Tag Archives | spies

Russian Spy Ring In The United States Was Grooming Children To Be Spies

Regarding the next generation of spy kids, the Wall Street Journal writes:

A Russian spy ring busted in the U.S. two years ago planned to recruit members’ children to become agents, and one had already agreed to his parents’ request, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The effort to bring children into the family business suggests the ring was thinking long term: Children born or reared in America were potentially more valuable espionage assets than their parents because when they grew up they would be more likely to pass a U.S. government background check.

Tim Foley was among the children most extensively groomed for a future spy career, officials say. Though he wasn’t American-born, his parents lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, under the assumed names Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley. Mr. Foley was 20 when his parents were arrested and had just finished his sophomore year at George Washington University in the nation’s capital.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Britain’s MI6 Dead-In-Bag Spy Sex Scandal

What is it with British spies and weird sex scandals that lead to their downfall? Not that the case of Gareth Williams has yet proven to be such, but that’s the tabloid speculation. This account via the Telegraph:

The maths prodigy was living alone in Cheltenham at the time and had to call for help in the middle of the night to be set free.

His landlady and landlord, who lived below him heard his yells and were met with the “shocking” scene, Westminster Coroners’ Court heard.

It is the first time the incident has been revealed and emerged in a written statement from landlady Jennifer Elliot at the inquest in to Mr Williams, who was found dead in a sports bag in the bath at his London flat in 2010.

The death sparked widespread conspiracy theories including suggestions he had been involved in some kind of sex game that went tragically wrong.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Spy Gadgets Galore: The CIA’s Flickr

The CIA is attempting to amp up its public presence with a new Flickr account, created in February. It’s a fun browse, with a plethora of photos and explanations of all sorts of historical devices, costumes, and vehicles, including WWII code-breaking machines, cameras disguised as all sorts of things, robot fish, and the hollow coin and stereoscope (for viewing photos of enemy territory in 3-D) below:


Read the rest

Continue Reading

Pictures From The Secret STASI Archives

stasiGerman artist Simon Menner has a bundle of photos taken by East Germany’s secret police during Cold War. Offering a glimpse into the small absurdities of life as a Communist spy, included are snap shots of suspicious household objects, agents modeling their “normal civilian” disguises, and West German spies who knew they were themselves being spied on, et cetera:

East Germany, until it ceased to exist in 1989/90, had one of the most advanced surveillance system ever in operation, the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (Department of State Security) or STASI. In terms of number of agents per capita it even outranked the Russian KGB by far.

Soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was decided that most of its archive should be made accessible to the public and for historic research. Even though the access is restricted, this was very much in contrast to what most of the other nations of the former Eastern Block did.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Women Activists In UK Protest Police Infiltration And Sex Tactics

579px-New_Scotland_Yard_sign_3For all those who still imagine that infiltration of activists is a myth… From James Meikle at the Guardian:

Women activists are to blockade Scotland Yard today, intending to demand to know the identity of any undercover police who have infiltrated their organisations.

As evidence continued to emerge of police officers having had sexual relations with people they were monitoring, the women said they wanted to know if they had been “abused” by police.

Though senior police insisted that sleeping with activists during such operations was banned, a former agent claimed such “promiscuity” routinely had the blessing of commanders.

The activists’ concerns follow the revelation that the undercover PC Mark Kennedy had sexual relationships with several women during the seven years he spent infiltrating environmental activists’ groups. Last week the Guardian identified more officers who had sex with the protesters they were sent to spy on. One officer, Jim Boyling, married an activist and had two children with her…

[continues at the Guardian]

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Graham Greene And Other Great Authors Were British Spies

author-graham-greene-talking-with-actor-alec-guinness-on-location-for-our-man-in-havana-premium-19372174.jpegAmong the eyebrow-raising tidbits in the first authorized book on the history of the MI6 (Britain’s secret service) is the acknowledgment that the United Kingdom used some of its most celebrated authors as spies, among them Graham Greene and Somerset Maugham. The reason being that they could visit exotic places without suspicion, and write reports filled with pithy witticisms, the Guardian reports:

The authors Graham Greene, Arthur Ransome, Somerset Maugham, Compton Mackenzie and Malcolm Muggeridge, and the philosopher AJ “Freddie” Ayer, all worked for MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service admitted for the first time today . They are among the many exotic characters who agreed to spy for Britain, mainly during wartime, who appear in a the first authorized history of MI6.

Greene, Mackenzie, Muggeridge and others who have written about their secret work make it clear they were reluctant spies approached by MI6 because of their access and knowledge of exotic parts of the world.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Corporate Spies Like Us: A Peek Into a Shadowy World

From Daily Finance:
Some social critics say companies that lay off employees are doing permanent damage to themselves. After all, they've spent years training the workers they're casting aside. Moreover, they may be abruptly discarding a great deal of institutional memory. It turns out there's another cause for concern: Laid-off workers could be a valuable source of information to corporate spies. Such spooks have been known to stage fake job interviews to ferret out information about a former employer's ways and future plans. Even still-employed workers "can be surprisingly candid about their own company when they think they're interviewing for a job," writes Politico correspondent Eamon Javers. At its best, Javers's uneven, intermittently absorbing new book, Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage, exposes a little-known world of black ops, eavesdropping, and corporate skullduggery. But the book is marred by an elastic definition of corporate espionage, stretched to include everything from routine financial investigations to ordinary detective work conducted by Kroll Associates. Worse, the volume's historical chapters are poorly researched and larded with extraneous detail...
Continue Reading

Was Foot a National Treasure or the KGB’s Useful Idiot?

From the Telegraph:

Why did the former Labour leader take money from Moscow for years, asks Charles Moore .
We have a habit in this country of turning certain people into “national treasures”. If they go on long enough, and have enough charm, we tend to forget what we once disliked about them. This has happened to Tony Benn, who was once routinely depicted by cartoonists as wearing jackboots. It has come perilously close to happening to Ian Paisley. It happened to Michael Foot, who died this week.

Like all dear old “characters”, Foot had his props – the thick spectacles, the knobbly walking stick, his dog Dizzy, and that hotly debated garment worn at the Cenotaph. He had an eccentric way of speaking, which involved shouting at the end of sentences. And there were all those books he’d read: “And still they gazed and still the wonder grew/ That one small head could carry all he knew.”

In death, Foot’s reviews were immensely favourable.

Read the rest
Continue Reading