spies, national security, espionage, counterterrorism, u.s. foreign policy, intelligence operations, CIA, special forces, counterterrorism, terrorism
Showing posts with label spies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spies. Show all posts

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Day Our Spies Started Dying (Video)

Watch former CIA spy catcher Sandra Grimes recount the chilling days of 1985 when the agency's secret assets in Moscow started disappearing, and her team's desperate search to find the mole -- Aldrich Ames.  (Video starts at about 18:45.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

CIA's Pick to Run Spies: No Woman No Cry

The CIA's pick to head the CIA's National Clandestine Service was identified in a tweet Wednesday as Francis (Frank) Archibald, 57, head of the Latin America Division since about 2011 and a paramilitary specialist.
READ MORE, here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Scribbling Spies: Former CIA Officers Present Books at National Archives

Three legendary spooks and a biographer are talking about their books at an all-day espionage literary fair Saturday at the National Archives in Washington, and I'm lucky enough to be their presenter.

It's free. Come on down!

If you can't, the fair, jointly sponsored by the Archives and the International Spy Museum, will also be webcast live (then immediately archived) on the National Archives UStream channel.

The luminaries of the dark-arts will include:

Monday, April 15, 2013

FBI Sleuths Investigating South Korean Spies Find an Agent from the North


North Korea's lone registered agent in the United States is a liquor salesman with curious ties to U.S.-based spies from Seoul, it turns out.

Call it a deep kimchi spy mystery.

According to a fascinating yarn by Talking Points Memo's Hunter Walker, Ill Woo Park is “a 64-year-old South Korean national with legal permanent resident status in the United States,” to wit, Upper Manhattan. 

Park’s business, Korea Pyongyang Trading U.S.A., Inc.'s main import is soju, a North Korean “traditional liquor.”  Indeed, TPM reports Park’s “business was based on what he regularly described as extensive connections to the North Korean government.”

But here's the odd twist: FBI agents got onto Kim when they were investigating possible South Korean spies on American soil in 2007.  Park was arrested and brought to federal court for “multiple counts of lying to FBI agents.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Spy Masters and Covert Affairs

A chief of the CIA's operations wing after 9/11 was caught on a security camera in an agency garage getting oral sex from a female subordinate, according to a widely circulated story. It didn't dent his reputation, perhaps because he was poorly regarded anyway, three agency sources said, and already on the way out.

Likewise, one of the CIA's chiefs of station in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion was "notorious for sleeping with subordinates," as one senior ex-agency official put it, in an account echoed by several other sources over the years. "He was put in the penalty box a couple of times," the source said, "but it was never never anything fatal," despite the written complaints of at least one woman serving there. He went on to to other higher-ranking agency jobs.

Read my whole piece at Foreign Policy online.

Gmail Sharing & Other Old Spy Tricks

As it turns out, the Gmail trick David Petraeus and his paramour used to hide their correspondence is one commonly employed by CIA field operatives when agency bosses turn down their pleas for more sophisticated gear to communicate with their foreign spies.
See the rest of my piece at Foreign Policy magazine online.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

U.K. 'Spy-in-a-Bag' Mystery Piques U.S. Interest

If spy agency operative Gareth Williams brought his bondage and bike-racing hobbies to the Washington area during his many visits to NSA headquarters at Ft. Meade, he practiced them with a discretion worthy of his profession. 

The British media has been in a frenzy for almost two years over Williams, a codes-and-cyphers whiz, since his lithe body was discovered zipped up in a carryall bag in the bathtub of an MI6 safe house in London, in August 2010.

Today the NewYork Times presented the bizarre and fascinating case, an intoxicating mix of spy work and sexual picadillos, to an American audience in a front page piece, generating a big buzz in national security circles.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

CIA’s Secret Fear: High-Tech Border Checks Will Blow Spies’ Cover

Biometric passports, electronic fingerpint files, iris scanners . . .   That's great for catching terrorists, maybe. But what's a CIA agent with false papers gonna do?

Read my whole piece on the untended hurdles for the good guys' spies at WIRED's Danger Room page.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What Makes Spies Tick?

On a rainy day in the spring of 1967, I shuffled into a classroom at the U.S. Army Intelligence School at Fort Holabird, Md., in a grimy industrial area of East Baltimore. There were about 30 of us, mostly college graduates, including newly minted lawyers and a few erstwhile hippies who had received draft notices.

It was the first day of a seven-month course blandly titled “Area Studies.”

In fact, we were going to learn to be spies.

Click here for a sneak peek at my piece in this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Israel Might Have Many More Spies Here, Officials Say

The elderly man arrested last week on charges of spying for Israel years ago was probably still working for the Jewish state’s espionage service in tandem with another, as yet unidentified spy, former U.S. intelligence officials say. The case serves as a reminder that the U.S.-Israeli intelligence relationship runs on two tracks.

CQ Politics (04/25/2008)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Military Spies in the U.S.: An Idea Whose Time Comes Again

Stripped to its basics, here’s an example of how spying works: A CIA officer is handed the mission of finding out what’s going on in Iran’s nuclear program. Passing himself off as a Canadian businessman, he goes to a European conference of metallurgists, hangs out at the bar, and strikes up a conversation with the chief salesman of a German company that is suspected of selling uranium-enrichment centrifuges to Iran.
See Story

CQ Homeland Security (10/10/2005)