Comment: Russian Espionage Steals 2010 Limelight

GRU emblem

GRU emblem

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
As the first decade of the 21st century is coming to an end, few would dispute that Israeli and American spy agencies have been among the most talked-about intelligence organizations of 2010. The reasons for this are equally undeniable: the United States tops the list because of its political prominence, which inevitably attracts media attention; Israel tops it because of the sheer ferocity of its espionage output throughout the Middle East. And yet there is nothing new about this, since neither the Central Intelligence Agency nor the Mossad are exactly novices when it comes to high-profile media exposures. The same cannot be said with respect to Russian intelligence agencies, which went through a period of prolonged hibernation following the end of the Cold War. Indeed, the year that is about to end demonstrates that the stagnant interlude in Russian espionage may well be in its closing stages.

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Did missing Polish intel officer defect to Russia?

Stefan Zielonka

Stefan Zielonka

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
We have been keeping an eye on the mysterious case of Stefan Zielonka, a senior SIGINT officer with Poland’s Military Intelligence Services (SWW), who disappeared without trace in early May of 2009. The seriousness of Zielonka’s disappearance stems from his extensive knowledge of Polish undercover intelligence networks operating overseas, including names and contacts of illegals –i.e. agents operating without diplomatic cover. Consequently, Polish intelligence officials have expressed fears that, if Zielonka defected, or was kidnapped by foreign intelligence agents, “much of the country’s intelligence network could be compromised”. The possibility that Zielonka actually defected increased after it became known that his wife and young child also disappeared. In December, a report in Poland’s Dziennik Gazeta Prawna claimed that the signals intelligence officer’s mysterious disappearance is connected with a “trail leading to the Far East”, with “all clues lead[ing] to China”. Earlier this week, however, Russian weekly Argumenti Niedieli suggested that Zielonka was in fact recruited by Russian military intelligence. Read more of this post

Missing Polish intel officer probably defected to China

Stefan Zielonka

Stefan Zielonka

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
We have been keeping an eye on the mysterious case of Stefan Zielonka, a senior signals intelligence officer with Poland’s Military Intelligence Services (SWW), who disappeared without trace in early May. The seriousness of Zielonka’s disappearance stems from his extensive knowledge of Polish undercover intelligence networks operating overseas, including names and contacts of illegals –i.e. agents operating without diplomatic cover. Consequently, Polish intelligence officials have expressed fears that, if Zielonka defected, or was kidnapped by foreign intelligence agents, “much of the country’s intelligence network could be compromised”. Read more of this post

New clues in case of missing Polish intelligence officer

Stefan Zielonka

Stefan Zielonka

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Last month we reported on the mysterious case of Stefan Zielonka, a senior signals officer with Poland’s Military Intelligence Services (SWW), who disappeared without trace in early May. We then stated as “certain” that Zielonka had “extensive knowledge of Polish agents working overseas, including their code names and contacts”. This is now slowly being confirmed by a number of Polish news outlets, who are coming to the realization that Zielonka’s job description at SWW far exceeded those of a typical SIGINT (signals intelligence) officer. Specifically, Polish newspaper Dziennik appears to have confirmed that the missing officer trained illegals –that is, elite Polish spies operating abroad independently of embassies and thus without diplomatic immunity. Read more of this post

Suspicious silence continues in case of missing Polish signals officer

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
When we at intelNews first took note of the mysterious disappearance of Stefan Zielonka, on May 7, we decided to delay posting information about the case until more news came our way. Sadly, it hasn’t. The case of the disappearance of Stefan Zielonka, senior signals officer with Polish military intelligence, remains as mysterious as it was on May 7. Zielonka’s colleagues at Poland’s Military Intelligence Services (SWW, formerly known as Military Information Services or WSI) became suspicious after he failed to return to work following a two-week sick leave. News outlets have since reported that Zielonka “was suffering from depression and had trouble both at home and at the office”. Read more of this post