Monday, November 29, 2010


An alternative, independent intelligence-gathering network run by the Secret Intelligence Service prior to World War II in parallel to, but in isolation from, the conventional Passport Control Offices. Z personnel usually operated under commercial or journalistic cover across Europe. They were directed from offices in Bush House, on the Strand, and were attached to such businesses as Geoffrey Duveen & Co., Alexander Korda’s London Films, and a travel company. In addition, Z’s chief, Claude Dansey, succeeded in recruiting many of his personal contacts, among them some well-known foreign correspondents such as Geoffrey Cox, Frederick Voight, and Eric Gedye.
In September 1939, Z personnel were instructed to make themselves known to the local passport control officer (PCO), wherever they were, and to continue their intelligence-gathering activities in tandem. In reality many PCOs were skeptical about the quality of Z personnel and the reliability of their networks. When Capt.  Sigismund Best was abducted at Venlo in November 1939, it was assumed that whatever advantage had been achieved by the Z Organisation had been compromised permanently.


This Comintern directive, from the chairman of the Third International, Grigori Zinoviev, and addressed to the Executive Committee of the  Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in September 1924 created a political furor in London when it was published by the Daily Mail four days before the general election because it advocated sedition on a grand scale and agitation within the armed forces.
The document had been received in London by the Secret Intelligence Service’s chief of production, Maj. (Sir) Desmond Morton, and then had been circulated routinely to the services, MI5, and the Foreign Office, although as was customary there was no indication of how or where SIS had acquired it. As a consequence, Ramsay Mac-Donald’s first Labour administration, which had already lost a vote of confidence in the House of Commons and was losing its Liberal support, was portrayed as having been willing to tolerate the Kremlin’s subversion, and Stanley Baldwin was swept into office in a landslide victory. The fact that Zinoviev protested that he had never sent any such letter, and the CPGB denied ever having received it, was dismissed as typically, predictably, duplicitous and spurious.
In 1998 an investigation was conducted by the Foreign Office’s chief historian, Gill Bennett, and her subsequent report, which drew on an earlier investigation conducted by Millicent Bagot of MI5, established the sequence of events that had followed safe receipt  of the document from the SIS station in Riga. Bennett eventually concluded that the letter itself was undoubtedly a forgery, although its composition was sufficiently skillful to persuade those who read it of its intrinsic authenticity. No blame could be attached to Ronald Meiklejohn for acquiring this tantalizing item and sending it to headquarters, and Major Morton acted quite properly by circulating it to SIS’s clients.
As for who actually peddled the original Russian document in Riga, the Soviets, who were as interested as anyone else in who had been counterfeiting Comintern directives, concluded that it was a notorious White Russian forger, Vladimir Orlov, who had been Gen. Piotr Wrangel’s chief of intelligence. Orlov had made a good living fabricating ostensibly plausible Soviet documents, mainly for propaganda purposes, and when the SIS contacted Meiklejohn to conduct investigations into his source, yet more supporting evidence conveniently materialized, including a record of the minutes of an emergency meeting of the Council of People’s Commissars (Sovnarkom), convened on 25 October 1924 to discuss the crisis in Great Britain and supposedly chaired by Leo Kamenev. This second document, containing admissions that the Zinoviev directive was genuine, was sent to London on 6 November and was seized on by the SIS chief Adm. Sir Hugh Sinclair as empirical proof, but this too had been forged by Orlov.
The issue of the letter’s authenticity was to be decided by a Cabinet committee, chaired by Foreign Secretary Austen Chamberlain, who conducted a secret inquiry and issued no concluding report. Sinclair supplied a five-point memorandum to prove the case for authenticity and claimed that the source run by the Riga station worked for the Comintern secretariat in Moscow and had access to the Comintern’s secret files, whereas Meiklejohn had only ever claimed to have run an agent in Riga who was in touch with such an individual (whose identity was unknown to him). Sinclair also claimed that the letter’s content was entirely consistent with what was known to be the Comintern’s policies, but his fifth and final argument—that if the document had been a forgery, it would have been uncovered as such—seems bizarre and even desperate. Nevertheless, the committee reported to the full Cabinet on 19 November that they “were unanimously of the opinion that there was no doubt as to the authenticity of the Letter.”


In January 1917  German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann sent a secret telegram to his ambassador in Washington, D.C., Count Johann von Bernstorff, by three different routes, all encrypted in the same code. One was transmitted by radio from Nauen to Sayville, on Long Island; the second went via the Swedish transatlantic cable from Stockholm; and the third was delivered to the U.S.  embassy in Berlin for transmission on the American cable via Copenhagen. The text announced an intention to engage in unrestricted U-boat warfare beginning 1 February and directed the ambassador to approach the Mexican government with an
offer of support if it attacked the United States to recover “lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.”
The intercepted text was decrypted in Room 40 at the Admiralty by the Reverend William Montgomery and Nigel de Grey and was passed to the U.S. embassy before being made public in March 1917. When challenged, Count Bernstorff confirmed the authenticity of the telegram, and as a direct consequence President Woodrow Wilson told Congress in April 1917 that America’s neutrality would cease.


Code-named GT/TWINE by the Central Intelligence Agency, Yuzhin was a KGB officer who had been the TASS news agency correspondent in San Francisco in the 1970s and had returned to Moscow in 1982. He was arrested on 23 December 1986, sentenced to a term of imprisonment at Perm-35, and then released to live in the United States.


The adopted son of Kang Sheng, the legendary head of the  People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS) Foreign Bureau, Yu, known by the code name PLANESMAN, defected to the United States in November 1986, having supplied information to the Central Intelligence Agency for the previous two
years. Kang had been trained in espionage by the Comintern in the Soviet Union before World War II and devoted his career to foreign intelligence operations. An expert calligrapher, reputed to use both hands, he brought up Yu as his own son, a member of Beijing’s elite.
Although never disclosed publicly, Yu was responsible for compromising Bernard Boursicot, a French Foreign Service officer who had been caught in a bizarre honeytrap in Beijing when posted to the French embassy in 1964 at the age of 20, forming a relationship with an actor, a male impersonator who later claimed to have borne him a child. When Yu identified Boursicot, the Frenchman was placed under surveillance by the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire and was found to be living with his son and the actor, who turned out to be a man. Boursicot, whose strange story was to become the subject of a book, a play, and a movie, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment, but was released after having served four years. Yu also provided the information leading to the arrest of Larry Wu-Tai Chin, who provided classified information from the CIA to China for more than three decades.


A senior KGB counterintelligence officer, Colonel Yurchenko had been attached to the KGB’s Washington,
D.C., rezidentura, and defected to the Central Intelligence Agency in July 1985 to escape from poverty and an unhappy marriage by requesting  political asylum in Rome while on a mission to find Vladimir Alexandrov, a Soviet nuclear physicist who was missing. Yurchenko was flown to a CIA safe house in Vienna, Virginia, for a lengthy debriefing and there disclosed fabulous information, including evidence to identify a former CIA officer, Edward Lee Howard, and a former National Security Agency analyst, Ronald Pelton, as spies for the KGB. He was also able to clear up dozens of loose ends on other counterintelligence cases and reveal the KGB’s latest trade craft, including the deliberate brushing of CIA personnel in Moscow with a radioactive spy dust to enable their movements to be monitored. Unusually, Director of Central Intelligence William Casey
met Yurchenko several times during his debriefings, entertaining him to dinner twice, and was quite unable to resist spreading the good news of the CIA’s impressive coup. Yurchenko was also alarmed when he was told that he might be obliged to appear as a witness in an action brought against the U.S. government by Ewa Shadrin, the widow of the naval defector Nikolai Artamonov. The rather unpersonable Yurchenko, who had been promised total discretion, was understandably dismayed by the leaks and disappointed by his treatment by his CIA Security Division handlers who had failed to show him the respect he felt he deserved, and he redefected to the Soviet embassy in Washington on 31 October 1985 and called a press conference four days later to complain that he had been abducted by the CIA and drugged.
The postmortem conducted by the CIAsuggested that Yurchenko’s considerable personal problems had not been properly appreciated when he approached the Rome station, as they most probably would have been if he had been recruited and run for a period before he simply turned up unexpectedly demanding political  asylum and resettlement. The heavy-drinking counterintelligence expert had an exaggerated view of what was in store for him in the United States and was bitterly disappointed when he was rejected by his former girlfriend, Dr. Valentina Yereskovsky, a beautiful blonde pediatrician and the wife of the Soviet consul general in Montreal. The CIAconcluded that it was highly likely that Aldrich Ames, who had been part of his debriefing team, had tipped off the KGB to Yurchenko’s continuing interest in the woman with whom he had previously conducted a lengthy and passionate affair and in whom he remained besotted. Accordingly, when Yurchenko unexpectedly turned up on the doorstep of her apartment in Canada, she had almost certainly been warned to throw him out, which is precisely what she did, protesting that she had no intention of defecting with her two daughters.
Yurchenko’s ludicrous claim to have been abducted and drugged was highly reminiscent of the assertions made by the journalist Oleg Bitov, who had gone unpunished after he abandoned his recent defection to England. Doubtless Yurchenko had calculated that the prospect of major political embarrassment would persuade the KGB to pretend that his feeble excuse had been accepted. This reckoning proved to be correct, for Yurchenko was never prosecuted and was allowed to live out the rest of his KGB career before falling on hard times and becoming a bank guard in Moscow.


The  interception of wireless signals is conducted by ground stations and other platforms that are referred to by the intelligence community by “Y,” the letter which best illustrates the triangulation technique used by direction-finding equipment to identify the source of a target transmission.


Formerly a Marconi radio engineer, where he solved the SATYR puzzle, Wright joined the Security Service as a technician in July 1955. In 1963 he was indoctrinated into a mole hunt code-named PETERS intended to identify hostile penetration of MI5. Wright achieved considerable expertise in his study of Soviet espionage and in April 1964 was selected to conduct the debriefing of Anthony Blunt, who had accepted  immunity from prosecution for his betrayal of British secrets during and after World War II.
Wright pursued many of the leads provided by Blunt and was appointed a member of the Fluency Committee created jointly with Secret Intelligence Service to investigate possible moles. Although Wright interviewed numerous suspects, he obtained only one complete confession, that of Leo Long, who had been run by Blunt and had served in MI14 during the war, before he went into the film business. Blunt obtained partial confessions from Jenifer Hart, Iris Murdoch, Bernard Floud MP, and James McGibbon, but none were ever prosecuted. After retiring from MI5 in 1973, as one of a dozen assistant directors, Wright moved to Cornwall to breed horses, but was retained by MI5 as a consultant on a part-time basis, before finally leaving altogether at the end of January 1976 and emigrating to Tasmania later the same year.
When Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asserted in November 1979 that all the evidence of hostile penetration of MI5 could be attributed to Blunt, he believed she had been misled by the Security Service and collaborated with the veteran Fleet Street journalist Chapman Pincher to document his investigations in Their Trade Is Treachery. Disappointed with the book, Wright then coauthored SpyCatcher with a television producer, Paul Greengrass, which resulted in a lengthy legal action brought by the British government in Aus-
tralia to prevent publication. The final House of Lords judgment upheld the principle of the lifelong duty of confidentiality owed by MI5 personnel to their employer, but meanwhile the litigation had made the book an international best-seller. Wright died in Tasmania in April 1995, having written two further books, neither of which enjoyed SpyCatcher’s success.


Born in Germany but brought up first in Switzerland then in Moscow, Wolf returned to Berlin in 1945 as a radio journalist and attended the Nuremberg War Crimes trials. In 1958, unaware that he had been photographed by the Allies in Nuremberg, he was appointed head of the  East German Hauptverwaltung Auf-
klärung (HVA). Skilled at recruiting and motivating agents sent into the Federal Republic of Germany, he handled Gunter Guillaume, who penetrated Chancellor Willy Brandt’s private office, and pioneered the cultivation of vulnerable secretaries with access to classified information by agents, sometimes known as  Romeo spies, trained to seduce them.
Wolf became increasingly disenchanted with the East German regime and retired in 1987. In 1993, following the reunification of Germany, Wolf was prosecuted and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for having conducted intelligence operations against the West, but his conviction was quashed in 1995. Rearrested on charges of having organized three abductions, he was given a suspended prison sentence of two years. Wolf subsequently wrote his memoirs, Man without a Face.


Slang term originally for the physical  interception of telephone landlines but now generally meant to apply to all voice communications, whatever the carrier system. As a source of information this type of technical intelligence does not have a universally identical legal status, and in some countries such as Britain the material cannot be used in evidence in a criminal trial, whereas transcripts taken from recordings made under warrant in the United States, often granted under the terms of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, made be adduced in evidence.


Amemorable term coined by Central Intelligence Agency counterintelligence chief James Angleton and used by him in his 1975 testimony to the Church Committee to describe the counterintelligence environment in which Soviet espionage cases were never quite what they appeared to be. In the wilderness of mirrors, defectors have been planted deliberately, volunteer agents are deliberate provocations, and Machiavellian schemes have been plotted to mislead the West.


A term applied to insiders who go public with allegations of misconduct or illegalities. In the United States, individuals who make unauthorized disclosures of this type have statutory protection from retaliation from their employers and from associated litigation. Many intelligence agencies provide an alternative route for channeling internal complaints without risking the release of classified information. In Great Britain, the appointment of a staff counselor who can guarantee anonymity to personnel anxious to express concern about their duties was included in the 1989 Security Service Act which regulated MI5 and placed the organization on a statutory footing for the first time since its creation in 1909.


A Soviet spy who  penetrated the U.S. Armed Forces Security Agency in 1944, Weisband had been born in Russia but claimed he had been born to Russian parents in Alexandria, Virginia. Before World War II he was servicing dead drops in New York; he was eventually identified by James Orin York as his prewar contact in California. Later Weisband was mentioned as having held a clandestine meeting with the NKVD’s Aleksandr Feklisov in a Manhattan movie theater in 1940, and he is thought to have compromised the VENONA project as soon as he was granted access to it, as a Russian linguist, at Arlington Hall in 1948. Never convicted of espionage, Weisband was imprisoned in November 1950 for lying about his Communist Party of the United States of America membership and died in May 1967.


MI5’s group of skilled  surveillance experts are known as the Watcher Service and, working in teams, maintain covert observation on fixed targets, such as diplomatic missions, from permanent posts. They are also deployed against other terrorist and espionage suspects. The members are trained to a high standard and are considered among the most professional in the world. They rarely give evidence in prosecutions so as to avoid  compromising their methods, but in September 1988 some were called as witnesses in the inquest conducted after Operation FLAVIUS in Gibraltar.


The term applied to sources who volunteer their cooperation, often by literally making a direct approach to an intelligence service. In most examples, this behavior consists of a visit to a diplomatic mission and a request to see a representative of a particular agency. In such circumstances, an interview is likely to be conducted in a private room that may be wired for sound for retention of an accurate record of the conversation. Some of the best intelligence sources have been from low-ranking individuals who, despite their status, may enjoy greater access to classified material than their superiors. For example, personnel responsible for the removal of burn bags and the destruction of classified waste may routinely handle far more documents than somebody in a far more elevated position.


WIndicted in May 1985 on six counts of espionage, along with his son Michael, John Walker was a retired U.S. Navy warrant officer accused of having spied for the Soviets for 18 years, during which period he had held Top Secret cryptographic clearances and had handled the most sensitive coding equipment, including the key cards used to alter the daily settings on cipher machines. He is also credited with having compromised American sonar technology to the point that the Soviets altered their naval tactics and designed the Akula class as a silent  submarine undetectable by SOSUS passive acoustic arrays.
According to his confession, Walker had experienced financial difficulties in 1968 and had visited the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C., where his offer to sell information had been accepted. After his retirement, embarking on a new career as a private detective, Walker had recruited his son who, at the time of his arrest, was a petty officer serving on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and was found to have 15 pounds of classified material in his locker.
In addition, John Walker had recruited his brother, Lt. Comdr. Arthur Walker, and another navy friend, Jerry Whitworth. In October 1985 father and son pleaded guilty and received two life terms plus 10 years, and 25 years’ imprisonment, respectively, in return for John Walker’s testimony against Whitworth, who surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in June 1985. A former navy communications expert, Whitworth was accused of having received $325,000 from John Walker between 1975 and 1982 in return for classified data, and at his trial, which lasted three months, his assertion that he had not known the material was being passed to the Soviets was rejected, and he was sentenced in August 1986 to 365 years in prison and a fine of $410,000. In his defense Whitworth claimed that he had been recruited under a  false flag by Walker, who had claimed to have been passing information to the Israelis.
Arthur Walker claimed that he had engaged in espionage only in 1981 and 1982 when he had been employed as a defense contractor in Chesapeake, Virginia, and that the compromised documents were classified as Confidential and concerned ship construction. He was arrested in May 1985, and in October the same year was sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Two further U.S. Navy suspects, both believed to have been recruited by Walker, escaped prosecution because of insufficient evidence.


Code-named  GT/COWL, Vorontsov was a Second Chief Directorate officer who had volunteered to spy for the Central Intelligence Agency by dropping a sheaf of secret documents into the car of an American diplomat in late 1984. He was arrested by the KGB in March 1986, and his CIAcontact, Michael Sellers, was detained while on his way to a rendezvous in Moscow and expelled. Vorontsov had been identified as a spy by Aldrich Ames.


A KGB Line X scientific intelligence specialist, Vetrov had been posted to Ottawa, where he was pitched unsuccessfully by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Security Service, before he was transferred to Paris where he was recruited by the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire in 1980. The French ran him in Moscow with a military attaché sent for the purpose, who operated outside the usual Direction Générale de Sécurité Extérieure channels to protect the source, and gave him the English code name FAREWELL to imply that he was being handled by a foreign service. In February 1982 Vetrov was convicted of killing a man and stabbing his girlfriend and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. However, in 1984 the KGB learned that Vetrov had engaged in espionage, and he was executed.
In the short period he was active as a spy, FAREWELL provided the French with a wealth of information about technology transfer and the KGB’s illicit acquisition of Western scientific and commercial secrets. This knowledge was traded by President François Mitterrand to the Americans to demonstrate that France’s reputation for high-level penetration, Communist influence, and poor security was no longer justified. Precisely how the KGB came to find out about Vetrov’s espionage remains one of the Cold War’s unsolved mysteries.


The  defection of  Abwehr officer Vermehren and his deeply religious wife Elizabeth to the Secret Intelligence Service in 1944 in Istanbul proved to be the catalyst for the absorption of the Abwehr into the German Reich Security Agency. The Vermehrens were cultivated by an SIS officer, Nicholas Elliott, who eventually persuaded them to switch sides with a promise that their decision would remain secret. Unfortunately the news leaked  almost as soon as the couple had been received and debriefed in Cairo and was broadcast by the BBC, forcing them to adopt new identities and be resettled in Switzerland.


The Anglo-American  cryptographic project that succeeded in decoding more than 2,000 Soviet messages exchanged between Moscow and various diplomatic posts overseas between 1940 and 1949 had several code names but is generally known as VENONA.
Altogether 750,000 telegrams were examined, including a batch from Sweden supplied in 1966, and an error in the construction of the Soviet one-time pads enabled fragments of the texts to be reconstructed. The traffic ranged from routine consular, trade, and diplomatic messages, to highly sensitive NKVD, GRU, and Naval GRU texts. The analytical work, which identified more than 300 spies, including Alger Hiss, Klaus Fuchs, Donald Maclean, Harry Dexter White, and the Rosenbergs, continued until 1979 but was not declassified until 1995. Although the translated, partially decrypted messages were not admissible in any criminal trial, they provided mole hunters with sufficient information to trace dozens of spies recruited and run by the NKVD and GRU during and after World War II. Although the traffic ceased in 1949, when William Weisband and Kim Philby both warned Moscow of the progress being made by the American and British cryptanalysts, prompting a change in Soviet cipher procedures, there was sufficient material for MI5 and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to study in an effort to put real names to the often transparent code names used to protect the true identities of spies.


A KGB “Line KR”  counterintelligence officer identified as a Central Intelligence Agency spy by Robert Hanssen, Vassilenko had been unsuccessfully  cultivated for years by the CIA’s Jack Platt. In fact Vassilenko never succumbed to Platt’s blandishments, but in January 1986, while on a visit to Havana, Vassilenko was arrested and taken by ship back to Moscow to face six months of interrogation in Lefortovo prison.
Hanssen had read Platt’s report of a trip he and his Federal Bureau of Investigation partner Don Rankin had taken the previous October to Georgetown, Guyana, to see Vassilenko, whom he had referred to only as “M,” but both Hanssen and the KGB mistakenly believed that the recruitment of the target also code-named MONOLIGHT (by the CIA) and DOVKA (by the FBI) had been successful.
Fortunately for Vassilenko, he was released for lack of evidence after six months, but his career had been ruined. When Aldrich Ames was eventually arrested, it was the Vassilenko case that persuaded the mole hunters that their task was not over. Ames had been posted to Rome during the relevant period, and only the FBI had seen Platt’s report on MONOLIGHT.


Colonel Vasiliev, a GRU officer, was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency in Budapest in 1983 and given the code name GT/ACCORD. He identified a GRU network in which a U.S. Army sergeant, Clyde Conrad, had been active in West Germany. Vasiliev enabled the Swedish security police to arrest Conrad’s controllers, Dr. Sandor Kercsik and his younger brother Imre, and to roll up a large Hungarian military intelligence network headed by a retired warrant officer, Zoltan Szabo. Although Vasiliev tipped off the CIA in 1985 to the existence of Szabo’s huge Hungarian spy ring, which extended into Italy, his role in the investigation had been skillfully concealed, so it was a surprise when he was suddenly taken into KGB custody in December 1986 and executed the following year.


Code-named GT/FITNESS by the Central Intelligence Agency, Varenik, the son of a senior KGB officer, was under journalistic cover when he was recruited in March 1985 in Bonn and revealed details of a KGB plan to plant terrorist bombs. After he had been identified as a spy by Aldrich Ames, he was arrested in November 1985 and shot in February 1987.


VThe son of an immigrant family from Marrakech, Morocco, Vanunu abandoned his studies as a physicist and joined the Dimona Nuclear Research Center in 1977, working as a technician. He was laid off in 1985, having applied to join the Israeli Communist party, but in 1986 attempted to sell information and photographs he had taken from inside the plant to a journalist in Australia. Vanunu was brought to London by the Sunday Times to have his story verified, and a rival newspaper, the Sunday Mirror, identified him as a hoaxer and claimed that his supposedly illicit photographs of a secret underground plutonium processing unit were actually of a car wash or an egg-packing factory. Dismayed but undeterred, the Sunday Times obtained independent corroboration of Vanunu’s bona fides and in September 1986 published his assertion that Israel had developed a sizeable atomic arsenal of free-fall bombs and nuclear land mines.
Meanwhile the  Australian Security Intelligence Organisation had learned of Vanunu’s intention to make disclosures regarding his former employment and informed the Mossad, which conducted an operation in London to lure him to Italy. He encountered, seemingly accidentally, an attractive American girl while window shopping, and she invited him to Rome for the weekend. When he flew to Italy, he was immediately abducted and returned to Israel for trial. He was convicted in March 1988 of treason and sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment. Released on parole in 2004, he converted to Christianity but was quickly rearrested for breaching the terms of his release, which included a ban on interviews with foreign journalists and on travel abroad.


The term applied in espionage cases where the culprit has not been identified positively, from the Federal Bureau of Investigation abbreviation for “unidentified subject.”

UNIT 8200

The military intelligence cover designation of Israel’s signals intelligence organization which failed to interpret the increase in signal traffic between Damascus, Amman, and Cairo in 1973 as an indication of an imminent attack. Until recently commanded by Brigadier Pinhas Bulhris, Unit 8200 is responsible for all communications intelligence and cryptography and the development of new intercept techniques.


The classification assigned to signals intelligence emanating from intercepted enemy wireless traffic enciphered on the Enigma machine in 1942. Previously the code name had been BONIFACE. Later in the war ULTRA came to be used as a generic term and included other enemy cipher machines, such as the Siemens Geheimschreiber.


The acronym for the United Kingdom–United States of America Security Agreement signed in 1947 to enhance the BRUSA pact of May 1943, which set the terms for the exchange of signals intelligence between British and American cryptographic agencies.


Iron Coffins: A Personal Account of the German U-Boat Battles of World War IIIn both world wars, the German submarine fleet attempted to enforce a blockade on Great Britain, with the intention of starving the country into submission—and in both wars was prevented from doing so. The Kriegsmarine fleet suffered appalling losses during the Battle of the Atlantic, largely due to the skillful exploitation of enemy wireless traffic enciphered on the Enigma machine, along with Allied technical developments such as radar and sonar.
The German Type XXI diesel submarine, brought into service at the end of the war, proved to be an exceptional weapon at the time, and its design was adopted as the basis of the  Soviet Zulu and Whiskey classes, as well as the later Foxtrot class, the mainstay of the postwar Red Banner Fleet. Although noisy and easy to detect, a total of 75 Foxtrots were built before production ended in 1983. They were exported to India, Cuba, Libya, and Poland, and two were lost in accidents. The Foxtrot B-37 was lost in a torpedo explosion at Polnariy in 1962, and the B-33 sank off Vladivostok in 1991.


The UB (Urzad Bezpieczenstwa/Security Office) was a shortened form of the official name Urzad Bezpieczenstwa Publicznego (Public Security Office), which was set up in early September 1944 in liberated territory of Poland by a team of NKVD agents parachuted into the country, later to be supervised by the NKVD  rezident, General Selianovsky, thereby setting a standard of surrogacy that was to be copied across Eastern Europe as the NKVD inserted its own personnel or nominees into the newly created security structures.
In July 1946 the Ministry of Public Security was divided into eight departments, of which five dealt with operational matters: I, Counterintelligence; II, Technical Operations and Technology; III, Anti-opposition; IV, Protection of the Economy; and V, Counterinfiltration and Counter-Church Influence. Early in 1948 Department VII, handling general intelligence, was created and in June the following year the powerful and highly secret Biuro do spraw Funkcjonariuszy (Officer’s Office) was set up as an internal counterintelligence section in order to maintain surveillance and investigate and control ministry personnel.
On 2 March 1950 the Biuro Specjalne (Special Office), which became Department X in November 1951, was established to provide surveillance and to investigate senior Communists and their cronies. At the peak of its power two years later, the security service employed 33,200 officers, with the Ministry of Public Security controlling 57,500 Citizens Militia (MO); 41,000 crack troops of the intensely loyal Korpus Bezpieczenstwa Wewnetrznego (KBW, Internal Security Corps); 32,000 Wojska Ochrony Pogranicza (WOP, Frontier Guards); and an armed Industry Guard (SP, Straz Przemyslowa) to protect industrial plants against sabotage. In addition the regime could rely on 10,000 Straz Wiezienna (SW) prison guards and the 125,000-strong Ochotnicza Rezerwa Milicji Obywatelskiej (ORMO, Citizen’s Militia Voluntary Reserve), which consisted of low-level informers who in emergencies were armed with batons or guns and deployed against unarmed protesters. All these despised plainclothesmen were known as “ubeks” by the general population, which did not distinguish between the security service and the rest.
After Josef Stalin’s death, the power of the Ministry of Public Security diminished and in June 1954 the feared Department X was disbanded, with other changes limited to the removal of a dozen or so most compromised officers. On 7 December 1954 the Ministry of Public Security was divided into the Ministerstwo Spraw Wewnetrznych (MSW, Ministry of Internal Affairs) and subordinated to the Komitet do spraw Bezpieczenstwa Publicznego (KBP, Cabinet Committee for Public Security). Thus the MSW gained control over the MO, ORMO, WOP, KBW, SP, and SW, leaving the KBP as a de facto security service operating independently and outside the departmental structure of the previous Ministry of Public Security.
In September 1955 the KBP was reinforced by an amalgamation of the Informacja Wojskowa (Military Intelligence and Counterintelligence Service) and the Wojska Wewnetrzne, an internal military unit designed to prevent mutiny within the armed forces. Previously both had been subordinate to the Ministry of National Defense, but no announcement was made to explain the extension of the KBP’s power.
An order made in September 1955 committed the security service to support Informaca Wojskowa, and vice versa. Following the Twentieth Party Congress in Moscow, at which Nikita Khrushchev denounced Stalin, and the Poznan riots, the Polish Communist party disbanded the KBP as of November 1956. The Public Security Offices (UBPs) were dismantled and the hitherto informal security service was reduced in number and power, streamlined, and incorporated into Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs (MSW), where it was named officially the Security Service, the Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa (SB); the nickname “ubek” was so deeply rooted in the public mind, however, that it survived despite some competition from the new acronym “esbek.”


The designation of the aircraft built by Lockheed for the Central Intelligence Agency as a high-altitude, single-engine reconnaissance aircraft. It flew for the first time in August 1955. The following year U-2s began overflights of  Soviet territory from Adana in Turkey, Lakenheath in England, and Giebelstadt in Germany, concentrating on the missile test sites at Kapustin Yar and Tyuratam. Following the destruction of a U-2 near Sverdlovsk in May 1960, and the capture of its CIA pilot, Francis Gary Powers, President Dwight D. Eisenhower banned further intrusions into Soviet airspace. Altogether two American U-2 planes were shot down, the other being a flight over Cuba in October 1962, killing the pilot, Maj. Rudolf Anderson. In addition, six Taiwanese U-2s were destroyed over the Peoples’ Republic of China between 1962 and 1969.
The  imagery captured by the U-2 overflights, processed by the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) and code-named IDEALIST, was considered invaluable, serving to undermine the “bomber gap” theory. It was later replaced by photographs from CORONA satellites beginning in August 1960 and from SR-71 Blackbirds in January 1964. A total of 106 U-2s were built, and it remains an effective surveillance aircraft, still in service around the globe.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


The British intelligence coordinating committee created in January 1941 to supervise the management of MI5’s double agents and give approval to information being passed to the enemy. The name comes from the Roman numeral XX, a visual pun on “double cross.” The XX Committee met weekly and was chaired by J. C. Masterman, his secretary being another MI5 officer, John Marriott. The other membership was made up of staff transferred from the Home Defence Security Executive, the Secret Intelligence Service, and the directors of military intelligence, naval intelligence, and the Home Forces.
During the course of World War II, the XX Committee met weekly 226 times and oversaw the operations of more than 40 controlled enemy agents until it was dissolved in December 1944. The existence of the XX Committee was revealed publicly in 1972 with the publication by Sir John Masterman of The Double Cross System of the War of 1939–45, a slightly abridged version of an account he had been commissioned to write for the Security Service in 1945.


The code name assigned to XXX material—information acquired from the illicit copying of the content of diplomatic bags sent to and from diplomatic missions in London during World War II. Conducted by a joint MI5–Secret Intelligence Service unit dedicated to gaining surreptitious access to the attaché cases carried by
diplomatic couriers, TRIPLEX constituted a major breach of the Vienna Convention and therefore was considered an extremely sensitive source.


The discipline of studying wireless traffic to establish patterns and obtain intelligence, a component of  signals analysis  and  signals intelligence. Traffic analysis includes techniques of direction-finding, call-sign analysis, and discrimination—the study of frequencies, wavelengths, and transmission lengths.
Even without being able to solve cryptographically a ciphered text, a skilled analyst may develop significant information about a particular source of radio broadcasts by monitoring the regularity of the signals, their length, frequency, call sign, and origin. For example, the sudden imposition of radio silence may indicate an imminent attack, and the movement of a particular operator may indicate a change in location for his unit.
Perhaps the most significant moment in the history of traffic analysis occurred in 1938 at the end of the Munich Crisis when the German battleship Deutschland, on a goodwill visit to Spain, continued its cruise with a crew of cadets and did not return to her home port.
British direction-finding confirmed the ship’s position, thereby confirming that war was not imminent.


The specialist techniques used by intelligence professionals to conduct clandestine operations. Tradecraft procedures are used universally. They include the use of  safe houses,  dead drops, brush contacts, burst transmitters,  surveillance countermeasures, the deployment of decoys, and other covert procedures.
Tradecraft will vary, depending on the local security environment in which it is to be employed, and during the Cold War the challenging conditions prevailing in the Soviet Union led the Central Intelligence Agency to prepare a course, known as “pipeliners,” for personnel assigned to operate in denied areas. The objective was to strike a balance between behavior that would identify an individual as an intelligence professional and the need to equip agents with gadgetry, either concealment devices or communications equipment, that would not instantly betray the owner upon discovery. Famously Boris Yuzhin was nearly compromised when he mislaid his cigarette lighter during a meeting in the San Francisco referentura, and it was found by a KGB colleague who, as the rezidentura’s technical expert, recognized it as an ingenious concealment device, thereby indicating to him that there was a spy in the building.


Code-named AE/BLIP by the Central Intelligence Agency, Tolkachev volunteered hugely important aeronautical data from “Phastron,” the Research Institute of Radiobuilding, to the CIA in Moscow by leaving a note in a car belonging to a CIA officer. Tolkachev was ideologically motivated and initially had limited himself to distributing subversive literature. When ordered to improve the MiG-25’s avionics following the defection of Lt. Viktor Belenko with his Foxbat Mach-3 high-altitude interceptor to Hakodate in Japan in September 1976, he seized the opportunity to inflict some real damage on the regime by compromising all the fighter’s new avionics.
Later code-named AE/VANQUISH, Tolkachev was paid the equivalent of more than $2 million, mainly in antique Russian jewelry which he pretended he had inherited from his grandmother, in return for details of Soviet radar, electronic countermeasures, and stealth technology, a veritable hemorrhage of secrets that effectively neutralized the feared Foxbat superfighter. Tolkachev’s rather unsubtle initial approach could easily have been a KGB provocation, but with William Casey’s encouragement, the CIA station chief, Gus Hathaway, took the risk and assigned a senior Russian-speaking case officer, John Guilsher, who had a Russian background (and was impressively experienced, having worked in London on the Berlin Tunnel material and transcribed the Penkovsky transcripts in 1962) and he ran the source with two successive case officers with great skill until May 1985 when the engineer was arrested, having been betrayed by an embittered former CIA officer, Edward Lee Howard.


In June 1957 Airman First Class Robert G. Thompson, assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in West Berlin, volunteered to sell information to the  Soviets. He continued to do so until he was transferred to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana. Even after he was discharged in 1958, he remained in contact with the Soviets. Thompson was finally arrested in 1965 in New York and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, having admitted to selling between 50 and 100 documents every fortnight for about three months in 1957.
After his imprisonment, Thompson claimed to be a Soviet illegal and pressed for his release in a  spy swap, which was eventually granted in July 1969 when he was exchanged for Anatoli Shcharansky. Thompson was resettled in East Berlin under the alias Gregor Best and was employed by the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung as a false flag recruiter, posing as a Central Intelligence Agency officer supposedly anxious to seek help in conducting investigations into the staff of NATO member embassies.


 Amajor signals intercept station located during the Cold War in the British Sector of Berlin, strategically situated on the summit of a man-made mountain constructed over what was intended to be the Third Reich’s military academy. Bombed into total destruction in 1945, the site was used to dump the rubble from 800,000 buildings, and it proved to be an ideal site for a joint National Security Agency–GCHQ listening post which, by virtue of its isolation from the city, offered an almost ideal electronic environment, free from interference. With its tall aerials, it was able to receive signals from Czechoslovakia and 50 miles into Poland to collect Warsaw Pact traffic. The U.S. Army Security Agency Field Station began operating in 1957, when it was known as the 280th ASA Company, and proved its worth by monitoring the military VHF traffic generated by 600,000 Soviet troops during the Prague crisis of 1968. The number of masts and distinctive golfball antennas increased continuously until 1977, when the site was absorbed into the NSA as the U.S. Air Force’s 6912th Electronic Security Group, with more than a thousand Americans and a hundred British technicians from the RAF’s No. 26 Signal Unit and No. 13 Signal Regiment maintaining 24-hour cover in three shifts on East German and Soviet telephone, telex, and radio circuits.


This Time We Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive The surprise Vietcong offensive on the Vietnamese New Year in 1968 took the Americans completely unawares and is regarded as a classic example of an intelligence failure, where clear signs of an impending attack were misinterpreted by analysts.


Modern terrorism, including suicide bombings and attacks on civilian targets, has its origins in the campaign conducted by the Irgun and the Stern Gang against the British Mandate in Palestine. Both organizations benefited from information provided by the Haganah, the Jewish Agency’s intelligence branch, and combat experience with the British army during World War II, when a Jewish Brigade was raised and armed to fight the Nazis.
The pattern of anticolonialist movements adopting terrorist tactics was to be established by Chinese Communist insurgents in Malaya, who had received wartime training with the Far East branch of  Special Operations Executive, Force 136. During the Malaya Emergency, the terrorists depended on weapons  donated originally by Force 136 to fight the Japanese occupation, but the insurgency was successfully suppressed with the application of unorthodox strategies, including the deployment of  countergangs, developed in Palestine.
The era of anticolonialist terrorism effectively ended with the defeat of the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya, settlement in Cyprus, and the British withdrawal from Aden, but political radicalism in Europe at the end of the 1960s created a climate in which the Irish Republican Army (IRA), dormant since the previous upsurge in sectarian violence in Northern Ireland in 1956, reemerged. During the 1970s, anarchist groups in Germany, Japan, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, and France engaged in uncoordinated terrorism, which manifested itself in political assassination, bomb atrocities, and abductions. Although the Central Intelligence Agency suspected some of the most notorious terrorist leaders—such as Ilych Ramirez Sanchez, alias “Carlos the Jackal”; Dr. George Habbash; and Abu Nidal—were receiving  Soviet sponsorship, there was never sufficient evidence to persuade the CIA’s professional analysts, despite intensive studies and political pressure during President Ronald Reagan’s administration.
The university-based terrorist groups of the 1970s, including the Baader-Meinhof gang and the Red Army Faction in Germany, the Italian Red Brigade, Action Directe in France, the Angry Brigade in London, the Weather Underground in the United States, and N17 in Greece, all of which had vague political motives, eventually succumbed to law enforcement. However, the separatist movements with territorial objectives—from Armenia (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia), the Basque Country (Euskadi ta Askatasuna), Brittany (Armée Revolutionnaire Bretonne), Corsica (Armée de Libération Nationale Corse), Croatia (Croatian Freedom Fighters), Molluca (Mollucan Liberation Front), Quebec (Front de Libération du Québec), Scotland (Scottish Liberation Army), and Wales (Meibon Glyndr)—proved more enduring. Factionalism within the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Al-Fatah spawned numerous extremist groups, such as Black September, Force 17, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command, which in 1970 globalized their activities by seizing airliners, a tactic borrowed from Cuba, which had pioneered a policy of offering sanctuary to the hijackers of U.S. aircraft. Having witnessed the success of air piracy and the strategy of taking passengers hostage, extremists with territorial grievances copied the tactic in such disparate areas as Indonesia, Kurdistan, Sri Lanka, Chechnya, and Kashmir. The terrorists saw the advantages of making their disputes international, and often the economic implications encouraged the adversaries to engage in negotiations. Political accommodations achieved peace in Uruguay with the Tupamaros, in Argentina with the Montoneros, in Peru with the Shining Path, in Turkey with the Grey Wolves, and in Northern Ireland with the Provisional IRA. Uneasy truces have also been reached with the Tamil Tigers and the PKK (Partiya Karkaren Kurdistan/Kurdistan Workers Party) but in  Colombia narcoterrorism—with ostensibly political movements such as MI9 and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) taking control of entire provinces to enhance drug production—contaminated successive legitimate governments with corruption.
Whereas conventional, state-sponsored terrorism could be combated by the application of sanctions to those countries such as Libya, Iran, and Syria proven to have supported terrorist groups, transnational movements without any obvious refuge have been impossible to eradicate. While terrorists with territorial goals can be persuaded to abandon the armed struggle through political compromise, those with global cultural or religious motives are harder to contain or eliminate, although following the attack on Manhattan and Washington, D.C., on 11 September 2001, the United States partially neutralized Al-Qaeda in April 2002 by leading an international coalition that invaded  Afghanistan, deposed the Taliban regime, and destroyed Osama bin Laden’s training camps.
The extent to which the war on terrorism declared by President George W. Bush in 2002 really succeeded remains hard to evaluate, but in the four years that followed, a high proportion of the Al-Qaeda leadership was killed or detained, its communications disrupted, its financial support networks dismantled, and its safe havens eliminated. With the West’s huge intelligence advantage gained through the examination of captured documents and computers, the interrogation of prisoners, and the comprehensive  intercepting of telephone, email, and internet communications, the Al-Qaeda structure was virtually decapitated, leaving individual sympathizers to develop their own cells and act independently. Major atrocities committed in the four years following 9/11 in Casablanca, Bali, Madrid, Istanbul, and London demonstrate that while the United States has escaped any significant terrorist incident on its own territory, interdicting several attempts, Islamic extremists continued in a campaign fueled by a religious zealotry that has taken root in immigrant ghettoes, especially  among alienated Muslim youth in Europe. In addition, the continuing insurgency concentrated in the Sunni Triangle north of Baghdad has served to attract jihadists from across the globe, possibly diverting attention away from the American homeland.
Public attitudes to terrorism have altered since the African National Congress (ANC), founded as a political movement in 1912, embraced sabotage during the apartheid period in South Africa, and when the organization was banned in April 1961 it engaged in terrorism through a surrogate, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation).
However, as a means of achieving power democratically, the ANC renounced political violence. Counterterrorism agencies have also altered their perspective, and now categorize animal rights extremists,
white supremacist militias, and some fringe antiabortion campaigners as terrorists.


The son of Greek immigrant parents who settled in New York and opened a restaurant, Tenet was appointed director of central intelligence by President Bill Clinton in July 1997 upon the resignation of John Deutsch. Formerly a congressional staffer, Tenet proved much more popular than his predecessor but was the subject of criticism when he was slow to investigate allegations of security breaches committed by Deutsch, who retained classified material on his home laptop which was connected to the internet. Tenet retained his post when George W. Bush was elected to the White House but resigned in 2004. His former press spokesman, Bill Harlow, was
to have ghostwritten his autobiography, but following his awarding by President Bush of the Medal of Freedom, Tenet announced that he had postponed the project indefinitely


The interception and analysis of signals transmitted from test-fired missiles. Throughout a flight downrange, a test missile will broadcast information to engineers who monitor its performance. Before the introduction of international verification procedures, countries often encrypted the telemetry to prevent interception. Initially TELINT was picked up by ground stations or surface platforms such as warships, but the development of satellite surveillance technology enabled interception to be conducted from orbiting RHYOLITE platforms.


A generic term used for technical surveillance, dependent on electrical equipment, usually denoting eavesdropping.


Code name for a secret Central Intelligence Agency operation initiated in 1979 which consisted of a sophisticated tape recorder placed in a sewer on the main landline cable that connected the KGB’s headquarters in Moscow to its communications center at Troitsk, 25 miles south of the capital. Because the site was outside the travel limit imposed on foreign diplomats, the tapes had to be serviced in a black operation by CIA personnel who had to elude their surveillance and adopt a disguise to make the illicit visit. The Soviets discovered the  equipment immediately after the first approach to the KGB in Washington, D.C., made by disaffected CIA officer Edward Lee Howard. When a CIA technician was sent to check the equipment in 1985, an integral antitamper device indicated that it had been interfered with, so it was abandoned, leaving the CIA to conclude that the KGB had allowed it to operate for the prior three years, presumably to protect Howard.


Techniques developed to enhance the efficiency of physical surveillance on target individuals. During the Cold War, considerable research was undertaken to create chemical and other formulas that would serve to identify a quarry, sometimes known as a “rabbit,” even when the person’s appearance had been altered, by alerting watchers when the target passed through a channel or choke point, or that would enable tracking to occur from a distance safe enough not to compromise the surveillance. The East Germans experimented with substances that could be sprayed onto the shoes or clothes of a target to increase the scent available for specially trained dogs, while the KGB was known to have applied potentially dangerous toxins onto targets to aid detection by electromechanical devices.
The use of potentially hazardous “spy dust” deployed in Moscow against selected Americans diplomats prompted a diplomatic protest in August 1985.
According to information supplied by a defector, Vitali Yurchenko, the KGB also experimented with insect pheromones, which caused a box of male insects to react when someone sprayed with female pheromones passed nearby.
Documents have also been the subject of tagging. For example, British Admiralty papers have been irradiated to enable sensors to monitor their removal from secure areas.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


AHungarian intelligence officer, Capt. Zoltan Szabo was convicted in 1989 of espionage in Austria, but was released in return for his evidence against his agent Clyde Conrad, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in West  Germany in June 1990; nearly eight years later, in January 1998, he died in prison of heart failure. According to the damage assessment, based on the largest espionage investigation ever conducted in peacetime by the U.S. Army, Conrad had compromised the entire NATO war strategy for Europe; the report also suggested that several suspected members of his network, which may have included a dozen others, had escaped prosecution for lack of evidence. Szabo, who had fled to Budapest in 1988, negotiated  immunity from prosecution by the United States and Germany in exchange for residency in Austria and his cooperation with American interrogators.
The wily Hungarian fulfilled his side of the bargain and gave a detailed account of his espionage, dating back to 1971, describing his recruitment of Conrad in 1975 and even admitting to having sold copies of Conrad’s documents to the Czech intelligence service. Szabo also implicated an Italian-born former U.S. Army paratrooper, Sgt. Tommaso Mortati, who was arrested in August 1988 at his home in Vicenza, where his American wife was working on the nearby NATO air base. According to Mortati’s confession, after he had emigrated to the United States and acquired citizenship, in 1981 he had been recruited by Szabo, who arranged for him to undergo two weeks of espionage training in Budapest. Mortati had left the Army in 1987 but had been paid a retainer of $500 a month by Hungarian intelligence, the AVH (Allami Vedelmi Hatosag), together with bonuses for additional information. A search of Mortati’s home revealed a hidden radio, which he used to transmit his reports. Mortati pleaded guilty to charges of espionage and was sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany.


Created out of the KGB’s First Chief Directorate (FCD) in 1992, the Sluzha Vneshnogo Razvedsky (Russian Foreign Intelligence Service) operates overseas and was headed by a KGB veteran, Vyechslav Trubnikov, until he was replaced in January 1996 by Gen. Sergei Lebedev, formerly the SVR rezident in Washington, D.C. The
SVR, based in the old FCD headquarters at Yaseveno, is estimated to employ 12,000 staff, a small proportion of whom are posted abroad at  rezidenturas in diplomatic premises. Whereas the FCD’s Directorate S deployed illegals across the globe, SVR defectors have suggested that this capability has proved expensive and unnecessary and has been cut radically.


The technique of keeping a covert watch on individuals and premises. Surveillance may be categorized as observation of suspects, known as physical surveillance, and the monitoringof conversations, referred to as technical surveillance. Physical surveillance may require the deployment of teams of experts, some in vehicles or aircraft, trained to report on the movements of a person without arousing his or her suspicions and to identify attempts at countersurveillance even when they are disguised.
During the Cold War, surveillance techniques grew increasingly sophisticated and included the use of specially developed technology to assist in monitoring the movement of targets. In Moscow this included the application of spy dust, while in London and Washington, D.C., tracking equipment was retrofitted into vehicles used by adversaries.


During the  Cold War, the  Polish, East German, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian, and  Czechoslovakian intelligence agencies often acted on behalf of the KGB where their personnel might be likely to exploit local sympathies and gain better results. Their representatives were often required to report their recruits to the local KGB rezidentura, in case “a horse was already being run by another stable,” and were directed by the KGB to exploit particular émigré groups. For example, the Polish UB was especially active in Chicago, where there was a large expatriate community, and the Czech StB concentrated on former refugees and people who had been sympathetic to Czechoslovakia since the Munich Crisis of 1938.
Western counterintelligence agencies invariably considered all Eastern Bloc adversaries, with the exception of the Yugoslavs, to be Soviet satellites.


The plot devised by Great Britain, France, and Israel to seize control of the strategic, Anglo-French-owned and British-administered Suez Canal, recently nationalized by Egyptian leader Abdel Nasser, resulted in a tripartite invasion of Egypt in October 1956 code-named STRAGGLE. Although the United States was not a participant and was preoccupied by the opportunistic simultaneous Soviet invasion of Hungary to suppress an uprising in Budapest, the Central Intelligence Agency continued to supply intelligence to the Secret Intelligence Service, including  U-2 imagery of Egyptian forces. The decision by the disapproving President Dwight D. Eisenhower, then in the middle of an election campaign, to withdraw support for the pound precipitated a financial crisis that forced Great Britain to evacuate its troops.
The Suez Crisis had been prompted by SIS reports from a source code-named LUCKY BREAK that Colonel Nasser was falling under increasing Soviet influence and joining the Communist Bloc. Prime Minister Anthony Eden’s first demand, which was to cause Selwyn Lloyd’s minister of state, Sir Anthony Nutting, to resign, was for the SIS to  assassinate the troublesome Egyptian leader; the second, which was to split the country, was to collude with Israel and France to invade and regain control of the canal.
The crisis was exacerbated by the SIS’s lack of assets in the field, the Mukhabarat having rolled up the main British network, organized by local expatriates, weeks before the invasion. Even worse, a source considered one of the SIS’s most valuable revealed himself to have been long controlled by the Mukhabarat. Dogged by ill health and the knowledge that the French and Israelis had retained copies of the secret Sèvres Agreement which had set out the plan in detail and had been negotiated and signed on Eden’s behalf by the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Sir Pat Dean, Eden resigned, citing the need to recover from a botched operation which had severed his bile duct.


Often referred to as the “silent service,” submarines have always been deployed on intelligence-gathering missions, and their covert nature make them ideal vehicles for conducting surveillance, collecting  signals intelligence, and clandestinely infiltrating agents and saboteurs. The use of submarines as a means of delivering
secret agents and special forces developed during World War II, and both the Axis and the Allies relied upon them to undertake clandestine missions. U-boats carried Abwehr agents across the Atlantic to Canada and the United States, while British submarines were active on similar assignments in French waters, the  Mediterranean, and the Far East.
During the Cold War, British and American submarines shared intelligence collection duties in or near Soviet harbors, acting as pickets to monitor the movement of Soviet submarines and engaging in occasionally dangerous “cat-and-mouse” tactics, shadowing target hostiles. When collisions sporadically occurred, no public protests were made by either side, and the consequent damage was usually attributed to “ice damage,” which became a euphemism.
The advent of nuclear propulsion allowed submarine endurance to be limited only by the amount of food stored aboard and enabled specially adapted hunter-killers to undertake long patrols permanently submerged to complete highly classified tasks, such as the servicing of IVY BELLS intercept equipment.
During the Falklands Conflict, which was the first time nuclear submarines had been deployed in anger or had sunk a surface vessel (other than on exercise), three hunter-killers patrolled the South Atlantic and performed various duties, including acting as air-raid warning pickets, lying submerged off Argentine airfields, and monitoring enemy air movement and wireless traffic


Agent networks that remain dormant in strategic locations until they are occupied by enemy forces. The system anticipates being “rolled over” by an enemy and obviates the need to conduct dangerous infiltration missions to insert agents into hostile territory. The virtue of a stay-behind organization is that is allows a network to make the necessary preparations for cover and clandestine communications at leisure, and thereby reduce the chances of detection.
During World War II, the technique was employed extensively by the Axis, and virtually every significant military withdrawal was accompanied by the establishment of a German stay-behind organization. During the Cold War, NATO created extensive stay-behind organizations in West  Germany and  Norway, considered the two vulnerable flanks to a surprise Warsaw Pact attack; more controversially, it also sponsored embryonic resistance networks in neutral Austria, Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland. Each operated independently and concealed its existence under code names, the best known being the GLADIO network in Italy, P-26 in Switzerland, and Stella Polaris in Finland.


The slang term for the East German security and intelligence apparatus within the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS; Ministry of State Security) and generally held to include the foreign branch, the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung (HVA).


In October 1957 the Ukrainian nationalist leader Lev Rebet collapsed and died at his home in Germany, and two years later another exile, Stephan Bandera, suffered the same fate. In August 1961, Stashinsky revealed that he was an experienced KGB officer who had killed both men by firing prussic acid into their faces, causing their almost instantaneous deaths from what appeared to be heart attacks. Troubled by his conscience and  disapproval of his German fiancée, Stashinsky  defected to the  Central Intelligence Agency and revealed his next assignment had been the assassination of the former Ukrainian prime minister, Raoslav Stetskow. Stashinsky was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in Germany but was released in 1966 and resettled by  the CIA.


An American intelligence community code name given to a classified research project dedicated to research of psychic powers and their defense applications. The project began during the Cold War under several code names, among them GRILL FLAME, CENTER LANE, and SUN STREAK, following information that the Soviets were investigating  remote viewing techniques. The objective was to establish whether astral traveling was a practical method of acquiring intelligence from denied areas and if telepathy offered any opportunities to be exploited by an intelligence collection agency. The project was abandoned in 1995 when funding was terminated on the grounds that no discernible benefit had been established.


Exchanges of espionage agents across the Iron Curtain was a feature of the Cold War, the first coming in February 1962 when a Soviet  illegal, Willie Fisher,  alias Rudolf Abel, serving a 30-year prison sentence, was released in Berlin in return for the Central Intelligence Agency’s U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, who had been imprisoned in Moscow after his plane was shot down in May 1960.
The negotiations were initiated and conducted by an East German lawyer, Wolfgang Vogel, who claimed to be acting on behalf of Fisher’s wife. In July 1969 he also arranged for 11  Bundesnachrichtendienst agents to be sent over the border at Herleshausen, as Yuri Loginov, a KGB illegal arrested in South Africa,  was released back to the Soviets.
A third swap took place took place in October 1969 when a British academic, Gerald Brooke, arrested for distributing subversive literature in the  Soviet Union, was released in exchange for the  Portland spies—Konon Molody, alias Gordon Lonsdale, and Morris and Lona Cohen, alias Peter and Helen Kroger—who had been convicted of breaches of the Official Secrets Act in March 1961. Vogel would supervise dozens of similar swaps, mostly involving the release of East Germans to be reunited with their families in the Federal Republic, in exchange for a ransom of hard currency, a deal known as “Freikauf.” Another, more complex swap occurred in May 1978 when Robert G. Thompson, a former Air Force sergeant who had been sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment in May 1965 on charges of having spied for the KGB, was exchanged in Berlin for Alan van Norman, an American student convicted of having attempted to smuggle a family out of East Germany. Also released was Miron Marcus, an Israeli pilot shot down over Mozambique and captured by Communist-backed guerrillas. In February 1986 Vogel brokered another deal, enabling two Czech StB agents, Hanna and Karl Koecher, to be freed in return for the Russian dissident Anatoli Shcharansky, then serving a nine-year prison sentence, together with a Czech convicted of helping refugees to reach the West and two other unnamed agents.


A tagging technique used by the KGB’s Third Chief Directorate during the Cold War to monitor the movements of individuals who were difficult to keep under direct observation. “Spy dust” was the general term for nitrophenyl pentadien (NPPD), luminal, and other chemicals. A sample was provided by the Central Intelligence Agency’s source  COWL, and a  defector,  Vitali Yurchenko, confirmed the procedure for its use.
Under a secret research program code-named METKA, the compound was applied to the clothing, shoes, or person of the target, thus allowing the target to be followed from a safe distance by watchers equipped with the appropriate detection devices. Although invisible to the naked eye, the chemicals could be tracked passively by detectors at strategically located choke points or could be illuminated by infrared beams. Fear that NPPD was mutagenic and possibly carcinogenic resulted in a formal protest from the U.S. State Department in 1985.


The SOE was the sabotage and resistance organization created in London under the leadership of Sir Frank Nelson in July 1940 to foment armed opposition to the Nazis in occupied territory in response to  Winston Churchill’s demand to “set Europe ablaze.” Before it was shut down at the end of June 1945, it had trained 9,000 agents, operated in 19 European countries, and sent missions to China, Malaya, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. SOE was an amalgamation of a covert propaganda unit known as Electra House and the SIS’s sabotage branch, Section D.
SOE was the world’s first large-scale, government-sponsored commitment to paramilitary tactics and unorthodox warfare conducted by irregulars, and it changed the face of combat forever. Whereas others, such as the Boers in the South African War, had pioneered what would now be recognized as guerrilla strategies —mounting hit-and-run raids, ambushing supply routes behind enemy lines, and avoiding pitched battles—SOE had institutionalized the doctrines, established a global network of training facilities known as “Special Training Schools,” developed specially designed weapons and equipment, and liaised closely with local resistance groups to exploit territorial advantage.
During the course of World War II, SOE pulled off several spectacular successes that boosted anti-Axis morale, but probably exercised only a minimal influence over the final Allied military victory.
It mounted imaginative efforts to destroy stocks of heavy water at the Vermork hydroelectric plant in Norway that undermined German atomic research in Operation  GUNNERSIDE. The  assassination of  Reichprotektor Reinhard Heydrich in May 1942 (Operation ANTHROPOID), while applauded by many, resulted in appalling retribution taken against the civilian population, including the razing of Lidice, Czechoslovakia, and murder of the village’s entire population.
Inexperience and overenthusiasm contributed to some monumental errors and the widespread enemy penetration of the French and Dutch resistance networks. Some unsuitable personnel were selected for clandestine work in enemy-occupied territory, and there was a continuous, probably inevitable conflict with rival Allied agencies engaged in intelligence collection. Sir Frank Nelson was replaced in May 1942 by banker Sir Charles Hambro, who was succeeded in September 1943 by Maj. Gen. Colin Gubbins. What was left of the organization was absorbed into the  Secret Intelligence Service in August 1945, and Gubbins’s post ceased to exist in June 1946.


In June 1940 Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover produced his plan for a new clandestine intelligence agency, the Special Intelligence Service, to operate across Latin America to counter any threat from the Nazis. Its mission was to combat “financial, economic, political, and subversive activities detrimental to the security of the United States.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his secret approval on
24 June. Hoover’s choice to head the SIS was Assistant Director Percy E. Foxworth. However, Hoover’s determination to exercise his right to be the only civilian intelligence-gathering organization to operate in Latin America led to some extraordinary conflicts with the Office of Strategic Service’s (OSS) Gen. William Donovan.
The SIS concentrated on Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico, where there were large expatriate German communities, but was able to establish overt offices in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires when Brazil cut diplomatic relations with the Axis in February 1942 and Argentina did so in 1944. Altogether about 360 SIS agents operated across Latin America, and by the end of the war, the FBI had appointed official legal attachés (legats) to liaise with the authorities in nine countries where they were openly declared as the FBI’s representatives based at the U.S. embassy.
The SIS in Brazil, headed from May 1941 by Jack West and then William J. Bradley, operated under difficult, shifting circumstances, but eventually identified Josef J. Starziczny as LUCAS, the organizer of a major Nazi spy ring whose radio transmissions to Hamburg had been intercepted by the Allies. Also caught up in the same organization was Albrecht Engels, code-named ALFREDO, who was the director of a Brazilian power company and another key figure in the Abwehr’s operations across South America.
In Chile the SIS, headed by legat Robert W. Wall since August 1941, with Dwight J. Dalbey operating undercover, gathered information about a transmitter that was traced to a farm outside Quilpue, near Valparaiso, and directed by the German air attaché, Maj. Ludwig von Bohlen, code-named BACH. By the time Chile severed relations with the Axis in January 1943, the radio had been silenced.
The SIS continued to operate until June 1946 when President Harry Truman’s National Intelligence Authority, chaired by Dean Acheson, transferred responsibility for all overseas intelligence gathering to the newly created Central Intelligence Group (CIG). However, the transfer was far from smooth, with Hoover taking offense
when the CIG’s chief, Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, sent a team of former FBI special agents to negotiate with his assistant to the director for investigations, Edward A. Tamm. Hoover was furious, causing an embarrassed Adm. William D. Leahy to send a memorandum to Vandenberg recommending that “ex-FBI men now in the CI Group should certainly not be used for such contacts” and even that “to avoid offending Mr. Hoover we should not hereafter, without specific approval in each instance by the Authority, employ any persons who at any time separated themselves from FBI.”
Hoover’s rage at losing the SIS knew no bounds. The SIS supervisor for Mexico and Central America, William C. Sullivan, recalled that “he gave specific instructions to my office and all offices abroad that under no circumstances were we to give any documents or information to the newly established Central Intelligence Agency.”
As well as being disappointed at the loss of his SIS, Hoover also knew, from the cryptographic source code-named BRIDE (later better known as VENONA), that the OSS had been heavily penetrated by Soviet spies, and that several suspects had been accepted onto the new CIA’s staff. A measure of Hoover’s distrust of the CIA is the fact that the new agency was not informed about the existence of VENONA until 1954.
The Special Intelligence Service was formally closed on 31 March 1947, by which time the FBI had undertaken security surveys on more than 150 industrial plants and utilities and opened files on 887 espionage suspects in the region, of whom 389 had been arrested and 105 convicted. A total of 281 propaganda agents had been exposed and 60 arrested; 30 saboteurs had been identified and 20 arrested; and 222 smugglers had been identified, with 75 arrested and 11 convicted. Altogether 24 clandestine radio stations were monitored, and 30 sets seized, at a cost to the FBI of the loss of four SIS agents, killed in three separate plane crashes in South America. During the course of the war, Hoover sent 2,600 individual reports to the White House, the overwhelming majority of which concerned Latin America, but none of this was enough to persuade the Truman administration that the FBI required an overseas presence beyond the legats already established in the embassies in Rome (Stanley R. Russo), Paris (Horton R. Telford), Ottawa (Glenn H. Bethel), London (John A. Cimperman), and Mexico City.
The SIS was a brief, wartime experiment in the collection of intelligence, and its reach was extensive, far beyond its official brief of Latin America. At various times SIS personnel were stationed in Lisbon (Ivan W. Newpher), Manila (Nicholas J. Alaga), Madrid (Frank G. Siscoe), Casablanca (Joseph E. Thornton), and Tokyo (Alex M. Hurst).


Created in 1884 as the Special Irish Branch of the Metropolitan Police as a response to an outbreak of Fenian bombings in London, Special Branch was the organization responsible for the investigation of political crime in Britain, and during the postwar period similar units were created in most of the colonies. Most became the principal local security apparatus, staffed with personnel trained by MI5 in London, and they survived into independence as effective specialist units gathering information in preference to pursuing criminals.


Created by David Stirling in July 1941 to engage the enemy with unorthodox tactics behind enemy lines in North Africa, the SAS was disbanded at the end of World War II but reformed in 1952 as the 22nd SAS to undertake operations in the Malayan jungle against Chinese insurgents. In November 1958, following considerable success in the Malaya Emergency, D Squadron was deployed to assist the Sultan of Oman, then besieged by rebels. Later the regiment, expanded to three saber squadrons and based at Hereford, would see action in Dhofar, Borneo, Aden, and from 1974, in Northern Ireland. Skills acquired while operating against the Provisional Irish Republican Army led the regiment to develop its counterterrorist techniques, which were first manifest during an airliner hijacking at Mogadishu in 1977 and were then refined in April 1980 when B Squadron stormed the Iranian embassy in London, which had been seized by terrorists. All but one of the terrorists were killed in the rescue that followed, establishing the SAS’s reputation worldwide as a highly efficient, well-trained, and superbly disciplined group of Special Forces.
Subsequently the 22nd SAS, reinforced by the Territorial Army units of the 21st SAS and 23rd SAS were deployed in the Falklands, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, both Iraq wars, and Afghanistan. In addition, SAS training cadres undertook missions to Kenya, Colombia, and other countries where the host government had  requested specialist support. During the first Iraq War, one patrol, dropped deep into Iraqi territory to pinpoint Scud missile launchers and sabotage enemy communications, achieved considerable notoriety as the survivors wrote accounts of their experience. The patrol leader, writing under the alias “Andy McNabb,” published Bravo Two Zero, creating further interest in the regiment’s operations.


Acronym for Sound Surveillance System. During the Cold War, a highly classified network of underwater acoustic sensors was deployed around the globe to monitor the movement of Eastern Bloc submarines. Originally developed to protect America’s eastern seaboard, SOSUS recorded transits through geographical choke points such as the Strait of Gibraltar and the Greenland-Iceland-Faeroes gap. The sonar arrays were eventually extended to provide coverage of much of the Atlantic and Pacific ocean basins. Linked by 30,000 miles of cables, which terminated at 22 permanent, protected facilities on land, the equipment was mounted on rigid frames corresponding to the size of a double-decker bus and deposited 3,000 feet down on the sea floor by night, safely away from hostile satellite surveillance. SOSUS was declassified in 1991 when the system had
been defeated by the introduction of the Akula-class submarine, nearly three decades after the first Soviet nuclear submarine had been detected near Iceland in June 1962 by a terminal in Barbados.
The use of hydrophones to detect and monitor submarines dates back to World War I, when the Royal Navy sank three German U-boats after they had been heard on passive devices located in shallow water.


A German-born  Soviet intelligence officer, Sorge was trained in Moscow and in 1930 was sent to Shanghai, where he ran a large espionage network for the GRU while operating under journalistic  cover as a foreign correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung. He was transferred to Tokyo from September 1933 and built up an extensive clandestine organization until he was arrested in October 1941. More than 40 of his subagents were eventually rounded up, and he was hanged with his principal collaborator, Hozumi Ozaki, in November 1944. Sorge’s spy ring included sources in the German embassy, where he was regarded as an ardent Nazi, and in the very highest levels of the Japanese government. His warnings that the Nazis intended to launch a surprise offensive against the Soviet Union in June 1941 were ignored by Moscow, but after his death he was made a posthumous Hero of the Soviet Union, and a postage stamp was issued in his honor.


The first chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, Capt. Smith-Cumming was appointed head of the Foreign Section of the Secret Service Bureau in August 1909.
Born plain Mansfield Smith on 1 April 1859, his career had been handicapped by chronic seasickness. Already a wealthy man, Smith-Cumming received a considerable settlement from his wife, an heiress. Following his retirement, Smith-Cumming attended an Admiralty torpedo course and later became an expert on boom defenses. These talents, along with his fluency in French, his interest in electricity and photography, and his skill as a draftsman, led to his selection by Director of Naval Intelligence Admiral Bethell to join the Secret Service Bureau. Something of a daredevil, he kept fast motorboats, loved the new sport of motoring, and even learned to fly. He was seriously injured in a car accident in France in October 1914, breaking both legs. Thereafter Smith-Cumming often disconcerted his visitors by absent-mindedly stabbing his wooden leg with a paper knife. According to one witness, he did this deliberately while interviewing candidates recommended for SIS posts and rejected those that winced at his performance.


The Russian acronym for “death to spies,” Smersh was a feared wartime NKVD unit that operated in territory newly liberated from the Nazis to liquidate counterrevolutionaries and others suspected of anti-Soviet activities. In March 1946, having acquired an unsavory reputation as Josef Stalin’s executioners, Smersh was disbanded and its personnel absorbed into the NKVD.


An agent who is established in a host country but remains inactive, sometimes for years, until called upon to undertake some clandestine activity. Because they are inactive, sleepers are virtually impossible to detect and are immune from conventional countermeasures, such as surveillance.


The process by which an individual with protection under the Vienna Convention is required to leave the country without being publicly denounced as persona non grata (PNG).


The discipline of signals intelligence includes the  interception of communications  and other signals, decryption, and signals analysis. The definition of signals is wide and may include  communications intelligence (COMINT), telemetry intelligence (TELINT), and radar intelligence (RADINT).

Friday, November 26, 2010


The discipline of signals analysis, within the broader category of  signals intelligence, covers the spectrum from
interception to cryptography. The identification of the sender and receiver, the call signs, and the technology involved and the study of the encrypted cipher groups may reveal a large amount of useful information even if the actual content of the message itself remains unread. Direction-finding,  discrimination, and  traffic analysis are component parts of signals analysis.


The abbreviation of Sherut ha-Bitachon ha-Klali, Shin Bet is Israel’s General Security Service, responsible for internal security within the country’s boundaries. Created in June 1948, Shin Bet was placed under the Ministry of Defense in 1950. In 1952, it gained its own independent director when Isser Harel was succeeded by his deputy, Isi Dorot. Although Shin Bet conducted successful counterespionage investigations, arresting three army NCOs as  Soviet spies in 1950 and later identifying Dr. Kurt Sitte, Aharon Cohen, Dr. Israel Beer, Ze’ev Avni, and Shimon Levinson as KGB moles, its reputation as a ruthless counterintelligence organization, occasionally resorting to unorthodox countergang tactics, led to the resignation of Avraham Avituf in December 1980.
Shin Bet was implicated in attempts to assassinate the Arab mayors of some West Bank towns, and there was a similar scandal in April 1984 when two Palestinian terrorists were dragged off a hijacked bus and beaten to death. Shin Bet’s concealment of what had happened led to the resignation of Avraham Shalom in April 1986.
Shalom and seven of his subordinates received pardons in that instance, whereas in July 1997 Yosef Harmelin resigned when Shin Bet covered up the death in prison of a Palestinian prisoner. Shin Bet has been the subject of continuous criticism over its interrogation techniques, and in May 1987 the Israeli Supreme Court condemned the methods it had used to obtain a conviction against Lt. Izat Nafsu, who had spent seven years in prison after being framed at a military tribunal of supplying weapons to terrorists. Shin Bet’s reputation was
further damaged by the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995 by Yigal Amir, a member of the Jewish extremist group Koch, which had been a priority for penetration by Shin Bet.
The directors of Shin Bet have been Harel (1948–52), Dorot (1952–53), Amos Manor (1953–63), Harmelin (1964–74 and 1986–88), Avraham Ahituf (1974–81), Shalom (1981–86), Jacob Peri (1988–94), Karmi Giron (1995–96), Adm. Ami Ayalon (1996–2000), Abraham Dichter (2000–05), and Yuval Diskin (2005– ).


Code-named DYNAMITE by the Central Intelligence Agency, which ran him for a year or so before he defected in April 1978, Shevchenko was a career Soviet apparatchik recruited in New York, where he was employed as an assistant general secretary in the  United Nations Secretariat. After being granted political asylum in the United States, he was resettled in Alexandria, Virginia. Soon after his defection, his wife died in Moscow, apparently of an overdose. Although never a KGB officer, Shevchenko was able to identify most of the local rezidentura. Shevchenko’s initial resettlement in the United States was marred by his indulgence in alcohol and prostitutes but, despite the embarrassment of being written about in  Defector’s Mistress by Judith Chavez, he married a Washington, D.C., lawyer.


The process by which U.S. military personnel are detached temporarily from their regular duties and assigned a  clandestine role.


The intelligence branch of the Haganah, Shai—the Hebrew ab- breviation of Sherut Yediot (Information Service)—was created in 1941


Within the Central Intelligence Agency, this is a management “super grade” for selected senior personnel at an elevated pay scale.


Created in 1909 as the Foreign Department of the Secret Service Bureau, under the leadership of Capt. Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the SIS was responsible for the collection of intelligence from outside the British Empire until the end of World War II. During the Cold War, the SIS extended its reach by opening stations in Commonwealth countries, but was handicapped by a series of hostile penetrations. Dick Ellis admitted in 1966 that he had sold SIS secrets to the Abwehr before the war, and in March 1961 George Blake confessed that he had spied for the KGB since his release from internment in Korea in April 1953. In addition, in January 1963 Kim Philby confirmed that he had spied for the Soviets since his original recruitment in May 1934.
Although the SIS experienced hostile penetration by the Germans, especially in Holland from 1936 on, and consistently thereafter by the Soviets, the organization took the credit for much of the cryptographic success achieved at Bletchley Park and developed uniquely close links with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services and its successor, the Central Intelligence Agency. Based on mutual trust engendered through collaborative operations, including technical operations against the Soviets in Vienna and Berlin during the 1950s and the infiltration of partisans into the Eastern Bloc, the SIS became the CIA’s acknowledged partner in such major joint operations as BOOT, SCRAMBLE, and VALUABLE.
This unequal partnership with the  United States survived the 1956 Suez Crisis, when political relations between the two countries dropped to a low point, and despite being a fraction of the CIA’s size, the SIS gained respect for the quality of its political analysis and the ingenuity of its technical operations, such as the highly productive eavesdropping conducted in Athens during the  Cyprus Emergency. Any lingering doubts about the SIS’s ability to attract Soviet defectors, or its internal integrity, were removed by the successful recruitment and management of Oleg Gordievsky, who was run from December 1973 until his impressive  exfiltration from Moscow in July 1985. However, there would later be concerns that Gordievsky may not have been compromised by Aldrich Ames, as originally supposed when the CIA debriefed the mole following his arrest in February 1994, leaving the possibility that another spy had gone undetected.
The SIS has had 14 chiefs, but the appointment of John Scarlett in July 2004 was by far the most  controversial. A career SIS officer, Scarlett had been expelled from Moscow in January 1994 and been responsible for managing the Mitrokhin fiasco in 1998. He had also been chairman of the  Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) in September 2002 when the British government issued a document to explain and illustrate the threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD). After the Iraq War of 2003 and the Butler Report into WMD intelligence, the JIC-sponsored assessment was demonstrated to have been fundamentally flawed, and SIS’s reputation was severely undermined. The chiefs of SIS have been Mansfield Smith-Cumming (1909–23), Hugh Sinclair (1923–39), Stewart Menzies (1939–53), John Sinclair (1953–56), Dick White (1956–58), John Rennie (1968–73), Maurice Oldfield (1973–78), Dickie Franks (1978–81), Colin Figures (1981–85), Christopher Curwen (1985–89), Colin McColl (1989–94), David Spedding (1994–99), Richard Dearlove (1999–2004), and John Scarlett (2004– ).


When Sebold, a 40-year-old married engineer working for the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in San Diego, paid a visit to his family in his native  Germany in 1940, his first in 15 years. There he had succumbed to an implied threat from officials purporting to be from the Gestapo and, for the sake of his mother, two brothers, and sister in Mülheim, Sebold reluctantly had agreed to be signed on by the Abwehr’s Hamburg branch in June 1939 with the code name TRAMP. However, dismayed by this episode, Sebold had alerted the American Consulate in Cologne of his predicament and had been advised by the vice consul to pretend to cooperate with the Nazis. Thereafter the Germans put Sebold through an intensive training course with the intention of placing him in charge of a transmitter so a clandestine radio channel could be opened between the East Coast and the Abwehr’s radio station at Hamburg-Wohldorf.
Once safely back in the United States in February 1941, aboard the SS Washington from Genoa and traveling on a new passport identifying him as Harry Sawyer, Sebold was contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and made a detailed statement, explaining that he had fought for the kaiser during the Great War and had been wounded in the Battle of the Somme. After the war he had moved to America, changed his name from Wilhelm G. Debowski and become a naturalized citizen and loyal American. He agreed to follow the Abwehr’s instructions and contact four other Abwehr agents for whom he was carrying a microdot questionnaire. Those agents, all living in the New York City area, were Lily Stein, an Austrian model of Jew-
ish descent; Everett Roeder; Fritz Duquesne; and an engineer, Herman Lang. To aid communications, Sebold had been told how to contact a courier, Irwin Siegler, a butcher on the United States Lines’ SS Manhattan, and was given postal addresses in Shanghai, São Paolo, and Portugal.
The FBI proceeded to exploit Sebold’s leads and placed his contacts under  surveillance. Using money provided by the Abwehr, a cottage was purchased on Long Island, and a powerful shortwave transmitter was installed. Sebold also rented an office in Manhattan, under the name of the Diesel Research Company, and the FBI wired the room for sound and installed a two-way mirror behind which a movie camera filmed every visitor.
When the entire network, including a group of couriers working for the Hamburg-Amerika line led by Hans Kleiss, was rounded up, some of them had been under surveillance for two years. Kleiss, employed as a chef on the SS America was arrested on 28 June 1941.
The FBI decided to break up the spy ring after Duquesne announced that the organization was to move from relatively passive intelligence collection to active sabotage; the General Electric plant at Schenectady, New York, had been selected as a target. In addition, and even more alarming, was his assertion that he was  working on a plan to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he came up to his estate at Hyde Park for the weekend.
The leads from the Sebold case covered the entire country and hemisphere and resulted in follow-up visits to Cuba, Chile and Argentina, 19 pleas of guilty and a total of 32 convictions, including a sentence of eight years’ imprisonment for Kleiss. The case ended with prison sentences totaling 300 years and fines of $18,000.
Duquesne received the longest sentence, of 18 years, while his mistress, Evelyn Lewis, received a year and a day.


A Central Intelligence Agency operations support assistant based in Accra, Ghana, Scranage gave classified information to her lover, Michael Soussoudis, a member of the Ghanaian intelligence service. She was identified as a result of a routine inspection conducted by a CIA team waiting for visas to enter Nigeria.
A search of her home disclosed some compromising photographs of her with her lover, whom she had failed to declare, and on this basis she was ordered home to undergo further interviews and a  polygraph. A mousy young divorcee, recovering from an unhappy marriage in which she had been physically abused and somewhat isolated socially within the male-dominated, largely white (Scranage was black) CIA station, she subsequently agreed to cooperate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to entrap Soussoudis, a business consultant with permanent resident status in the United States who was related to Ghana’s military ruler, Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlins. Despite the fact that Scranage seemed oblivious to what she had done, asserting that her station chief had been delighted by the fact that she had found a boyfriend, she was charged in July 1985 and in November was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, later reduced to two years. Soussoudis was sentenced to 20 years, suspended on the condition he leave the United States immediately.
The case caused some anxiety for the CIA because the chief of Ghana’s intelligence service, Kojo Tsikata, was a Marxist with links to Cuba, Libya and East Germany, suggesting either that Scranage’s information had gone straight to Moscow or that Soussoudis was working for the Cubans, hoping to cultivate Scranage for future access, perhaps during her next posting, which was scheduled to be Calcutta. In terms of cost, the breach in security proved expensive in financial terms, with 28 of the station’s local sources demanding immediate  resettlement in the United States, among them the dissidents who reportedly had been planning a coup.


British  Secret Intelligence Service code name for a clandestine operation conducted from Turkey in the postwar era to infiltrate émigré agents into the western Ukraine. No networks were successfully established and the project was considered a failure. The explanation emerged in January 1963 when Kim Philby signed a confession in which he acknowledged having compromised SCRAMBLE by supplying details to the Soviets while he had been posted in Istanbul as the local SIS head of station.