News you may have missed #0207

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News you may have missed #0174

  • West feared German reunification in 1989, documents show. The fall of the Berlin Wall 20 years ago caused major anxiety in not only Eastern, but also Western capitals, to the point of outright opposition to a possible German unification, according to documents published last Friday by the National Security Archive.
  • Convicted CIA agents also in Norway. At least two of the 22 (not 23, as the article mistakenly states) CIA agents convicted last week for the 2003 abduction from Italy of Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, were also active in Norway, according to Norwegian daily Stavanger Aftenblad.
  • Shin Bet tried to recruit alleged Israeli terrorist. Jack Teitel, an American-born Jewish settler who was recently arrested for allegedly having murdered two Palestinians, was asked by Israel’s internal intelligence agency to inform on extremist Israeli groups after the attacks, the agency said Friday.

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News you may have missed #0145

  • Alleged Norwegian spies appeal Congo sentence. Two Norwegian citizens arrested last May in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on spying charges have begun an appeal against their sentence. The DRC has ordered Norway to pay $60 million in reparations for the spying incident, but Oslo says the two men had no ties to the Norwegian government.
  • Mother of Israeli-handled spy sues government. The mother of Muhamad Said Sabr, an Egyptian nuclear engineer convicted in 2007 of spying for Israel, has filed a damage suit against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ambassador to Egypt Shalom Cohen. She claims mental damage as a result of her son’s being recruited by the Mossad.
  • Pakistan defends spy agencies after week of carnage. Pakistan defended its intelligence agencies Tuesday after a bloody week which saw 125 people killed in a wave of attacks blamed on Taliban militants. Interior Minister Rehman Malik alleged the country’s spy services “foiled at least a hundred attacks before they were carried out”. But local media have reported that the threat to army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi was known in advance by police.

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Westerners arrested for “spying” in Congo had Kenyan links

Joshua French

Joshua French

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The bizarre case of two Norwegian citizens arrested in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last May on spying charges is getting ever more complex. Tjostolv Moland, 28, and Joshua French, 27 (photo), were arrested in Kisangani, DRC, after their Congolese driver was found murdered with a bullet wound in his head. Prosecutors also accuse the two Norwegians of trying to kill a murder witness on orders of the Norwegian government, which has denied any connection with the two prisoners. Now, according to an investigation by Norway’s TV2 channel, Moland and French are said to have had a formal contract with the government of Kenya to train a 120-member elite security unit responsible for protecting VIPs in the country. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0105

  • Trial of Serb former intelligence chiefs opens today. The trial of Jovica Stanišić, Director of Serbia’s State Security Service from 1990 until 1998, and Stojan Župljanin, commander of the Bosnian Serb police during the Bosnian war, opens today at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in The Hague. As intelNews has reported before, at least two eponymous CIA agents have admitted that Stanišić was a CIA collaborator from 1991 until 1998.
  • Lithuanian Prime Minister was KGB agent, says board. A Lithuanian commission tasked with uncovering pro-Moscow informants and intelligence agents during the country’s communist period, has concluded that Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, Lithuania’s first Prime Minister after the country’s 1990 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, secretly collaborated with the Soviet KGB.
  • Congo says it won’t execute Norwegian alleged spies. Norway’s foreign minister says he has been assured that the two Norwegians who were sentenced to death by a Congolese military tribunal last week on spying charges will not be executed.

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Does Norway engage in international espionage?

NIS HQ

NIS HQ

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The death sentences handed down earlier this week by a Congolese military court to two alleged Norwegian spies, prompted Brian Palmer, of Slate magazine, to ask: do small countries like Norway engage in international espionage? The answer, of course, is yes. Palmer explains that intelligence agencies of smaller countries tend to be extremely focused on bordering nations. As a result, when it comes to their immediate geographical neighborhood, their intelligence knowledge and capabilities often surpass those of larger intelligence powers. Norway is a good example of this. Read more of this post

Norwegians sentenced to death for “spying” in Congo

Joshua French

Joshua French

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Two Norwegian citizens were sentenced to death yesterday by a Congolese military court for arms smuggling, murder, attempted murder and spying for the Norwegian government. The two have been identified as Tjostolv Moland, 28, and Joshua French, 27 (photo).  Both were arrested in May in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), after their Congolese driver was found murdered with a bullet wound in his head. Prosecutors also accuse the two Norwegians of trying to kill a murder witness. Immediately upon their arrest, Moland and French were treated as Norwegian government agents, because they carried Norwegian military identification. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0032

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Video alleges Moscow policy of assassinating Chechen expats

Khadirov

Khadirov

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Just days after the latest mysterious assassination of a former Chechen commander in Turkey, a video has surfaced on YouTube in which a Chechen man reveals how he was tasked by pro-Moscow authorities in Chechnya with killing a pro-independence Chechen leader in Norway. The two-minute video features Ruslan Khalidov, who claims he is a nephew of Shaa Turlayev, a prominent former bodyguard of the late Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov. Maskhadov was assassinated by Russian FSB agents in 2005. Khalidov states that he was repeatedly tortured by Chechen authorities operating under the instructions of pro-Moscow Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. He was then blackmailed into agreeing to perform a series of covert tasks in Norway, including providing Norwegian authorities with disinformation on Chechen expats in Norway, and assassinating Magomed Ocherhadji, a vocal pro-independence Chechen community leader based in the Scandinavian country. Read more of this post

Peru wiretapping scandal involves Norwegian oil company

Alan Garcia

Alan Garcia

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Last October, a television station in Peru aired intercepted telephone conversations in which high-level politicians were heard accepting payments by lobbyists in return for awarding state oil contracts to a Discover Petroleum, a small Norwegian oil company. The revelation caused one of the worst crises in modern Peruvian political history, prompting the entire cabinet of President Alan Garcia to resign. Now the country’s Department of Justice is investigating charges of corruption against the president of Discover Petroleum, several lobbyists, numerous government oil executives, and three former government ministers. Meanwhile, the Peruvian police is targeting the people responsible for…intercepting the revelatory telephone calls. Six people were arrested late last week for illegally recording the telephone discussions on behalf of Business Track SAC, a private security company. Interestingly, five of the six are either retired or active counterintelligence officers of the Peruvian Navy. Read more of this post

Convicted Norwegian operative refused new hearing

The spy baby pram used by the Norwegian security police against Treholt in 1983

The spy baby pram used by the Norwegian security police against Treholt in 1983

Norwegian former Defense Ministry official, Arne Treholt, who was convicted in 1985 for espionage on behalf of the Russian KGB and the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS), has been denied a new hearing by a Norwegian review committee. This was the fourth time Treholt had applied to be considered by the Norwegian Criminal Cases Review Commission, in an attempt “to clear his name”. In 1984, Norway’s Politiets Sikkerhetstjeneste (Police Security Agency, or PST) arrested Treholt at an Oslo’s Fornebu airport while the official was on his way to meet a Soviet KGB agent in Vienna, Austria. The PST recently revealed some details of the counterintelligence operation against Treholt, which included surveillance activity in Helsinki, Finland. Read more of this post

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