News you may have missed #656: Outed spies edition

Alexander LennikovBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Iran seeks death penalty for alleged CIA spy. Iran is seeking the death penalty for an American man accused of working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. At his trial Tuesday, Amir Mizraei Hekmati said the CIA sent him to Iran to infiltrate Iran’s intelligence systems, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported. Sources in America deny Hekmati’s intelligence connections and say the confession was coerced. Washington has also accused Iran of denying Hekmati access to Swiss consular officials.
►►North Korean alleged spy ‘kills self’ in South. A man who claimed to be a North Korean defector has reportedly committed suicide after allegedly confessing that he was sent to spy on the South. During questioning, the unnamed man, who was in his 30s, said he had received orders from Pyongyang to report on a South Korean organization that helps defectors from the North.
►►Ex-KGB spy spends third Christmas in Vancouver church. Ex-KGB spy Alexander Lennikov (pictured) has been living in Canada with his wife and teenage son since 1992. But in 2009, the Canadian government ordered him to leave the country, under a law which dictates that any former member of a spy agency that spies on democratic governments is inadmissible to Canada. Since then, he has taken sanctuary at the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver, and has not left the building. For previous intelNews coverage of this story see here.

About these ads

News you may have missed #519

  • Australian ex-spy wins right to compensation. The former spy, known only as FXWZ, worked for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation for almost 15 years before leaving it in 1979. Now at 67, he has won the right to compensation claiming that his work for ASIO induced a mental disorder.
  • Eritrea releases UK citizens detained for espionage. The four British men, two of whom are former Royal Marines, were arrested in Eritrea last December on suspicion of espionage, after they were caught in possession of arms including 18 different types of snipers, ammunition and night vision equipment. They have been released after a months-long diplomatic row between Eritrea and Britain.
  • Pakistan to deport US national suspected of spying. Twenty-seven year-old Matthew Craig Barrett has been arrested for allegedly scouting nuclear facilities near the Pakistani capital Islamabad, and is expected to be deported soon.

News you may have missed #494

  • David Petraeus tipped to be new CIA director. The Obama administration may tap CIA Director Leon Panetta to succeed Bob Gates as Secretary of Defense. If this happens, then General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, may take over Panetta’s job at the CIA.
  • Reuters denies bureau chief had CIA contacts. The Reuters news agency has denied an accusation made on Cuban state television that its bureau chief Anthony Boadle helped arrange a meeting between an undercover Cuban agent and a US diplomat described as a CIA operative.
  • UK court grants Russian ‘spy’ aid to fight deportation. Katia Zatuliveter, who is accused by Britain’s MI5 of spying for Russia, has won legal aid to help fight her case against deportation, according to news reports.

News you may have missed #460

Russia, US, in largest spy swap since World War II

Igor Sutyagin

Igor Sutyagin

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The Russian and American governments have agreed to conduct one of history’s largest spy exchanges, as ten Russian agents captured in the US last month have been swapped for four Russian citizens imprisoned by Moscow for spying for the US and Britain. The ten Russians arrested by the FBI in June were non-official-cover (NOC) operatives, otherwise known as ‘illegals’, a term used to identify deep-cover intelligence operatives not associated with a country’s diplomatic representation. According to reports, they were all instructed by the SVR, Russia’s equivalent of MI6, which is responsible for all foreign intelligence operations abroad, to plead guilty to “acting as unregistered foreign agents” a charge not equivalent to espionage in either seriousness or repercussions. They were then legally forbidden from ever returning to the United States and summarily expelled. They were taken from the courtroom directly to the airport, where they boarded a plane to Vienna, Austria. In return, Russian government sources have confirmed that four Russian citizens, arrested in recent years for spying on behalf of the US or Britain, will be released from prison and delivered to US authorities. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0276

  • Canadian government rejects ex-KGB agent’s deportation appeal. Vic Toews, Canada’s newly installed minister for public safety, has rejected a fresh appeal by former KGB agent Mikhail Lennikov to be allowed to remain in Canada. Lennikov, who has been living in Canada with his wife and teenage son since 1992, is described by Canadian authorities as “a threat to [...] national security”.
  • Analysis: CIA and intelligence community mythologies. Former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman, currently senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, offers a very informative checklist of what he calls “the mythology that surrounds the [US] intelligence enterprise”. Worth reading.

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0148

  • Secret special service held to commemorate 100 years of MI5 and MI6. The Queen has attended an unpublicized special service at London’s Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of MI5 and MI6. It appears that the heads of the security and intelligence services were present for the unique ceremony in the cloisters of the Abbey. The service was also attended by prime minister Gordon Brown, foreign secretary David Miliband, and home secretary Alan Johnson, among others.
  • Canadian court ends spy services’ free rein in deporting foreigners. The Federal Court has dealt the government another setback in its attempts to deport alleged terrorists, based on the controversial security-certificate provision, which allows the government to use secret evidence in order to detain and deport foreigners. Thus, the deportation from Canada of Moroccan-born Adil Charkaoui has been halted. Last July another deportation case, that of Hassan Almrei, a Syrian immigrant who was arrested in 2001 on suspicion of belonging to an Islamist-tied forgery group, was also halted on similar grounds.
Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0132

  • Emirates to deport Syrian ex-spy and witness in Hariri assassination probe. A Syrian former spy was on Monday sentenced to six months in jail and deportation for entering the United Arab Emirates on a forged Czech passport. Interestingly, Mohammed Zuhair Siddiq, was a prosecution witness in the inquiry into the assassination of Lebanon’s ex-premier Rafiq Hariri. In 2005, Siddiq claimed that Lebanon’s former pro-Syrian president, Emile Lahoud, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, gave the order to kill anti-Syrian Hariri. It is not clear to which country Siddiq will be deported.
  • US national security advisor insists Iran cannot currently build the bomb. US National Security Advisor General James Jones has rejected claims by The New York Times that Iraq has enough information to design and build a functional nuclear bomb. Jones also stood by the conclusions of the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate, which said Iran’s nuclear arms program is inactive.
  • Book claims CIA-linked network killed anti-drugs campaigner. A new book by Australian researcher John Jiggens claims that a CIA-linked drug smuggling network was responsible for the 1977 murder of Australian anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay.

Bookmark and Share

Emirates authorities expel Lebanese who refuse to spy on Hezbollah

Hassan Alayan

Hassan Alayan

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A story by Agence France Presse appears to corroborate allegations, reported on by intelNews on September 4, that United Arab Emirates authorities are systematically expelling from the country Lebanese Shiites who refuse to spy on Hezbollah. A spokesman for the expelled Lebanese said hundreds of them were “summoned by the security services in the UAE before being expelled, and were asked to spy on fellow Lebanese in the Emirates as well as Hezbollah members or face deportation”. Speaking at a conference in Beirut, Hassan Alayan said the expulsions began last June, and so far have specifically targeted the 100,000-strong Lebanese community in the Emirates. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0117

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0094

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0086

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0083

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0027

  • Former KGB captain still fighting deportation from Canada. IntelNews has been keeping an eye on the case of Mikhail Alexander Lennikov, whose deportation from Canada has been ordered by a court. Lennikov, a former KGB captain, claims that if deported back to Russia he will be treated as a defector by the FSB. IntelNews has also learned that Lennikov now maintains a public blog, which he updates daily.
  • New book claims Errol Flynn worked as a Nazi spy. The Australian-born star, who became a Hollywood legend in the 1930s, was known for his anti-Semitic views. But now a new book claims that declassified CIA files prove Flynn collaborated with German Nazi intelligence in gathering information on German socialists who fought in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Iranian spying allegations nonsensical, says France. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that Tehran’s claims that 23-year-old French student Clotilde Reiss was a spy in Iran are “stupid”. “Do you think my country would be so naive and shorthanded as to send a 23-year-old woman to spy in Iran? That’s stupid, it’s not possible”, said Mr. Kuchner during a visit to Lebanon.
  • Interesting account of Israel’s only spy history memorial. Matti Friedman, of The Associated Press, has written an interesting account of the little known Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center in Tel Aviv.

Bookmark and Share

Most Canadians want former KGB spy to stay

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Less than a fifth of Canadians want a former KGB officer living in British Columbia deported from the country, according to a new nationwide poll published last Friday. IntelNews has reported before on the case of Mikhail Alexander Lennikov, a former KGB spy living in Canada with his wife and teenage son since 1992, awaiting the result of an asylum claim. Late last February, however, Canada’s Public Safety Ministry rejected Lennikov’s claim and notified him that he “can be ordered deported from the country in as early as a few weeks”. Canadian authorities have refused to reveal the precise reason for the former KGB agent’s pending deportation. But in 2007, commenting on the case of former KGB Lieutenant-Colonel Givi Abramishvili, who was deported from Canada, a government representative had said that “Canada [...] is not a safe haven for those that may be a danger to national security”. Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 681 other followers