chief, Lt. General Keith Alexander, said in his written response to questions during the confirmation process, that, 'under the right circumstances,' Cyber Command would have the authority to use offensive cyber weapons against military command and control networks, weapons, power grids, transportation-related networks, national telecommunications networks, and even enemies' financial institutions.
In early September 2010, the United Nation's Telecommunications Chief issued a warning and called on countries to join together in developing a coherent global cyber security peace treaty or face the very real possibility of an all-out cyber war. These were very strong words indeed.
But what was behind this warning - one that has driven a number of public and private sector sources to make similar statements....?
ANOTHER TARGETED ASSASSINATION
Few intelligence watchers doubt the prowess and ability of Israel's intelligence services to conduct shadowy operations anywhere in the world. In recent months both the Mossad and Shin Bet, the domestic security service, has become increasingly pro-active against terrorist elements.
Eye Spy examines recent covert Shin Bet and the Israeli Air Force operations in the region targeting senior al-Qaida liaison men and couriers.
In some cases, the surveillance intelligence has been provided by a most surprising source. A fascinating feature that shows the hand of Mossad....
CIA'S SPY AND ATTACK PROGRAMME
Acclaimed international intelligence writer and investigator, Nick Fielding examines the impact of the CIA's use of UAVs to tackle al-Qaida and the Taliban...
EXTRACT: In November 2010, the US tried to get Pakistani permission to extend the target areas in which drones could operate, hoping that the region around Quetta in Baluchistan could be covered in the agreement, as this is where much of the Afghan Taliban's leadership is believed to be based. The request was turned down. While supporting the drone campaign in private, Pakistan is very sensitive to its repercussions. Politicians and activists in Pakistan have claimed that the drones have killed hundreds of innocent civilians.
However, a study conducted by three academics at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and published in November 2010, disputes this. Using material from their own database which they say is the most comprehensive and accurate database compiled and published so far, they argue that the strikes have not only been impressively accurate, but have achieved and maintained a greater proportionality than either ground operations in the area or targeting campaigns elsewhere.
THE KRYPTOS CIA PUZZLE
It is one of the most enduring mysteries that has baffled professional and amateur code-breakers alike for years - Jim Sanborn's 'Kryptos' - a coded sculpture at the CIA headquarters building in Langley, Virginia....
EXTRACT: Located in the Agency's courtyard, sits a wonderful enigmatic piece of art that reflects the CIA's obvious connection to the world of intelligence, codebreaking and all things secret. Called Kryptos, which translates from the Greek word for 'hidden', the curved copper structure contains no less than 1,735 characters, and four encrypted messages.
There are also other features surrounding the main display which are intelligence related, including...
SVR Spy Ring: Double agent provided CIA with intelligence that exposed Russian spy ring in America
In the game of espionage not everything is as it seems. No more appropriate sentence could be used to describe the summertime events which shook Russia's powerful SVR to its foundations. Having eleven agents exposed, removed, and then exchanged for four significant Western agents and contacts, was a bitter blow to a nation that in 2005 was told, 'the FSB was about to embark upon playing the great game again.' But since then there has been much speculation about how the SVR agents, embedded in American society for the best part of a decade, and a mysterious senior intelligence handler - 'Christopher Metsos', were outed.
President Obama and his Russian counterpart, President Medvedev. Moscow is unhappy that a senior intelligence officer under apparent CIA control, used a state visit to plan his escape
With much suspicion falling on Metsos (he was allowed to flee the USA and disappeared on the island of Cyprus), there seemed to lie the answer. However, it is our understanding that back-channels were opened between Washington and Moscow before the agents were exposed, and this in turn led to a smooth and hasty conclusion when the spies were detained.
Now the real story about Russia's important spy ring was broken. Eye Spy reveals how an intricate CIA operation that began years ago and involved a double agent reached its end game. We also report on a dark comment by a Kremlin official who said the 'traitor'
ISRAEL'S SPY IN NEW FREEDOM BID
Eye Spy looks at a wide range of new initiatives that have been actioned in an effort to help free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from a US prison...
NUMBER STATIONS AND INTERCEPTING SIGNALS
Radio and communications specialist Paul Beaumont provides a fascinating insight into the use of Number Stations and their continuing relevance to today's intelligence world...
EXTRACT: ....and denied their existence; some dismissed them as being trawler messages and others described them as experimental messages to visitors from space! There was no catalogue of these signals and persons gave them their own idents, Magdeburg Annie being one, Bulgarian Betty another, for example. Unfortunately there was nothing to suggest 'ownership' and certainly no list of common traits. It was much later that a de facto list, known as the 'ENIGMA Control List' was assembled that revealed the known stations and some peculiarities, the flotsam and jetsam of the short wave spectrum, into some proper order. This list is now in its 24th edition.
DAVID KAHN COLLECTION
Number Stations are transmitted in Morse Code, Speech and in Polytones. The speech stations use a variety of languages, usually synthesised; English, Russian, Spanish being the most common. Other stations have used Arabic as well as Mandarin and a variety of Slavic type languages. Farsi has also been intercepted. Voice stations are also known as OWVC's or One Way Voice Channels....
Al-Qaida Strikes in Sweden
UK Bomber and the Northern Project
An attempt to cause mayhem on a central Stockholm street failed as two bombs manufactured by a former UK resident, only partially exploded. Within hours of the attack, which occurred on 11 December 2010, officials from the Swedish Security Service (S€PO), said the incidents were an 'act of terror.'
A few hundred feet away from the burning vehicle, police discovered the body of a man, later identified as an Iraqi-born Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly.
The attack was part of a Europe-wide instruction by al-Qaida's 'Northern Project' to strike in capital cities, and in areas busy with civilians.
LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS
A disagreement between government ministers and New Scotland Yard ha broken out over the threat level status of the 2012 London Olympic Games. British Intelligence believes it should already be heightened. Al-Qaida has already said it intends to attack the Games...
STUXNET AND ASSASSINS
Report Exposes Tehran Concern
Eye Spy Special Report that reveals the link between recent assassinations in Iran and the Stuxnet cyber attack...
EXTRACT: This involved phantom radar images appearing during an Iranian military training exercise in late November 2010. Iranian military leaders immediately dispatched fighter jets taking part in the exercise to intercept the six 'bogies' they believed to be hostile foreign aircraft. Upon arrival in the target area, all the Iranian fighter pilots saw was blue sky. Sounds like a cyber compromise to me; it also 'mirrors' an Israel operation conducted at the same time its Special Forces struck Syria's nuclear facility on 6 September 2007. But the Iranian saga goes much further....
EYE SPY 71 BEST OF THE REST....
SPY v SPY: Confrontation between CIA double agent and SVR spy
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Talks about the SVR and its operation in the USA
BRADLEY MANNING: The soldier who provided US cables and intel to WikiLeaks
GCHQ: Scientist launches astonishing attack on the electronic listening arm of British Intelligence
NAVY SPY GAMES: A huge batch of classified documents has been found under the floorboards of Turkey's naval intelligence command
MOSSAD: A change of senior personnel announced, including a new Director
AL-QAIDA CAN'T BE DEFEATED: Senior UK security official makes frank admission
NAVY SPY: Another US serviceman charged with espionage
SPY SATELLITE: Secret US organisation launches huge spy satellite
GARETH WILLIAMS: Latest on the MI6 man found dead in London
IGOR SUTYAGIN: MI6 contact man says he was given drugs in Moscow
STEALTH SUBMARINE: Britain's most advanced submarine - secrets exposed
PHANTOM RAY: Unmanned super aircraft readied for tests - Photo Special
BOOK RELEASES: The latest intelligence-related books
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