Sunday, August 29, 2010


The estate in Bedfordshire purchased in 1936 by the Secret Intelligence Service chief, Adm. Sir Hugh  Sinclair, as a war station for his organization. The first full dress rehearsal took place during the Munich Crisis  of 1938 when the SIS and the Government Code and Cypher School established themselves in the mansion and a few huts constructed in the grounds.
In September 1939, following  cryptographic success with Abwehr hand ciphers, the staff at “BP” or “Station X” was increased significantly, and by the end of the war 12,500 mathematicians, linguists, analysts, engineers, couriers, and support personnel were working on intercepted enemy communications traffic at the site in three eight-hour shifts.
In 1945 the renamed Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was transferred to Eastcote in  Middlesex, leaving only a training unit at Bletchley, which remained in one of the purpose-built offices on the estate until 1988.


The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGBBorn George Behar in Rotterdam, Blake possessed British nationality through his father, who had become a naturalized citizen following his war service in World War I. He was educated in Holland and Egypt and  joined his mother and sister in London after an escape from the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. In 1943  Blake anglicized his name by deed poll and the next year was recruited by the Secret Intelligence Service as a conducting officer in the Dutch Section. At the end of the war, Blake remained in the SIS and, having completed a Russian language course, was posted to Seoul where he was interned at the outset of the Korean War. In captivity Blake volunteered to spy for the KGB and did so upon his release until he was finally  denounced in 1961. At his trial Blake received a record sentence of 42 years’ imprisonment, but in October 1966 he escaped to Moscow with help from a fellow prisoner, Sean Bourke, and a group of British left-wing sympathizers, who publicly acknowledged their role and were subsequently prosecuted and acquitted of  having assisted a fugitive. They claimed they had received no support from the KGB, but instead had been financed by film director  Tony Richardson.
Following his escape from Wormwood Scrubs in 1966 and his successful  exfiltration  to East Berlin, Blake  took up permanent residence in Moscow, where he now lives in failing health with his second wife. Blake wrote an autobiography, No Abiding City, which was read by a few Western publishers but rejected by all on the grounds that it was too boring, so Blake prepared a second memoir, No Other Choice. Despite the British government’s legislation to prevent former intelligence personnel from disclosing details of their professional work, Blake’s book was released in England, and it contained names of numerous former SIS colleagues  whose identities had never previously been published. Surprisingly, no action was taken to prevent the book’s circulation, and in one passage the traitor claims that he was trapped into confessing his duplicity by a skillful interrogator who suggested that he had been coerced into becoming a spy. This version was contradicted by one of those present in the room at the time of his confession, who insists that Blake was spotted by  surveillance experts while trying to telephone his Soviet contact in an apparent hope of a rescue.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Terror in Black September: The First Eyewitness Account of the Infamous 1970 HijackingsA Palestinian terrorist group created after the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from Jordan in September 1970 and considered an exceptionally ruthless adversary, whose membership was the  subject of a lengthy campaign waged by the Mossad following a massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The then prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir, chaired a secret cabinet subcommittee,  known as Committee-X, which in September 1972 authorized the Mossad to pursue and assassinate the terrorists responsible for murdering members of the Olympic team.
Over the months that followed, eight members of the Black September leadership died. In mid-October,  Wael Zwaiter was hit by  12 bullets fired at close range in the entrance hall of his apartment building in Rome; in December PLO representative Mahmoud Hamshari was killed in Paris by an ingenious bomb that  detonated inside his telephone; in January 1973 Al-Fatah’s Hussein Abad al-Chir died in an explosion under his bed in his room at the Olympic Hotel in Nicosia, Cyprus; in April, Dr. Basil Raoud Kubaisi was shot in a Paris street; three days later Kamal Nasser, Mahmoud Yussuf Najjer, and Kamal Adwan were assassinated separately in their three Beirut apartments by 30 commandos who had slipped ashore from six darkened Zodiac inflatables; three days after that raid, Ziad Muchassi was killed by a bomb in his Athens hotel room;  and finally, in July 1974, a Mossad team was arrested in Norway after a Moroccan waiter had been shot dead in Lillehammer in front of his pregnant wife.
Until this last, disastrous shooting, when an entirely innocent Arab, Ahmed Bouchiki, was gunned down in a quiet residential street, nobody publicly had linked the killings. But the .22 Beretta used to kill Bouchiki with 14 bullets was linked by ballistics to the weapon that had killed Zwaiter in Paris and Kubaisi in Rome. Although the Norwegian Overaaksingstejeste estimated that at least 11 Israeli agents had participated in the surveillance on Bouchiki, which had incorrectly identified him as Ali Hassan Salameh, only seven were arrested. One, Yigal Eyal, who was listed at the embassy as a security guard, claimed diplomatic immunity and was expelled; Michael Dorf, the communications expert, was acquitted; and the other five (Zwi Steinberg, Marianne Gladnikoff, Sylvia Raphael, Dan Arbel, and Abraham Geimer) were convicted of murder and  imprisoned.
The last chapter in this extraordinary chronology was the death in a massive car bomb in Beirut of Ali Hassan  Salameh in January 1979. Sometimes known as “the Red Prince,” Salameh had been Black September’s chief planner, and he was thought to have masterminded the Munich attack.


The term given to ostensibly conventional broadcast stations that deliberately misrepresent their status and purpose to deceive listeners. Having acquired an audience by guile, the programming can be manipulated to  achieve a particular objective, the best examples being Soldatensender-Calais, Atlantik-sender, and Radio Livorno, which purported to be authentic Axis stations during World War II providing a service to troops in  Nazi-occupied countries in Europe. In reality the staff was made up of Britons fluent in German and anti-Nazi defectors and émigrés who provided commentaries intended to undermine morale and sap confidence in Adolf  Hitler’s regime. Although very little research has been undertaken to determine the effectiveness of black radio, it is believed that it has a greater impact than orthodox propaganda of the type conveyed by Tokyo Rose and William Joyce.


High-risk covert operations, usually of an unavowable nature, are termed “black operations.” The most common circumstances in which such operations are mounted concern the burglary of diplomatic premises. The term  implies a degree of illegality that, if discovered, would be difficult to conceal or could result in an incident with  political ramifications.


American Black Chamber (Bluejacket Books)In March 1929 the newly appointed  United States secretary of state, Henry Stimson, reportedly remarked that “gentlemen do not read each other’s mail” when he closed down the State Department’s cryptographic unit. He  had been shown Japanese intercepts and had been shocked to learn how they had been acquired. At that time the Black Chamber consisted of the veteran code breaker Herbert Yardley and a staff of five. Appalled by  Stimson’s behavior, Yardley published his book, The American Black Chamber, in 1931 and revealed that his code breakers had for years read Japanese diplomatic telegrams. The Japanese Foreign Ministry promptly  changed its cipher systems.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


The Encyclopedia of Modern Aircraft: From Civilian Airliners to Military SuperfightersThe SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft, used by the United States and introduced in January 1964 as a successor to the U-2, is a two-seater twin jet designed to fly at 85,000 feet at a speed of Mach 3, making it the world’s  fastest, highest-flying plane. In a record-breaking flight in September 1974, an SR-71 flew from New York to London in under two hours. Less than 30 SR-71s—eight of which were destroyed in accidents—had been built by Lockheed by the time it was withdrawn from operations in March 1990. It could map 100,000 square miles each hour, and the aircraft’s extraordinary characteristics, including its innovative design, astonishing speed, and low radar profile made it virtually invulnerable to attack from the ground.


Intelligence: A Novel of the CIAThe term applied to clandestine entries of premises containing information that is likely to be of exceptional importance. The material may range from cryptographic data to the membership rolls of target organizations.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


BISMARCK: The Final Days of Germany's Greatest Battleship In May 1942, when the German Kriegsmarine pocket battleship  Bismarck completed her sea trials in the Baltic, she represented a potent threat, being the fastest, most heavily armored warship in the world. Escorted by the Prinz Eugen, the Bismarck slipped into the North Sea unnoticed, although the British naval attaché in
Stockholm heard from his Norwegian counterpart that two unidentified enemy warships had been spotted in the Skagerrak. The Admiralty soon found the pair as they headed for the Atlantic, and a force was detached from the Home Fleet’s anchorage at Scapa Flow to intercept them. At this first encounter, HMS Hood was sunk, and the Bismarck headed for the open ocean, maintaining radio silence. There followed a debate about the surface raider’s intentions, but an indiscreet signal to the Luftwaffe’s chief of staff in Italy, whose son was aboard the Bismarck, advised him that the ship was bound for the French port of Brest. Tipped off to this, a British naval  group succeeded in finding the elusive Bismarck, slowing her down with an air-launched torpedo and then  finishing her off with gunfire.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


D-Day: The Battle for NormandyDuring the planning of the D-Day landings in 1944, personnel authorized to learn the exact time and place of the  invasion were known as “bigots” and their names were included in a “bigot list.” Because of the dangers inherent in such a major amphibious operation— the largest of its kind ever attempted— security was tight and measures were taken to ensure no news of it leaked to the enemy. Since the end of World War II, the term has been  applied to individuals cleared for specific classifications of secret material.


Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America On Easter Sunday 1983, Bettaney, a middle-ranking MI5 officer attached to the Soviet counterespionage
branch, wrote a letter to the KGB rezident in London, Arkadi Gouk, and delivered it to his home, confident  that the Watcher Service did not have it under surveillance after midnight. In his note Bettaney supplied sufficient information about the recent expulsion of three KGB officers to impress Gouk that he had access to classified information and suggested an elaborate plan of signals and dead drops for further communication.
An Oxford graduate who had joined MI5 in 1975, Bettaney had served in Northern Ireland but had received a final warning regarding his personal behavior after a conviction for being drunk and another for fare-dodging on the train on which he commuted to London from his home in Croydon. After a further criminal conviction, which he failed to declare, Bettaney knew his career would last only until his next routine positive vetting,  which would be bound to reveal his further offense and lead to his dismissal. Accordingly, he opted to sell information to the Soviets, unaware that Gouk’s deputy at the London  rezidentura was Oleg Gordievsky, in  whom the  rezident confided. Naturally Gordievsky concurred with Gouk’s judgment that the offer was a rather crude MI5 provocation and should be ignored.
Thus, when Bettaney made a second approach, offering still further material, he was ignored. Frustrated at Gouk’s attitude, Bettaney decided to make a separate approach to the KGB in Vienna and was planning to  fly there when he was arrested in September 1983 and charged with breaches of the Official Secrets Act. At his trial in April 1984 Bettaney claimed to have become disenchanted with Prime Minister Margaret  Thatcher’s Conservative administration. He was convicted and sentenced to 23 years’ imprisonment. While in prison, Bettaney converted to Roman Catholicism and considered taking holy orders. He was also suspected of having leaked information about MI5’s activities in Northern Ireland to a Republican fellow prisoner. Upon his release, Bettaney moved to Hertfordshire to live with a woman who had been a prison visitor.


A British Secret Intelligence Service officer in World War I, Captain Best joined the Z Organization in The Hague, where he was a well-known member of the British expatriate community in the late 1930s, running a  business importing the very popular Humber bicycles. Supposedly assigned the task of collecting information  from agents in neighboring Germany, he instead padded his expenses and fabricated intelligence from notional agents.
Upon the outbreak of war in September 1939, he was directed by London to identify himself to the local SIS  head of station, Maj.Richard Stevens, who worked under semitransparent Passport Control Office (PCO)  cover. The objective was for the two organizations to combine their resources and thereby avoid wasteful  duplication, but this also eliminated the compartmentalization that had insulated the Z Organization from the  hostile penetration that the PCO had experienced. Stevens, on the other hand, knew that Best, though well connected in Dutch social circles, being married to the daughter of a general, had a poor reputation and was  considered rather too shrewd a businessman. Others took the view that Best was the victim of discrimination,  his background being Anglo-Indian.
When Best declared himself to Stevens, he learned that the PCO had been in touch with a group of officers  who claimed to be anti-Nazis plotting to overthrow Adolf Hitler. Best later said he was suspicious of the  intermediaries, but on 8 November he accompanied Stevens to the German frontier at Venlo to hold a  rendezvous with representatives of the opposition. The meeting was a trap, and both Best and Stevens were abducted at gunpoint and taken into German captivity, where they remained for the remainder of the war,  each undergoing lengthy interrogation.
Upon their release in 1945 Best and Stevens blamed each other for having disclosed too much detailed  information about the SIS, unaware that the real culprit had been an SIS colleague, Dick Ellis. The SIS did  not become aware of Ellis’s duplicity until 1966, by which time Stevens had died in ignominy and a bankrupt  Best had tried to make some money by publishing his memoirs, The Venlo Incident. Their interrogations had  been handled with considerable skill by the enemy, who deliberately gave each the impression that the other  was cooperating, without revealing the true source of the information.
The loss of two such well-informed SIS officers so early in the war was a considerable blow for the Service  and a significant coup for the Sicherheitsdienst, which had masterminded the operation.
When he was questioned in 1945, Walter Schellenberg acknowledged his role, as he did later in his memoirs, The Schellenberg Papers, but was unable to identify Ellis as the SIS officer who had caused so much damage.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Strategically located off the coast of the Carolinas, at the then limit of the range of Soviet submarine-launched  nuclear missiles in the Atlantic, Bermuda is a self-governing British dependent territory which during the Cold War accommodated a SOSUS base at Tudor Hill and a U.S. Naval Air Station at Kindley Field. P-3 Orion
maritime patrol aircraft flown from Bermuda, capable of being armed with nuclear depth charges, extended the American ability to monitor the activities of, and challenge, potentially hostile submarines. Since the end of the Cold War, Bermuda’s strategic significance has diminished and the United States has withdrawn its military  assets from the island.


Constructed in 1955 from the American zone of occupation in Berlin to the site of a cable duct under the Schönefelder Chaussee carrying 28 Soviet telegraphic and 121 military communication channels to  Karlshorst, the Berlin tunnel provided the Central Intelligence Agency and Secret Intelligence Service with  access to Warsaw Pact planning for Central Europe. The information was recorded on magnetic tape, which was flown  daily to London for processing at a dedicated center in Regent’s Park staffed by specially recruited Russian linguists. The total take was recorded over three months on 50,000 reels of tape amounting to 368,000 Soviet and 5,000 East German conversations. Code-named  STOPWATCH/GOLD, the project came to an end in April 1956 when the Soviets pretended to discover the tunnel for the first time. In reality, the plan had been
betrayed at an earlier stage by George Blake.


Born and educated in the United States, Bentley was a Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) member recruited by the NKVD as a courier and run by an illegal, Jacob Golos, who became her  lover. Upon his death in November 1943, Bentley’s role as a courier, making regular fortnightly trips to Washington, D.C., to collect information from a well-placed network of spies inside the administration of  Franklin D. Roosevelt, was reduced and she had disagreements with the NKVD  rezident, Anatoli Gorsky. Fearing that she might have been compromised by another CPUSA defector, Louis Budenz, Bentley made a tentative approach to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, offering information, and in September 1945 made a lengthy statement in which she implicated dozens of her contacts. Three years later, in July 1948, she gave evidence to a congressional subcommittee about the extent of her involvement in Soviet espionage and  identified 35 other spies, including Harry Dexter White and the Rosenbergs.
Much of Bentley’s information was corroborated by VENONA, although she was never made aware of the source before she died in December 1963. For the latter part of her life, her testimony was branded the ravings of a fantasist, and her 1951 book,  Out of Bondage, was condemned as unsubstantiated gossip,  although the FBI knew her information to have been entirely accurate.


The son of a Welsh coal miner, Bennett was a former British intercept operator who served in Malta during World War II and joined GCHQ in 1945. He was posted to Istanbul to run a clandestine intercept station  inside the British Consulate-General, a few doors away from Kim Philby’s office. After his tour of duty in  Turkey, Bennett was transferred as a liaison officer to the Defence Signals Directorate in Melbourne,  Australia, where he met his wife, Heather, and in 1954 they emigrated to Canada. He joined the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Security Service, having been rejected by his original intended employer, the Communications Branch of the National Research Council, and spent the next 18 years as an intelligence officer, running the FEATHERBED investigation of moles inside the Canadian government that led to the  interrogation of a senior diplomat, Herbert Norman.
Bennett proved a success in the Security Service and ran Ops B, the counterintelligence branch responsible  for maintaining surveillance on suspected Soviet spies, but he was identified by the KGB defector Anatoli  Golitsyn as a potential traitor. A lengthy mole hunt code-named GRIDIRON proved inconclusive, so Bennett was interrogated in 1972 and dismissed. After a divorce, he followed his ex-wife and two daughters to  Australia and settled first in Perth and then in the Glenelg suburb of Adelaide.
In 1977 the Canadian solicitor-general publicly declared that there was no evidence against Bennett, and  when another Mountie, Gilles Brunet, was exposed as having been the KGB’s mole, he belatedly received compensation. Later, in January 1986, another RCMP mole, James Morrison, code-named LONG KNIFE, was convicted of having sold Security Service secrets to the KGB between 1955 and 1958.
Brunet died in April 1984 before he was discovered, and Bennett succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease in  October 2000.


Formerly British Honduras, this independent Central American country has a disproportionate intelligence  significance because of the long-term threat posed by neighboring Guatemala, which does not recognize the  government, sends two members to the national assembly representing the province, and ensures it appears on  official maps as an integral part of the country. In 1975 Royal Naval Buccaneer ground-attack aircraft were  launched from an aircraft carrier to fly along the frontier in a successful attempt to deter an invasion, and since then jungle training for British Special Forces has been conducted close to the frontier and Harrier jump-jets  have acted as an effective deterrent to Guatemalan aggression.


The unexpected defection of a Soviet fighter pilot, Lt. Viktor Belenko, with his Mach-3 Foxbat high-altitude  interceptor to Hakodate, Japan, in September 1976 gave the Central Intelligence Agency a technological  windfall and compromised all the fighter’s advanced avionics, including the Fox Fire radar fire-control system, the ground-mapping Doppler radar, and the Sirena-3 warning and electronic countermeasure device. Belenko’s escape from the Chuguyevka air base in eastern Siberia gave American analysts total, if temporary, access to his plane, thus forcing the Soviet air defense service to adopt new equipment and standards, every detail of which was later compromised by Adolf Tolkachev. Belenko was later resettled in the United States and wrote an  account of his escape, MiG Pilot.


The location on Cuba’s south coast for an ill-fated invasion by émigrés in April 1960. It was planned and  authorized originally by the Eisenhower administration as a dawn landing by 1,200 troops near Trinidad with full air support. After John F. Kennedy was elected president, he and his brother Robert insisted on radical changes to the original proposal, moving the location to the Bahía de Cochinos, a swampy area 80 miles from  Trinidad. They also cut the air cover and demanded a night landing in an attempt to distance the United States from complicity. The invasion proved a disaster and Fidel Castro’s forces counterattacked with tanks, killing 114 and capturing 1,189, who were held as hostages in appalling conditions until the U.S. government could negotiate  their release. Code-named Operation ZAPATA, the invasion was not the subject of any congressional inquiry, although the dismissal of the director of central intelligence, Allen Dulles, conveyed the erroneous impression that the project had not been fully approved by the White House.


A Central Intelligence Agency secretary in Manila, Baynes passed classified material to a former U.S. airman, Joseph G. Brown, who in turn sold them to Philippine government officials. Brown had joined the Air Force in 1966 but left two years later to work as a martial arts instructor for the Department of Tourism in Manila. Brown met Baynes in 1989 when she enrolled in one of his karate classes soon after her arrival in Manila, and their relationship developed to the point where, during the summer of 1990, she agreed to remove three  documents from the CIA station in the U.S. embassy.
When the Federal Bureau of Investigation learned that he had suborned Baynes into supplying him with CIA  reports on Iraq and Filipino separatists, he was lured to the United States with the offer of a lucrative contract training CIA personnel. On his arrival at Dulles International Airport in December 1992, he was arrested and
indicted on three charges of espionage. Baynes, who had joined the CIA in 1987, was convicted of espionage in May 1992 and sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment.


Barnett, formerly a Central Intelligence Agency case officer assigned to Indonesia who had spent three years  in Jakarta, resigned in 1970 to go into a local business, which subsequently had failed, leaving him with debts  of $100,000. Barnett offered to supply the KGB with information concerning a clandestine operation,  code-named HA/BRINK, that had focused on the acquisition of examples of Soviet military hardware sold to the Indonesians, including an SA-2 guidance system, designs for the Whiskey-class submarine, a destroyer, a cruiser, and the Tu-16 Badger twin-engine bomber. He had supplied this information between 1976 and  1977, together with the identities of 30 CIA officers for a total of $92,000.
In 1979 Barnett was identified as a spy by one of his KGB handlers, Col. Vladimir M. Piguzov, code-named  GT/JOGGER, and in April the following year he was spotted meeting KGB officers in Vienna.
He was questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation upon his return to the United States. In October  1980 Barnett pleaded guilty to espionage charges, admitting that he had sold CIA secrets to the Soviets. He was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment and was paroled in 1990.


The technique of providing a suspect with a traceable item of information and then watching to monitor its  progress in the hope of tracing it to an adversary. The name comes from a medical procedure that allows physicians to follow the passage of mildly radioactive material through the body.


A GRU colonel recruited in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1989 by the Central Intelligence Agency, Baranov narrowly avoided a death sentence when he was betrayed by Aldrich Ames and instead served long terms of  imprisonment at Perm 35, the notorious Soviet labor camp in the Urals. Upon his release he was
resettled in the United States.


The elite security and intelligence infrastructure of the Vietcong during the Vietnam War, the Ban-an-ninh had an estimated membership of 25,000 and was responsible for the enforcement of security measures within the  Vietcong cadres. Feared because of its ruthless reputation, the Ban-an-ninh maintained a grip on discipline within the support groups upon which the provincial guerrillas depended for food and logistical supplies. Directed from  Hanoi, the Ban-an-ninh succeeded in penetrating to the heart of the military and political establishment in Saigon  and remains arguably the most effective intelligence apparatus of all time. Dependent on assassination, abduction, reprisals, and  terror tactics, the organization was jeopardized only by its own defectors, who were amnestied to  participate in the controversial PHOENIX program.


Prior to World War II, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were important centers of espionage conducted against the Soviet Union and the British Secret Intelligence Service maintained stations at Stockholm, Sweden, and Helsinki, Finland, to supervise operations conducted from Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius, usually with the cooperation of the local intelligence apparatus. Following the Soviet occupation of all three countries in 1945, the SIS attempted to  infiltrate émigrés across the Baltic from Hamburg via a base on Bornholm Island, Denmark, but the scheme failed because of hostile penetration by the Soviets.


 The process of enhancing covers supplied to intelligence personnel. Backstopping can range from provision of a telephone contact number that, when answered, will support the “legend” offered by the agent, to the more  sophisticated establishment of front companies, often entire commercial enterprises, known in Central Intelligence Agency parlance as “proprietaries.”

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Born in Germany to Jewish Russian parents, Ze’ev Avni was taken to Switzerland as a child to escape the  Nazis, and during World War II he served in the Swiss Army. A friend of his parents recruited him as a  courier for a Soviet espionage network, and although he was keen to continue after the war, he was not  encouraged. In 1948, fluent in Russian and German, Avni traveled to Israel to join the new Foreign Ministry in Tel Aviv, which posted him to the embassy in Brussels to negotiate trade agreements. There he was invited by the Mossad to act as a  cooptee, and having been recruited he made renewed contact with the Soviets and  supplied them with information from inside the Mossad.
Avni has not been allowed to disclose the extent of his work for the Mossad, but he has acknowledged  participation in a false-flag operation conducted in West Germany, in which he posed as a Bundesnachrichtendienst officer to recruit sources inside Egypt’s ballistic missile development program. However, his activities were curtailed in April 1956 when, while on a visit to Tel Aviv, he was confronted by Isser Harel and charged with having supplied the KGB with Mossad secrets. He was convicted at a secret  trial and sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment, but was released after seven, in April 1963. He later served in the Israel Defense Forces as a medical aide and published his memoirs in 1999.


Created in March 1949 under the leadership of Sir Geoffrey Reed to act on  counterintelligence information  supplied by MI5, ASIO was given statutory authority in November 1979. In 1986 it became the subject of  parliamentary oversight.
During the Cold War, ASIO was responsible for exploiting the evidence of Soviet espionage contained in the  Canberra VENONA traffic, which served to identify members of the rezidentura at the local embassy and a  network of agents recruited largely from the Australian Communist party. ASIO also skillfully maneuvered an  agent, Dr. Michael Bialoguski, into a position close to the rezident, Vladimir Petrov. In 1954 Petrov was  persuaded to  defect when recalled to Moscow. Quickly followed by his wife, Evdokia, who was also an experienced intelligence officer, Petrov supplied valuable information about Soviet operations and tactics in Australia and provided a convenient pretext for the issue to be explored by a royal commission, which took the opportunity to exploit  VENONA material while attributing it to Petrov.
ASIO scored another significant success in February 1963 with the expulsion of a KGB officer, Ivan Skripov,  who had worked under diplomatic  cover and had been  cultivated by a British-born  agent provocateur, Kay Marshall. Information disclosed by Vasili Mitrokhin in 1992 revealed that ASIO had been  penetrated by a senior analyst who volunteered to sell ASIO’s secrets to the Soviets, but he was never  caught. Although he was identified long after his retirement, no admissible evidence was ever found to launch a prosecution.
The present ASIO director is Dennis Richardson, who replaced David Sadhleir in October 1999.


Created in 1952 as an external intelligence collection agency, ASIS was modeled on the British Secret  Intelligence Service and was a covert branch of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, disavowed until its existence was formally acknowledged in 1977. A relatively small organization, ASIS has concentrated on  regional targets, especially Indonesia, and has been heavily dependent on the SIS for training and global  reporting. Following the public embarrassment over a paramilitary counterterrorism training exercise conducted  in November 1982 at the Sheraton Hotel in Melbourne and the appointment of a commission of inquiry,  responsibility for mounting such operations reverted to the Department of Defence.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Somewhat isolated geographically and politically, Australia made no significant contribution to the international intelligence community until World War II, when Combined Intelligence Far East (CIFE), evacuated from  Singapore and Hong Kong, was accommodated in Melbourne and provided bases from which to prosecute hostilities against the Japanese in the Pacific. Australians provided many of the personnel deployed on coast-watching duties and engaged in clandestine operations for the Secret Intelligence Service, through the  Inter-Services Liaison Department and Special Operations Executive. In 1942 the North West Mobile Force was raised to provide a stay-behind capability in the Northern Territory in the event of a Japanese invasion of  Australia.
Australia did not create an independent security or intelligence apparatus until March 1949, when information  derived from VENONA proved the existence of a large espionage network run from the Soviet embassy in Canberra, and the government established the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). Leads supplied by VENONA’s Canberra traffic assisted ASIO in identifying several Soviet spies, among them  Communist activist Walter Clayton and his sources, Sergeant Alfred Hughes and Frances Burnie, journalist  Jim Hill, and Dr. Ian Milner and Ric Throssell, both diplomats in the Department of External Affairs.
Upon the defection of the NKVD’s Canberra rezident, Vladimir Petrov, in April 1954, a royal commission  investigated his evidence of Soviet espionage in Australia and pursued some of those identified in the VENONA traffic, but following Milner’s defection to Prague, none was prosecuted.
Ironically, some of the VENONA messages had been recovered from Soviet embassy wireless traffic  intercepted at Darwin, which had established Radio Direction Finding Station 31 at Shoal Bay, on the coast northeast of the city. In 1975, following the devastating Cyclone Tracy the previous December, the antenna  field was moved to Berrimah, close to the airport.


Once referred to in Central Intelligence Agency parlance as “termination with extreme prejudice” and within the KGB as “wet affairs,” assassination has been considered an option by many security and intelligence   agencies, although direct proof of state-sponsored murder has been harder to find. Evidence relating to Soviet policy on the subject comes from Moscow, which openly acknowledged the existence, until March 1946, of a  department known by the Russian acronym Smersh (“Death to spies”) that used summary execution as its  principal instrument in eliminating counterrevolutionaries. Thereafter testimony from two self-confessed  assassins, Nikolai Khokhlov and Bogdan Stashinsky, confirmed the extent to which the Kremlin endorsed murder as a political expedient.
In 1954 Khokhlov defected to the CIA in Germany and revealed that he had been sent on a mission to  Frankfurt to shoot the Ukrainian nationalist leader, George Okolovich, with bullets coated in cyanide and fired from an ingenious pistol concealed in a pack of cigarettes. Having been resettled in Switzerland by the CIA, Khokhlov was himself the victim of an attempt on his life, and he was poisoned with a powerful radioactive  toxin, thallium, but survived the attack.
In 1961, Stashinsky, another KGB defector, revealed that he had been responsible for the deaths of émigrés  Lev Rebet and Stephan Bandera, both of whom hitherto had been believed to have died of natural causes. Stashinsky demonstrated a gas gun that released a lethal cloud of prussic acid, killing without leaving any trace. Both murders had been attributed to cardiac arrest, but Stashinsky provided compelling proof of the Kremlin’s complicity in the assassinations. He was later sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in Germany  and was released in January 1966.
The defection of Oleg Lyalin in 1972 provided the West with an account of the reforms imposed on the  KGB’s notorious 13th Department following Stashinsky’s revelations and further evidence that the KGB’s policy toward assassination had not changed. This was borne out in December 1979 when KGB Spetsnaz  troops shot Afghan president Hafizmullah Amin in his palace in Kabul.
In contrast, despite numerous allegations, there is no evidence that the CIA has indulged in assassination,  although President Dwight D. Eisenhower demanded the murder of the Congolese separatist Patrice Lumumba. On that occasion the CIA station chief in Kigali declined, and Lumumba was later hacked to death in August 1960 by assassins acting on behalf of the Belgian government.
During the Pike and Church Committee congressional hearings in 1973, testimony was given in relation to the  deaths of President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, Abdel Kassem in Iraq,  Salvador Allende of Chile, and  Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, but the CIA was exonerated in each case. Indeed, Senator Frank  Church deliberated over the issues raised by assassination policies, citing the example of the failure to  eliminate Adolf Hitler, and did not rule it out as a possible last resort, and President Gerald Ford did not  publicly ban the assassination of foreign leaders until he issued his Executive Order 11905 in February 1976. That prohibition remained in force, confirmed by Jimmy Carter in January 1978 (Executive Order 12036) and by Ronald Reagan in December 1982 (Executive Order 12333), until President George W. Bush authorized  the assassination of Saddam Hussein.


Strategically located in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, Ascension Island is a British dependent territory, governed from St. Helena, which accommodates Wideawake, a large U.S. Air Force base. During the Cold War, it was the location of a GCHQ signals intelligence intercept station at Two Boats, which operated under Cable & Wireless cover. During the 1982 Falklands Conflict, Ascension was the assembly point for the British task force preparing to enforce the exclusion zone and liberate the islands, and it thereafter remained a vital part of the air bridge  between Port Stanley and RAF Brize Norton.


In 1959, at the age of 31, Nikolai Artamonov defected to Sweden with his Polish girlfriend in a motorboat
stolen from the destroyer he commanded. He left behind his wife and son in Gdansk and was resettled in the  United States, where he became a consultant for the Defense Intelligence Agency, specializing in the Baltic Fleet.
In 1966 the KGB attempted to recruit Artamonov, then living in Washington, D.C., under the  alias Nicholas  Shadrin. When he reported the pitch to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he was run as a  double agent. Though exceptionally risky, the operation was sustained because his Soviet handler, Igor Kochnov, had  approachedthe FBI with an offer to spy and there was a desire to enhance his standing within the rezidentura  by allowing him to appear to be receiving useful information from Artamonov. However, in December 1975 Artamonov attended an ostensibly routine rendezvous with the KGB in Vienna and was abducted.
Although Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev himself subsequently denied any Soviet knowledge of Artamonov’s fate, the defector Vitali Yurchenko revealed that he had died accidentally, of an overdose of a sedative, while  being driven over the Austrian border to Czechoslovakia. Naturally, the FBI and Central Intelligence Agency were anxious to protect Kochnov, but litigation brought against the U.S. government by Artamonov’s widow  Ewa Shadrin forced the admission that Artamonov had been used from the outset as a double agent.


 Always a strategic regional power, Argentina has a history of political instability, coups, and doubtful  alliances. During World War II Ramón Castillo’s regime was overtly pro-Nazi, and later President Juan Perón gave sanctuary to many former Nazis.
During much of the Cold War, Argentina supported American attempts to isolate Soviet and Cuban efforts to extend their influence in Latin America, but the “dirty war” conducted against the leftist Montoneros urban guerrillas in the 1970s by a series of military juntas isolated the regime from the world community. Nevertheless the Central Intelligence Agency continued to maintain a large station in Buenos Aires, and the  Argentine military intelligence service collaborated to provide training facilities in Central America for Nicaraguan Contras.
The catalyst for change and democracy in Argentina was the well executed but ill-fated invasion of the  Falkland  Islands by Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri’s junta in April 1982. Planned in conditions of great secrecy, without the knowledge of the CIA, the long-disputed islands were seized from the British and occupied with a minimum of bloodshed. Britain responded with a naval task force, which assembled at Ascension Island,  recovered South Georgia, and then landed on East Falkland to march into the capital, Port Stanley. The  beleaguered Argentine garrison surrendered in June 1982 and the largely conscript troops were returned to  the mainland. The political consequences of the humiliating defeat included the collapse of the junta, the arrest  of General Galtieri, and the election of a civilian government.


An African country of limited strategic significance, Angola achieved independence from Portugal in November 1975 and thereafter became the battleground for a surrogate conflict fought between the  United States  and   Cuba. The  Central Intelligence Agency saw the civil war as an opportunity to sap Fidel Castro’s commitment to the Marxist guerrillas seeking to seize power. The CIA’s covert involvement in Angola acquired worldwide  attention following the publication of  In Search of Enemies by a disaffected CIA officer, John Stockwell.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


The Central Intelligence Agency’s chief of counterintelligence until his dismissal in December 1974, James Jesus Angleton’s intelligence career had begun with the Office of Strategic Services X-2 branch in England in 1942. After the war, he remained in  Italy, where the newly created CIA intervened in the elections on the  side of the Christian Democrats to prevent the Communists from seizing power. Originally from Iowa,  educated in England, Angleton was a literary scholar, an admirer of Ezra Pound’s poetry, and a skillful  cultivator of rare and delicate orchids.
Always the consummate counterintelligence professional, Angleton acted as the CIA’s liaison with the  Israelis until 1954 and was credited with acquiring from the  Mossad a copy of Nikita Khrushchev’s secret speech in which he had denounced Josef Stalin.
Following the defection of Anatoli Golitsyn in December 1961, Angleton became convinced that the West  was in danger of succumbing to an ingenious  disinformation campaign, and he devised the CAZAB series of conferences intended to provide an environment for the exchange of highly classified information with Allied  security and intelligence agencies. Angleton’s interpretation of the  Soviet threat led him to doubt the  authenticity of other Soviet intelligence defectors, particularly Yuri Nosenko, who arrived in the  United States in February 1964 but was incarcerated in a specially constructed facility at Camp Peary for more than four years.
A former close friend of Kim Philby, Angleton exercised a malign influence over the CIA’s Soviet operations for 20 years, to the point that every tentative approach made by potential sources to the CIA, including Oleg Penkovsky, was rebuffed as a likely provocation. At the height of his considerable control, his Counterintelligence Staff employed 300 analysts and case officers, a veritable private fiefdom inside the  Agency, tolerated but later regretted by Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms. His controversial interpretation of Soviet espionage bordered on the paranoid and included the belief that the Rote Kapelle had been a massive disinformation scheme.
Angleton, who allowed Golitsyn to review the Agency’s personnel files in an effort to identify moles, also  expressed reservations about the loyalty of other CIA officers, including Peter Karlow, Paul Garbler, David Murphy, and Dick Kovich, and was instrumental in encouraging the South Africans to return a would-be  KGB defector, Yuri Loginov, to Moscow following his arrest. Angleton also named an Royal Canadian  Mounted Police Security Service officer,  Jim Bennett, as a likely Soviet spy and set in motion a mole hunt  that led the Canadian to be dismissed.
Angleton’s evidence to the Church Committee during the investigation into alleged misconduct included a  defense of misleading Congress to preserve the secrecy of CIA operations, when he had been recorded  inadvertently after testifying to the Church Committee in September 1975 that “it is inconceivable that a secret arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government.” His notoriety thereafter  handicapped his ability to perform and did nothing to improve his reputation for alcohol-fueled paranoia and a devotion to Golitsyn’s increasingly discredited theories about KGB-inspired disinformation. Sacked by DCI William Colby, Angleton cooperated with an author, Edward Jay Epstein, who was sympathetic to his  perspective and died in 1987. Before his death Angleton had been investigated himself as a possible mole on  the grounds that he had effectively paralyzed the Soviet Bloc Division’s operations in Eastern Europe and inflicted untold harm on the CIA. However, the officer assigned the task of conducting the investigation,  Edward Clare Petty, never believed the allegation and concluded there was no substance in it.


The American-educated president of Afghanistan, Hafizmullah Amin was shot dead during Operation OAK, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, over Christmas 1979, during which the KGB, supported by GRU  Spetsnaz troops, had surrounded the Duralamin Palace in Kabul. The assassination had been authorized by Yuri Andropov, one of the four members of the Politburo on 12 December, the others being General  Secretary Leonid Brezhnev himself, Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, and Defense Minister Dmitri Ustinov.  As the elite 105th Guards Air Assault Division landed in Kabul and Bagram and four motorized rifle divisions poured over the Oxus River, two battalions of paratroops fought their way into the palace complex and took control while the KGB and Spetsnaz teams put Amin and his supporters up against a wall and shot them on  27 December.
The assassination plot, code named AGATE, was first disclosed by the KGB defector Vladimir Kuzichkin,  himself an experienced Directorate S officer, who revealed that an Azerbaijani illegal, Mikhail Talybov, had  been infiltrated into the palace as a chef with instructions to poison Amin’s food, but the opportunity never  arose. After Brezhnev had approved a full-scale invasion, the head of Directorate S, Vadim V. Kirpichenko, flew into Kabul to supervise the operation, together with the head of Department 8, Vladimir Krasovsky, and  his deputy, Aleksandr Lazarenko. Unexpectedly, the Alpha and Zenith special forces, which had practiced for weeks at the KGB’s training center at Balashikha, encountered much stronger resistance than had been  anticipated and more than a hundred of the elite troops perished in the firefight, among them the leader of the  main assault, Col. Grigori Boyarinov. President Amin was replaced by the Kremlin’s nominee, Babrak Kamal.


In April 1982 Yuri Andropov became the only chairman of the KGB to be elected secretary-general of the  Communist party of the Soviet Union. He had established his reputation as a hard-liner during the Hungarian  Revolution of 1956 and was appointed to lead the KGB in April 1967. An uncompromising cold warrior,  Andropov had been incapacitated through ill health for more than a year before his death from renal failure in 1984.


The son of a Central Intelligence Agency officer, Rick Ames joined the Agency in 1962 as a trainee and, after graduating from George Washington University, was posted to Ankara in 1969, accompanied by his wife. Five years later he returned to the United States and was posted to New York, where he participated in the 1978  defection of Arkadi Shevchenko, a  Soviet diplomat attached to the United Nations. In 1981 he was  posted to Mexico City, where he developed a relationship with one of his Colombian agents, Rosario Casas, whom he later married.
Upon his return to Langley and a transfer to counterintelligence duties, Ames experienced financial difficulties,  and in April 1985 he approached a KGB officer with the offer to sell classified information for $50,000. At  this initial meeting Ames named several agents who had been detected as double agents; Ames later  rationalized his betrayal by claiming that no harm had been done, as they were being run by the Soviets  anyway. However, at a second meeting, having received his initial payment, he had named Sergei Motorin,  Valeri Martynov, and Boris Yuzhin, thus condemning the first pair to their eventual deaths. All three had been  recruited as sources by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and  might have been in a position to compromise him. Soon afterward, Ames supplied a list of other CIA assets,  including Dmitri Polyakov  and maybe Oleg Gordievsky. Almost all were arrested, and most were executed. Other assets, such as  GT/BACKBEND, GT/GLAZING, GT/TAME, and GT/VEST also appeared to have been compromised, and by the end of the year, five assets run by the Counter-intelligence Branch had been  lost. By the end of the following year, another nine had been arrested.
In 1989 Ames was transferred to Rome, where he maintained contact with the KGB, helping to compromise  a Bulgarian intelligence officer,  GT/MOTORBOAT, but his relative inactivity insulated him against the mole hunt then under way at Langley following the losses suffered by the CIA’s Soviet/Eastern Europe Division. However, a further investigation concluded in October 1993 that he was the most likely culprit and, after his  bank deposits had been scrutinized and linked to Ames’s declared meetings with Soviet personnel, he was placed under surveillance prior to his arrest in February 1994.
The mole hunt had been delayed by several distractions, including investigations conducted into two other  likely candidates and a CIA officer denounced by his secretary for the suspicious acquisition of a gold Rolex. The delay in focusing on Ames had been exacerbated by the certainty he had never known of Adolf  Tolkachev (later established to have been betrayed by Edward Lee Howard) and a belief that the culprit was  a disgruntled retiree who had made a “single dump” before leaving the Agency. This theory had been  supported by the view that if the mole were still in place, the KGB would never have jeopardized him by  making so many arrests so obviously, thus pointing to a serious security breach. In addition, inquiries at the  FBI revealed that up to 250 FBI employees knew the true identities of Martynov and Motorin.
Ames made a confession in return for a reduced sentence of five years’ imprisonment for his wife, and he was imprisoned for life without parole. Some of the analysts who examined the case and studied Ames’s  interrogations suspected that he had not been solely responsible for the losses suffered by the American  intelligence community during the nine years between 1985 and 1994, and seven years after his arrest, in  February 2001, the FBI’s Robert Hanssen was charged with having engaged in espionage since 1979 and  having betrayed some of the same individuals named by Ames. The damage assessment conducted by the  CIA, with assistance from Ames, concluded that he had passed between 10,000 and 15,000 documents to the KGB but left unresolved whether he had betrayed Oleg Gordievsky and Sergei Bokhan. Both had been  recalled to Moscow before Ames had made his first delivery to the KGB in April 1985.
Bokhan had been suspicious and had taken the opportunity to defect from Athens, whereas Gordievsky had  been assured by his handlers that he was in no danger and had returned to Moscow.


Articles in this academic journal published in January 1945, apparently drawn from a classified British report,  prompted a counterespionage investigation by the Office of Strategic Services security branch that identified a  large quantity of documentary material in Amerasia’s editorial offices in New York. Eventually the investigation was taken over by the  Federal Bureau of Investigation, which arrested Amerasia’s editor, Philip Jaffe, and charged him with conspiracy to steal government property. Also arrested were his supposed  sources, who included a naval intelligence officer, Lt. Andrew Roth, and two State Department officials,  Emmanuel Larsen and John Service. Jaffe pleaded guilty and received a fine and a suspended sentence, but charges against his codefendants, although indicted, were dropped when they became aware that they had been the subject of illegal searches and wiretaps. Concerned that the legal principle of “the fruit of the  poisoned tree” would compromise any prosecution, the case was abandoned, although many commentators believed influence had been exercised to avoid political embarrassment, allegations that were later pursued by  the congressional Tydings Committee. Later study of the VENONA texts revealed that one of Jaffe’s  contacts, Joseph Bernstein, was an active Soviet illegal codenamed MARQUIS.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


The abbreviation of Agaf ha-Modi’in (Information Wing), Aman is the intelligence branch of the  Israel  Defense Forces and, with an estimated staff of 7,000, is the country’s largest intelligence organization. Founded in 1948, it was headed initially by Isser Be’eri, who previously had headed the Shai. Born Isser  Birentzweig, Be’eri adopted a Hebrew name and established a ruthless reputation, ordering the field court martial and execution of a suspected spy, Capt. Meir Tobianski, who was later vindicated and posthumously declared innocent of the charges.
Be’eri was arrested in December 1948 and convicted of complicity in the torture and death of an Arab  double agent. He was replaced by Chaim Herzog, an Ulster-born British intelligence officer who was later to be elected president of Israel, but Herzog’s successor, Benyamin Gibli, was forced to resign in 1955 when  Aman was implicated in a plot to plant bombs in Egypt.
Although less well known than the Mossad, Aman has undertaken many high-risk operations, including the  acquisition of a cargo of 200 tons of uranium yellowcake aboard the Scheersburg A to supply Israel’s covert nuclear program in 1968, and the removal of five missile boats from Cherbourg, France, in 1969 in breach of a ban on the sale of weapons to the Middle East. Aman was also responsible for the successful rescue of 96 Israeli hostages from Entebbe in July 1976 and the seizure and removal of an entire  Soviet-made P-12 radar station from Egyptian territory in 1969.
The directors of Aman have been Be’eri (1948–49), Herzog (1949–50 and 1959–62), Gibli (1950–55),  Yehoshafat Harkabi (1955–59), Meir Amit (1962–63), Aharon Yariv (1964–72), Eliyahu Zeira (1972–74),  Shlomo Gazit (1974–78), Yehoshua Saguy (1979–83), Ehud Barak (1983–85), Amnon Lipkin-Shahak  (1986–91), Uri Sagie (1991–95), Moshe Ya’alon (1995–98), Amos Malka (1998–2001), Aharon Ze’evi  (2001–05), and Amos Yadlin (2005– ).


Created in Saudi Arabia in 1992 by Osama bin Laden, a Wahabi adherent who opposed the deployment of  U.S. forces in his country after the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, al-Qaeda (“The Base”) was intended to  protect Islam’s holy places from defilement by foreigners. Bin Laden, previously a supporter of the  mujahadeen in Afghanistan, was exiled to Sudan by the Saudi government where he planned a jihad or holy  war against the United States. This manifested itself in a series of attacks on the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in August 1998 and an attempt to sink the USS Cole in Aden in  October 2000. On 11 September 2001 bin Laden masterminded the coordinated hijacking by 19 terrorists of four U.S. passenger aircraft from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C., two of which crashed into World Trade Center in New York and a third into the Pentagon.
In the four years following the 9/11 attacks, al-Qaeda has been responsible for bomb atrocities in Bali,  Madrid, Casablanca, Istanbul, Sharm el-Sheikh, and London and has been linked to other attacks that were thwarted. In February 1992 American-led coalition forces occupied Afghanistan in an effort to remove the  Taliban from power in Kabul, eliminate al-Qaeda training camps, and decapitate the organization’s  headquarters in the Tora Bora mountains. The operation was largely successful, with the capture of numerous detainees who were flown to Cuba for interrogation at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay. Interference with the organization’s communications and financial support network led bin Laden to adopt a “franchise” strategy, sponsoring disparate terrorist groups across the globe and offering them bomb-making expertise and advice on tactics, but minimal financial aid, leaving the terrorists to raise cash through credit card fraud and  other criminal activity.


Elected president of Chile by a narrow majority in 1970, Salvador Allende Gossens attempted to transform  the country into a socialist economy, but his disastrous measures led to widespread discontent that was  supported by a Central Intelligence Agency program ordered by President Richard Nixon. The CIA supported a military coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet in September 1973, which resulted in the death of  Allende in the Presidential Palace.
Later the director of central intelligence, Richard Helms was to plead  nolo contendere on a charge of perjury when he testified to Congress that the CIA had not plotted to bring down the Allende government in Chile. Caught in the dilemma of whether to protect the Agency’s secrets or give misleading sworn evidence to an open  session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held to approve his appointment as Nixon’s ambassador to  Tehran, Helms opted for less than the full truth.


Intelligence professionals often adopt an alias to insulate themselves from the consequences of operational  failures. Often the choice of alias will follow an established pattern, probably utilizing the person’s true initials, so the individual can be easily identified by the organization should the need arise. The use of an alias is  different from a confidential pseudonym, which CIA personnel routinely use internally. In July 1963, when  MI5 agent Stephen Ward protested at his trial that he had acted for the Security Service, he was disbelieved
because he could not identify his case officer, “Mr. Woods of the War Office,” and Keith Wagstaffe had  taken the precaution of disconnecting his contact telephone number. Similarly, Paul Henderson, a Secret Intelligence Service agent and director of Matrix Churchill reporting on Iraqi industrial installations, was unable to name his handler in 1995, but under pressure the British government reluctantly admitted full knowledge of his activities and the charges of having supplied dual-use machine tools to Baghdad in breach of the arms embargo were  dropped.


The savagery of the Algerian anticolonial war for self-government, with atrocities committed by both sides between the start of the uprising in November 1954 and independence from France in July 1962, set a  standard for the French intelligence establishment, with the government in Paris disavowing operations conducted by military personnel assigned to its intelligence agency, Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionage (SDECE).
The ruthless campaign conducted by the  barbouzes (literally, “the bearded ones”) enabled the French to fight  an ultimately unsuccessful rearguard action against the guerrillas and leave a legacy of anger at the tactics  employed by the French military. Later President Charles de Gaulle found it expedient to deploy the SDECE  against his opponents in the Organisation de l’Armée Secrète who believed he had betrayed the French  settlers in Algeria after having publicly committed himself to supporting their interests.
In December 1991 the suppression of a democratically elected Islamic administration led to a bloody civil war that went largely unreported because Islamic extremists targeted members of the media and made the country unsafe for journalists and independent correspondents. The conflict was extended by the principal Algerian  terrorist group, the Groupement Islamique Armé (GIA), to Paris in an attempt to exert influence over French  support for the Algerian government.


This poverty-stricken corner of the Balkans acquired strategic significance during World War II following the  Italian occupation and the Allied decision to support the local partisans led by a charismatic Communist,  Enver Hoxha. After the war, an effort was made by the Secret Intelligence Service personnel with a  knowledge of the country to destabilize the regime in the hope of detaching it from the Communist Bloc. Émigrés, known as  “pixies,” were recruited by the SIS and trained in Malta before being infiltrated into the country by boat during  Operation VALUABLE between 1948 and 1951. Others, sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency, were parachuted into the country but none survived the experience. Hoxha’s extensive security apparatus easily  interdicted the hapless participants, many of whom were convicted at a show trial in Tirana in October 1951, and the project was abandoned.


An agent deployed deliberately to entrap a target by pretending to be sympathetic to that person’s cause or purpose. Usually regarded as a tactic of last resort because it has dubius legal status in liberal democracies, it is  an instrument favored by totalitarian regimes unconcerned with ethical standards. 


Individuals who act on behalf of the interests of a foreign power without openly declaring a political allegiance or affiliation, thereby increasing their power. Most commonly used as a term to describe covert supporters of the  Soviet Union during the Cold War, agents of influence were often in positions of trust and not instantly  recognized, through overt party membership as actively engaged in promoting the Communist cause. Until the United States joined World War II, Great Britain had succeeded in recruiting several significant agents of  influence in the U.S. media, among them some well-known newspaper columnists and radio commentators such  as Walter Winchell and Walter Lippman, who peddled anti-Nazi propaganda supplied for the purpose by British Security Coordination.


After his resignation from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Latin America Division in 1969, Philip Agee  became its implacable foe and, because of his relationship with the KGB and its surrogate, the Cuban  Dirección General de Inteligencia (DGI), can be described as the agency’s first defector. Agee had left the  CIA after a messy divorce and complaints about his behavior and poor financial records. Probably an incident  in which he was reprimanded by his station chief in Mexico City, Win Scott, and the ambassador over his abduction of his children from their home in the United States acted as a catalyst, and in 1970 he  volunteered his services to the KGB rezident in Mexico City (who initially turned him down).
He then teamed up with the DGI to visit Cuba in May 1971 and research a devastating exposé,  Inside the Company: CIA Diary, published in London in January 1975, in which he named 250 of his former colleagues still active in the Agency  and many of their sources.
Although not named in his book, Agee was blamed for having betrayed Col. Jerzy Pawlowsky, who was  convicted of espionage in Poland and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment. In June 1977, Agee was  deported from England and the following year helped found Covert Action Information Bulletin, a publication dedicated to exposing CIA personnel operating abroad under cover and produced with help from two other  former CIA employees, Jim Wilcott, a former finance officer, and his wife Elsie, once an Agency secretary. Agee also wrote Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe, naming more than 700 CIA officers, and then  worked on Dirty Work II: The CIA in Africa, which brought the total number of CIA personnel compromised to about 2,000. Congress was sufficiently alarmed by Agee’s continuing vendetta to pass the Intelligence  Identities Protection Act in June 1982 to outlaw the disclosure of the names of serving CIA officers. Although this helped dissuade Agee from inflicting further damage, he had revealed enough to force the withdrawal of a
large number of officers and reduce the pool of experienced officers who could be sent on missions abroad. In terms of operational effectiveness, Agee had caused the Agency to pay a tremendously high price, including the life of Richard Welch, the chief of station in Athens who was shot dead outside his home by terrorists in  December 1975 soon after his name and true role were publicized.
The Agency’s apparent impotence in the face of an attack orchestrated by Agee and masterminded behind  the scenes by the KGB, as later revealed by Oleg Kalugin and the defector Vasili Mitrokhin, undermined the CIA’s authority and its ability to conduct operations away from the hostile scrutiny of the local security  apparatus in any particular country. The last epithet any clandestine collection service seeks is “the world’s  most notorious spy agency,” yet that is what the CIAachieved through the attention brought to it by its  renegades, and the result was a loss in confidence on the part of potential collaborators who might otherwise have been willing to establish a covert relationship with the CIA.
Agee was never prosecuted by U.S. authorities and won a legal challenge to his right to a U.S. passport. He  continues to visit the United States and runs a successful travel business in Cuba.


A remote, mountainous country that, because of its strategic geographic location and proximity to Russia and  India, has been of disproportionate interest to the world’s intelligence communities since Rudyard Kipling  described the “Great Game” and British efforts to subjugate its tribes led to military disaster in January 1842. The British had occupied Kabul in 1839, but three years later more than 16,000 troops and their camp followers were slaughtered as they tried to march to the fort at Jalalabad. Further conflict followed, but in 1881 all British troops were withdrawn to the Khyber Pass under a treaty that left Afghan foreign policy in  British hands thereafter.
Afghanistan’s neutrality during World War II made Kabul a center of German and Soviet espionage and the  base of Axis operations against India. The best-known double agent case in the region, run by the British and Soviets against the Nazis, was that of DOUBTFUL, who supplied misleading information about military  strengths in India and went undetected by the Germans and Japanese.
Afghanistan’s significance in recent years developed as a result of the proxy war fought in the remoter regions  following the Soviet occupation of the country in December 1979. The internal conflict that followed, funded  and supported by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), finally led to a Soviet withdrawal in February  1989 and a general collapse of the infrastructure, leaving the country in the hands of tribal warlords and the  capital controlled by Taliban fundamentalists until the United States invaded in February 2002 and introduced democracy.


This strategic territory at the entrance to the Red Sea was a British colony until November 1967, when a  lengthy Egyptian-backed insurgency concluded with independence. During and after World War II, a series of MI5 defense security officers was posted to Aden, but when the disparate  terrorists combined in 1966 to  form the Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen (FLOSY), the local intelligence structure—represented by  MI5’s Sandy Stuart and the  Secret Intelligence Service’s John da Silva—established the Aden Intelligence  Centre (AIC), which concentrated the limited resources of the local police Special Branch with the garrison and  the governor’s administration. Headed by Jack Prendergast, the AIC pooled information, ran double agents, and attempted to penetrate FLOSY, but it was frustrated by a ruthless campaign of assassination that eliminated  most of the locally recruited Special Branch officers.


A Soviet term denoting operations conducted to accomplish specific political goals, the principal one being the
misrepresentation of Western policy on particular issues and generally discrediting the status of the “main  adversary” in the Third World. The scale of the campaign, and the KGB’s involvement in the development and  execution of specific items of disinformation, was disclosed by a KGB officer, Anatoli Golitsyn, following his  defection in Helsinki in December 1961.


The German military intelligence organization created in 1928 and headed by Erich Gempp until 1933, when he was suceeded by Capt. Konrad Patzig. Decentralized and structured on Germany’s military districts, the  Abwehr assigned responsibility for intelligence collection in foreign countries to particular commands, with Great Britain and the United States being the targets of the Abwehrstelle in Hamburg, the country’s main port  and headquarters of the transatlantic Hamburg-Amerika Line, which provided a convenient courier route for clandestine communication to networks in the United States. In January 1935 Wilhelm Canaris replaced  Patzig and developed what masqueraded as a military counterespionage organization, as allowed under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, into a global intelligence collection agency, which had been banned.
Before World War II the Abwehr was dependent upon German émigré communities for its foreign intelligence collection and established espionage rings in America and France, but it was prohibited by Adolf Hitler from operating extensively in England where he was anxious to avoid any political or diplomatic embarrassments. Neverheless, one did occur in 1935 when Dr. Herman Goertz was convicted of photographing Royal Air  Force airfields in southern England and imprisoned. In another significant incident, Mrs. Jessie Jordan, a  German-born hairdresser in Dundee, was found to have acted as a postbox, receiving and redirecting mail  from agents across the world, including Sergeant  Gunther Rumrich in New York.
MI5’s  surveillance of Jordan led to the arrest of Rumrich by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the  exposure of the first German espionage network in North America before the war.
During World War II the Abwehr established representatives in most of the world’s neutral capitals and was successful in recruiting large numbers of agents to collect information in target countries. It also proved effective in running counterespionage operations in occupied territories, especially France and the  Netherlands. The Abwehr penetrated the enemy’s resistance organizations and took control of large parts of the  Special Operations Executive’s (SOE) networks, manifesting considerable skill in Holland where the En-
glandspiel resulted in the manipulation of virtually all SOE’s activities in the region.
Under the enigmatic leadership of Admiral Canaris, the Abwehr became a focus of anti-Nazi plotting, but it was the defection of the key personnel in Turkey to the Allies in early 1944 that prompted the absorption of the entire organization into Heinrich Himmler’s Reich Security Agency. Following the 20 July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, Canaris and much of the rest of the senior Abwehr leadership were arrested and executed.
In 1972 the British Security Service revealed the extent to which the Abwehr’s agent network had come  under its control after it had compromised the organization’s communications. Both the Abwehr’s hand and machine ciphers, code-named  ISOS and  ISK, respectively, had been solved early in the war, which gave the Allies a formidable advantage in manipulating its activities. The Abwehr was also handicapped by  high-level defections of staff in Lisbon, Istanbul, and Ankara and by agents in the United States and South Africa.
The Abwehr may also be said to have been disadvantaged by the political views of its personnel, fear of their Sicherheitsdienst rivals, and the inherently insecure practice of allowing case officers to recruit and run agents for long periods without the discipline of rotating handlers who could exercise independent judgment, routinely
conduct rigorous integrity tests, and be confident that their own careers would not end in a posting to the  Russian Front in the event that one of their recruits had been “doubled” by the enemy.


The Central Intelligence Agency code name for a technical operation conducted in the  Soviet Union until  February 1986 when a search of a container on the  Siberia Maru, docked in Nakhodka, revealed a hidden compartment containing remote sensors and other sophisticated equipment designed to detect nuclear warheads. The container was to be routed by rail across the entire country, during which time its advanced electronics  would identify and monitor sites where plutonium was stored. The KGB’s apparently fortuitous discovery was  credited initially by CIA mole hunters to Edward Lee Howard, and later to Aldrich Ames.

Intelligence Organizations

  1. AFOSI Air Force Office of Special Investigations (United States)
  2. AFSA Armed Forces Security Agency (United States)
  3. ANC African National Congress
  4. ASIO Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
  5. AVH Allami Vedelmi Hatosag [Hungarian State Security]
  6. BCRA Bureau Central de Renseignements et d’Action [Free French Intelligence Service]
  7. BfV Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz [Federal German Security Service]
  8. BIS Bezpecnostni Informacni Sluzba/Security Information Service (Czech Republic)
  9. BND Bundesnachrichtendienst [Federal German Intelligence  Service]
  10. BOSS Bureau of State Security (South Africa)
  11. BRUSA Ango-American Signals Intelligence Treaty
  12. BSC British Security Coordination
  13. BVD Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst (Netherlands)
  14. CBFE Combined Bureau Far East (Great Britain)
  15. CESID Centro Superior de Información de la Defensa (Spain)
  16. CIA Central Intelligence Agency (United States)
  17. CICI Combined Intelligence Centre Iraq (Great Britain)
  18. CNI Centro Nationale Información (Chile)
  19. COMINT Communications Intelligence
  20. CPGB Communist Party of Great Britain
  21. CPUSA Communist Party of the United States of America
  22. CSE Communications Security Establishment (Canada)
  23. CSO Composite Signals Organisation (Great Britain)
  24. DCI Director of Central Intelligence (United States)
  25. DDO Deputy Director for Operations (United States)
  26. DDP Deputy Directorate for Plans (United States)
  27. DGI Dirección General de Inteligencia (Cuba)
  28. DGSE Direction Générale de Sécurité Extérieure  [French Intelligence Service]
  29. DHS Department of Homeland Security (United States)
  30. DIA Defense Intelligence Agency (United States)
  31. DIB Delhi Intelligence Bureau (Great Britain)
  32. DIE Departmentude Informatii Externe [Romanian Intelligence Agency]
  33. DINA Dirección National de Inteligencia (Chile)
  34. DIS Defence Intelligence Staff (Great Britain)
  35. DMI Director of Military Intelligence
  36. DNI Director of National Intelligence (United States)
  37. DNI Director of Naval Intelligence
  38. DO Directorate of Operations (United States)
  39. DOE Department of Energy (United States)
  40. DS Drzaven Sigurnost [Bulgarian Intelligence Agency]
  41. DSIP Dirección de Seguridad e Inteligencia Political (Venezuela)
  42. DST Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire [French Security  Service]
  43. EOKA Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston/National
  44. Organization of Cypriot Combatants
  45. ETA Euskadi ta Askatascena [Basque Nationalist Organization]
  46. FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation (United States)
  47. FBIS Federální Bezpeènostní Informaèní Sluzba/Federal
  48. Security Information Service (Czech Republic)
  49. FBIS Foreign Broadcast Information Service (United States)
  50. FCD First Chief Directorate [of the KGB]
  51. FLQ Front de Libération du Québec
  52. FRA Forsvarets Radioanstalt (Sweden)
  53. FSB Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti [Russian Security Service]
  54. GC&CS Government Code and Cypher School (Great Britain)
  55. GCHQ Government Communications Headquarters (Great Britain)
  56. GCR Groupement de Contrôles Radio-éléctrique (France)
  57. GIS General Intelligence Service (Palestine)
  58. GRU Glavnoe Razvedyvatel’noe Upravlenye (General Political  Administration) [Soviet Military  Intelligence Service]
  59. HUMINT Human Intelligence
  60. HVA Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung [East German  Intelligence Service]
  61. IDB Inlichtingendienst Buitenland (Netherlands)
  62. INLA Irish National Liberation Army
  63. IPI Indian Political Intelligence
  64. IRA Irish Republican Army
  65. ISI Inter-Services Intelligence (Pakistan)
  66. ISLD Inter-Services Liaison Department (Great Britain)
  67. JIC Joint Intelligence Committee
  68. JSO Jamahirya Security Organization (Libya)
  69. KCIA Korean Central Intelligence Agency
  70. KGB Komitei Gosudarstevnnoi Bezopasnosti  [Soviet Intelligence Service]
  71. KNIS Korean National Intelligence Service
  72. KPD Kommunistische Partei Deutschland/Communist Party  of Germany
  73. MASINT Measurement and Signature Intelligence
  74. MfS Ministerium für Staatssicherheit/Ministry of  State Security (East Germany)
  75. MI5 Security Service (Great Britain)
  76. MI6 Secret Intelligence Service (Great Britain)
  77. MIT Milli Istihbarat Teskilati/National Intelligence  Organization (Turkey)
  78. MSS Ministry of State Security (China)
  79. NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  80. NGA National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (United States)
  81. NID Naval Intelligence Division (Great Britain)
  82. NIE National Intelligence Estimate (United States)
  83. NIMA National Imagery and Mapping Agency (United States)
  84. NKVD Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del’ [Soviet Intelligence Service]
  85. NOC Non-Official Cover
  86. NRO National Reconnaissance Office (United States)
  87. NSA National Security Agency (United States)
  88. NSC National Security Council (United States)
  89. NURO National Underwater Reconnaissance Office (United States)
  90. OAS Organisation Armée Secrète/Secret Army Organization  (France)
  91. OGPU Obyedinennoye Gosudarstvennoye Politicheskoye
  92. Upravlenye (Unified State Political Administration) [Soviet Intelligence Service]
  93. OMS Otdel Mezhdunarodnykh Svyazey [Comintern Foreign  Relations Department]
  94. OSS Office of Strategic Services (United States)
  95. OTP One-Time Pad
  96. OUP Urzad Ochrony Panstwa [Polish Intelligence Service]
  97. OVRA Opera Voluntaria per la Repressione Antifascisto [Italian Fascist Security Service]
  98. PCO Passport Control Officer
  99. PHOTOINT Photographic Intelligence
  100. PIDE Policia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado
  101. [Portuguese Intelligence Service]
  102. PIRA Provisional Irish Republican Army
  103. PKK Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan/Kurdistan Workers Party
  104. PLO Palestine Liberation Organization
  105. POW Prisoner of War
  106. PV Positive Vetting
  107. PWE Political Warfare Executive (Great Britain)
  108. RAF Royal Air Force (Great Britain)
  109. RAW Research and Analysis Wing (India)
  110. RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police
  111. RSS Radio Security Service (Great Britain)
  112. RUC Royal Ulster Constabulary (Great Britain)
  113. SAPO Säkerhetspolisen/Security Police (Sweden)
  114. SAS Special Air Service (Great Britain)
  115. SAVAK Sazeman-I Effelaat vaAmniyat-I Keshvae/National  Organization for Intelligence and Security (Iran)
  116. SB Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa (Poland)
  117. SD Sicherheitsdienst [Nazi Security Service]
  118. SDECE Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage [French Intelligence Service]
  119. SHAEF Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
  120. SIFE Security Intelligence Far East (Great Britain)
  121. SIM Servizio Informazioni Militari/Military Intelligence  Service (Italy)
  122. SIME Security Intelligence Middle East (Great Britain)
  123. SIN Servicio de Inteligencia Nacional (Peru)
  124. SIS Secret Intelligence Service (Great Britain)
  125. SIS Special Intelligence Service (United States)
  126. SISDE Servizio per le Informazioni Generali e la SicurezzaDemocractica [Italian Security Service]
  127. SISME Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militare [Italian Military Intelligence Service]
  128. SOE Special Operations Executive (Great Britain)
  129. SOSUS Sound Surveillance System
  130. StB Statni Bezpecnost [Czech Intelligence Service]
  131. SVR Sluzhba Vneshnei Razvedki [Russian Foreign Intelligence Service]
  132. TELINT Telemetry Intelligence
  133. UB Urzad Bezpieczenstwa [Polish Intelligence Service]
  134. UKUSA Anglo-American Signals Intelligence Agreement
  135. UOUD Urad pro Ochranu Ustavy a Demokracie/Bureau for  the Protection of the Constitution and  Democracy (Czech Republic)
  136. UZSI Urad pro Zahranicni Styky a Informace/Bureau for  Foreign Contacts and Information (Czech Republic)