News you may have missed #432

  • French spy agency chief warns of high terror risk. Bernard Squarcini, director of France’s Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST) counterintelligence agency, has warned that the country’s military presence in Afghanistan is among the reasons that have made France a prime target for radical Islamist groups.
  • Iran frees one of three Americans held on spy charges. American Sarah Shourd, who has been held in Iran for more than a year on suspicion of spying, has been released by authorities in the Islamic Republic.
  • American civil rights photographer was FBI informant. New information shows that celebrated civil rights-era photographer Ernest Withers had been a paid informant for the FBI, reporting on the whereabouts and activities of the movement’s leaders, many of whom considered him a personal friend.
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Convicted gun smuggler ‘worked for French intelligence’

Arcadi Gaydamak

Arcadi Gaydamak

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A shady gun smuggler convicted earlier this year in France for illegally selling weapons to Angola, was a French intelligence agent, according to a French newspaper. Speaking to Le Figaro, Charles Pasqua, France’s former interior minister, said that Arcady Gaydamak, who fled to Israel to escape imprisonment in France, was formerly an agent of DST, France’s domestic intelligence agency. Pasqua even said that Gaydamak, who holds Israeli, Russian and French citizenship, was secretly cited by former French President Jacques Chirac for his secret intelligence work. Speaking to Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Gaydamak confirmed Pasqua’s revelations, and said his work was “so secret” that “the citations spoke of his contribution to ‘agriculture’ instead”. Read more of this post

French “trial of the century” continues with ex-spy’s testimony

Philippe Rondot

Philippe Rondot

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A complex court case in France, which the nation’s media have dubbed “trial of the century”, continued this week with the testimony of one of France’s most distinguished intelligence agents. Retired General Philippe Rondot, who worked for France’s domestic (DST) and foreign intelligence (DGSE), and advised several French leaders, gained international fame in 1994, when he managed to arrest Venezuelan-born operative Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos the Jackal. General Rondot was called earlier this week to testify whether France’s former Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, helped forge a series of documents showing that France’s current President, Nicolas Sarkozy, had laundered millions of dollars in defense contract bribes through secret accounts in Luxembourg’s Clearstream bank. Mr. de Villepin will face up to five years in prison if found guilty of the forgery. Read more of this post

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