New book on Canada’s mysterious Agent 235

Johann Heinrich Amadeus de Graaf

De Graaf

A new book published by the Pennsylvania State University Press sheds new light into the life and work of mysterious Agent 235, Canada’s mysterious mid-20th-century spy known as ‘Johnny’. In Johnny: A Spy’s Life, R.S. Rose and Gordon Scott present the outcome of 14 years of research on ‘Johnny’, whose real name was Johann Heinrich Amadeus de Graaf. De Graaf was born in Germany in 1894, but later moved to Britain, and at the start of World War II worked as an informant for MI6. Although he conducted some of his operations in Germany, most of them took place in the UK, where he unmasked a number of native pro-Nazi sympathizers and agents of the Gestapo. Read more of this post

Study points to Chinese city as ‘world capital’ of cyberespionage



A major traffic analysis of cyberespionage attacks has identified a provincial urban center in southeast China as ‘the world capital’ of cyberespionage. The survey, conducted by cybersecurity firm Symantec, studied the origination points and targets of 12 billion malicious emails. It concluded that nearly one third of all email-based cyberespionage attacks originate from the People’s Republic of China –a percentage far larger than previously thought. It also traced most Chinese cyberespionage attacks to Shaoxing, a city of over four million residents in China’s southeaster Zhejiang province. The Symantec study said that large-scale Chinese cyberespionage attacks appear to be systematic and concentrate on carefully selected targets, such as defense policy experts and human rights activists. Read more of this post

More information on alleged Mossad hit in Budapest

Crime scene

Crime scene

IntelNews reported on Friday that a Syrian man was shot dead in Budapest on Wednesday morning, as he was driving his car. Witnesses reported that the assailant stole a small black briefcase from the 52-year-old victim’s vehicle, before fleeing the scene of the crime on foot. It also emerged that, in the week prior to the mysterious shooting, Hungarian air controllers located two Israeli Gulfstream spy planes hovering over the Hungarian capital, close to the airport, where Wednesday’s shooting occurred. Is this Dubai reloaded? Late on Friday, Reuters news agency reported the dead Syrian-born man’s name as Bassam Trache, 52. Meanwhile, Hungarian officials continue to deny any link between Trache’s murder and the alleged Israeli spy planes. Hungarian government spokesman, Domokos Szollar, said the overflight was “routine” training that was cleared in advance with Hungary’s National Transport Authority by the Israelis. However, Hungarian “defense ministry officials appear not to have been informed” of the alleged training exercise. Read more of this post

Italy busts arms smuggling network, arrests Iranian intelligence agents

Hamid Nejad Masoumi


Italian authorities have announced the arrest of two Iranians and five Italians on suspicion of smuggling European-made weapons and explosives to Iran. Italian police said the Iranians involved in the operation, which breached an international embargo on Iran, are “believed to be members of the Iranian secret services”. They are Ali Damirchiloo, 55 (occupation unknown), and Hamid Nejad Masoumi, 51, an accredited journalist and Iranian state television correspondent, who has lived in Italy since 1995. Italian authorities have issued arrest warrants for two more Iranians, Hamir Bakhtiyari Reza and Bakhtiyari Homayoun, who are also believed to be intelligence agents and are thought to have managed to escape to Iran. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #299

  • US lawmaker wants to stop CIA agents working second jobs. Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) says she will offer an amendment to the Intelligence Reauthorization bill later this week that would put new rules into place on the practice of intelligence officers who take second jobs in the private sector.
  • Poland admits to aiding CIA. After human rights groups revealed evidence that showed CIA rendition planes landing in Poland in 2003, the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency has admitted for the first time that Poland played a role in the controversial US program.
  • Former Romanian-German spy fired for secret past. German author Peter Grosz was fired on Thursday from his role as director of the theater festival in the German city of Oppenheim, following revelations that he had spied on fellow authors for Romania’s Securitate communist secret police during the 1970s. Large numbers of Romanian former intelligence agents now reside in Germany.

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0283

  • Romanian spy chief in rare interview. On the 20th anniversary of Romania’s post-communist Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), Romanian daily Libera published an interesting interview with SIE director Mihai Razvan Ungureanu. Includes quote of the week: “The diplomat does nothing illegal […] while the spy does nothing in the spirit of respecting the laws of other states”.
  • Trial of Hawaii resident accused of spying for China postponed. Noshir Gowadia’s federal trial has been delayed several times since he was arrested in 2005, for allegedly providing China with information on making cruise missiles less visible to radar and heat-seeking missiles.
  • Bizarre suicide streak in Turkish military continues. Could the latest in a long list of recent alleged suicides by members of the Turkish military be connected to the shadowy Ergenekon military-intelligence network?

Bookmark and Share

News you may have missed #0274

  • Japanese reporter cleared of 1974 espionage charges. A Japanese newspaper correspondent in South Korea, whose life was ruined in 1974, after he was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of helping fund North Korean espionage activities, has been acquitted in a retrial.
  • CIA interrogated al-Qaeda suspect in Poland, claims UN. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, suspected of the 2000 al-Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole, was interrogated in a secret CIA prison in northern Poland, claims a UN report. Similar allegations have also been leveled against 12 nations, among them EU states such as Romania and Lithuania.

Bookmark and Share