News you may have missed #560 (new books edition)

Khalil al-Balawi

Khalil al-Balawi

►►New book on CIA’s Khost bomb disaster. Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick has authored a new book, examining the December 31, 2009, killing of seven CIA operatives by Jordanian doctor Humam Khalil al-Balawi in Khost, Afghanistan. In the book, entitled The Triple Agent, Warrick quotes several “anonymous” sources from within CIA and Jordan’s General Intelligence Department (GID), which was involved in running al-Balawi. Aside from blaming GID, Warrick says the CIA’s Amman station chief was partly responsible for the botched operation.
►►Hollywood producer was Mossad spy, says new book. The book Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan, says that Milchan was a full-fledged operative for Israel’s now-defunct intelligence agency, Lakam. The agency, which was also known as Israel’s Bureau of Scientific Relations, collected scientific and technical intelligence abroad. It was disbanded in 1986 following the arrest of US Navy analyst Jonathan Pollard for engaging in espionage on behalf of Israel. The book’s authors, Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, argue that Milchan, who produced such movies as Love and Other Drugs and Knight and Day, worked for Israeli intelligence by supervising government-backed accounts and front companies that financed “the special needs of the entirety of Israel’s intelligence operations outside the country”.
►►Book alleges US-Russian spy swap deal. In 2010 the CIA considered a swap deal that would have delivered to Moscow two Americans currently imprisoned in the US for spying for Russia. This information is included Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0053

  • [UNCONFIRMED] Saudi opposition group claims Prince Bandar under house arrest. Saad al-Faqih, head of the Saudi opposition group Islamic Reform Movement, claims that Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the kingdom’s former ambassador to the United States, and a close ally of the Bush family and former CIA leadership, is under house arrest after reportedly trying to “provoke 200 agents working for the Saudi security service to stage a coup against King Abdullah”.
  • Ukrainian diplomat expelled from Russia named. An Ukrainian source has named one of the two Ukrainian diplomats to be expelled by Russia as part of the tit-for-tat row as Igor Berezkin. The expulsions follow a similar move by Ukrainian authorities who requested that Russia’s consul general in Odessa, Alexander Grachev and a senior counselor at the Russian embassy, Vladimir Lysenko, leave Ukraine over accusations that they had been involved in work in violation of their diplomatic status (i.e. espionage).
  • Book claims Secret Service took psychic’s advice. Ronald Kessler claims in a new book that the US Secret Service changed a motorcade route for the first President George Bush based on a psychic’s vision that he would be assassinated.

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