News you may have missed #650

Robert BaerBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►US ex-DoD official says drone captured by Iran ‘seems fake’. Newspaper USA Today quotes an anonymous US former Pentagon official, who said that, according to video footage of the drone on display in Iran, not only is it the drone the wrong color, but also the welds along the wing joints do not appear to conform to the stealth design that helps it avoid radar detection.
►►Ex-CIA officer says collapse of CIA operations benefits Iran. The collapse of CIA operations in Lebanon, following Hezbollah’s unmasking of several CIA spies and the recent naming of the agency’s station chief, is a serious blow to the US’ ability to gather intelligence, says Robert Baer, a former CIA officer who operated in Lebanon in the 1980s.
►►Iran indicts 15 in alleged US-Israeli spy ring. An Iranian prosecutor announced on Tuesday that his government has indicted 15 people who allegedly spied on the Islamic Republic for the US and Israel. Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi did not name the alleged spies, who are suspected of having ties to the American CIA and Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. IntelNews readers may remember that, in May, Iran’s intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, announced the alleged discovery of a CIA-directed spy network in Iran of more than 30 people.

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News you may have missed #500

News you may have missed #479 (Iran edition)

  • Iran arrests alleged CIA agent. Iran’s intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, has told the country’s state TV that authorities arrested an Iranian that he says was working for the CIA, and allegedly set up a network of aides to gather information during anti-government protests last week.
  • Yemen charges family with spying for Iran. Yemeni prosecutors allege that Muhammad al-Hatmi was a paid Iranian agent from 1998 to 2010, and passed money to rebels so they could expand their activities into Saudi Arabia. Al-Hatmi’s wife and son have been charged with aiding him by conveying money and communications.
  • Leaked intelligence report claims Iran intensifies uranium hunt. The Associated Press has published the findings of a leaked intelligence report, from an undisclosed IAEA member-country, which claims that Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met secretly last month with senior Zimbabwean mining officials “to resume negotiations […] for the benefit of Iran’s uranium procurement plan”.

News you may have missed #463

  • Iranian spy minister admits hacking emails. Iran’s Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi has publicly admitted that the Iranian government has hacked into the emails of Iranian opposition members. He claimed the hacking, conducted by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, revealed messages exchanged between “foreigners and their elements inside Iran”.
  • Details on CIA officer killed in Afghanistan. An interesting article in The Washingtonian offers an interesting background story on Jennifer Matthews, a CIA officer who was killed nearly a year ago in Afghanistan in a suicide bombing by Taliban double-agent Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi.
  • China jails South Korean alleged spy. China is getting tougher with South Korean spies caught on Chinese soil collecting intelligence on North Korea, and has jailed one of them for more than a year, despite pleas from Seoul, according to news reports.

Iran announces arrests of alleged nuclear spies

Heidar Moslehi

Heidar Moslehi

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The Iranian government has announced the arrest of an unspecified number of alleged nuclear spies, reportedly in connection with a sophisticated virus that infected computers used in Iran’s nuclear energy program. The arrests were publicized on Sunday by Heidar Moslehi, Iran’s Minister of Intelligence, who said those arrested had helped facilitate the spread of the so-called Stuxnet virus last June. The malicious program, which appears to have been designed to sabotage sensitive hardware components found specifically in nuclear centrifuges, has infected at least 100,000 computer systems worldwide, most of which are located in Iran. Speaking to Iranian media, Moslehi accused Israel and the United States of trying to sabotage the Iranian nuclear energy program, but noted that Iran’s intelligence services have resumed “complete supervision of cyberspace” and will successfully prevent “any leak or destruction” of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear research and development program by outside forces. But elsewhere in Tehran, Hamid Alipour, an Iranian government Senior Information and Technology official, admitted that technical experts are still working on containing the virus, which appears to be mutating. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #329

  • Iran insists US hikers had intelligence links. Iran’s intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, has said that Americans Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd, who were arrested on Iranian soil last July, “were in contact with intelligence services”. The evidence would “soon be made public”, he said.
  • Gerdes case shows difficulty of CIA jobs. The case of CIA employee Kerry Gerdes, who was recently convicted for falsifying interview reports while performing background checks on CIA employees and potential employees, reveals how difficult the job is for young CIA recruits, who expect it to be exciting or glamorous, according to seasoned investigators.
  • US still denying India access to Headley. There has been intense speculation in India and Pakistan that David Coleman Headley, a former US Drug Enforcement Administration informant, who was arrested by the FBI in October for plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper, is in fact a renegade CIA agent. Could this be why the US is denying India access to Headley?

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