issue sixty one
Published 13 March 2009
One hundred years ago, a number of military and government figures met in London to discuss the possibility of forming a Secret Service Bureau. Once this was agreed, the 'agency', manned by just a few personnel and some with little or no intelligence background, was 'split' and evolved into fledgling services that would be renamed Military Intelligence 5 and 6. One of their first tasks was to counter the growing menace of the Kaiser's military might... and detain a few spies along the way. Eye Spy presents a fascinating feature on the creation of the Security Service and Secret Intelligence Service, their early operations and some of the main characters... all the way to the doors of WWII. Plus we uncover a number of London locations that serviced the organisations... some of which still exist today. Absolutely - not to be missed.
Those who plied their trade for MI5 and MI6 in the early part of the twentieth century would surely have had their work cut out today. Indeed, the world is a very different place. The remit of today's intelligence services is changing as new challenges and threats present themselves. The environment in which services work is also decidedly more difficult - especially as an increasing number of targets and groups hide behind human rights legislation and have pre-set defence chapters that claim abuse and torture. It beggars belief that New Scotland Yard has actually been asked to investigate the work of MI5 in connection with its terrorist intel gathering operations.
The increasing dangers facing the peoples of all nations are real. In mid-March 2009, two unprecedented statements were issued from Washington DC and London respectively, and both came with a health warning. In the US, officials have finally admitted home-grown al-Qaida terror cells, training camps and plots now have a 'Made in America' flag - this as intelligence showed persons heading out of the country to receive 'specialist training' and 'guidance'. But they will return. And in London, Whitehall officials utilising intelligence assessments from MI5, New Scotland Yard and elsewhere, acknowledge that it is realistic to expect a terrorist attack on UK streets involving a 'dirty', chemical or biological bomb. Chilling stuff.
Besides a plethora of fascinating espionage and intelligence features, Eye Spy 61 presents an exclusive 'insiders guide' at how counter-terrorist/intelligence works, the methods, the signs, the operations... the uniforms. This is even more relevant today as terrorists, acting at the front edge of a widening Taliban and al-Qaida 'arc', plan to seize control of many nations, including Pakistan and India. And worryingly, both these terror groups have been joined by a 'third player'... one the CIA believes is even more deadlier - Lashkar-e-Taiba - or LeT for short. The operatives in this outfit recently crippled Mumbai in India, and swiftly followed this up with a brazen attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, Pakistan. The dozen-or-so attackers here escaped, but not before killing a number of police officers. And then, on 30 March, terrorists attacked another target in Lahore - a police training academy. Several people were killed, including recruits and combat troops, plus a number of the terrorists themselves. It will be interesting to learn if this is the same gang that struck the cricket team.
What concerns many in the intelligence world is that attacks such as these could happen in any major city. Eye Spy has been told that threat levels currently held at the 'severe end of severe' suggest something significant is in the air. It is extremely rare for the UK government to publicly mention 'dirty bombs'... such statements are not issued lightly.
Mark Birdsall - Editor
A brief overview of Eye Spy 61 follows...
THE SECRET SERVICE
MI5 AND MI6 CELEBRATE THEIR 100th BIRTHDAY
This year Britain's two premier intelligence services celebrate their 100th birthday. Eye Spy steps back in time to examine the origins of MI5 and its sister agency - MI6, plus a few significant moments and characters in the journey of these organisations.
EXTRACT ONE: British Intelligence is usually traced back to Queen Elizabeth I's secretary of state Sir Francis Walsingham. In the 16th century he despatched dozens of undercover agents to seek out Catholics plotting against the throne. About 90 years later, in the reign of Charles II, regular monies were put aside for a 'Secret Service Fund', evolving later to an annual Secret Service Vote in Parliament. The monies were supposed to have been used as payment to British informants who spied on the country's enemies both at home and abroad. It later transpired that about half of it actually fell into the hands of dubious politicians who used it for bribery and other underhand tactics. Despite this, Britain was receiving extremely useful intelligence from its overseas spies who had begun infiltrating political groups, European governments, royal families etc. The operation was described as 'the long arm of British covert influence'.
EXTRACT TWO: The 'liberal' values of Queen Victoria's Britain were slowly being replaced by nationalism and xenophobia. This was reflected in the media who warned about large numbers of German spies in Britain, the Kaiser's growing and impressive navy, and a secret army that had been put in place to rise against the UK at a moment's notice. Lord Northcliffe's Daily Mail led the charge of alarmist reports and even published Germany's 'invasion plans'. The Mail was not alone, a letter in April of 1907, written by an army colonel in The Globe read: The Streets of London swarm with Germans... where do they go? They are comfortably dressed and well nourished... they are undoubtedly soldiers. There was even a report that reached Whitehall suggesting German soldiers were operating as waiters in restaurants...
SPYING - 'A CAPITAL SPORT'
Britain's Security Service was up and running. Meanwhile, the foreign intelligence collection arm of the Secret Service Bureau, now designated MI-1(c), had chosen 50-year-old Commander Mansfield Cumming as its first head. Cumming had been retired from the Royal Navy for 20 years. A constant sufferer from sea sickness meant his career in the navy was affected, but he had proven himself useful in intelligence matters. He spoke of his new position to colleagues as 'exciting' and described 'espionage' as a 'capital sport.'
Unbeknown to many in the intelligence world, Cumming's office in Whitehall Court could only be accessed by a series of bizarre openings. He had built a mechanism of levers and peddles which he himself controlled. Once pressed, a false wall would open revealing a hidden staircase to his office...
THE SPYING GAME
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY
A senior CIA officer jailed in 1997 for spying on behalf of Russian intelligence, tried to run a second spy ring from the confines of his prison cell in Sheridan, Oregon. After Harold J. Nicholson failed to enlist the help of inmates in contacting his former FSB (Russian Federal Intelligence Service) handlers, Nicholson turned to his son Nathaniel for help. However, unbeknown to both men, the FBI were already surveilling the men. This led officers around the world in an effort to glean just what the Nicholsons were planning.
THE MOSSAD CHANGE TACT OVER IRAN
According to a former CIA officer, Israel's 'policy' towards Iran has changed from simply gathering intelligence on its nuclear ambitions, to one of a dirty war - using all the shadowy tactics perfected by the Mossad... including assassinating Iran's top scientists. With pressure from the new US administration not to attack Iran's nuclear sites, the Mossad is bringing out its 'dirty bag of tricks'.
THE HACKING MAN - CODE NAME 'SOLO'
UK PENTAGON HACKER SET FOR TRIAL IN USA
Glasgow-born Gary McKinnon may not be a familiar name to most readers of this magazine, but he is probably the most infamous hacker ever to attempt to access the banks of computers that are the lifeblood of the Pentagon. Unlike the crafty cyber buffs employed by Russia, China, Japan and others, McKinnon successfully infiltrated the machines and started a chain of events that have caused ripples on both sides of the 'pond'. The problem for McKinnon, a systems analyst from London, is he got caught, and his balmy hacking exploits just happened to take place shortly after the terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon....
THE NEW AMERICAN RECRUITERS
US-BASED TERRORISTS PLAN FOR OPERATIONS
Eye Spy has learned that two secret American operations have been launched to identify US citizens recruited and trained by terrorists from 'home turf'. The FBI is investigating over 20 suspected sites (many in remote locations - though not all) in the country where al-Qaida sympathisers are 'turning' people to fight in foreign lands. Some of this work is being performed by the Bureau's Joint Terrorism Task Force. However, agents are also monitoring various suspected cells who could one day be persuaded to launch attacks on the US mainland. A number of so-called 'settlements' or 'camps', are now under observance and are being infiltrated by specialist agents.
The CIA, meanwhile, are compiling a lengthy list of former detainees at Guantanamo Bay who have rejoined al-Qaida and have once again returned to terrorism... this after being given a low-risk assessment by analysts.
WIRING AND SHARING INTELLIGENCE
THE STRANGE CASE OF BINYAM MOHAMED
According to two senior British High Court judges, US intelligence - threatened to stop liasing with their counterparts in the UK, if secret data concerning a Guant‡namo Bay detainee, were released to the public (re; a State Department letter dated 21 August 2008). The supposed threat surrounds Ethiopian-born Binyam Mohamed, who claimed asylum in Britain when he was 16. Mohamed was detained in 2002 in Pakistan after he tried to board a flight to the UK on a false passport. The CIA had collated information on Mohamed, who allegedly trained in Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, at an al-Qaida terrorist camp.
It was in Afghanistan that the CIA allege Mohamed liased with former Chicago 'gang member' Jose Padilla. Padilla and Mohamed are said to have been ordered by Osama bin-Laden to attack targets in the US using a dirty radiological bomb and cyanide.
Mohamed is now back in the UK and has accused MI5 of being party to his torture in a number of foreign countries. The facts...
URBAN WARFARE - MIRROR OF MUMBAI
TERRORISTS STRIKE AGAIN IN CITY CENTRE OPERATION
Security services across the world, especially those based in major cities, are re-examining their counter-terrorist procedures following another ferocious urban terrorist attack. Masked gunmen ambushed a small convoy carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team and match officials to the Gaddafi Stadium in the Pakistan city of Lahore. Six police officers and two civilians died. Ironically, the Sri Lankans were only playing because the Indian team had decided not to play because of the terrorist attacks last November in Mumbai.
In a carefully coordinated operation, the convoy was attacked at 8.55am on 3 February, just 800 yards away from the ground. As the coach navigated the city's huge Liberty Roundabout [circle], two cars pulled in front of the coach causing traffic to stop. The police assigned to protect the team were immediately targeted by the gunmen. Rocket-propelled grenades were fired and automatic rounds sounded for nearly 20 minutes. Several hand-grenades were also thrown at the vehicles. The gunmen were joined by colleagues who had been waiting in the area - on rickshaws.
FORMER KGB SPY BUYS INTO UK MEDIA
Former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev, 49, has purchased one of the UK's most important and long-running newspapers. Lebedev, a billionaire businessman, bought around 75% of the London Evening Standard newspaper for just £1. The paper, which has a circulation of just under 300,000, passed into the hands of the Evening Press, a company formed by Mr Lebedev and his London-based son Evgeny Lebedev, 28, and owned by Lebedev Holdings.
Interestingly, Lebedev, who was stationed in London during much of his spying days, admitted he often read the newspaper to glean information...
RULES OF HOSTAGE SURVIVAL
In Eye Spy 57 and 58 we examined procedures you can take that reduce the chance of you being taken hostage. Sometimes, however, a combination of bad luck and good planning on the part of the Hostage Takers may mean that despite all reasonable precautions, you are seized. What can you expect? What actions should you take? How can you maximise your chances of a safe return home to your loved ones?
Hostage specialist Simon Atkinson presents simple measures and protocol that will maximise your chances of survival and eventual return home. Whilst immediately applicable to military and conflict theatres, this important series also contains valuable advice for other hostage scenarios.
Exploitation Stage: This stage may more accurately be termed the Exploitation stage. This is where you may have been handed on to another group and questioned or exploited for their own ends. You may even have been passed along the chain within the original capturing group. You will be continually assessed so that the group can determine how best to gain from your captivity and you will be systematically exploited whilst you are still 'today's news'. Any holding force now will likely be experienced and you will have little or any opportunity to escape at this stage. However, you may be returned to this stage as your captivity progresses and be further exploited in order to keep the pressure on your organisation or government.
The next Stage of Capture is the Final Holding Area (FHA)
This is where you may be taken to complete your incarceration and is likely to be far from the Forward Edge of the Battle Area - i.e. - deep inside enemy controlled territory. At this stage you may be held with other hostages from other organisations. It's at this point you must get back to planning your escape. You will probably be held here for a certain amount of time which allows you an opportunity to determine routines and assess other information required to plan an escape.
Third party organisations may still be interested in you - you may be visited at some times by other criminals/terrorists or indeed members of international organisations. Negotiations will be continuing even though you may not hear news. (We will explore the Negotiation process in issue 62.)
EXTRACT TWO - Phases of Stress: Shock and Denial: 'Shock of Capture' is a term meaning just that. It is a physical and wholly expected state that the hostage will enter into in the moments immediately following capture. During this time, hostages are like the stereotypical 'deer in a headlamp' and are extremely malleable and compliant. Hostage takers will often seek to maintain this condition for as long as possible by imposing a series of pressures on a captive. Victims will feel numb and often just simply do not believe what has happened to them.
Reality: Described as a 'terror induced pseudo calm'. Victims begin to realise what has just happened and that it is real...
Adrian Radford a former British Secret Intelligence Services instructor and former member of the acclaimed British Military Intelligence Anti Terrorist Survey Team and author of the Internationally best selling anti surveillance DVD series 'Am I being Watched', takes a look at Counter Terrorism and answers some important questions; Can we actually profile terrorists? What should we now be looking for? and what can profiling do to prevent terrorist attacks at public events and spaces?
EXTRACT: Eye Spy: If the profiling of suicide bombers is therefore becoming more challenging, can profilers not look to the identification of bags or clothing used in the final stages of attacks?
AR: The early identification of any bag or suspect clothing, wires or bulges will certainly aid a profiler. There is no evidence to support any change in the characteristics of device carriage. Explosives are still worn under garments, often giving the bombers a rigid and noticeable frame, often exposed by bulges in unnatural areas. In an evolving time, profilers should look to asses any extremely loose or baggy clothing against the fullness of face. Suicide bombers are likely to have been trained at terrorist camps. Instruction will prevent them from 'putting on the pounds' that would require such oversized clothing. But it can be observed.
Groups of attackers have commonly concealed their devices in the same type of rucksack or bag - the 7/7 bombers, for example. Identifying like-for-like amongst individual suspects should alert any profiler to an early intervention. Heavy and overstuffed bags remain highly suspect in the profile of a suicide bomber. With recent open source reporting this means of identification should never be considered as an absolute. Yet again, our terrorist profile is evolving. It is important to remember, explosives can be concealed anywhere and in any quantity.
MUMBAI - A EUROPEAN CONNECTION?
INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES FIND PLOT LINK TO EUROPE
EXTRACT ONE: Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI), has confirmed the terrorist operation in India's financial capital, was 'part planned' in Pakistan, and that nearly all those involved were its own citizens. This, after India forwarded a huge dossier to Islamabad on 5 January which contained the results of its preliminary investigations. However, several intelligence agencies, including MI5, are still probing links to suspects in Europe. The data suggested elements from Lashkar-e-Taiba ('Army of the Pure') an al-Qaida affiliate would arrive by boat and attack hotels, restaurants and business centres in Mumbai - India's financial capital.
EXTRACT TWO: Other countries are also linked to the plot. For example, one of the Sim cards retrieved by Indian police actually originated in Austria. A sum of $238.00 was wire-transferred from a location in Spain to establish a domain name, this being necessary for the operatives to communicate and pass messages to each other in secret.
CAMP 30 - BOWMANVILLE
END GAME FOR HISTORIC LOCATION
Camp 30 in Canada was home to hundreds of captured WWII German PoWs. Now developers want to transform the area. Eye Spy Canadian editor Lynn Hodgson explains why this historically important site should remain untouched.
TAKING PICTURES AND SECTION 76
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
New anti-terrorism law on photography provokes unrest with civil liberty groups, professional and amateur snappers alike...
Civil liberty groups in the UK, and members of the country's leading media union - the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), are up in arms about a new law that makes taking photographs of police officers, just a little more difficult. Section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act, introduced in February, is designed to give the security services more power when dealing with persons who could be taking images for criminal or terrorist purposes. It's also likely the law was introduced to protect the identity of personnel who by necessity, must remain anonymous...
WANTED - CYBER WARRIORS
PENTAGON AND INTEL SERVICES SEEK EXPERTS
Each and every day, each and every hour, cyber attacks are waged against a wide variety of targets on millions of computers and networks around the world. These battles rage twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week each and every day of the year. This has led to a flurry of new cyber units within the intelligence and military world, and with this, of course, comes job opportunities...
WEST WIND CLEAR
AND PEARL HARBOR SYMPOSIUM (LETTER FROM NSA's FORT MEADE)
The National Cryptologic Museum Foundation (NCMF) recently presented a symposium to
commemorate the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese naval forces. The occasion was preceded and highlighted by two events: the gala opening of an expanded museum exhibit of Japanese and American cryptographic material and the announcement of a new CCH publication, 'West Wind Clear - Cryptology and the Winds Message Controversy - A Documentary History' by CCH historians Robert J. Hanyok and the late David P. Mowry.
David Hamer also looks at one or two conspiracy theories discussed by the gathering, and presents details and photographs of two important discoveries made by the NSA's cryptologic museum.
EYE SPY PRODUCT REVIEW
MINIATURE DIGITAL DVR
During a recent close covert surveillance operation, operatives were charged with obtaining good photographs of a target for identification purposes. There was nothing more simple and effective to use than the self-contained micro DVR - of PI-Camcorder Stick - as it is sometimes called. The trade say it is 'the world's smallest high-quality camcorder', though its likely the professional services might not agree! However, the end result and quality is much higher than I suspected. Indeed, it is exceptional. Peter Jenkins reviews the DVR (available via the magazine with a saving of £50.00 ($100.00))
ODNI VERSUS CIA
TRENCH LINES BETWEEN INTELLIGENCE GIANTS
Intelligence watchers in the United States reveal 'trench lines' and confusion regarding relations between the Office of Director National Intelligence and the world's most powerful intelligence service - the CIA.
COLD WAR GAMES
CANADIAN AIRSPACE SET FOR DIFFICULT 2009
Canadian war planes attached to NATO have reported an increase in Russian 'Bear' reconnaissance flights... one incident was actually timed to occur at US President Obama's inauguration.
EYE SPY 61 BEST OF THE REST
CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER
SENIOR US INTEL CHIEF WARNS OF 'GHOST TERRORISTS'
Former D/CIA has issued a chilling warning that a new 'terrorist form' no different to persons seen throughout America, has been created by al-Qaida... and may be unleashed in major cities.
BOOK AND FILM DEAL FOR EX-INTEL EMPLOYEE
The story of Katherine Gun, the GCHQ whistleblower who was arrested and charged for breaching the Official Secrets Act in 2004.
ANOTHER RUSSIAN JOURNALIST MURDERED
A controversial journalist was gunned down together with a senior human rights lawyer in Russia.
SYRIAN NUCLEAR CHASE
Western intelligence services find evidence Syria is still intent on developing a nuclear missile programme.
UK 'TURNING INTO A POLICE STATE'
FORMER MI5 DG ISSUES WARNING
Dame Stella Rimmington, for MI5 Director-General and the first female ever to hold the post, believes new security regulations are akin to those of a police state.
A prominent Chechen dissident is killed on the streets of Vienna. Reports suggest he may have been the target of an FSB assassination team.
SEARS TOWER PLOT
Alleged al-Qaida terror cell face third trial. The gang, known as the 'Liberty City Six' (after an area in greater Miami), are said to have plotted to blow-up Chicago's iconic skyscraper.
FBI's MOST WANTED
AL-QAIDA'S VIDEO RECRUITER
A look at one of the most wanted men in the world... who just happens to be an American.
Australia's leading 'spymaster' has a new role... as leading 'spycatcher'.
The NSA's Lt. General Keith Alexander visited Turkey in February and met with the country's General Staff. Media speculation about the scheduled meeting was intense... find out why.
PERSONA NON GRATA
A South American CIA Station Chief is asked to return home after being declared 'persona non grata'... a polite phrase often used when espionage is suspected.
KIM JONG IL - NORTH KOREA
The truth is out concerning the fate of North Korea's leader and the supposed 'double' used by the communist country to mask Kim Jong Il's 'death'.
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