News you may have missed #865

Emad ShahinBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org
►►Renowned Egyptian scholar charged with espionage. Emad Shahin, a scholar of political Islam who has taught at Harvard, Notre Dame and the American University in Cairo and edited the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics, has been charged along with several senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood with conspiring with foreign organizations to undermine Egypt’s national security. He is listed as ‘Defendant 33’ in a lengthy criminal complaint that also names former President Mohamed Morsi, who was deposed in last summer’s military takeover.
►►Al-Qaeda training Western Islamists in Syria to set up cells abroad. British newspaper The Telegraph reports that, according to security sources, Westerners fighting for the Islamist opposition in Syria are being trained and then encouraged to return to the UK to launch attacks on home soil. The paper quotes an “al-Qaeda defector” from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), who says that “recruits from Britain, Europe and the US were being indoctrinated in extremist anti-Western ideology, trained in how to make and detonate car bombs and suicide vests and sent home to start new terror cells”.
►►Snowden has “no plans” to return to the United States. Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden has said he has “no chance” of a fair trial in the US and has no plans to return there. “There’s no no way I can come home and make my case to a jury”, he told the Free Snowden website. “Returning to the US, I think, is the best resolution for the government, the public, and myself, but it’s unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistleblower protection laws, which, through a failure in law, did not cover national security contractors like myself”, he said.

News you may have missed #341

  • Russian court rejects ‘spy’ scientist’s appeal. A Russian court has rejected an appeal for the release of academic Igor Sutyagin, former division head in the Russian Academy of Sciences’ USA and Canada Institute, who is serving a 15-year sentence for allegedly passing state secrets to foreign officials.
  • Ex-CIA agent’s arrest in VA was eventful, say sources. We reported earlier this week that Andrew M. Warren, the CIA’s Algiers station chief, who is accused of having drugged and raped two Algerian women at his official residence, was arrested at a Norfolk, Virginia motel, after he failed to show up for a court hearing. It now appears that Warren “had a gun in his waistband […] and officers used a taser to subdue him”.
  • Documents show CIA thought Gary Powers had defected. Declassified documents show the CIA did not believe that Gary Powers, who piloted the U2 spy plane shot down over Russia in 1960, causing the U2 incident, had been shot down. Instead, the agency spread the rumor that Powers “baled out and spent his first night as a defector in a Sverdlovsk nightclub”!

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News you may have missed #0285

  • Canadian government resists release of Cold-War-era files. Canadian journalists are fighting for the release of Cold-War-era government files on Tommy Douglas, a prominent social democratic politician idolized in Canada for his central role in establishing the country’s public health care system. But the government argues that releasing the files would imperil national security and compromise contemporary spy sources and methods.
  • NPR launches series on confidential informants. Informants are often considered a vital crime fighting tool; but what happens if those informants go astray? Washington-based National Public Radio is launching a special investigation into this controversial subject.
  • CIA returns to US university campuses. American anthropologist David Price explains that the US intelligence community is gradually re-establishing its academic recruitment network, which was shattered in the 1970s.

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News you may have missed #0208

  • Georgia denies entry to Russian ‘spies’. Georgia has denied entry to a delegation of Russian scholars from the Russian State Archive and the Center for Caucasian Research at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. It’s the second time this year that the Georgians have accused Russian researchers of being spies.
  • US monitors China’s hiring of foreign journalists. A report by the Open Source Center of the US Directorate of National Intelligence notes that China has been hiring a growing number of foreign reporters to serve as overseas correspondents.
  • Audio interview with NSA’s information assurance director. Dickie George, technical director of information assurance at the US National Security Agency, has given a rare audio interview to GovInfo Security. The first part of the interview is available here. The second part will be posted in a few days.

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New Zealand union says intelligence services spying on academics

Dr. Jane Kelsey

Dr. Jane Kelsey

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Back in February, intelNews reported on allegations, subsequently confirmed through declassification, that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) has been keeping files on several members of the country’s Parliament, some of them since they were children. Now the Wellington-based Tertiary Education Union (TEU) has alleged that NZSIS also spies on academics. The allegations follow a request by Dr. Jane Kelsey for the release of her NZSIS files. Professor Kelsey, a prominent scholarly critic of free trade policies, made the request after NZSIS agreed to release the files of several parliamentarians it had been monitoring for a many decades. Interestingly, NZSIS refused to confirm whether it possessed information on Dr. Kelsey. Read more of this post