Britain says at least 20 countries spying on it

Britain’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper has revealed a government report, which states that the UK is a “high priority espionage target” for “at least 20 foreign intelligence services”. The report, issued to UK government departments on January 19, 2009, warns against overlooking traditional espionage threats while focusing almost solely on the activities of al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups. Authored by a group of British Army Intelligence Corps officers, the report identifies Chinese and Russian espionage networks as the most active on British soil, and discloses that “[t]he number of Russian intelligence officers in London has not fallen since the Soviet times”. But it also points out to at least 18 other national intelligence services that “are operating to some degree against UK interests”, such as those of Syria, Iran, Serbia, North Korea, as well as Britain’s EU and NATO allies France and Germany. The document further notes that foreign intelligence services “are targeting commercial enterprises far more than in the past”, including “communications technologies, IT, genetics, aviation, lasers, optics, electronics and many other fields”. The British government has so far refused to comment on The Sunday Telegraph‘s revelations.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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