CIA technical expert arrested for pilfering equipment

Anritsu spectrum analyzer

An analyzer

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A CIA communications technology specialist has been charged with selling CIA communications equipment to a private broker. FBI counterintelligence agents arrested Todd Brandon Fehrmann on February 26, several weeks after he sold $60,000-worth of equipment to Massachusetts-based Bizi International, Inc. Fehrmann’s CIA connection is concealed in the FBI affidavit, but The Washington Times says US government officials and even Fehrmann himself have now confirmed that he worked for the agency. The pilfered equipment appears to have included a dozen portable spectrum analyzers –handheld devices used to detect and gauge cell phone signals, among other things. Read more of this post

Is CIA collaborating with Palestinian spy agencies?

West Bank

West Bank

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A British newspaper has alleged that Palestinian security agencies in the West Bank are working with the CIA so closely that CIA officials “consider them as their property”. London-based quality broadsheet The Guardian said that CIA agents routinely advise and supervise the work of the two main security agencies of the Fatah-aligned Palestinian National Authority, namely the General Intelligence service and the Preventive Security Organization. The trouble with this arrangement is that both services have been documented to resort to severe torture of West Bank members of rival Palestinian group Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2006. And the CIA has had more than a little trouble with torture in recent times. So is the CIA guiding overzealous Palestinian National Authority security agents in extracting intelligence by torturing Hamas sympathizers? Read more of this post

Lithuania’s spy chief resigns over secret CIA prison probe

Malakauskas

Malakauskas

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The director of Lithuania’s intelligence service unexpectedly resigned on Monday, reportedly in connection with a parliamentary investigation into a reputed CIA secret prison site in the country. IntelNews regulars will remember that last November ABC News cited CIA officials in alleging that the Lithuanian government provided the CIA with an unmarked building located in Lithuanian capital Vilnius, with the understanding that it would be used as a so-called black site for secretly detaining high-value al-Qaeda suspects. Lithuanian government officials denied the allegation, but promised to set up a high-level probe into the matter. But the members of the parliamentary committee that was established to examine the ABC News revelations soon found themselves shunned by Lithuanian intelligence officials. According to the committee head, Arvydas Anusauskas, the parliamentarians were offered ambiguous answers or no answers at all by Lithuanian secret service agencies. Read more of this post

Lithuania also hosted CIA black sites, says ABC News

Dick Marty

Dick Marty

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
After Poland and Romania, the former Soviet republic of Lithuania has been identified by US information outlet ABC News as another European nation that secretly hosted CIA prisons after 9/11. ABC News reporter Matthew Cole says former CIA officials told him that the Lithuanian government provided the CIA with a building located in suburban Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, with the understanding that it would be used as a so-called black site for secretly detaining high-value al-Qaeda suspects. The CIA reportedly used the building to detain up to eight suspects for over a year each, until December of 2005, when public rumors about the existence of the prison forced the CIA to abandon it. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0003

  • CIA declassifies 1960 estimate report on Israeli nukes. The report, which is still heavily redacted, suggests a nuclear Israel would “be less inclined than ever to make concessions and would press its interests in the area more vigorously”. According to recent estimates, Israel has approximately 200 nuclear bombs and warheads.
  • Accused spies were planning to flee US, says Bureau. FBI prosecutors say the couple’s sailboat and maps of Cuban waters are evidence they planned to flee to Cuba. An entry on a personal calendar found at the couple’s home shows they planned to go sailing in the Caribbean in November, with no return date.
  • CIA defends Panetta’s remarks on Cheney. Director didn’t say that former US Vice-President Dick Cheney would like to see the US attacked, says Agency spokesperson Paul Gimigliano.
  • Senior al-Qaeda figure says he lied under CIA torture. Alleged al-Qaeda senior leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed says pain he suffered under torture forced him to “make up stories” and falsely admit he was behind “nearly 30 terror plots”. Meanwhile, the CIA has released more torture transcripts after a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

CIA, still bitter about Cheney, rejects application to release memos

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
On April 20, former US Vice-President Dick Cheney urged the CIA to declassify several internal documents that “showed the success” of the Agency’s torture program against captured members of al-Qaeda. Several weeks earlier Cheney had actually applied to the US National Archives and Records Administration for the release of two internal documents pertaining to the torture controversy. But on Thursday, CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano issued an official letter rejecting Cheney’s application, because “the two memos […] were relevant to pending litigation” against the Agency. The CIA official assured reporters that the decision to reject Cheney’s application was made “[f]or that reason –and that reason only”. But insiders tell intelNews that Cheney’s clout with the CIA has been severely diminished, following his failure to come to the Agency’s rescue after a departing President Bush blamed the CIA for producing “false intelligence” on Iraq. Read more of this post