UK report warns about sexual entrapment by foreign spies

UK Ministry of DefenceBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org
A leaked report issued by military authorities in the United Kingdom cautions British officials to be aware of attempts by Chinese and Russian intelligence services to compromise them using sexual entrapment. The London-based Sunday Times newspaper said it had acquired a copy of the document, entitled Manual of Security, authored by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence for use by senior officials. The manual warns that foreign intelligence services are known to employ sexual entrapment or romantic attachment as a means of compromising their targets. The document singles out the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Chinese Ministry of State Security as two adversary agencies that are known to employ sexual entrapment on a regular basis. British officials are warned in the document that the FSB could gain classified information by exploiting “knowledge of marital infidelity or sexual activity the target may wish to hide”. The Times spoke to an unidentified “senior military official”, who told the paper he was recently approached by “a very attractive blonde woman in her early 30s” in a hotel in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. The woman began telling him of her fascination with vintage British sports cars, which happened to be the British official’s favorite hobby. He eventually terminated the encounter after he became suspicious of the woman’s motives. But he remains puzzled as to how the woman knew details of his personal hobbies. In 2009, the British Foreign Office had to recall its deputy consul-general in the Russian city of Ekaterinberg, after he appeared in an explicit video on YouTube having a sexual encounter with two Russian prostitutes. Many speculated at the time that the video had been posted online by the FSB in an attempt to embarrass the diplomat and have him removed from Russia. Later that year, London’s former deputy mayor, Ian Clement, admitted he was lured by a female Chinese secret agent, who drugged him and ransacked his Beijing hotel room after having sex with him. Clement said he fell for what he called “the oldest trick in the book” while in Beijing to “build contacts with potential investors” for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Sir Christopher Meyer, a career diplomat with the Foreign Office, who served in several countries during his career, including the Soviet Union, has written about the case of Sir Geoffrey Harrison, Britain’s ambassador to Moscow from 1965 to 1968. The ambassador, said Sir Christopher, “had to leave [the Soviet capital] in a hurry, having fallen for the charms of his Russian maid –trained and targeted, of course, by the KGB”. Read more of this post

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News you may have missed #658

Carlos SoriaBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Britain reveals names of officers killed in covert mission. Captain Tom Jennings, of the Special Boat Service, and Squadron Leader Anthony Downing, died when their vehicle was targeted by the Taliban near the Afghan capital Kabul. The UK Ministry of Defence has not released further details “due to the covert nature of the mission”. However, special forces are known to be used to escort MI6 officers and other British intelligence officials for meetings with sources or to persuade Taliban commanders to change sides.
►►New Turkish satellite to ‘zoom in’ on Israel. Until now, only the United States had the technology capable of taking satellite images greater than two meters per pixel resolution in the Middle East, and American law stopped US companies from distributing the pictures to non-US clients. But that is about to change, as Turkey is putting the finishing touches to its Gokturk military satellite, which is scheduled to launch within the next two years.
►►Argentine ex-spy chief shot dead. Carlos Soria (pictured), Argentina‘s former spy chief, was killed in a New Year’s Day shooting at his country house in Patagonia. He was just weeks into his job in the key oil-producing southern province of Rio Negro, when he was shot “after a family argument” at his farmhouse near the town of General Roca. Soria was a member of the ruling Peronist party and a former head of the Argentine intelligence services, under ex-president Eduardo Duhalde in 2002.

News you may have missed #517

  • New Zealand to launch new cybersecurity agency. The new National Cyber Security Centre will protect high-risk government agencies from attacks by cyber spies and criminals. It will also take on the functions of the Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection, which helps protect critical national infrastructure such as the computer networks of banks and power companies.
  • New book on China-US spy wars. An extensive review by Joseph Goulden (author of SpySpeak: The Dictionary of Intelligence) of David Wise‘s new book, Tiger Trap: America’s Secret Spy War with China, which has been published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • Over 1,000 cyber attacks against UK MoD last year. Criminals and foreign spy agencies launched more than 1,000 cyber attacks on Britain’s Ministry of Defence last year in an effort to steal secrets and disrupt services, Britain’s Defence Secretary Liam Fox has revealed.

News you may have missed #455

  • Israel says it did not kill German politician. Israel has rejected a claim by a Swiss chemistry professor that the 1987 murder of German politician Uwe Barschel had the hallmarks of a Mossad assassination. For more on Barschel see previous intelNews story here.
  • Foreign cyber spies targeted UK defense official. Foreign spies, probably working for the People’s Republic of China, targeted senior British defense official Joanna Hole, in a sophisticated spear phishing operation that aimed to steal military secrets. The plan was foiled last year when Hole became suspicious of an email she received from a contact she had met at a conference.
  • The 10 most interesting CIA-backed startups. America’s only federally funded venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel, was created in 1999 during the tech boom. The company invests in startups developing technologies that could prove useful to the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

UK special forces chief trying to prevent book publication

SAS seal

SAS seal

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The director of Britain’s Special Forces is actively trying to stop the publication of a new book that sheds unprecedented light on the elite combat group’s operations in Iraq. The official, whose name cannot be revealed for security reasons, has said that the book, authored by BBC journalist Mark Urban, will negatively impact the operational effectiveness of the Special Air Service (SAS) and other UK Special Forces units. The official’s objections have come to overshadow a compromise struck earlier this month between Mr. Urban’s publishers and the UK Ministry of Defence. Following four months of negotiations, the Ministry reportedly decided that the book “would not compromise the operational effectiveness of the SAS”. Read more of this post

Uproar as UK government classifies details of weapon expert’s death

Dr. David Kelly

Dr. David Kelly

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Public speculation over the alleged suicide of UK biological weapons expert Dr. David Kelly is bound to increase, after a senior state official secretly ordered that details of his death be kept secret for 70 years. Dr. Kelly, a British Ministry of Defense scientist, who had been employed by the United Nations as a weapons inspector, caused a major stir by becoming one of the sources of a 2003 BBC report disputing the British government’s claim that Iraq could deploy chemical or biological weapons at 45 minutes’ notice. He was later called to appear before a Parliamentary committee investigating the government’s claims about Iraq’s purported ‘weapons of mass destruction’. But on July 18, 2003, four days after appearing before the committee, Dr. Kelly’s was found dead at a wooded area near his home. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0227

  • British politicians sue CIA over rendition flights. A group of British members of parliament, led by Conservative MP Andrew Tyrie, has filed a complaint in a district court in Washington, DC, asking for a judicial review of secret agreements between the US and UK on renditioning terrorism suspects.
  • US DHS broke domestic spying rules. The US Department of Homeland Security gathered intelligence on the Nation of Islam for eight months in 2007, and broke the law by taking longer than 180 days to determine whether the US-based group or its American members posed a terrorist threat.
  • Expert says UK ex-spy chief misled Iraq War probe. Sir John Scarlett, Britain’s former spy chief has misled the Iraq inquiry by exaggerating the reliability of crucial claims about Saddam Hussein’s ability to launch weapons of mass destruction, according to Dr. Brian Jones, the leading UK Ministry of Defense expert who assessed the intelligence behind London’s decision to go to war in 2003.

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