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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Iran to Execute 'Mossad Spy' on Tuesday. Majid Jamali Fashi, who was accused by Iran of being an Israeli spy and convicted of the 2010 killing of nuclear scientist Massoud ali-Mohammadi, is to be executed in Tehran on Tuesday, according to media reports.
In addition to the murder charge, Fashi, who was arrested in January 2011, was also convicted of visiting Israel, where he allegedly received instruction and training from the Mossad as well as $120,000 for the assassination of Mohammadi.
In a video interview aired in Iran in January 2011, Fashi confessed to the Mossad connection and the killing. He also claimed he only received half of what the Mossad had promised to pay him. He was tried and convicted in Tehran in August 2011.
Mohammadi was killed on January 12, 2010 by a booby-trapped motorcycle that exploded near his Tehran home. [Read more: Zeiger/TimesofIsrael/13May2012]
US, China to Cooperate More on Cyber Threat. Asserting that cyberattacks against the US do not come only from China, the US and Chinese defense ministers said they agreed Monday to work together on cybersecurity issues to avoid miscalculations that could lead to future crises.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that since China and the United States have advanced cyber capabilities, it is important to develop better cooperation.
"It's true, as the general pointed out, that obviously there are other countries, actors, others involved in some of the attacks that both of our countries receive," Panetta told reporters after an afternoon meeting in the Pentagon marking the first visit by a Chinese defense minister to the US since 2003.
"But because the United States and China have developed technological capabilities in this arena, it's extremely important that we work together to develop ways to avoid any miscalculation or misperception that could lead to crisis in this area."
General Liang Guanglie, China's minister of national defense, offered a vigorous defense of his country, saying through an interpreter that, "I can hardly agree with the proposition that the cyberattacks directed to the United States are directly coming from China... We cannot attribute all of the cyberattacks (against the) United States to China."
Just six months ago, however, senior US intelligence officials for the first time publicly accused China of systematically stealing American high-tech data for its own national economic gain. [Read more: AP/8May2012]
Spy Uncovered in Urals Spilled Missile Secrets. An employee of a "closed" enterprise in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg has been accused of leaking secrets about the intercontinental Bulava missile, Kommersant reported Monday.
A Sverdlovsk regional court held proceedings against the employee, who is accused of transferring classified information to foreign intelligence relating to the control systems of the submarine-launched Bulava, a law enforcement source told the daily.
"The evidence proving his guilt is sufficient, though the details of the affair are not being revealed yet because they include state secrets," the source said. "What exactly was passed and to which government is so far also not yet released."
Experts in the Urals military-industrial complex said the employee was likely part of the research and production association Automatic, whose experts are directly involved in launching rockets and designing their management systems. [Read more: MoscowTimes/14May2012]
Investigation Started in Intelligence Leak. The U.S. House Intelligence Committee chairman said Sunday he is looking into whether a full-blown investigation is warranted into the underwear bomb plot leak.
While speaking with NBC's "Meet The Press," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said the leaking of information is damaging to intelligence agencies.
"You know, when this - information like this gets leaked, it is incredibly damaging to our intelligence community's ability to take that investigation through all of its natural course," he said. "Any information that is leaked out, referenced to that - the operational details, who we were or were not working with overseas, is dangerous for us to try to catch the next generation of bombers who we know are existing and running around."
When asked if he knew who leaked the information, Rogers didn't say, but noted he "ordered a preliminary review" into the incident.
After the review, "We will make a determination, either a full-blown committee investigation or we'll refer it to criminal charges to the FBI," Rogers said. [Read more: UPI/13May2012]
‘Pursuit of Terrorists Is Irreversible,' Yemen's President Says. President Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, met with Yemen's president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, on Sunday, a day after a stepped-up campaign of American airstrikes reportedly killed 11 militants allied with Al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate.
The meeting in Sana, the Yemeni capital, reflected the close cooperation of the two countries in attacking the affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, whose latest plot to bomb a United States-bound airliner was foiled last month when the would-be suicide bomber turned out to be an agent working with Saudi and Western intelligence services. Mr. Hadi has supported the campaign against the terrorist group even more strongly than his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh, American officials say.
"The move toward the pursuit of terrorists is irreversible," Mr. Hadi said on Sunday, praising the cooperation between Yemen's military and its tribes, according to a statement from the Yemeni Embassy in Washington. Mr. Brennan "reiterated President Obama's strong commitment to the steps taken by President Hadi to stabilize Yemen," the statement said.
The thwarted plot, whose leak was the subject of a political flap on Sunday, has intensified the hunt for a Qaeda bomb maker, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is believed to have designed a new nonmetallic bomb as well as the explosives used in previous plots against aircraft in 2009 and 2010. [Read more: Shane/NYTimes/13May2012]
US Spy Balloons Hover over Afghans, Causing Unease. The traders crouched beneath the walls of an old fort, hunkered down with the sheep and goats as they talked, eyes nervously flitting up from time to time at the blimp that has become their constant overseer.
"It is there every day except the days when it is windy and rainy," said Suleman, 45, who goes by only one name.
"It watches us day and night," said another trader, Mir Akbar, 18, his eyes following the balloon as its nose swiveled with the wind from east to west.
"I notice it all the time," said Rahmat Shah, 28, a secondhand car seller, who was standing slightly aside from the other men. "I know there is a camera in it."
The dirigible, a white 117-foot-long surveillance balloon called an aerostat by the military, and scores more like it at almost every military base in the country, have become constant features of the skies over Kabul and Kandahar, and anywhere else American troops are concentrated or interested in.
Shimmering more than 1,500 feet up in the daytime haze, or each visible as a single light blinking at night, the balloons, with infrared and color video cameras, are central players in the American military's shift toward using technology for surveillance and intelligence.
In recent years, they have become part of a widening network of devices - drones, camera towers at military bases and a newer network of street-level closed-circuit cameras monitoring Kabul's roads - that have allowed American and Afghan commanders to keep more eyes on more places where Americans are fighting. [Read more: Bowley/NYTimes/12May2012]
Scientist Accused of Stealing Secret Formulas from Utah Chemistry Company Pleads Guilty. A scientist accused of stealing secret formulas from a Utah chemistry company has pleaded guilty to a federal computer charge.
Prabhu Mohapatra entered the plea Friday in U.S. District Court to one count of unlawful access to a protected computer, in exchange for prosecutors dropping 25 other charges against him, the Deseret News reported.
Mohapatra, 42, had worked for North Logan-based Frontier Scientific Inc. from 2009 to 2011. He admitted to accessing a company chemical resource notebook and emailing the formula for meso-Tetraphenylporphine, or TPP, to his brother-in-law in India.
Investigators say that relative was setting up a competing company to undercut Frontier Scientific on prices it charges for pharmaceutical chemicals. Frontier Chemical, which supplies chemicals for research and drug discovery, says no other company in the world produces TPP in such large quantities.
The case marked the first time federal authorities filed industrial espionage charges in Utah, according to FBI officials. Until 1996, the theft of trade secrets wasn't a federal crime, and the FBI had spotty success trying to prosecute such cases using other statutes. [Read more: AP/12May2012]
Venezuelan Spies Ridiculed over Crossword Puzzle 'Plot'. Venezuelan intelligence agents have questioned the author of a newspaper crossword puzzle, and even some supporters of the government are ridiculing allegations the words he chose might be coded calls for a plot to kill the elder brother of President Hugo Chavez.
State TV presenter Miguel Perez Pirela raised the accusation, pointing out that Wednesday's crossword puzzle in the newspaper Ultimas Noticias contained the words "ASESINEN," or kill, along with the name of Chavez's brother, "ADAN."
Neptali Segovia is an English teacher who prepares crossword puzzles for the newspaper. He says it's ridiculous to think there was a hidden code in the puzzle. [Read more: AP/12May2012]
US Warns over Cyber Attacks on Natural Gas Companies. The US Department of Homeland Security identified a series of cyber attacks targeting natural gas companies in recent months, raising a red flag over potential threats to the nation's infrastructure.
The agency's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) said in its latest monthly report that it uncovered "an active series of cyber intrusions targeting natural gas pipeline sector companies."
It was not immediately clear whether the attacks were aimed at the actual pipeline network or the broader companies operating in the sector.
ICS-CERT said that an alert was issued to natural gas companies to "ensure broad distribution to asset owners and operators," adding that officials were working with the sector to confirm the security compromise and determine the extent of "infection."
The department did not elaborate on the source of the attack but said it would continue to issue updates as new information is uncovered. The agency also said it is working with the FBI and other federal officials on the investigation. [Read more: NewsCore/9May2012]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
And Around This Corner, Another Famous Spying Site. Were you watching closely when the man in the blue blazer brushed by Henry R. Schlesinger, turned and started up the stairs in Grand Central Terminal?
"If that didn't go well, I'd be sitting in prison," Mr. Schlesinger said, fingering the rolled-up sheet of paper the other man had slipped him as they passed.
He left out another important if: If he and the other guy were real spies.
As it was, the paper that changed hands was a list of places in New York that figured in famous espionage cases. It is a long list.
"There are more spies in New York City than any other city," said the other man, H. Keith Melton, an intelligence historian and the author of "The Ultimate Spy: Inside the Secret World of Espionage" (DK Publishing, updated 2009). "They could be the person next to you on the subway, or standing on the corner."
Here is a helpful hint: The real spy is probably not the one muttering "Bond, James Bond." But the real spy may not be as good with high-tech gadgets as with martinis that are shaken, not stirred. [Read more: Barron/NYTimes/13May2012]
The Spy on Your Cell Phone Is a Professional. Every day in the United States, professional cyber-spies are stealing tremendous amounts of information. Mainly from Russia and China, these spies target computer networks and increasingly seek entryways through mobile phones. Modern mobile phones - Smartphones - are powerful, networked computers, but they lack the firewalls and safeguards typically installed on PCs. What protection is commercially available is weak and unsatisfactory.
America's cyber-systems are under attack because what they hold is extremely valuable. Everything from the design of a stealth fighter-bomber to the investment portfolio of a powerful entrepreneur is open to professional cyber-spies and, thus, to the governments that sponsor them.
For political reasons, the United States has done very little finger-pointing at the culprits. While there has been talk about getting tough with cyber-spies, so far, at least, there is little evidence of strong action against the governments that train and send them. That leaves the advantage with the intruder.
But who are the intruders? Examples from the past can help us form a picture of the people recruited and how they work. [Read more: Bryen/AmericanThinker/14May2012]
Spy Moms Unite. Nada Bakos used to go work with a Glock strapped to her thigh. The former targeting officer for the CIA started her intelligence career as an analyst in 2000. But then September 11 happened.
"Everybody's life changed," said Nada Bakos, who, like many other women who were serving as analysts prior to 9/11, moved to the counterterrorism and eventually made the switch to the operations side, which meant she wasn't just analyzing the data on the bad guys, she was going after them.
She didn't yet have a family when she accepted her assignment as a targeting officer in Iraq, working alongside special forces in the hunt for the now-deceased terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. She won't share the details of exactly what she did to help find him, but she saw definite advantages to being a woman in the arena, noting that she sometimes had a very different experience than her male counterparts when it came to working within the norms of the culture.
"I got a completely different response than the men did," said Bakos, describing one particular effort to gather information. "How is a 26-year-old white male gonna walk up to a woman in the Middle East and say 'Hey, why don't you talk to me?' "
After a couple of years, Bakos realized that she knew more about Zarqawi than she did about many of the other men in her life. That, in part, was a wake up call to do something more: She wanted to start a family. But she was deep into her career on the operations side. That was a problem. "The difference between men and women is that it's really hard for women to live the lifestyle of a case officer," said Bakos. "If you have a significant other, it's hard for you both to be employed. I was 37 then and I can't really say, 'Hey, let's interrupt your career and you can carve out what you need."
At least 160 other women feel her pain. Women from the CIA, the National Security Agency, Naval Office of Intelligence and dozens of other agencies met last week in a hotel conference room in McLean, Virginia, to try and find a better way.
The "women in national security" conference was sponsored by Working Mother Media. Carol Evans, president of that group, noted the unique environment in which these women compete.
"These women work in a very unusual industry," said Evans. "National Security is still a very heavily male industry and many of these women as they will say throughout the day, are oftentimes the first in their field to be a woman - the only person in the room who's a woman. So when we bring women together in an industry like this, they just feed off of each other, they catch each other's energy, and they build relationships."
And relationship-building while navigating a career in intelligence and national security is key, according to Letitia Long, the only female director of any of the 16 intelligence agencies that make up the intelligence community in this country.
Long, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency spoke at the conference. She insists that work-life balance is something she has to work at every day. [Read more: Kelly/CNN/12May2012]
Going Dark: As CIA Boss, Petraeus Is Less Visible - By Design. Things change when one leaves the often-brash U.S. military to run the Central Intelligence Agency, a secretive organization populated by silent professionals. That includes how often one talks to reporters when charged with keeping the lone global superpower's deepest secrets.
Gen. David Petraeus was one of the U.S. military's most-visible leaders from 2007 until 2011, a span during which he commanded U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and also headed the U.S. Central Command. But CIA Director Petraeus has largely gone dark - and, like most things with the decorated war commander, that is very much a calculated change.
"As for Petraeus's curious absence from the spotlight," says Christopher Preble of the CATO Institute, "he has been - especially by David Petraeus standards - notably quiet."
Data prepared for U.S. News & World Report by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism shows a significant decline in the number of times Petraeus conducted interviews or was the subject of a news article. The agency, since he took office in October, has released eight press releases or statements bearing Petraeus's name; two were for the public, and six were memos to CIA employees that were released to the press.
"Director Petraeus heads a clandestine organization, so naturally - as the American people would expect - his outside engagement will be different than when he commanded forces in Iraq and Afghanistan," says Preston Golson, a CIA spokesman. "He's given about a dozen public speeches, and he regularly engages in multiple ways with private citizens, the military, members of the media, think tanks, academia, and the private sector. There is nothing preventing him from doing media interviews, if it makes sense to do so." [Read more: Bennett/USNews/11May2012]
DIA Provides Strategic Warning for the Next Generation
The Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA's) 2012-2017 Strategy reinvigorates one of the agency's core missions: to provide strategic warning to decision-makers. One of DIA's key objectives in the Strategy is to "develop and implement an integrated defense intelligence warning capability to prevent strategic surprise, deter conflict and identify opportunities."
The Defense Warning Working Group, led by the Directorate for Intelligence (J2), is DIA's designated champion for this objective. DIA's J2 staff has already started transforming the warning process to affect how warning intelligence is collected, assessed and conveyed to decision-makers and warfighters.
The warning function has a long and varied history. U.S. intelligence organizations in the late 1940s developed lists of indicators for key activities that an adversary would have to take to prepare for war. This indications and warning methodology proved effective in foreseeing many threats throughout the Cold War.
Today's strategic environment is more complex and creates greater demands on defense intelligence. Actors capable of inflicting harm on the United States and our international partners are more numerous and have a wider range of options, from unconventional warfare to cyber attacks, and even to conventional warfare or the use of weapons of mass destruction. Recent conflicts and economic turmoil have also shown us that economic, social and cultural factors must be taken into account in intelligence analysis.
DoD must, therefore, have the capability to warn policymakers against a wide range of potential threats. Such threats are treated separately in defense warning as enduring warning issues and emerging warning issues. Different threats require different methods and techniques to track.
Enduring warning issues are clearly identified, longstanding threats. These types of threats are normally tied to operational planning. Traditional indicator-based methods, adapted to web-based technologies, are used to monitor most of these types of problems.
Emerging warning issues are potentially threatening developments that have not yet fully coalesced. The intentions and capabilities of the actors may not be clear, or the scope and character of the threat may not yet be fully understood. Techniques to identify and track emerging warning issues rely on more flexible solutions such as "red teaming," a structured, iterative process using trained personnel to provide partner and adversary perspectives on a given situation or issue.
The most significant change to DIA's approach to warning is the use of Communities of Interest (COIs) to integrate the warning effort. COIs bring together analysts, collectors, operators and other subject-matter experts to address enduring and emerging warning issues. The focal point for warning COIs are the combatant commands that are primarily responsible for warning within their regional or functional areas. COI participants vary, but normally include the commands, defense intelligence agencies and other government agencies with expertise in given subject areas.
As the designated mission manager for warning, the DIA J2 staff integrates the defense warning effort as well as acting as a facilitator and catalyst for defense warning initiatives. The staff is transforming the warning effort by collaborating with stakeholders and integrating more than 200 analysts, collectors, managers and senior executives in a process that harnesses both traditional and innovative approaches to warning. The end goal is to fulfill one of DIA's core missions: providing strategic warning that gives decision-makers time and flexibility to avoid or mitigate potential threats to U.S. interests worldwide.
To learn more about DIA, visit www.dia.mil and click the "About DIA" tab. In addition to the "We're DIA video," you may use the drop-down menu to find information about DIA's leadership, organization, Frequently Asked Questions, and the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. [DIA Public Affairs, 11 May 2012]
Section III - COMMENTARY
Secret Service Agents Are Not
Polygraphed. To become a Secret Service agent, applicants must pass a polygraph exam. But after being hired, agents are never required to undergo regular lie detector testing again.
In contrast, the FBI polygraphs all employees - not just agents - every five years. FBI counterintelligence agents are polygraphed more often.
In addition, the FBI's nearly 14,000 agents are required to attend annual updates on law, ethics, and security. But after initial training, the Secret Service's 3,400 agents receive no annual in-service instruction. Training in security is limited to a minimal online update.
After the scandal involving agents hiring prostitutes in Colombia, the Secret Service announced it will provide ethics training - but only to 100 agents.
"Local police departments have in-service training every year," says a Secret Service agent. "You are updated on basic criminal law, new court rulings, about probable cause, what you need to develop in order to detain someone. The Secret Service teaches agents once, in their basic training, and there is no training on developments after that."
Secret Service agents could be enlisted by a terrorist organization or a foreign intelligence service to provide access to the president for an assassination or to allow installation of bugging devices or access to top secret information. Regular polygraphing would likely detect such a compromise, as well as deter it.
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan did not respond to a request for comment. A day after that request, the Secret Service announced it was increasing the number of agents who will take ethics training from 20 to 100.
As noted in my book "The Secrets of the FBI," the FBI learned the hard way how important regular polygraph testing is. After the arrest of CIA officer Aldrich Ames in 1994 for spying, Robert "Bear" Bryant, as head of the bureau's National Security Division, urged FBI Director Louis Freeh to approve regular polygraph tests for all counterintelligence agents. Faced with opposition from many special agents in charge of field offices and from the FBI Agents Association, Freeh shelved the proposal.
Polygraph tests are not perfect, but if nothing else, they are a deterrent. If Freeh had approved Bryant's proposal in 1994 to polygraph counterintelligence agents, FBI agent Robert Hanssen likely would have stopped spying for the Russians.
Instead, for seven years after Freeh refused to allow regular polygraphing, Hanssen continued to provide the Russians with the most damaging information in the history of American espionage. [Read more: Kessler/Newsmax/7May2012]
Tragedy Strikes Laos Site 85. Today's Air Commandos have a motto "No Fail". This is an admirable goal, but in war not always achievable; especially when the odds are stacked against you. This is the story of one such event which became a tragedy in Laos during the US war in Southeast Asia (SEA) and involved two Air Commandos and a number of USAF radar technicians.
It all began in July 1967. At the time I was a major on loan or "detailed" to the CIA in Laos. Detailed military personnel were sometimes jokingly referred to as "Christmas Help". This was a tremendously interesting and challenging assignment, both personally and professionally. I was assigned to the Laos Station from 1966-1969, during the height of the US war in SEA. The conflict in Laos, often called the Secret War, was under the direction of the CIA and involved the use of Laotian military and paramilitary forces. This had proven to be an effective strategy in confronting a greatly superior North Vietnamese Army (NVA) as far back as the French experience 10 years earlier. The Americans resurrected this program with the Laotian's during our Viet Nam experience from 1962-75. Air Commandos were big players throughout this conflict in many areas.
In this case, my job was that of Chief of the CIA Tactical Air Division - I supervised a number of specialists in both fixed and rotary wing support for our friendly forces as well as a Photo Interpretation (PI) Branch. This was a tremendously important task since air power was the trump card in this otherwise uneven, guerrilla conflict - somewhat like today in Afghanistan.
In July 1967, my boss, our paramilitary main base chief, Bill Lair, and I attended a meeting at the USAF 7/13 AF Hq, at Udorn Air Base in Thailand. [Read more: Secord/AirCommandoJournal/Spring2012]
NSA Declassifies Secret Document After Publishing It. The National Security Agency last week invoked a rarely-used authority in order to declassify a classified document that was mistakenly posted on the NSA website with all of its classified passages intact.
The article is a historical study entitled Maybe You Had to Be There: The SIGINT on Thirteen Soviet Shootdowns of U.S. Reconnaissance Aircraft. It was written by Michael L. Peterson and was originally published in the classified journal Cryptologic Quarterly in 1993.
Late in the afternoon of May 11 (not May 9 as stated on the NSA website), the NSA published a formally declassified version of the article with the annotation "Declassified and approved for release by NSA... pursuant to E.O. 13526 section 3.1(d)..."
Section 3.1(d) of executive order 13526 permits the declassification of properly classified information when there is an overriding public interest in doing so. It is almost never cited and it is hard to think of another occasion when it has been used by any government agency to justify declassification.
So what was "exceptional" about this particular NSA historical study? What was the overriding public interest in it that justified its complete declassification despite its presumed eligibility for continued classification? What unavoidable damage was expected to result from its disclosure? The NSA Public Affairs Office refused to answer these questions, despite repeated inquiries.
In fact, NSA was being disingenuous by invoking section 3.1(d). There was nothing exceptional about the contents of the document, and there was no overriding public interest that would have compelled its disclosure if it had been properly classified. Nor is any national security damage likely to follow its release. [Read more: Aftergood/SecrecyNews/14May2012]
Mr. President, Please Don't Kill this Terrorist. The United States is on the hunt for Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, the al-Qaeda master bombmaker behind the just-thwarted plot to bring down a U.S.-bound jetliner. If previous patterns hold, at some point in the coming weeks or months a drone launched from a secret CIA base will take al-Asiri out - and we will celebrate another "success" in what was once called the war on terror.
Mr. President, don't do it.
A drone strike would vaporize this ingenious terrorist intent on attacking the United States. But it would also vaporize all the intelligence inside his brain. Our national security would be better served if the United States captured al-Asiri and kept him alive for questioning, so we can find out what he knows.
What would be lost if President Obama chose to kill, rather than capture, al-Asiri? According to former senior intelligence officials involved in terrorist captures, a high-ranking terrorist leader such as al-Asiri could provide us with treasure trove of information on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - the terror network that poses the greatest threat to the homeland today.
Al-Asiri could tell us "who's who" in the AQAP network - identifying the couriers, financiers, operators, commanders, supporters and facilitators who make the network run, as well as the phone numbers, e-mail addresses and kunyas (or code names) they use so that we can track them down.
Al-Asiri could also tell us "what's where" - the locations of AQAP safe houses, arms caches and training camps, as well as the ports of entry the terrorists use to move in and out of Yemen.
He could tell us "what's what" - AQAP's organizational structure, its hierarchy, its personnel strength, its view of how the battle is going and the state of the organization's morale.
And, most importantly, he could tell us "what's next" - the plots AQAP has set in motion and the operatives he has trained and deployed to carry them out. [Read more: Thiessen/WashingtonPost/14May2012]
Spying on Al Qaeda. It is easy to see why double agents are the source of inspiration for many spy novels and movies. The intrigue involved, including a potentially violent end to their spy games, gives writers low-hanging fruit to pluck. But art frequently mirrors real life when it comes to double agents. Especially infamous examples were found out during the Cold War - on both sides of the fight. And every secretive group on the planet, from intelligence agencies to terrorist organizations, must worry that double agents are among their ranks.
Al Qaeda has been especially paranoid about the use of double agents, as can be seen in the group's literature dealing with counterintelligence and operational security. Even before 9/11 the group would beat and torture any man the most senior terrorists suspected of being a spy posing as an eager recruit. In order to gain admittance to an al Qaeda safe house, terrorists needed someone in the organization to vouch for them if they were not already known to the house's inhabitants.
Al Qaeda and its affiliates have every reason to worry about real life double agents, as demonstrated by the recently foiled plot against American airliners. According to press accounts, a spy recruited by the Saudis infiltrated Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). He was so good at his job that AQAP recruited him for a suicide mission against an airliner using a new and improved bomb masquerading as underwear. This was an updated version of the bomb worn by an AQAP recruit on Christmas Day 2009.
But the double agent had no intention of doing AQAP's bidding. Instead, according to the New York Times, he "delivered both the innovative bomb designed for his aviation attack and inside information on the group's leaders, locations, methods and plans to the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi intelligence and allied foreign intelligence agencies." As a result, a long wanted al Qaeda operative implicated in the Oct. 12, 2000, USS Cole bombing was killed in a drone strike.
That the Saudis recruited a spy who burrowed his way deep into AQAP is not surprising. For years the Saudis have tried to do just that. The Saudi rehabilitation program for jihadists is a perfect staging ground for such operations. A significant number of the program's graduates, including detainees formerly held at Guantanamo, have gone on to fill leadership positions in AQAP. According to the most recent figures made public by the Saudis, the recidivism rate for ex-Guantanamo detainees is 25 percent. (American sources say the true number is much higher.) But there is an opportunity for the Saudis to place a spy among the ranks of so many true recidivists.
In fact, the Saudis claim that a previous AQAP plot in late 2010 was broken up with the help of one such rehabilitated double agent. The Saudis say that AQAP's attempt to bomb two cargo planes was found out with the help of intelligence from Jaber al Fayfi - an ex-Gitmo detainee who joined AQAP after passing through the Saudi rehabilitation program. The timing of al Fayfi's role seemed a bit fishy at the time, as he left AQAP's ranks several weeks before the cargo bomb plot was disrupted.
We do not know who the more recent double agent is, or how the Saudis managed to recruit him. Nonetheless, the story of al Fayfi's putative spywork set a precedent for the recently neutralized bomb plot.
Which brings us to the most important question surrounding these events: Why was the double agent's existence leaked to the press? [Read more: Joscelyn/WeeklyStandard/10May2012]
Section IV - Obituaries and Coming Events
Arthur E. Callahan. Arthur E. Callahan, a retired CIA officer who held postings throughout the Middle East, died May 1 at his home in Bethesda. He was 92.
He had pneumonia, said his daughter Carol Oppenheimer.
In 1946, Mr. Callahan joined the Central Intelligence Group, a predecessor to the CIA. A specialist in the Middle East, he served as chief of station in Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran. After retiring from the CIA in 1975, he served as a consultant for Westinghouse.
Arthur Edward Callahan was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island. He was a 1939 graduate of Fordham University, where he also received a master's degree in medieval history in 1941. He served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II.
His wife of 59 years, Alice Ashkar Callahan, died in 2009. Survivors include three children, Shelley Cisternino of Bethesda, Carol Oppenheimer of Baltimore and Kevin Callahan of Arlington; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. [Read more: Shapiro/WashingtonPost/10May2012]
Oldrich Cerny. Oldrich Cerny, who has died aged 65, was a key Cold War dissident targeted by communist spies; after the Velvet Revolution he himself became responsible for the Czech foreign intelligence service.
He was named to the post in 1993, following the split of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and faced a steep learning curve. When he told Vaclav Havel that he knew nothing about intelligence work, Havel replied: "That is why I have chosen you."
Cerny's task was to transform the service into an internationally respected agency, fully within the "Western" intelligence community. But there were problems: the only experience potential new recruits had of undercover work was decades spent on the receiving end from the communist StB secret police. By contrast, most of the spies already in place had an StB background.
Skeletons in the cupboard included the "Sudeten Section", a small network still conducting espionage activities to protect "Czech national interests" inside Germany. It was wrapped up. For the most part, however, Cerny discovered that, despite attempts to conceal it, the organisation of which he had assumed control was almost inactive.
During the five years in which he remained in the role, however, Cerny succeeded in transforming the service. Much of this was done with British help; in particular he established a close rapport with Richard Dearlove, later to become Head of MI6.
Oldrich Cerny, known to has friends as Olda, was born in Prague on June 17 1947. His father, also Oldrich, a left-wing member of the wartime Czech Resistance, had spent two years in Buchenwald concentration camp. In 1954, in a show trial, Cerny Snr was sentenced to 20 years in jail for treason; he died in prison in 1956 because of lack of medical treatment. One of Olda's earliest childhood memories was of his father's sealed coffin being delivered home. [Read more: TheTelegraph/13May2012]
Theodore Kobrin. Theodore Kobrin, 86, a retired CIA officer who became a travel magazine publisher and woodworking artist, died April 15 at his home in Bethesda. He had leukemia.
The death was confirmed by his companion, Shirley "Lee" Kotz.
Mr. Kobrin, who was known as Ted, served about 30 years in the CIA, including senior positions in Southeast Asia and Africa. One of his last jobs before retiring in 1980 was helping CIA employees make the transition to retirement or other jobs outside the agency.
He then owned and operated a time-share business, the InterService Home Exchange. In the early 1990s, he published a short-lived magazine, the Travel Review, which reprinted travel selections from U.S. magazines and newspapers and English-language publications abroad.
Over the years, he developed an interest in design that led to crafting wood furniture, some of which he exhibited in area galleries.
"When you spend your working life in government, working on papers all the time.... here you start something from scratch and see it finish right before your own eyes. It makes you feel good," he told the Washington Times in 1998, "even if no one sees it."
Theodore Kobrin was born in Waterbury, Conn., and served in the Naval Air Corps during World War II. On the GI bill, he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1949 and was a standout on its baseball team. He played two years in the minor leagues.
His marriage to Araxi Bostanian ended in divorce.
Survivors include his companion of 29 years, Shirley "Lee" Kotz of Bethesda; a daughter from his marriage, Melanie Kobrin of Chevy Chase; three of his companion's children, Richard Kotz of Potomac, Michael Kotz of Kensington and Ellen Singer of Baltimore; a brother; and two grandchildren. [Bernstein/WashingtonPost/8May2012]
Coming Educational Events
EDUCATIONAL EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
MANY Spy Museum Events in May, June, and beyond, with full details are listed on the AFIO Website at www.afio.com. The titles for some of these are in detail below and online.
Thursday, 17 May 2012, 11:30 - Englewood, CO - The AFIO Rocky Mountain Chapter presents Ray Levesque - the new DIA Representative to NORAD
The AFIO Rocky Mountain Chapter presents Ray Levesque - the new DIA Representative to NORADNorthCom, J2's SIO in Iraq and recently back from work in Mexico. This is a joint meeting of AFIO and Denver INFRAGARD. will be held at Centennial Airport. There are seating limitations of 45 seats so we will accept reservations on a first come first serve basis. You will receive directions when you RSVP to Tom VanWormer at email@example.com. The lunch will cost $12.00. You can pay at the door.
Friday, 18 May 2012, 6:30 – 9:30 pm – Washington, DC - "Surveillance 101 with Eric O'Neill" at the International Spy Museum
Test your surveillance skills on the mean streets of DC!
What if you were assigned to watch the most damaging spy in US history? As a young operative in the FBI, Eric O'Neill was put into position as Robert Hanssen's assistant with the secret
task of spying on his boss, who was under suspicion of working for
Russia.$7 O'Neill's background with the FBI was in surveillance, so he
was up to the challenge. But how would you measure up? It's your chance
to find out. O'Neill is prepared to share his hard-earned expertise with
you. This intense small group introduction to surveillance will include
learning the basics and conducting surveillance in the streets of DC.
Will you be able to track the "Rabbit" without being "made?" You'll
learn how to snap clandestine shots and keep your target in view so you
won't miss operational acts or secret meetings. O'Neill will lead the
exercise and help you learn how to blend into the shadows for the best
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW Washington, DC Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
Tickets $94.00. Space is limited to only 10 participants – advance registration required. Call 202 654-0932 to register.
19 May 2012, 2 pm - Kennebunk, ME - AFIO Maine Chapter hears about Bin Laden's Legacy.
Counterterrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross will be guest of AFIO Maine Chapter. He is the author of recently published "Bin Laden's Legacy: Why We're Still Losing the War on Terror," Gartenstein-Ross is Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorist Radicalization at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank. In line with his major areas of research into radicalization of homegrown terrorists and the Somali-based jihadi group al Shabaab, he will discuss strategic issues in the global struggle against a resiliant al Qaeda, with an extended discussion of Somalia and briefly touch on funding for terrorist groups.
Gartenstein-Ross is a frequent consultant on counterterrorism for various government agencies as well as private groups. He has testified before the U. S. Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and is a regular lecturer for the Naval Postgraduate School's Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace.
Growing up in Ashland, Oregon, the son of non-practicing Jewish parents, Garstenstein-Ross converted to Islam in his early twenties after becoming impressed with the religious devotion of his Muslim friends. In 2000 he converted to Christianity after helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conducting their investigation of Al Haramain, a Wahhabi charity now considered a terrorist group.
The speaker holds a J.D. from the New York University School of Law, and is a Ph.D. candidate in world politics at the Catholic University of America where he received a M.A. in the same subject.
The meeting will be held in the Brick Store Museum Program Center, 2 Dane Street, Kennebunk. The meeting is open to the public. For information call 207-967-4298.
Sunday, 20 May 2012, 6 pm - McLean, VA - NMIA/NMIF Hosts 38th Awards Banquet
Please join this worthwhile sister association's Officers and Directors of The National Military Intelligence Association and The National Military Intelligence Foundation for their Annual Intelligence Awards Banquet where they recognize the
Outstanding Achievement of Intelligence Professionals from DoD
Components, National Intelligence Agencies, and the Department of
Homeland Security. Event is on May 20, 2012 at the McLean Hilton Hotel.
Cocktails start at 1800 hrs. Mess Dress/Black Tie Preferred.
Purchase a Corporate Sponsorship, or RSVP for self, spouse, friends and colleagues at https://nmia.site-ym.com/donations/donate.asp?id=5730
This is an important event by a fine group and you are urged to consider attending. Details as well as reservation forms available at http://bit.ly/HHxZ7z
21 - 24 May 2012 - Washington, DC - 8th Annual IAFIE Conference for educators on "Intelligence Education."
The International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) meets at the Bolling Club, 50 Theisen St SE, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC 20032, to hear educators discuss "Intelligence Education: Theory and Practice." To register: http://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1056913
Thursday, 24 May 2012, 6 pm - New York, NY - AFIO NY Metro meets to hear Dr. Vadim Birstein on Stalin's SMERSH
Dr. Vadim Birstein - Russian American who arrived in
the US in 1991, is a historian, a molecular geneticist and author of
over 150 scientific papers, three
scientific books and one history book. www.vadimbirstein.com/bio.htm
Dr. Birstein's new book "SMERSH" an acronym of the Russian phrase "Death to Spies." "SMERSH" was Stalin's secret weapon, Soviet Military Counterintelligence during WWll. Dr. Birstein
reveals for the first time the structure of this super secret organization, its torture and execution of countless Soviet officers and servicemen and its brazen arrest of foreign civilians, the recovery of Hitler's body and its completely unknown involvement in the Nuremberg trials and much, much more.
RSVP: Strongly suggested, not required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: 3 West Club, 3 West 51st St, NYC
Cost: $45/person including buffet dinner & cash bar.
24 May 2012 - San Francisco, CA - The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Lt. Col. Roger Dong.
Lt Col Dong will be speaking about the major political and military changes ahead in China. The meeting will be held at UICC, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat/Wawona): 11:30AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member/no reservation. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish) at email@example.com and mail a check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, P.O. Box 117578, Burlingame, CA 94011.
Friday, 25 May 2012, 12 Noon - Williamsburg, VA - The AFIO Norman Forde Hampton Roads Chapter hears Clay Farrington on "Was James Rivington a Spy for George Washington?"
As publisher of the Royal Gazette and official printer to King George III during the Revolutionary War, James Rivington was one of the most widely read, and reviled, men in America. But did he also help seal the fate of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown as a spy for George Washington? Join chapter president Clay Farrington as he traces Rivington's posthumous journey from infamy to veneration, and how a new discovery might change more than half a century of assumptions about him.
Event takes place at the Center Street Grill, 5101 Center Street, Williamsburg, Virginia.
For RSVP or any questions, please contact Stan Winarski or Clay Farrington at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to view poster about the event.
Friday, 1 June 2012 - Tysons Corner, VA - AFIO Summer Luncheon featuring former Director, CIA NCS Jose A Rodriguez plus Latin America/Caribbean CIA expert, Brian Latell.
Register now for this special -- and, for a few, controversial -- AFIO Summer Luncheon which features former CIA National Clandestine Service Director Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr. on his long-anticipated book: HARD MEASURES: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives, co-authored with Bill Harlow [author, former Director of the Office of Public Affairs, CIA], and Morning speaker: Distinguished former CIA Latin America/Caribbean expert, author of - Castro's Secrets: The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine, Brian Latell, Ph.D.. Register NOW for this Special Event.
2 June 2012 - Monterey, CA - 70th Anniversary of Battle of Midway, Naval Postgraduate School
Reservations are now being accepted for the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway Dining-Out at the Naval Postgraduate School on Saturday 2 June. This annual event is led by the NPS Student Council in coordination with the Monterey Bay Commander of the Naval Order of the United States, the Monterey Peninsula Council of the Navy League. The honoree President of the Mess is Vice Admiral Dan Oliver, USN (Ret), President of the Naval Postgraduate School, the President of the Mess is Captain Gerral David, USN, Commanding Officer, Naval Support Activity Monterey, and LT Ryan Birkelbach, USN is Mr. Vice. The guest speaker will be Admiral Gary Roughead, the 29th Chief of Naval Operations.
The 2012 Midway theme is the "Priceless Advantage: Winning the
Battles of Coral Sea, Midway and the Aleutians with Communications
Intelligence" and will focus on past, present, and future issues in
communications intelligence, cryptanalytics, lingusitics, and
information analysis to support decision making.
Admiral Roughead is currently the Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was an early leader establishing social media tools in the Navy, creating the Information Dominance and Assurance programs, the Navy Cyber Command, and standing up the Navy's 10th Fleet at Fort George G. Meade.
You might find it useful to read the history of winning Midway by a National Security Agency historian, Dr. Frederick D. Parker " A Priceless Advantage." The NSA Midway communications intelligence history download address is: http://www.nsa.gov/about/_files/cryptologic_heritage/publications/wwii/priceless_advantage.pdf
A principal figure who led the OP20G team at Pearl Harbor 14th Naval District breaking the Imperial Japanese Navy code JN-25 and assembling sufficient intelligence to reveal the plans of the Japanese fleet was LCDR Joe Rochefort - he was the direct interface to the Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Nimitz at the Combat Intelligence Center aka Station H or "HYPO". Supporting Rochefort was a young Navy Ensign, Donald "Mac" Showers who arrived in February 1942. Admiral Showers retired in 1971 as Director of Naval Intelligence, then spent another 12 years at the CIA on special assignments to the director. Our access to an eye-witness of this caliber, the only one still alive, is well beyond our expectations.
A special DVD will be produced which features Adm Mac Showers, now 92, who retired in 1971 as Director of Naval Intelligence, then spent 12 yrs at CIA. He will give his personal account of what happened during Midway. Dr. Summers has worked with most of the key parties involved in the code breaking operations at Pearl Harbor in 1942 to produce an outstanding documentary.
To register: http://www.nps.edu/midway/
Reservations are now being taken and know you will want to reserve a place at this historic event!
Upon making your reservations, your names will be added to the gate security access list.
Contact Captain Ken Johnson, USN (Ret.), 2012 Battle of Midway Team Coordinator email@example.com and 831-657-9793 for further details.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012, noon – 1:00 pm – Washington, DC - "The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service" at the International Spy Museum
In the days after 9/11, the CIA directed Henry Crumpton to organize and lead its covert action campaign in Afghanistan. Even at
the height of combat against the Taliban in late 2001, there were fewer
than five hundred Americans on the ground in Afghanistan. This group, a
dynamic blend of CIA and Special Forces operators, assisted by only a
few allied troops, managed to rout al Qaeda and the Taliban in less than
90 days after the Twin Towers fell. The Art of Intelligence draws from the full arc of Crumpton's espionage and covert action
exploits to explain what America's spies do and why their service is
more valuable than ever. Crumpton's enthralling story, covering his
early years in Africa, to his liaison assignment at the FBI, his work at
the CIA's Counterterrorism Center where he was involved in the
development of the Predator UAV program, and his later work running all
CIA clandestine operations inside the United States, has much to teach
us about national security and love of country.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW Washington, DC Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
Free! No registration required! Directions at www.spymuseum.org
Tuesday, 19 June 2012, 6:30 – 9:30 pm – Washington, DC - SURVEILLANCE 101 WITH O'NEILL WORKSHOP 2 at the International Spy Museum
Test your surveillance skills on the mean streets of DC!
What if you were assigned to watch the most damaging spy in US history? As a young operative in the FBI, Eric O'Neill was put into position as Robert Hanssen's assistant with the secret task of spying on his boss, who was under suspicion of working for Russia. O'Neill's background with the FBI was in surveillance, so he was up to the challenge. But how would you measure up? It's your chance to find out. O'Neill is prepared to share his hard-earned expertise with you. This intense small group introduction to surveillance will include learning the basics and conducting surveillance in the streets of DC. Will you be able to track the "Rabbit" without being "made?" You'll learn how to snap clandestine shots and keep your target in view so you won't miss operational acts or secret meetings. O'Neill will lead the exercise and help you learn how to blend into the shadows for the best spy results!
23 June 2012, 2 pm - Kennebunk, ME - "THE THIRD JIHAD" film will be shown and is theme of meeting of AFIO Maine Chapter
National security and political analyst Ryan Mauro will participate in a showing of the film "The Third Jihad." Mauro is Fellow and Associate Director of Media Relations at the Clarion Fund/ Radicalislam.org. He has made over 300 appearances on talk radio and television programs internationally from both political spectrums and is a regular guest expert on FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network programs. Mauro is regularly quoted in books and newspapers including the New York Times and Reuters.
A terrorism consultant to government agencies, Mauro founded WorldThreats.com in 2003 where he is chief editor. He is Adjunct Professor of Homeland Security at Regent University and Liberty University. Mauro has a Bachelor's degree in intelligence studies and a Master's degree in political science.
Mauro will introduce the film "The Third Jihad" which has been described as a blockbuster and will answer questions at the end of the showing. "The Third Jihad" is partially based on a document discovered by the FBI. The film discusses how radical Islam is spreading in the U.S. through the use of prison recruitment, the establishment of Islamist compounds on U.S. soil and the use of front groups to spread the radical form of Islam undermining traditional institutions.
The meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the Brick Store Museum Program Center, 2 Dane Street, Kennebunk, and is open to the public.
Non-members are asked to make a donation of $5.00. The annual membership fee for AFIO/ME is $25.00. Become a member of the Maine Chapter and save $20.
For information call 207-967-4298.
Saturday, 23 June 2012, 1000 - 1430 - Milford, MA - AFIO New England Hears Christopher Hickey, USN, on USCG's COASTWATCH and the ONI's Terrorist Sea Search Programs.
Our main speaker will be member Christopher Hickey. Chris will be speaking to us about two GWOT related programs, the Coast Guard's COASTWATCH and ONI's effort to find terrorists at sea. Chris has been intimately involved with both of these programs.
Christopher Hickey is the founder/principal of Prospect Street Consulting. With over 24 years experience in maritime security operations, intelligence collection & analysis operations, maritime domain awareness, crisis management, state & local intelligence fusion center operations, counter/anti terrorism analysis, and open source intelligence, Hickey is regarded as a leader in the fields of maritime and open source intelligence. His intelligence career encompasses 24+ years in the U.S. Navy and the national intelligence community in operational and key positions pertaining to counter terrorism, maritime and homeland security.
Chris is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, Naval War College, US Sports Academy, and the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs.
This semester Chris is teaching two courses at Daniel Webster College. They are Intro to Intel Studies and a class on analytical methods using the new Heuer/Pherson book.
Note, as this meeting is a one day event we have not made any hotel arrangements.
Location: Courtyard by Marriott in Milford, Mass. The hotel web site is here http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bosml-courtyard-boston-milford
Schedule: Registration & gathering, 1000 - 1130, membership meeting 1130 – 1200. Luncheon at 1200 followed by our speaker, with adjournment at 2:30PM.
For additional information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Advance reservations are $25.00, $30.00 at the door - per person. ********Luncheon reservations must be made by 9 June 2012.**************
Mail your check and the reservation form to: Mr. Arthur Hulnick, 216 Summit Avenue # E102, Brookline, MA 02446, 617-739-7074 or email@example.com.
Wednesday, 27 June 2012, 6:30 – 8:30 pm – Washington, DC - "The Russian Illegals Two Years Later: What Did It Mean?" at the International Spy Museum
It's been two years since Americans were stunned to learn of the
arrest of ten Russian "deep-cover" spies who had lived among us for
decades. What's become of these one-time neighbors and Facebook friends
and what have we learned about the success or failure of their mission
to meet influential Americans and exploit them for their knowledge of
government policy? "Illegals," like these spies, have been a Moscow
specialty for years, but traditionally are used sparingly—for only the
most sensitive of operations. What did we learn from these arrests?
Seldom has the US government been able to find and arrest "illegals," so
did this rare occurrence offer us important new information on Russian
intelligence collection practices? H. Keith Melton, renowned intelligence historian, technical advisor to American intelligence agencies, author of Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda,
and International Spy Museum board member, will revisit the murky world
of these "illegals:" who they were, how they operated, the threat they
posed, and where they are now. With access to exclusive materials and
images, he'll bring us up-to-date on the case. Retired KGB Major General
Oleg Kalugin will also provide commentary based on his years of running
agents in the United States.
WHERE: International Spy Museum: 800 F Street, NW Washington, DC Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
Tickets: $12.50 Register at www.spymuseum.org
Tickets: $94. Space is limited to only 10 participants. Advance registration required. Call 202-654-0932 to register
4 August 2012, 11:30 am - Melbourne, FL - AFIO Florida Satellite Chapter hosts CIA's James Fletcher on "Three HUMINT Cases from Life."
Speaker will be James B. Fletcher, former CIA operations officer and executive whose topic will be Three HUMINT Cases From Life and How Their Intelligence Was Used.
Location: Indian River Colony Club, Melbourne, FL.
To attend or for more information contact: Donna Czarnecki, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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