Russian ‘spy’ breaks silence, wants to leave UK for Russia

Igor Sutyagin

Igor Sutyagin

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
One of the four Russian alleged spies that were handed over to the West in return for 11 Russian intelligence officers arrested in the US last month, has issued a public statement for the first time since his July 9 release from prison. At the time of his release, Dr. Igor Sutyagin, a nuclear expert who headed the Russian Academy of Sciences’ USA and Canada Institute, had served 11 years of a 15-year sentence, for allegedly passing state secrets to Alternative Futures, a British company alleged to be a CIA front by the Russian government. Once Washington included his name on the top-secret exchange list, Sutyagin was transferred from his prison cell in Kholmogory prison, near Arkhangelsk in northern Russia, to the Lefortovo high-security jail in Moscow. It was there that, following a meeting with this family, he was told that he would receive a Presidential pardon in exchange for his unconditional admission of guilt. Minutes after he agreed to the deal, the Russian scientist was flown to London, still in his prison uniform. Read more of this post

British government to investigate death of former Mossad agent

Ashraf Marwan

Ashraf Marwan

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
In June 2007, Dr. Ashraf Marwan, son-in-law of the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, fell to his death from the balcony of his London home. Last week, British authorities initiated a previously announced official investigation into Dr. Marwan’s death, following accusations by his widow, Mona Nasser, that he had been murdered. Undoubtedly, the late Dr. Marwan had plenty of enemies. In 1969 he walked in the Israeli embassy in London and told diplomatic officials that he wished to be employed as an agent for Israeli intelligence. After several interview sessions with Mossad officers, some involving the use of polygraph techniques, the Mossad employed him as an agent. It is said that Dr. Marwan proved invaluable to the Israelis, over a number of years. Read more of this post

Russia-US spy swap plan was almost shelved, say Russian media

Igor Sutyagin

Igor Sutyagin

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The unprecedented spy exchange between Russia and the United States nearly failed, after American and Russian planners came across several unforeseen problems during the run-up to the swap. Moscow-based daily newspaper Moskovsky Komzomolez cited a confidential source in Russian intelligence, who said that Washington almost cancelled the exchange deal in the early hours of July 9. This was after Russian media published the names of the four jailed Russian citizens who were to be given up by Moscow, in exchange for the ten Russian deep-cover spies arrested by the FBI in several US cities in June. The agreement almost came to a standstill again a few hours later, after Russian nuclear weapons expert Igor Sutyagin refused to officially admit guilt, a step that was required for the planned exchange to take place. The Russian scientist, who chaired a division in the Russian Academy of Sciences’ USA and Canada Institute, was serving a 15-year sentence for allegedly passing state secrets to a foreign company that was a front for the CIA. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #390 (Russia-US spy swap edition I)

  • In spy swap, agents were pawns in a practiced game. The US arrests were not made to facilitate a swap, said a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Rather, they were precipitated, at least partly, by the plans of several of the Russians to leave this country this summer.
  • Russian spies get tepid reception in Moscow. The 10 spies who pleaded guilty to acting as foreign agents in the United States, including one Peruvian, were given a tepid, uneasy reception in Russia on Friday. State-controlled national television channels reported their return briefly, with no patriotic fervor. No national TV channels carried live coverage of the plane’s landing, even though it was available from international news agencies.
  • Russian, US spies start new lives but mystery swirls. The 14 spies swapped by Moscow and Washington were starting new lives in Russia and the West last weekend, but mystery shrouded their precise whereabouts. In one case, Igor Sutyagin, a Russian nuclear arms expert who allegedly spied for the US, found himself at a hotel somewhere in Britain, without a visa and still wearing his Russian prison clothes.

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #363

  • Who killed ex-Mossad agent Ashraf Marwan? Dr. Marwan, son-in-law of the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who spied for Israel after 1969, fell to his death from the balcony of his London home in June 2007. British investigators have now announced a new inquiry into the circumstances of his death.
  • Ex-CIA agent accused of rape says he was set up. Andrew M. Warren, the CIA’s former Algiers station chief, who is accused of drugging and raping two Algerian women at his official residence, says the Algerian government set him up in a honey trap.
  • US Senate candidate admits false military intel award. Rep. Mark Kirk, a Navy reservist who was elected to Congress in 2001, and is currently a Republican candidate for Barack Obama’s old Senate seat, has admitted to falsely claiming he received the US Navy’s Intelligence Officer of the Year award in 2000.

Bookmark and Share

MI6 employee arrested for trying to sell documents

Daniel Houghton

Daniel Houghton

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
British authorities have detained a former MI6 employee after he was caught trying to sell classified documents to MI5 spooks posing as foreign agents. Daniel Houghton, 25, who was arrested on Monday at a central London hotel, worked for MI6 between September 2007 and May 2009. During the course of his employment, he apparently stole MI5 (and not MI6, as has been suggested) electronic documents, classified secret and top-secret, by copying them to CDs and DVDs. He then attempted to sell the material, which is said to relate to “techniques for intelligence collection”, for £2 million ($2.9 million), to MI5 agents posing as intelligence handlers of an unspecified foreign intelligence service. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0292 (al-Mabhouh assassination edition #3)

  • Former Mossad spy says Israel killed al-Mabhouh. Victor Ostrovsky, who worked for the Mossad in the 1980s, says the assassination of Hamas official Mahmound al-Mabhouh last month in Dubai has all the earmarks of a Mossad operation, and was likely sanctioned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • UK denies knowledge of Hamas murder plot. The British Foreign Office has denied a news report that the British intelligence service was told in advance that Israeli agents planned to assassinate senior Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, using British passports.
  • Anglo-Israeli intelligence co-operation is now in jeopardy. Britain has cut its ties with Mossad in the past –after its London station chief carelessly mislaid a sackful of forged British passports– and will do so again unless Israel can provide a credible defense of its actions, says The Daily Telegraph‘s Con Coughlin.

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0246 (CIA bombing edition)

  • Analysis: Strike on CIA base tests US assessment of al-Qaeda. The militant group appears to have achieved a new level of sophistication and may not be as weakened as US officials had thought.
  • Photo of CIA suicide bomber published. Qatar-based Arabic news network Al Jazeera has published a photograph of Jordanian doctor Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, 36, who last month killed at least 7 CIA agents in Khost, Afghanistan.
  • Al-Qaida CIA bomber was furious over Gaza war. Suicide bomber Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi was furious over Israel’s Gaza offensive, the London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported on Thursday, citing the man’s sister.
  • Analysis: The view from Jordan on CIA’s deaths in Khost. For Jordan, far more embarrassing than its role in the Khost suicide bombing, is its connection with the CIA, which while relatively well-known before, has now been put out in the public sphere for all to see –especially the Arab street.
  • London Arabic newspaper visits home of CIA bomber. The Jordanian authorities have imposed a security cordon around al-Balawi’s family home, which is located in the residential al-Nuzha district, close to the Jabal al-Hussein Palestinian refugee camp in the Jordanian capital of Amman. But a London-based Arabic-language newspaper correspondent managed to visit the location and speak with the bomber’s family members and neighbors.

Bookmark and Share

London ex-official admits falling for Chinese honey trap

Ian Clement

Ian Clement

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
London’s former deputy mayor, Ian Clement, has admitted he was lured by a female Chinese secret agent, who drugged him and ransacked his Beijing hotel room after having sex with him. Clement said he fell for “the oldest trick in the book”, euphemistically known as ‘honey trap’ in intelligence circles, while accompanying UK Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell to Beijing to “build contacts with potential investors” for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He said he became acquainted with an attractive Chinese woman at the exclusive official party on the opening night of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and had a few drinks with her. He then invited her to his hotel room, where he eventually became unconscious. Upon waking up, several hours later, he found that “the woman had rifled through confidential documents and downloaded details about how the capital is run from his BlackBerry Smartphone”. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0165

  • UK demands Russians deliver spy assassin. David Miliband, Britain’s foreign secretary pressed Russia during a visit to Moscow on Monday to turn over Andrey Lugovoi, the main suspect in the 2006 killing in London of Russian former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko. But, as before, Russia rejected the demand on legal grounds.
  • Analysis: Confusion in US intelligence secrecy policy. The decision last week by the Director of National Intelligence to declassify the FY2009 budget for the National Intelligence Program is inconsistent with other ODNI classification actions and highlights the confusion over the proper scope of national security secrecy that prevails in the US intelligence community today.
  • Equatorial Guinea pardons Western coup plotters. Four whites jailed for leading an alleged 2004 coup attempt in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea have been unexpectedly pardoned. They include Simon Mann, a British former Special Forces officer, and Nick du Toit, a South African mercenary. The Guinean government cited…”Jesus Christ” in making the decision to pardon the coup plotters.

Bookmark and Share

Irish leader used British-supplied bugs to spy on opponents: book

Charles Haughey

Charles Haughey

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Charles Haughey, Ireland’s Taoiseach (head of government) in the late 1970s, and on two instances in the 1980s, used audio surveillance devices supplied by a British security officer to spy on his domestic political opponents. This allegation is made by George Clarke, a former officer in the Special Branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (the name of the British police force in Northern Ireland until 2001), in his book Border Crossing, which was published last week. In it, Clarke says he purchased the devices at a specialist store in London, in 1979, and later lent them to an intelligence officer in the Garda, the police of the Republic of Ireland, for use in spy operations against the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Several months later, however, when Clarke requested that the devices be returned to him, he was told that they were in the possession of Charles Haughey, and that he was so fond of them that he simply refused to give them back. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0131

  • CIA active in UK, British MPs told. Charles Farr, the head of the British Home Office’s office of security and counter-terrorism, told members of the British Parliament that Britain had a “very close” relationship with the US intelligence community and that “declared” CIA personnel are active in the British Isles. IntelNews readers have been aware since last January that the CIA has been conducting “unprecedented intelligence-gathering operations in Britain”.
  • Denmark’s military spy chief resigns amid soldier book scandal. The publication of a book by Thomas Rathsack, former member of Jaegerkorps, an elite army unit, which reveals systematic breach of Geneva Convention directives by members of the unit deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, has prompted the resignation of the country’s military intelligence chief. Tim Sloth Joergensen announced his resignation on Sunday.
  • Wife of poisoned Russian spy criticizes Moscow visit. The widow of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated by radiation poison in London, where he was living after defecting to the UK, has criticized the prospect of a visit to Moscow by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, David Miliband. “That [Mr. Miliband’s] visit will take place exactly on the third anniversary of my husband’s poisoning is adding insult to injury”, said Marina Litvinenko.

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0109

  • Somali pirates have spies in London shipbroking. A report compiled by European military intelligence agencies says that Somali pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden and more recently the Indian Ocean have well-placed informers in London, a world center for shipbroking and maritime insurance. They also regularly use satellite phones and GPS tracking systems to zero in on their targets.
  • Canada denies entry visa to Russian official due to KGB ties. Mikhail Margelov, who heads the foreign affairs committee of the Russian parliament, was invited to participate in the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA) in Ottawa. But upon applying for an entry visa he was warned it could be denied because of his KGB ties. Observers say this episode may be indicative of a shift in Russo-Canadian relations.

Bookmark and Share

%d bloggers like this: