Iran arrests seven with alleged CIA ties


RFE/RL's old HQ

The Iranian government has announced the arrests of seven people linked to a US government-funded radio station, some of whom it says were working for the CIA. The arrests were announced on February 7 by Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, which said some of the seven detainees had been “officially hired by US intelligence agencies” and had gone through “a selection and training process in Dubai and Istanbul”, in sabotage and black operations. The radio station in question is Radio Farda, the Farsi-language arm of the US government’s Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, which has been broadcasting to Iran from Prague, Czech Republic, its headquarters in Europe, since 2003. According to the Iranian government, the seven detainees participated in fermenting opposition protests that led to the demonstrations in Iran during Ashura, the Shiite day of mourning, on December 27, 2009. Read more of this post

Iraqi agents planned to bomb US radio station, claim Czech spies


RFE old Prague HQ

Czech counterintelligence officials have alleged that Iraqi agents planned in 2000 to attack the Prague headquarters of US government-funded radio station broadcasting to Iraq, among other countries. Intelligence observers may remember that, in April of 2001, the Czech government expelled Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani Ibrahi, who was caught photographing the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). RFE/RL is a radio station established by the US government during the Cold War, to broadcast anti-communist messages to Eastern Europe. It began broadcasting to Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries in 1998. Now Jan Subert, a representative of the Czech Security Information Service (BIS), has alleged that Ibrahi’s expulsion was connected to a secret plan by Iraqi agents to silence RFE/RL’s Iraqi program by attacking the station with rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and machine guns, from an apartment building across the street from RFE/RL’s downtown Prague headquarters. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0129

  • Romanian communist spy boss dead at 80. General Nicolae Plesita, who directed Romania’s Securitate during the country’s communist period, has died. While heading the Securitate’s foreign intelligence service, from 1980 to 1984, Plesita hired the Venezuelan-born operative Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as Carlos the Jackal, to assassinate Romanian dissidents in France and bomb the US-owned Radio Free Europe offices in Munich, in 1981. In 1998, Plesita revealed that he had orders from the Romanian government to find temporary shelter for Carlos in Romania after the RFE bombing.
  • Settlement reached in DEA-CIA spying dispute. A tentative settlement has been reached in a lawsuit brought 15 years ago by a former US Drug Enforcement Administration agent who accused a CIA operative of illegally bugging his home. In a court filing, lawyers for the government and the DEA agent said they “had reached an agreement in principle to settle the underlying litigation”. See here for previous intelNews coverage of this case.
  • Federal judge denies request for CIA secret documents. Hundreds of documents detailing the CIA’s defunct overseas secret detention program of suspected terrorists, including extreme interrogation methods have remained secret after U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein on Wednesday refused to release them “in order to protect intelligence methods and sources”. The ACLU argues that the CIA secret program was illegal under international and US law, that it involved the torture and deaths of some inmates, and therefore should not be shielded from public view.

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