Dutch diplomat arrested for spying for Russia

Anna ChapmanBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Authorities in Holland have arrested a Dutch diplomat who is said to have worked for the same Russian intelligence unit that handled a group of Russian sleeper agents captured in the United States in 2010. The 60-year-old diplomat, who has been publicly identified only as Raymond P., was arrested over the weekend in The Hague following an extensive investigation by German counterintelligence. According to German newsmagazine Focus, which first aired the story on Saturday, the diplomat is believed to have given nearly 500 classified documents to Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag, two Russian intelligence officers operating in Germany. The Anschlags, who are married to each other, and are believed to be Mexican-born, were arrested in October of 2011 in the university town of Marburg in central Germany. They are thought to have moved to Germany from Mexico in 1990, using false Austrian passports supplied to them by the SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. At the time of the Anschlags’ arrest, Russian media claimed that the couple had “effectively retired” from the SVR several years ago and were being utilized mostly as message couriers. It now appears that Raymond P. was one of their informants, and that the three operated as part of the same espionage ring in Germany. Interestingly, the Anschlags were also said to be in frequent contact with Russian intelligence agent Anna Chapman (pictured), who was arrested by the FBI in the US in 2010. Chapman was part of a group of 11 Russian sleeper agents who were arrested on the same day by the FBI, and were later expelled to Russia. Read more of this post

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News you may have missed #707

Gareth WilliamsBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Russian colonel charged with spying for the US. Russia charged a reserve colonel with espionage on Tuesday, for selling what officials said were classified topographical maps to the United States Department of Defense. The officer, Vladimir Lazar, purchased a disk with over 7,000 topographical images of Russian territory from a collector he met on the Internet in 2008, smuggled it into neighboring Belarus and gave it to a Russian citizen working for the United States, the prosecutor general’s office said in a statement. An investigation found that the materials could be used for planning military operations, including missile strikes. Officials did not disclose when Lazar was arrested or give his current whereabouts.
►►FBI denies Russian spy tried to sexually entice US cabinet official. On April 1, British newspaper The Independent quoted C. Frank Figliuzzi, the assistant FBI director for counterintelligence, saying that the recently discovered Russian illegals spy ring, which included Anna Chapman, was “getting close enough to a sitting US cabinet member that we thought we could no longer allow this to continue”. Now the FBI says that Figliuzzi “was misquoted”, and that “there is no allegation or suggestion in the complaint that Anna Chapman or anyone else associated with this investigation attempted to seduce a US Cabinet official”.
►►London police admits ‘errors’ in MI6 officer’s death investigation. A coroner was given a wrong name for a witness in the case of an MI6 officer Gareth Williams, whose body was found in a bag in a London flat in August of 2010. The Metropolitan Police said “administrative errors” led to the coroner being given three different names for Elizabeth Guthrie. She is expected to be questioned about her contact with the MI6 officer in the months before his death. At a pre-inquest hearing last week coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox said “there has been some confusion” over the identity of the witness.

Alleged Russian spies in Germany used low-tech methods to evade detection

Anna Chapman

Anna Chapman

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A couple arrested in Germany last week on suspicion of working for Russian intelligence, was using low-tech radio communications to receive orders from Moscow, according to media reports. The two arrestees have been identified as Andreas and Heidrun Anschlag; German prosecutors accuse them of spying for SVR, the successor to the KGB’s First Chief Directorate (PGU), responsible for foreign operations and intelligence collection abroad. They are said to have worked as non-official-cover operatives for the KGB and SVR since at least 1990, when they entered Germany from Mexico, using forged Austrian travel documents. Authorities in Germany say that Heidrun Anschlag, 51, was caught by German police in the act of listening to encrypted radio messages from Moscow. German investigators are reportedly puzzled by the fact that, in the Internet age, when most intelligence operatives employ digital secure communications, the Anschlags insisted on using a low-tech method that mostly died with the end of the Cold War. But intelNews readers will remember the case of former United States State Department analysts Walter and Gwendolyn Myers, who were arrested in 2009 for spying on the US for Cuba for over 30 years. Shortly after the Myers’ arrest, we wrote that the couple appeared to have avoided capture for decades, precisely because their communications with the government of Cuba were too low-tech to be detected by sophisticated US monitors. The latter tend to focus on scanning for encrypted satellite or microwave communications which —among other hi-tech means— are now the communication method of choice for modern clandestine spy networks. But some intelligence agencies, including —apparently— the SVR, appear to insist on using old-school oral cipher signals, based on straightforward number-to-letter codes, which they broadcast to their agents over predetermined shortwave frequencies at specified times. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #421 (‘not news’ edition)

  • Not news: Senior Afghan officials on CIA payroll. The New York Times‘ Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins are right to air this story, but the real news here is the media industry’s collective gasp of fake shock and horror. Really?
  • Not news: Pentagon breached by foreign hacker. US Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn has disclosed that an undisclosed foreign spy agency carried out a serious cyberattack on US military networks with the help of a tainted flash drive that was inserted into a laptop in the Middle East. Ah, the old memory-stick gift trick
  • Not news: Sex-obsessed coverage of Russian espionage continues. Russian and US media keep avoiding serious analysis of post-Cold-War Russian intelligence operations by focusing on Anna Chapman. This is no surprise, since pursuing the real story behind Russian deep-cover espionage in the United States takes hard work.>response to Le Carre’s comments.

News you may have missed #398

  • Britain’s first spy chief ordered Rasputin’s murder. Mansfield Cumming, or ‘C’ as he became known, was the first chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). In December 1916, he sent three agents in Russia to eliminate Grigori Rasputin, an influential Orthodox Russian priest who had a positive view of Germany.
  • Russian spy network moved money to Zimbabwe. A Zimbabwean company called Southern Union is alleged to have been used by exposed Russian spy Anna Chapman in a money smuggling operation involving a syndicate linked to the Robert Mugabe regime.
  • Iran says nuclear scientist gave valuable info on CIA. Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency says that Iranian nuclear scientist Dr. Shahram Amiri, who resurfaced and returned home last week from the United States, after having disappeared during a 2009 religious pilgrimage to Mecca, has provided Iran with “valuable information” on the CIA.

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News you may have missed #396 (Russian spy ring edition V)

  • 12th Russian spy network member deported from US. Alexey Karetnikov, a 23-year-old Russian citizen living in Seattle, has been deported to his home country, apparently in connection with the Russian illegals spy network uncovered by the FBI last month. A photograph of Karetnikov is available here.
  • Returned spies look to changed identities. Several of the Russian agents detained in the United States in June and handed over to Russia last week will change their identities under a witness protection program, a Russian intelligence official said last week. All but three of the agents were using false names when they were arrested by the FBI on June 27.
  • Russian spy Chapman stripped of UK citizenship. Anna Chapman, also known as Anya Kushchenko, one of the Russian spies deported from the United States, has been deprived of her British citizenship, and exclusion is expected to follow, meaning she cannot travel to the UK. She has a UK passport through a previous marriage.

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News you may have missed #394 (Russia-US spy swap edition III)

  • Russian spy’s call to father triggered arrests. A telephone call from Russian spy Anna Chapman to her father in Moscow led US counterintelligence services to hasten the arrests of her and nine Russian agents in the United States, claims The Washington Post.
  • Non-Russian spy Pelaez to return to Peru in month. Vicky Pelaez, a journalist with dual US-Peruvian citizenship, who was deported from the United States to Russia on a spy swap, will return to Peru no sooner than in a month, Pelaez’s lawyer, Carlos Moreno, said on Monday.
  • Alleged CIA spy Sutyagin may return to Russia. Igor Sutyagin, a Russian arms expert convicted of espionage in 2004, may return home after he was deported to England in a spy swap with the US, according to his former colleague Pavel Podvig. “He has Russian citizenship, his wife and daughters are in Russia and he has been pardoned by the President”, said Podvig.

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