News you may have missed #560 (new books edition)

Khalil al-Balawi

Khalil al-Balawi

►►New book on CIA’s Khost bomb disaster. Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick has authored a new book, examining the December 31, 2009, killing of seven CIA operatives by Jordanian doctor Humam Khalil al-Balawi in Khost, Afghanistan. In the book, entitled The Triple Agent, Warrick quotes several “anonymous” sources from within CIA and Jordan’s General Intelligence Department (GID), which was involved in running al-Balawi. Aside from blaming GID, Warrick says the CIA’s Amman station chief was partly responsible for the botched operation.
►►Hollywood producer was Mossad spy, says new book. The book Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan, says that Milchan was a full-fledged operative for Israel’s now-defunct intelligence agency, Lakam. The agency, which was also known as Israel’s Bureau of Scientific Relations, collected scientific and technical intelligence abroad. It was disbanded in 1986 following the arrest of US Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard for engaging in espionage on behalf of Israel. The book’s authors, Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, argue that Milchan, who produced such movies as Love and Other Drugs and Knight and Day, worked for Israeli intelligence by supervising government-backed accounts and front companies that financed “the special needs of the entirety of Israel’s intelligence operations outside the country”.
►►Book alleges US-Russian spy swap deal. In 2010 the CIA considered a swap deal that would have delivered to Moscow two Americans currently imprisoned in the US for spying for Russia. This information is included in a new book by Ronald Kessler, entitled The Secrets of the FBI. According to Kessler, CIA Director Leon Panetta allegedly called Mikhail Fradkov, head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and offered to give the Russians CIA double spy Aldrich Ames and FBI agent Robert Hanssen, in exchange for US agents captured by the Russians. But the deal never materialized because the White House rejected it, claims Kessler.

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3 Responses to News you may have missed #560 (new books edition)

  1. AlbertE. says:

    NOT so much a spy as what Victor Ostrovsky calls “helpers”. Sayanim in Hebrew. Helpers that facilitate intelligence operations but are not necessarily agents or spies as that term is understood. These “helpers” are Jews and sometimes not [?] Jews that assist the Mossad with operations but are not Mossad agents or spies as such.

  2. AlbertE. says:

    Neither Hanssen or Ames must EVER get out of prison no matter what the circumstances. Left in prison, no parole or being let go until the day they die.

  3. intelNews says:

    Good point about the Sayanim –probably the most underappreciated and understudied component of Israel’s espionage apparatus abroad. [IA]

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