News you may have missed #747

Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich OlympicsBy TIMOTHY W. COLEMAN | intelNews.org |
►►Dutch media reportedly spied on China. Dutch media participated in a clandestine intelligence collection effort on behalf of the Netherlands General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. According to Dutch sources, at least seven reporters attending the Olympics were coaxed into, and were paid for, collecting information and taking photos of targeted Chinese officials interested in speaking with Dutch company and industry representatives. The AIVD did not comment on the allegations but did remark that Dutch law allows them to contact anyone who could provide or has access to intelligence.
►►Nicaragua arrests Colombian national for espionage. According to the Spanish-language weekly newspaper Semana, General Julio Cesar Aviles, the head of Nicaragua’s Army, announced the arrest of Colombian national Luis Felipe Rios, for seeking to “obtain Nicaraguan state documents about defense and national security”. The 34-year old Rios was apparently captured in Managua on Tuesday after having been under the surveillance of Nicaraguan counterintelligence officials for over a year. Rios was in Nicaragua under the guise of being a Spanish national working for a media outlet. The lead prosecutor in Nicaragua, Armando Juarez, claimed that there was “sufficient proof” to prosecute Rios. Colombian officials, including President Juan Manuel Santos, have stated they are investigating the matter.
►►Neo-Nazi linked to 1972 Munich Olympic terrorists. Recently released files by Germany’s security service, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), links neo-Nazi Willi Pohl to forged passports provided to Black September terrorists who perpetrated the 1972 attack at the Munich Olympics. The attack resulted in the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes. According to German magazine Der Spiegel, over 2,000 documents were released in which the BfV asserts that Pohl assisted and even chauffeured one Black September member around Germany in the weeks leading up to the attack. German police arrested Pohl in 1972 for “unauthorized possession of firearms” and sentenced him to two years’ incarceration for possessing grenades and weapons. He was released only a few days after his conviction and he fled the country, ending up in Lebanon.

Advertisements

Colombian government to probe calls for ‘military coup’

President Santos (in blue tie) with Colombian military officialsBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Colombian authorities have opened an official investigation into calls to remove the government of the country, which were found circulating among former and current military officials. The investigation was announced on Tuesday, nearly two weeks after the appearance in the Colombian media of a series of personal email exchanges, which appeared to suggest that the national administration of President Juan Manuel Santos should be removed from power. Some of the emails were exchanged between two influential retired military officers, Major Jorge Galvis Noyes and General Eduardo Santos Quiñones. One message was authored by Galvis on May 15, 2012, shortly after a massive bomb exploded in Colombian capital Bogota, which killed five people and injured 17. The bomb, according to President Santos, was directed against the country’s former Minister of the Interior, Fernando Londoño Hoyos, who is said to have links with rightwing paramilitary groups. Galvis’ email lamented the “attempt [that] was made on the life of Fernando Londoño” and criticized the government of President Santos for not preventing it. He continued by suggesting that Santos should “fulfill his political duties […], otherwise he should be “removed from office”. Around that time, General Quiñones authored an open call against President Santos, which he apparently circulated via email among dozens of senior military officers. The letter blasted the Santos administration, stating that Colombia was ready for “a real leader”. In recent months, rightwing political figures connected to Colombia’s previous President, Alvaro Uribe, have been virulently attacking the Santos administration, accusing it of being “soft” against leftwing paramilitary groups –primarily the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Read more of this post

News you may have missed #635

Vitaly Shlykov

Vitaly Shlykov

►►UK to support Colombia’s new intelligence agency. The UK has announced that it will provide help and advice on the implementation of Colombia’s new national intelligence agency. Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, along with National Security Adviser, Sergio Jaramillo, met with the director of Britain’s secret service MI6 to exchange experiences in intelligence to implement the new National Intelligence Agency of Colombia (ANIC). ANIC is supposed to replace the DAS, Colombia’s disgraced intelligence agency, which has been stigmatized by colluding with paramilitary groups and spying on union leaders, journalists and opposition politicians.
►►US intelligence to train analysts with videogames. The US intelligence community’s research group, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA), has handed over $10.5 million to Raytheon BBN Technologies to start work on the Sirius program. The initiative aims to create a series of so-called “serious games” that would help intelligence analysts improve their objectivity and reasoned judgment when confronted with complex or culturally foreign scenarios.
►►Soviet spy who spent years in Swiss prison dies at 77. Vitaly Shlykov served for 30 years in the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff, known as GRU. During his career, he made frequent trips to the West on a false American passport. One of his duties was to maintain contacts with Dieter Felix Gerhardt, a senior officer of the South African Navy who was working as a Soviet spy. In 1983, Shlykov was arrested in Zurich while carrying about $100,000 in cash to hand over to Gerhardt’s wife. Soviet intelligence was unaware that Gerhardt and his wife had been arrested a few weeks earlier and had told interrogators about the meeting in Switzerland.

Charges finally announced in Colombia wiretap scandal

Alvaro Uribe

Alvaro Uribe

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Colombia’s chief prosecutor has finally announced criminal charges against ten former government officials accused of spying on political opponents of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. As intelNews reported in April, Colombia’s Administrative Department of Security (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, or DAS) suffered one of the most extensive purges in its history, when 22 (later joined by 11 more) of its detectives were fired for illegally wiretapping several public figures. Those targeted by the wiretaps included the chief of the Colombian National Police, minister of defense Juan Manuel Santos, former President Cesar Gaviria, supreme court judges, prominent journalists, union leaders and human rights campaigners. Read more of this post

More agents fired in Colombian wiretap scandal probe

Juan M. Santos

Juan M. Santos

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Last April, Colombia’s Administrative Department of Security (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, or DAS) suffered one of the most extensive purges in its history, when 22 of its detectives were fired in connection with an investigation into illegal wiretapping against several public figures in Colombian political life. On Saturday, the scandal-plagued agency firedanother 11 of its operatives, which raises the running total of purged DAS agents to 33. Last April, intelNews reportedthat those targeted by the illegal wiretappers included Supreme Court judges, prominent journalists, as well as the chief of the Colombian National Police, former president Cesar Gaviria, and even the minister of defense Juan Manuel Santos. Read more of this post

Analysis: Major Colombian wiretap scandal explained

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Last April, Colombia’s Administrative Department of Security (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, or DAS) suffered one of the most extensive purges in its history, when 22 of its detectives were fired in connection with an investigation into illegal wiretapping against several public figures in Colombian political life. Those targeted by the illegal wiretappers included Supreme Court judges, prominent journalists, as well as the chief of the Colombian National Police, former president Cesar Gaviria, and even the minister of defense Juan Manuel Santos. Investigative reporter Joseph Huff-Hanon has produced what in this writer’s opinion is the best English-language analysis of the political dimension of the Colombian wiretap scandal. Read more of this post

Agents fired as probe into Colombian wiretap scandal continues

Juan M. Santos

Juan M. Santos

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Colombia’s Administrative Department of Security (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad, or DAS) suffered one of the most extensive purges in its history this week, when 22 of its detectives were fired in connection with an investigation into illegal wiretapping. Last January, the scandal-prone counterintelligence service was revealed to have engaged in systematic communications interception against several public figures in Colombian political life. Those targeted included Supreme Court judges, prominent journalists, as well as the chief of the Colombian National Police, former president Cesar Gaviria, and even the minister of defense Juan Manuel Santos. The warrantless interceptions appeared to be part of a concerted effort to discover the “vices and weaknesses” of public figures, including “details about sexual preferences”, extra-marital affairs, and liquor or drug habits. Read more of this post