UK barring replacement of London’s Mossad resident

Mossad seal

Mossad seal

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The British government is officially preventing the replacement of Israeli intelligence service Mossad’s London representative, after it expelled his predecessor six weeks ago. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office announced the expulsion in March, in response to the use of at least 12 forged British passports by a Mossad hit squad, whose members traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, last January, to assassinate Hamas weapons procurer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. According to Israeli media, the British Foreignand Commonwealth Office has requested written assurances from Israel that it will refrain from using British travel documents in future intelligence operations. But the Israeli government is so far refusing to comply with Britain’s request, claiming that doing so would amount to “an admission of culpability” in the assassination of al-Mabhouh. Read more of this post

Files reveal previously unknown UK-Soviet diplomatic scuffle

Aubone Pyke

Aubone Pyke

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A previously unknown fracas between two British diplomatic officials, their wives, and a team of Soviet intelligence agents, has been revealed in declassified British government reports. The documents, which were released last weekend, show that two employees of the British embassy in Moscow were detained, along with their wives, allegedly for photographing a Soviet military installation. The British diplomats were Lieutenant-Commanders Ian Clapham and Aubone Pyke, who was the embassy’s assistant military attaché. Escorted by their wives, the two officials were allegedly taking a tour of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), in February of 1979, when a group of “about 25” Soviet intelligence agents rapidly approached them. The agents proceeded to confiscate a cameral belonging to Pyke, after rapidly pulling down his trousers, an old trick aimed to prevent a suspect from running away. Read more of this post

BBC releases archival documents on KGB spy Guy Burgess

Guy Burgess

Guy Burgess

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The BBC’s archive unit has released 24 previously unpublished documents on Guy Burgess, a British-born KGB double spy who defected to Moscow during the early stages of the Cold War. Prior to joining the British Foreign Office, Burgess worked for the BBC as a producer of its Week in Westminster radio program, which covered British Parliamentary activity. The archival documents, some of which date back to 1936, shed light on his activities while at the BBC. They include a reference letter addressed to the BBC from Burgess’ academic mentor, renowned Cambridge University historian Sir George Trevelyan. In the letter, Professor Trevelyan describes Burgess as “a first rate man” and notes that “[h]e has passed through the communist measles that so many of our clever young men go through and is well out of it”. Read more of this post

Sex video prompts British diplomat’s resignation

Hudson video

Hudson video

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The British Foreign Office has confirmed that one of its officials stationed in Russia has resigned following the emergence of video footage which shows him cavorting with two prostitutes. British diplomatic sources have identified that James Hudson, a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, is indeed the man shown having sex with prostitutes in a black-and-white surveillance film, which was probably shot in a brothel in the Russian city of Ekaterinberg. Mr. Hudson was Britain’s Deputy Consul General in the city, also known as Yekaterinburg, which is a major industrial center and is described as “a key outpost for British trade”. The explicit video, which was anonymously posted on a Russian news website under the title “Adventures of Mr Hudson in Russia”, is thought to have been shot by agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in what is known in espionage circles as a “honey trap”. Read more of this post

Facebook reveals personal details of future MI6 chief

Sir John Sawers

Sir John Sawers

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Facebook, the Internet social networking site with over 200 million registered users worldwide, has made intelligence headlines once again. Last April, intelNews reported on revelations by Sweden’s armed forces that Swedish soldiers serving with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan were approached on Facebook and asked to provide details on NATO’s military presence in the country. Last weekend, Facebook did it again: British newspaper The Mail on Sunday argued that “potentially compromising” personal details about Sir John Sawers, who has been appointed to the post of Director of MI6, Britain’s primary external intelligence agency, were revealed by his wife on her Facebook account. The paper accused Lady Shelley Sawers of “a major personal security breach” upon discovering that “she had put virtually no privacy protection on her account”, which made it accessible to all of Facebook’s 200 million users. Read more of this post