News you may have missed #495

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Emirates authorities deny Oman spy ring allegations

Oman

Oman

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The government of the United Arab Emirates has denied operating an espionage network in the neighboring Sultanate of Oman, saying that spying goes against the country’s values. The official denial was issued in response to a news report by Oman’s state news agency, which said that Omani authorities had uncovered a spy ring targeting the country’s intelligence and military apparatus. According to the report, issued yesterday by the Oman News Agency, the country’s security services “discovered a spy network affiliated to the State Security Service in the United Arab Emirates”, leading to several arrests across the Sultanate. No further information was issued by the news agency, but Reuters quoted an anonymous Omani government source, who said that the alleged spy network was first uncovered two months ago, and that the arrestees include “Omani nationals”. The news of the espionage allegations have perplexed observers, who consider the UAE and Oman to be generally on good terms. Both countries belong to the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, an increasingly unified political and economic union that involves the region’s pro-Western oil states, including Saudi Arabia. One notable difference between the UAE and Oman is the latter’s traditionally close relations with Iran, with which it maintains common energy concerns. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #350

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News you may have missed #346 (Iran spy ring edition)

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Alleged Iranian spy cell busted in Kuwait

Al-Qabas

Al-Qabas website

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A leading Kuwaiti newspaper has claimed that government agencies captured members of an alleged Iranian spy cell in the Gulf state. Citing “senior intelligence sources”, Al-Qabas daily said that Kuwaiti counterintelligence officers arrested at least seven men last week, and are looking for up to seven others, in connection with an extensive espionage ring operating on behalf of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Revolutionary Guards are an independent administrative and paramilitary institution in Iran, tasked with –among other things– exporting the Iranian Revolution abroad. They handle most of Iran’s intelligence operatives around the world, who, according to some observers, number in the tens of thousands. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #319

  • CIA asks Gulf countries to monitor terrorist funding. The CIA has reportedly asked Arab/Persian Gulf countries “to tighten surveillance and look for any suspicious movement of funds” in regional banks.
  • Questions remain in Headley terrorism case. The New York Times has aired an update on the court case of Pakistani-American 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. The paper points out that Headley “moved effortlessly between the United States, Pakistan and India for nearly seven years, training at a militant camp in Pakistan on five occasions”. There has been intense speculation in India and Pakistan that Headley is in fact a renegade CIA agent.

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Iran has as many as 40,000 spies in Arab world, says defector

Al Arabiya logo

Al Arabiya logo

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
An alleged former Iranian spy, who defected several years ago, claims that the Islamic Republic has “as many as 40,000” covert operatives in the Persian Gulf. The alleged defector spoke anonymously to al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned pan-Arabic television network based in the United Arab Emirates. He told his interviewer that the activities of the undercover operatives are coordinated by the Iranian military’s Revolutionary Guards unit. Among other revelations, the unidentified defector said that Iranian spy cells tend to work in groups of five and operate independently, usually unaware of the operations or even existence of other nearby cells. Read more of this post