News you may have missed #676

Diego MurilloBy IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
►►US admits Pakistani doctor was CIA agent. The United States has confirmed publicly for the first time that a Pakistani doctor long suspected of collecting vital evidence before the assassination of Osama bin Laden was indeed working for the CIA. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has told 60 Minutes on CBS that Shakil Afridi helped provide proof that the compound in Abbottabad, to which they had tracked a Bin Laden courier, was indeed sheltering the al-Qaeda leader. Panetta also told 60 Minutes that he remains convinced that someone in the Pakistani government “must have had some sense” that a person of interest was in the compound. He added that he has no proof that Pakistan knew it was bin Laden.
►►Czech secret services accused of political spying. The Czech government “spies on” the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), Miroslav Grebenicek, its former leader, said in a parliamentary question to Prime Minister Petr Necas. Grebenicek said he had recently received information that the Interior Ministry and some intelligence bodies were “tasked to spying on the KSCM or to incite for, organize and execute the shadowing of the KSCM”. Necas dismissed the allegation, saying that the government does not shadow any party.
►►Colombian paramilitaries protected by spy agency. Colombia’s rightwing paramilitary organization AUC received the support of the country’s now-defunct intelligence agency DAS. The group also helped the government of former President Alvaro Uribe in a conspiracy to discredit the country’s Supreme Court that was investigating ties between the paramilitaries and politicians, according to official testimony by senior AUC commander Diego Murillo, alias “Don Berna”.

News you may have missed #607

Shakil Afridi

Shakil Afridi

►►Ex-worker sues US spy agency for anti-Islamic bias. Mahmoud Hegab, a former employee of the super-secretive US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, says he lost his security clearance because his wife attended an Islamic school and worked for a Muslim charity, Alexandria-based Islamic Relief USA.
►►Russia says China still spies the old-fashioned way. Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), issued a rare statement last week, claiming it had arrested Tong Shengyong, a Chinese citizen who, posing as a translator for official delegations, was working under the direction of the Chinese government in an attempt to buy state secrets from Russians about Russia’s S-300 missile system. It now says that the Tong case shows that China continues to employ an old standby in the tradecraft playbook: outright bribery.
►►Pakistan panel says doctor who aided CIA should face charges. Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who ran a vaccination program for the CIA to help track down Osama bin Laden, should be put on trial for high treason, a Paksitani government commission said Thursday.

News you may have missed #588

Thomas Hammarberg

Hammarberg

►►Thai court convicts three of spying. A Thai court on Tuesday jailed three men, a Cambodian, a Vietnamese and a local, for two years each for espionage. The trio were arrested in June in Kantharalak District, near the disputed border with Cambodia, amid a territorial row between Thailand and its neighbor. Police said that the three were carrying maps with military facilities marked on them.
►►Council of Europe wants truth on CIA black sites. Thomas Hammarberg, the human rights commissioner for the Council of Europe, urged countries that have hosted secret CIA prisons to come clean Monday, as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches. Well, that would be…let’s see…pretty much all of them.
►►Doctor who helped CIA find bin Laden barred from leaving Pakistan. Before bin Laden’s death in May, Shakil Afridi helped the CIA set up a fake vaccination programm in Abbottabad, in the hope of obtaining DNA samples from the house where the al-Qaida chief was suspected of living. But now he has been detained by Pakistani security and cannot go abroad without permission.

News you may have missed #537 (bin Laden edition)

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Ex-CIA chief speaks on al-Qaida after Osama. The killing of Osama bin Laden will force al-Qaeda to limit its ambitions and scope of its operations, according to former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden. General Hayden’s comments on numerous issues tend to make the news almost every other week. In his latest interview, with The Associated Press, Hayden expressed the opinion that al-Qaeda’s “future attacks are going to be more numerous but less complex, less well organized, less likely to succeed, and less lethal if they do succeed”. ►►CIA organized fake vaccination drive to get bin Laden family DNA. Speaking of Osama bin Laden, British newspaper The Guardian reported earlier this week that the CIA tried to collect DNA evidence on the late al-Qaeda founder by running a phony vaccination program in Abbottabad, the quiet Pakistani town where bin Laden was believed to be hiding along with his family. But Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who administered the vaccination program, failed to get access to bin Laden’s family DNA, even though he managed to enter the family’s compound, said the paper. It is worth noting that, as soon as Pakistani authorities learned of the fake vaccination program, they arrested Dr Afridi for collaborating with a foreign intelligence agency. ►►CIA moves to protect key analyst in bin Laden raid. Bin Laden may be dead, but it seems that he still haunts the CIA. The Agency had to move one of its senior analysts undercover this week, after he was identified in a photograph that was published by US media, following the Obama administrator’s celebratory announcement of the al-Qaeda leader’s assassination. The photo showed President Obama and other national security officials gathered in the White House situation room on the night of the bin Laden raid. Most media outlets have been referring to the analyst by his middle name, John.