Association of Former Intelligence Officers

Weekly Intelligence Notes

29 November - 05 December 2023
(Issue 45)

is sponsored by

Readers who encounter problems with the email version of this newsletter can
view the latest web edition here



Section II - FORMERS' FORUM (Legacy Intel Practitioners' Informed Perspectives)


  • Article: Former US Ambassador to Bolivia Manuel Rocha, 73, is arrested over claims he is a Cuban SPY - Daily Mail, 03 Dec 23
  • Article: Israel Plans to Kill Hamas Leaders Around the World After War - Wall Street Journal, 01 Dec 23
  • Article: Israel had detailed Hamas attack plans a year ago, dismissed them - Jerusalem Post, 01 Dec 23
  • Article: China defense report links high-altitude spy balloons to hypersonic missile program - Washington Times, 30 Nov 23
  • Article: An Indian official plotted to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader in New York, US prosecutors say - Associated Press, 29 Nov 23
  • Article: Ukraine says spy chief's wife is being treated for poisoning with heavy metals - NPR, 29 Nov 23
  • Article: Senior Canadian Intelligence Official Found Guilty of Passing Secrets to Individuals Tied to Iran - The Foreign Desk, 28 Nov 23
  • Article: US used its Section 702 spy tool to disrupt Iran’s weapons program - Politico, 28 Nov 23
  • Article: Olimp and Yenisei-2: Russia’s secretive eavesdropping satellites (part 2) - The Space Review, 27 Nov 23
  • DCIA Letter: DCIA Burns Quarterly Message to Alumni - CIA Office of Alumni Relations, 17 Nov 23


Section V - Books, Research Requests, Academic Opportunities, Employment, Obituaries

Books — Forthcoming, New Releases, Overlooked

Research Requests and Academic Opportunities

  • Call for Nominations: The Kjetil Hatlebrekke Memorial Book Prize, King’s College Centre for the Study of Intelligence, 08 Dec 23 Deadline
  • Call for Interviews: Author of forthcoming book seeks conversation with intelligence officers who have worked on China during their career
  • Call for Information: CIA’s Office of Soviet Analysis (SOVA) 1981-1992
  • Call for Information: Al "Albert" Purdum, stationed at Arlington Hall 55, Defense Language School - Albanian 55-56, NSA Linguist, Sr. Cryptologist 57-95
  • Call for Information: Octavio Bermudez, State/Commerce Attache Latin America, Crosley Broadcasting - 1922-1942.
  • Call for Information: COS Manila in November 1996
  • Call for Information: MACV/SOG Sgt Major Charles “Chuck” Remagen
  • Call For Sources: Intelligence activities in Grenada and the southern Caribbean between 1979, Operation Urgent Fury, Leonard Barrett
  • Call For Articles: AFIO Journal, The Intelligencer



Section VI - Events

Upcoming AFIO Events

  • 11 Dec 2023, 1800 (ET) - Q&A with Former CIA Executive and Trailblazer, author James Lawler - Virtual - East Tennessee Chapter

Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, Others

See the AFIO Calendar of Events for scheduling further in the future.

Christmas Gift for Young Readers

The Vienna Trilogy by Tom Gilligan (2023)

In the summer of 1947, Europe was in turmoil. Displaced persons were everywhere. The Red Army occupied Poland, Czechoslovakia, parts of German, and other countries. Austria was divided into zones – Russian, American, British, and French. The NKVD secret police followed on the heels of the Red Army, arresting, kidnapping, even killing those who opposed the communists. This is the setting for Tom Gilligan’s trilogy focused on 11-year old David Hale, whose father, a doctor, was deeply involved with medical treatment for refugees, and also was a former intelligence officer during World War II and continued to support American intelligence in post-war Austria. With his mother and sister on vacation in the US that summer, young David became involved in several intelligence support operations. The trilogy – Escape to the West, Nazi’s on the Run, and Stopping the Russian Bear – recount in fascinating detail how David assisted his father, and an American Intelligence agent, in three gripping adventures. Gilligan, a former CIA DO officer, has written a book appropriate for young readers. The characters are well drawn. The stories are well constructed and gripping. Each of the trilogies is a little more than 100 pages. The author explains the sophisticated words used and espionage terminology and concepts in footnotes, which is a clever tool for young readers to learn vocabulary and understand how HUMINT works. Gilligan also clearly explains the geo-political situation of 1947 in Europe via conversations between David and his father.

The Vienna Trilogy would make an excellent holiday present for young readers ages 10 to 14. On Amazon, $26.99 for all three books in one volume. Each of the books are also available separately.

Reviewed by Peter C. Oleson, Senior Editor, The Intelligencer.


The WIN editors thank the following contributors of content for this issue:


Readers are encouraged to suggest material for any section of the WIN to:


Our editors include a wide range of articles and commentary in the Weekly Intelligence Notes to inform and educate our readers. The views expressed in the articles are purely those of the authors and do not reflect support or endorsement from AFIO. WIN notices about non-AFIO events do not constitute endorsement or recommendation by AFIO.
AFIO does not vet or endorse research inquiries, career announcements, or job offers. We publish reasonable-sounding inquiries and career offerings as a service to our members. We encourage readers to exercise caution and good judgment when responding and to independently verify the source before supplying resumes, career data, or personal information.


Readers who encounter problems with links or viewing this newsletter as an email can access
the latest web edition here.



During this season, we all receive many fundraising emails and letters. AFIO rarely asks members for contributions in order to limit the annoyance factor; as the year's end approaches, we make an exception to ask you to consider making a U.S. tax-deductible contribution to help us continue our important outreach and educational missions in 2024.

AFIO provides members with access to special events, meeting opportunities, one-on-one career guidance, unique publications, and notices that are not found elsewhere — benefits with costs that exceed our income from dues. In support of these perks, we invite you to show your generosity and kindness by supporting our nonprofit organization.

You are the ones making the real difference! Your support makes our work possible. Click on either image above to access our donation page. AFIO appreciates your interest and any support you are able to provide!

Newest Release

Released exclusively to members 5 December 2023...

Life and Times of an MI6 and MI5 Officer

Recorded 14 November 2023

Jimmy Burns,
author A Faithful Spy: The Life and Times of an MI6 and MI5 Officer. Biography of Walter Bell

Interview of Tuesday, 14 November 2023. Jimmy Burns, Prize-Winning Author and Journalist, and AFIO President James Hughes, a former senior CIA Operations Officer and Former NSA Associate Deputy Director of Operations, discuss Jimmy Burns's latest book "A Faithful Spy: The Life and Times of an MI6 and MI5 Officer" on the exceptional intelligence career of Walter Bell.
The interview runs 45 minutes and includes several Q&As.
A Faithful Spy: The Life and Times of an MI6 and MI5 Officer is available here.
More about Jimmy Burns here.

Access the Jimmy Burns interview here or click above image.

This, and upcoming AFIO Now videos in 2023, are sponsored by Northwest Financial Advisors.

The Archive

"AFIO Now" Video Interviews and Podcasts in 2023 are sponsored by
Northwest Financial Advisors

Click here to watch interviews in the AFIO Now series released in 2023.
View interviews from 2020 to 2022 here.
Watch public-release interviews on our YouTube channel or listen to them in podcast form at the links below.

Log into the member-only area for member-only features.

"AFIO Now" Podcasts

LATEST PODCAST: In this episode, David Bickford - former UK Under Secretary of State and MI5 & MI6 Legal Director - discusses his spy thriller "Katya," which takes inspiration from his career in Britain's premier intelligence agencies. Bickford also provides advice to those considering a career in the intelligence services. Recorded 20 July 2023. Interviewer: Jim Hughes, AFIO President and former CIA Operations Officer.

Podcast here.

Are you too busy to watch an entire AFIO Now episode on YouTube? Would you rather listen in your car or while accomplishing other tasks? You can download or stream episodes on any of the 8 podcasting platforms that host AFIO Now. Search for 'AFIO Podcast' for a selection of the interviews above (public released ones) on:

Podbean; iTunes; Google; Spotify; Amazon Music; Amazon TuneIn + Alexa; iHeartRadio; Pandora

Special Walking Tours Announcements
from SpyGuide Tours Inc.

Weekend Tours in Washington DC
Georgetown Spy Tour
Embassy Row Spy Tour Daily Tours in New York City
The Spies of Wall Street

New 2024 Dates
18 January 2024: Vintage Espionage, a wine tasting event with an espionage twist at neighborhood favorite, The Italian Oven in McLean, VA

2 March 2024: The January 6th Experience.  See and hear what people saw on January 6th on this one-of-a-kind contemporary history tour

Visit Spyher
Book | Buy | Contact us to schedule a private event | Subscribe and “Get the Intel” for not-yet-public information on upcoming events

Vintage Espionage travels throughout the U.S. 
Visit to learn more and book all tours.

Brochure here.


Special Gifts for Colleagues, Self, or Others

NEW Gray long-sleeved polo shirts with embroidered AFIO logo. Men's sizes only.
Show your support for AFIO with our new Gray Long-sleeve Polo Shirts. Shirts are shrink and wrinkle resistant of fine cotton with a soft, "well-worn, comfy" yet substantial feel. They feature a detailed embroidered AFIO seal. Get a shirt for yourself and consider as gifts for colleagues, family, and friends. Only $60 each including shipping.
Sizes for men, only: Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, and XXXL.  $60 per shirt. Order this and other store items online here.

 NEW 20 oz ceramic Mug with color glazed logo. Made in America. Check out our new tapered, sleek AFIO coffee mug!! This handsome 20 oz. ceramic mug is made in the USA, has a white matte exterior, sports a beautiful navy-blue interior, and is dishwasher safe.  Order yours today! $35 per mug includes shipping to a CONUS address. [includes shipping to U.S. based address, only. For foreign shipments, we will contact you with a quote.] SHIPPING: For shipment to a U.S.-based CONUS address, shipping is included in price. For purchases going to AK, HI, other US territories, Canada, or other foreign countries the shipping fees need to be calculated, so please call our office M-F 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at 703-790-0320 or email providing following information: 1) your name, 2) mailing address (or addresses where each gift item will be shipped), 3) name of the AFIO store items you wish to purchase, 4) quantity of each, 5) your credit card number and expiration date, 6) amount (except for additional of shipping fees) authorized to charge, and 7) your phone number and email should we have questions. Foreign shipments fees will be calculated and estimates emailed to you, awaiting your approval.  Order this and other store items online here.

Roy Berkeley's "A Spy's London" - Original U.S. Edition - A Few Unsold Copies Available

In 'this remarkable book' (as intelligence historian and AFIO member Nigel West describes in his Foreword), the reader will be struck by the vibrancy of history made real. Author/AFIO member Roy Berkeley goes behind the facades of ordinary buildings, in the city that West calls 'the espionage capital of the World,' to remind us that the history of intelligence has often been made in such mundane places. With his evocative photographs and compelling observations, The 136 sites are organized into 21 manageable walks. But also a joy to armchair travelers. Among the sites: the modest hotel suite where an eager Red Army colonel poured out his secrets to a team of British and American intelligence officers; the royal residence where one of the most slippery Soviet moles was at home for years; the London home where an MP plotting to appease Hitler was arrested on his front steps in 1940. A few copies are available at only $20 a copy (postage to a U.S.-based address included). Telephone the office at 703-790-0320 or email to obtain one of these last copies.

Access CIA's In-house Gift Shop

One special benefit of AFIO membership is access to CIA's EAA Store.

After completing the required, quick pre-approval process for all AFIO members described here, you can purchase directly from the EAA online store their unusual logo'd gift items for self or colleagues. EAA on 20 October 2023 released the photo above, which features some of their newest CIA items and other gift suggestions.


US is helping Israel detect intelligence blind spots and locate Hamas leaders: report - Intel News, 04 Dec 23

United States intelligence agencies are actively assisting Israel identify the intelligence blind spots that led to the security failure of October 7, and locate senior Hamas leaders, according to the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Representative Mike Turner (R-OH) said during an interview on Sunday with CBS’s Face the Nation that American intelligence agencies are “working closely” with the Israeli intelligence community. The purpose of the collaboration is to find intelligence “gaps” and identify the “institutional bias that resulted in” Israeli intelligence officials dismissing warnings about a potential attack by Hamas in the months leading to October 7. The United States is also providing Israel with “selective […] information” about Hamas targets, including senior Hamas officials. Turner noted that “we are not just providing direct access to our intelligence” and that “caution” is being used in determining the types of intelligence that United States agencies are sharing with Israel. Turner’s comments come less than a week after The New York Times reported that Israeli intelligence had managed to obtain Hamas’ detailed battle plan for the October 7 attack in 2022. It was a 40-page document, written in Arabic, which allegedly contained the precise details of Hamas’ attack plan, but did not specify a date. Senior intelligence officials dubbed the battle plan “Jericho Wall”, but dismissed it as purely aspirational and thought it too elaborate to be carried out in practice. (Full article here.)

Wyden to block Senate vote on new NSA, Cyber Command lead - Politico, 30 Nov 23

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) pledged Thursday to block a vote confirming Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh as the new leader of both the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command until the NSA releases information on alleged surveillance of Americans. The blockade comes amid growing debate around federal surveillance powers on Capitol Hill, and after Haugh’s nomination has already been held up for months by Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) hold on all military nominations. Reasoning: Wyden — a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which oversees the NSA — said in a statement submitted to the Senate that he “regretfully” objects to any vote on Haugh, who currently serves as deputy commander of U.S. Cyber Command. He complained that defense and intelligence officials have refused to make public information he received in 2021 about the NSA purchasing and using location data collected on Americans. “The American people have a right to know whether the NSA is conducting warrantless domestic surveillance of Americans in a manner that circumvents the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution,” Wyden said, promising to maintain his blockade until the NSA released this information. (Full article here.)

Military Intelligence Directorate head to resign due to Oct. 7 massacre, takes responsibility - Jerusalem Post, 29 Nov 23

IDF Military Intelligence Directorate Chief Aharon Haliva believed that following the events of October 7, his tenure in office was on borrowed time. "Already that morning I understood that it was over," he told his associates: "After the war is over I will have to go." Now, all that remains for Haliva is to figure out when he intends to retire, whether it be after Israel officially announces the end of the war, or before there is any sort of permanent ceasefire and the army switches to a method of raid operations only. Either way, Haliva is already considered in the Intelligence Division as a "lame duck," and the succession battle for his position has already begun. On the night between Friday and Saturday, around 2:30 a.m., the Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, held an encrypted telephone call on the IDF's "red line" with Operations Directorate head Maj.-Gen. Oded Basyuk and IDF Southern Command head Maj.-Gen. Yaron Finkelman to discuss intelligence gathered from various collection agencies in Military Intelligence and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). (Full article here.)

US Says If CIA-Backed Embassy Security Opened Phones Of Assange Visitors, It Was Constitutional - Z Network, 30 Nov 23

An attorney for the United States government contended CIA-backed contractors had not violated the privacy rights when they allegedly opened the physical structure of cellphones belonging to Americans, who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuador embassy in London. “There are several cases,” U.S. Attorney Jean-David Barnea argued, “that say that by giving your phone to someone else, you have relinquished your expectation of privacy.” The assertion was made during a remarkable hearing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on November 16. The hearing involved argument over a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the CIA and former CIA director Mike Pompeo for their alleged role in spying on Assange visitors that were Americans. In August 2022, four Americans sued the CIA and Pompeo: Margaret Ratner Kunstler, a civil rights activist and human rights attorney; Deborah Hrbek, a media lawyer who represented Assange or WikiLeaks; journalist John Goetz, who worked for Der Spiegel when the German media organization first partnered with WikiLeaks; and journalist Charles Glass, who wrote articles on Assange for The Intercept. (Full article here.)

German Domestic Intelligence: Heightened Terror Risk - Homeland Security Newswire, 30 Nov 23

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says the danger of a terror attack in the country is “higher than it has been for a long time.” It cited the October 7 Hamas attacks and the subsequent Israel-Hamas war as factors. Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) on Wednesday said the danger of an Islamist terror attack on German soil had significantly increased. The agency said the raised risk of attacks against the Jewish community or “the West as a whole” came in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attacks and Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip. (Full article here.)

Naval Intelligence adopting cloud services to sort signal from noise - Federal News Network, 30 Nov 23

Oceans account for 71% of the planet’s surface, and the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are tasked with securing it from bad actors ranging from nation-state competitors to drug smugglers, terrorists and pirates. Such an enormous mission area and broad mandate requires acute intelligence in the form of maritime domain awareness, gathered from a plethora of stakeholders, both domestic and international. That’s where the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office comes in, serving as the link between organizations that collect and analyze this data, and those that operationalize it. “The volume and velocity of data these days is tremendous and we need to use tools in order to help us do that,” Todd Boone, senior strategy advisor for the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office, said on Federal Monthly Insights – Maritime Domain Awareness. “The naval intelligence enterprise as a whole is deploying cloud native tools and modernizing its databases in order to increase the speed of data processing. These tools help everyone in the maritime community understand how competitors rogue nations like Iran and North Korea, the non-government malign actors like terrorists and whatnot, all behave on the water. And they also help characterize how changes in climate and human-made disasters like oil spills also affect maritime safety and security.” (Full article here.)

North Korea says its new spy satellite photographed White House, Pentagon - OODA Loop, 28 Nov 23

North Korea successfully launched its first spy satellite last week with the intention of monitoring U.S. and South Korean military movements. On Tuesday, North Korean state media announced that Kim Jong Un personally reviewed satellite imagery of the White House, Pentagon, and naval installations in Norfolk. State media added that the satellite also monitored military activity in South Korea, Guam, and Italy. South Korea has not been able to verify any of North Korea’s claims, and Pyongyang has not publicly released any of the imagery it referenced on state television. Experts also debate the usefulness of medium-resolution satellite imagery in the event of conflict, where frequent flyovers from a network of satellites are essential to tracking ground developments. (Full article here.)

Signal facing collapse after CIA cuts funding - Almayadeen, 30 Nov 23

On November 16th, Meredith Whittaker, president of Signal, published a detailed breakdown of the popular encrypted messaging app’s running costs for the very first time. The unprecedented disclosure’s motivation was simple - the platform is rapidly running out of money, and in dire need of donations to stay afloat. Unmentioned by Whittaker, this budget shortfall results in large part due to the US intelligence community, which lavishly financed Signal’s creation and maintenance over several years, severing its support for the app. Never acknowledged in any serious way by the mainstream media, Signal’s origins as a US government asset are a matter of extensive public record, even if the scope and scale of the funding provided has until now been secret. The app, brainchild of shadowy tech guru ‘Moxie Marlinspike’ (real name Matthew Rosenfeld), was launched in 2013 by his now-defunct Open Whisper Systems (OWS). The company never published financial statements or disclosed the identities of its funders at any point during its operation. (Full article here.)

New report says the IDF's elite intelligence unit saw signs Hamas was preparing a terror attack - Business Insider, 30 Nov 23

An elite intelligence unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) saw signs that Hamas was preparing for a massive terror attack, but early warnings ultimately went ignored, according to a new report. Israeli media outlet Channel 12 obtained internal correspondence from within the IDF's Unit 8200 showing that in early July, a non-commissioned officer (NCO) warned others in detail that Hamas had carried out extensive drills practicing various assault tactics several weeks earlier. Unit 8200 is part of the IDF's decades-old Military Intelligence Directorate, which is responsible for collecting and processing intelligence from enemy groups like Hamas. 8200 is the directorate's main information gathering unit, and its soldiers are also tasked with analyzing and sharing intelligence with relevant officials. "The unit operates in all zones and in wartime, they join combat field headquarters in order to enable a faster flow of information," the IDF said of the unit in 2021. (Full article here.)

Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh's murder bid: Joe Biden sent CIA chief to New Delhi to warn India over alleged incident - India Blooms, 01 Dec 23

President Joe Biden had sent the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns to New Delhi after the revelation of an alleged conspiracy to assassinate US-based Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Reuters reported. The report said that Burns came to India to address the issue after US authorities claimed to have uncovered a plot involving an Indian national attempting to hire a hitman to kill Pannun, who resides in New York and leads the Khalistani group "Sikhs for Justice." The United States alleges that the attempted assassination plot was orchestrated by an official from the Indian government based in India. (Full article here.)

Exclusive: Judge orders FBI to hand over 9/11 documents on Saudi spy - SpyTalk, 01 Dec 23

A military judge has ordered the FBI to hand over 3,000 pages of documents involving a Saudi intelligence asset who assisted the first two hijackers to arrive in the United States, information that the U.S. government has fought to keep secret for more than two decades. The order issued Thursday by a judge overseeing the case of 9/11 defendants in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba covers FBI documents referencing Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi living in San Diego who played a critical role in helping two newly arrived hijackers settle in the United States. “The accused [9/11 defendants] are charged with a conspiracy, so existing evidence from the criminal investigations into that conspiracy is relevant to this case,” wrote Air Force Col. Matthew McCall, the military judge presiding over the prosecution of Khalid Shaikh Mohamad and others in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “It is notable that the prosecution has not argued that additional materials do not exist, nor has it asserted a privilege over the information.” (Full article here.)

Counterespionage Corner - Recent Arrests, Convictions, Expulsions, and more...

Cyberespionage Collection - Newly Identified Actors and Operations, Countermeasures, Policy, other...

(Legacy Intel Practitioners' Informed Perspectives)

The Latest Insights from Former CIA Acting Deputy Director for Operations Jack Devine.

In Other News The proprietary analytic newsletter crafted for The Arkin Group's private clients by former CIA Acting Deputy Director for Operations Jack Devine.

01 Dec | In today’s world, the lines between official and non-state diplomacy are blurred, increasing the risk of global instability. This week, Henry Kissinger’s death marks the end of an era of international relations and geopolitics writ large where a single man and a single nation could drive the agenda. Whether you saw him as a great statesman or merely a flawed diplomat with a series of wins and missteps, when Kissinger was Secretary of State, he was the leader of a coalition of nation states that followed America’s lead - and all our significant matters were coordinated through the U.S. government. (Full version available to AFIO members in the coming days here.)

Daily Analysis of Security Issues and Geopolitical Trends

Intel Brief The Soufan Center's flagship, daily analytical product focused on complex security issues and geopolitical trends that may shape regional or international affairs. The Soufan Center was founded by former FBI Special Agent and Soufan Group CEO Ali Soufan.

05 Dec | Iran Achieves Mixed Results in Mideast Crisis

Global officials have closely watched Iran’s actions and responses to the Israel-Hamas war because of the Islamic Republic’s ability to cause the war to expand into a regional conflagration. With the trajectory of the conflict becoming clearer nearly two months after Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack on Israel, experts and global officials are beginning to assess the degree to which Iran’s actions have furthered Tehran’s regional and global objectives. In the aggregate, the results of Iranian policy have been mixed. Iranian leaders have clearly advanced some of their goals, particularly in stoking opposition in the Global South to U.S. and European hegemony. Iranian media both in and outside the country have highlighted the demonstrations against Israel’s offensive against Hamas and in opposition to U.S. backing of Israel’s military operations. Iranian leaders have cited the Hamas October 7 attack on Israel as a significant victory that demonstrates the strategic wisdom of violent resistance to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

04 Dec | China Uses Middle East Crisis to Raise Its Global Profile

01 Dec | Yemen’s Houthis Could be Targeted for U.S. Terrorism Designation

30 Nov | An Extended Truce in Gaza

29 Nov | Pre-Conflict Trends in Middle East Likely to Endure After Israel-Hamas War

The GSRP – a key diplomatic tool in complex times by Former Canadian CSE Assistant Deputy Minister Artur Wilczynski - Wesley Wark’s National Security and Intelligence Newsletter, 01 Dec 23

In 2010, I joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade as the new Director General for Security and Intelligence. I came to diplomacy after years in international relations in other departments – notably Public Safety and Canadian Heritage. When I started at DFAIT – later DFATD and now GAC – I quickly worked with, knew and respected the Global Security Reporting Program (GSRP) team for its professionalism and its valuable diplomatic reporting. From 2014 until my appointment as Ambassador to Norway in 2018, the GSRP reported to me as Director General. It was part of a division that also prepared mission threat and risk assessments, and distributed reporting by domestic and international partners to consumers across the Department. It was part of a broader Directorate that included divisions responsible for NATO relations, international crime and terrorism, as well as those responsible for mission security. (Full report here.)

China Needs to Pick Up the Phone as Trust Deficit Still Looms Large by Former CIA Executive Joseph Detrani - Cipher Brief, 30 Nov 23

The Biden-Xi Summit of November 2023 was a step in the right direction. But it was only a step. Restoring military-to-military communications and China’s commitment to stem the export of precursor chemicals related to the production of the opioid fentanyl were major – and expected – deliverables from the summit. But the trust deficit in bilateral relations looms large. In 1978, when Deng Xiaoping took over as China’s supreme leader, he inherited a poor and struggling China, ravaged from the disastrous Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution. Deng’s initial and primary focus was on economic reform, establishing a market economy that focused on technology, innovation and meritocracy, and a system that sought foreign direct investment and interaction primarily with U.S. companies and universities. And the U.S. delivered, with U.S. companies investing heavily in China and tens of thousands of Chinese students enrolling in U.S. colleges and universities. (Full report here.)


Article: Former US Ambassador to Bolivia Manuel Rocha, 73, is arrested over claims he is a Cuban SPY - Daily Mail, 03 Dec 23

The United States' former ambassador to Bolivia has been arrested on suspicion of being a Cuban spy in a long-running FBI counterintelligence investigation. Manuel Rocha, 73, was arrested in Miami Friday, according to the Associated Press. More details of the allegations against him will be outlined when he appears in court Monday. Insiders said the Justice Department has accused Rocha of working to promote the Cuban government's interests. He served under both Democratic and Republican administrations during his 25-year diplomatic career. Much of his career was spent in Latin America during the Cold War, which included a stint at the US Interests Section in Cuba. Rocha’s wife, Karla Wittkop Rocha, would not comment when contacted by the AP. 'I don’t need to talk to you,' she said before hanging up. He was the top US diplomat in Argentina between 1997 and 2000 as a decade-long currency stabilization program backed by Washington was unraveling under the weight of huge foreign debt and stagnant growth. (Read full report here.)

Article: Israel's Intelligence Services Plan to Kill Hamas Leaders Around the World After War - Wall Street Journal, 01 Dec 23

Israel’s intelligence services are preparing to kill Hamas leaders around the world when the nation’s war in the Gaza Strip winds down, setting the stage for a yearslong campaign to hunt down militants responsible for the Oct. 7 massacres, Israeli officials said. With orders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s top spy agencies are working on plans to hunt down Hamas leaders living in Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar, the small Gulf nation that has allowed the group to run a political office in Doha for a decade, the officials said. The assassination campaign would be an extension of Israel’s decadeslong clandestine operations that have become the subject of both Hollywood legend and worldwide condemnation. Israeli assassins have hunted Palestinian militants in Beirut while dressed as women, and killed a Hamas leader in Dubai while disguised as tourists. Israel has used a car bomb to assassinate a Hezbollah leader in Syria and a remote-controlled rifle to kill a nuclear scientist in Iran, according to former Israeli officials. For years, countries such as Qatar, Lebanon, Iran, Russia and Turkey have provided Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, with a measure of protection. And Israel has at times refrained from targeting the Palestinian militants to avoid creating diplomatic crises. The new plans would mark a second chance for Netanyahu, who ordered a botched 1997 attempt to poison Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Jordan. The well-documented attempt instead led to the release of Hamas’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. To the consternation of some Israeli officials who want the latest plans to remain a mystery, Netanyahu telegraphed his intentions in a nationwide address on Nov. 22. “I have instructed the Mossad to act against the heads of Hamas wherever they are,” he said, referring to Israel’s foreign-intelligence service. (Read full report here.)

Article: Israel had detailed Hamas attack plans a year ago, dismissed them - Jerusalem Post, 01 Dec 23

A bombshell report by the New York Times claims that Israeli officials had a detailed, approximately 40-page document outlining "point by point" the plans for a Hamas attack on Israeli soil, but dismissed the plan as aspirational and beyond the group's capacities. The document, which authorities codenamed "Jericho Wall," is reported to have outlined "a methodical assault" in which drones would attack Israel's surveillance system as terrorists entered the country on foot and using paragliders and motorcycles under the cover of a barrage of rockets. The document is also said to have included the locations and sizes of IDF forces in the area, and specifically stated as an objective to overwhelm the military base in Re'im, the site of the nature party on October 7 that was targeted early in the attack. At the top of the document was a quotation from the Qur'an: "Surprise them through the gate. If you do, you will certainly prevail." (Read full report here.)

Article: China defense report links high-altitude spy balloons to hypersonic missile program - Washington Times, 30 Nov 23

China‘s high-altitude balloon program is linked to the military’s hypersonic missile program and a new command for both systems is prepared to conduct “merciless” attacks in a future conflict with the United States, according to a Chinese defense research report. The report by a group of researchers at the National University of Defense Technology states that the military set up a new command for both hypersonic missiles and the high-altitude balloons — like the suspected surveillance balloon shot down in February off the South Carolina coast by an Air Force jet fighter after traversing much of the continental U.S. The report, “Near Space Operations Command,” made public during a Beijing conference on command and control in October, said the new operations command will direct hypersonic missiles against heavily protected targets, including communications equipment and hubs in the heartland of an adversary. (Read full report here.)

Article: An Indian official plotted to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader in New York, US prosecutors say - Associated Press, 29 Nov 23

An Indian government official directed a plot to assassinate a prominent Sikh separatist leader living in New York City, United States prosecutors said Wednesday as they announced charges against a man they said was part of the thwarted conspiracy. U.S. officials became aware in the spring of the plot to kill Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who advocated for the creation of a sovereign Sikh state and is considered a terrorist by the Indian government. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration interceded and set up a sting, with an undercover agent posing as a hitman, after the conspirators recruited an international narcotics trafficker in the plot to kill the activist for $100,000. The Indian government official was not charged nor identified by name in an indictment unsealed Wednesday, but was described as a “senior field officer” with responsibilities in security management and intelligence, said to have previously served in India’s Central Reserve Police Force. (Read full report here.)

Article: Ukraine says spy chief's wife is being treated for poisoning with heavy metals - NPR, 29 Nov 23

The wife of Ukraine's intelligence chief has been diagnosed with heavy metals poisoning and is undergoing treatment in a hospital, a spokesperson for the agency said Tuesday as the country's war with Russia stretched into its 22nd month. Marianna Budanova is the wife of Lt. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the military intelligence agency that is known in Ukrainian as GUR for short. Her condition was confirmed to The Associated Press by Andrii Yusov, the agency's spokesman. Yusov did not provide more details about the alleged poisoning, nor did he say if it was believed to have been intended for Budanov or whether Russia was thought to be behind it. Earlier this year, he told Ukrainian media that military intelligence chief had survived 10 assassination attempts carried out by the Russian state security service, or FSB. (Read full report here.)

Article: Senior Canadian Intelligence Official Found Guilty of Passing Secrets to Individuals Tied to Iran - The Foreign Desk, 28 Nov 23

A jury in Canada found Cameron Jay Ortis, a former intelligence official of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), guilty of breaching Canada’s secrets laws and passing information to international criminals and money launderers connected to the Islamic Republic of Iran. The trial came following Ortis’s arrest in 2019, which, according to Canadian officials, sent a “shockwave through the Canadian security and intelligence community.” The jury found Ortis guilty of three counts of violating the Security of Information Act and one count of trying to do so. Prosecutors stated that not only did Ortis pass information, but he had classified files that could have only been of interest to rogue states and that he was attempting to share them before his arrest in 2019. Court documents from 2014 revealed that the RCMP and other intelligence agencies from Canada’s allies were investigating money laundering activities conducted by various organizations associated with a Dubai-based money service business owner named Altaf Khanani. The entities under investigation included Salim Henareh and his businesses Persepolis International and Rosco Trading, Muhammad Ashraf and his firm Finmark Financial, and Farzam Mehdizadeh and his firm Aria Exchange. (Read full report here.)

Article: US used its Section 702 spy tool to disrupt Iran’s weapons program - Politico, 28 Nov 23

U.S. officials say a controversial surveillance authority has been key to helping them stop the sale of certain weapons parts to Iran in recent years. The CIA and other intelligence agencies used information gathered by monitoring the electronic communications of foreign weapons manufacturers to stop several shipments of advanced weapons parts to Iran by land, air and sea, according to two U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the matter. The campaign came as the administration pushed to prevent Iran from building up its ballistic missile program – one officials continue to worry Tehran is using to help Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine. Officials have also focused on limiting Iran’s intervention in conflicts that impact U.S. national security more broadly, including the war between Israel and Hamas. (Read full report here.)

Article: Olimp and Yenisei-2: Russia’s secretive eavesdropping satellites (part 2) - The Space Review, 27 Nov 23

As outlined in part 1, Russia is operating two satellites in geostationary orbit that have been parked close to various non-Russian commercial communications satellites with the apparent goal of eavesdropping on them. They were launched in September 2014 and March 2023 under the official names Luch and Luch-5X. Closer analysis shows that these are cover names for satellites that are referred to in official documents as Olimp and Yenisei-2 respectively. Both were built by ISS Reshetnev in Zheleznogorsk (Siberia) and seem to carry payloads delivered by NII Radio in Moscow. Indications are that Yenisei-2 is a significantly modified version of Olimp that has undergone changes to both its bus and payload. These satellites are totally unrelated to the Luch-5 data relay satellites that Russia uses to provide crosslink communications between orbiting spacecraft. The FSB connection... (Read full report here.)

DCIA Letter: DCIA Burns Quarterly Message to Alumni - CIA Office of Alumni Relations, 17 Nov 23

Dear Colleagues: I hope you’re all having a good fall. It is hard to believe that nearly three years have passed since I took my oath to become Director of CIA. The time has gone by very quickly. And yet, every day I continue to receive fresh reminders of how fortunate I am to lead this Agency. The bravery and skill of our officers are as impressive as ever, as are the vital missions they continue to take on around the world. Among my favorite moments at Langley during the past few months was the fireside chat on Alumni Day in September. It was terrific to see so many of you back at Headquarters. As we approach the one-year anniversary of our Office of Alumni Relations (OAR), the event was a fine reflection of its excellent work so far. I also had the privilege of welcoming two other distinguished customers and friends of CIA back to Langley this fall: former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. At their respective armchair conversations with the workforce, each regaled us with fond memories of their time in office and working with our Agency. (Read full report here.)

(Note: Former Agency employees who have not yet connected with the Office of Alumni Relations and all of its resources for former employees can engage by contacting


Secrecy and the politics of selective disclosures: the US government’s intervention in Guatemala - Intelligence and National Security, 28 Nov 23

Recent scholarship debates the signaling function of secrecy and covertness. At the international level, covertness is used to achieve strategic objectives without risking escalation or openly violating international law. Domestically, secrecy is understood as a method to pacify domestic constituencies. These are typically understood as obstacles to the conduct of (covert) foreign policy. Building primarily on archival material, the analysis highlights the role of ‘selective disclosures’ of information regarding covert operations. This article analyses the Eisenhower Administration’s 1954 intervention in Guatemala (PBSUCCESS). We find that the executive used disclosures – and not secrecy – to pacify hawkish domestic constituencies. (Full report here.)

From ‘national intelligence community’ to ‘national intelligence power’ - Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 01 Dec 23

Australian intelligence’s foremost challenge is to further evolve from being a ‘national intelligence community’ to generating ‘national intelligence power’. It will do that by more effectively integrating intelligence into the government’s broad policymaking, strategising and action, including through adaptive and purposeful applications of intelligence in collaboration with other arms of statecraft. That’s the judgment of our submission to the independent intelligence review being undertaken by Heather Smith and Richard Maude and likely to report in mid-2024. We make the case that while the previous review, in 2017, provided the foundation for more effective national intelligence capability, the National Intelligence Community (NIC) it created requires further adaptation—including in response to hard lessons from the past six years. Those lessons should spur the NIC towards achieving enhanced competitiveness, sovereignty, preparedness (and utility), resilience and tech-readiness; to being sufficiently integrated and collaborative; and being able to help Australia navigate its perilous strategic circumstances. (Full report here.)

Nijjar-Pannun effect: RAW downs shutters in North America 1st time since inception in 1968 - The Print India, 30 Nov 23

Two senior Research and Analysis Wing officers were asked to leave their stations in major Western cities earlier this summer, ahead of a decision by United States prosecutors to initiate criminal charges in the wake of the spy agency’s alleged role in an assassination campaign targeting pro-Khalistan activists, intelligence sources have told ThePrint. RAW was also blocked from replacing its station head in Washington, DC, it is learnt. These actions were part of a series of moves intended to signal anger against what the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom saw as violations of the unwritten conventions which govern the operations of RAW in those countries. The officers were the head of the RAW station in San Francisco and the second-in-command of its operations in London, the sources said. These are mutually disclosed positions and are not undercover. The officers are of senior and mid-senior levels in the Indian Police Service (IPS). ThePrint is withholding their names as both remain in service with RAW. (Watch video here.)

Former MI6 director breaks down ‘most significant’ development on investigation into COVID origins - SkyNews, 28 Nov 23

Sir Richard Dearlove – the former head of the British spy agency MI6 – has revealed what he has found the “most significant” development in relation to the investigation on the origins of COVID-19. “Well I think what’s been most significant is to discover that legitimate scientific debate about the origins of Covid was actually actively suppressed, really around the world,” he told Sky News Australia host Sharri Markson. Sir Richard provided his insights as part of Ms Markson’s new documentary into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘What Really Happened in Wuhan: The Next Chapter’. Sir Richard Dearlove was the Director of MI6 from 1999-2004. He discussed stifling of the debate around the origins of COVID-19 and the role America’s most senior infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci played. “We've now through FOI – freedom of information – got pretty clear idea of what meetings took place, what happened,” Sir Richard said. (Read full report here.)

Why the EU is so worried about China's anti-espionage law - Euronews, 28 Nov 23

Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission's executive vice president in charge of trade relations, described the legislation during his trip to China in late September as a "great concern to our business community" whose "ambiguity allows too much room for interpretation" and "significantly decreases" investors' confidence. "This is exactly what I mean by a lose-lose outcome," Dombrovskis said. What exactly makes the law so troubling for Europeans? Introduced for the first time in 2014, the bill is intended to "prevent, frustrate and punish" acts of espionage. Its provisions grant the country's central authorities a broad mandate to crack down on activities that are perceived to be a threat against the "national security, honour and interests". The law added to the intricate machinery the Chinese Communist Party has at its disposal to exert control over citizens, companies and organisations. This control has deepened under the rule of President Xi Jinping, who has remodelled the relation between state and party to centralise power in his persona. (Read full report here.)

North Korea’s Spy Satellite Launch Is One Giant (and Dangerous) Question Mark - The Heritage Foundation, 28 Nov 23

Pyongyang successfully launched its first military reconnaissance satellite after two previous failures. North Korea has developed a robust missile arsenal but, until now, lacked a remote reconnaissance capability to identify, track, and attack U.S., South Korean, and Japanese military targets. The satellite’s capabilities, as well as whether it incorporated Russian technology, remain unknown. North Korea announced the satellite surveilled U.S. military bases in Guam and vowed to launch several additional reconnaissance satellites “in a short span of time.” South Korea responded by suspending portions of an inter-Korean military agreement meant to prevent military clashes along the DMZ, raising tensions on the peninsula even further. On November 21, Pyongyang conducted its third attempt at launching its Malligyong-1 military reconnaissance satellite onboard a Chollima-1 rocket. Previous launches in August 2023 failed to achieve orbit, but clearly, North Korea learned some valuable lessons. The South Korean navy salvaged some of the rocket and satellite debris from the ocean floor, enabling technical analysis, though the results have not been disclosed. (Read full report here.)

Infographic: Visualizing $233B in Ukraine Aid - Visual Capitalist, 12 Nov 23

Ukraine has received over $230 billion in aid since the Russian invasion in 2022. EU institutions and the U.S. together account for almost 70% of the total aid. This graphic uses data from the Ukraine Support Tracker to visualize the top 10 donors to Ukraine between Jan 24, 2022, and July 31, 2023. (View graphic here.)

Intelligence in History - A Collection of Recent Content

  • Eavesdropping on the Taliban with the Angels of Death - Spytalk, 26 Nov 23
  • Cold case mystery of MI6 codebreaker Gareth Williams who was found dead in padlocked bag – as new theory is investigated - The Sun, 28 Nov 23

The Latest from International Spy Museum Historian Andrew Hammond, PhD.

Spycast is the official podcast of the International Spy Museum and hosts interviews with intelligence experts on matters of HUMINT, SIGINT, IMINT, OSINT, and GEOINT. Spycast is hosted by historian Andrew Hammond, PhD.

28 Nov | “The Eye of Horus: Egyptian Intelligence” – with Dina Rezk Dina Rezk joins Andrew Hammond to discuss Egyptian intelligence. Dina is an Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of Reading.

True Intelligence Matters in Film - Spycraft, Episode 3: Sexspionage - Maria Berry and Jan Spindler (2021)

For some covert missions, the goal is not information, but assassination, and lethal toxins have been deployed by spy agencies to kill perceived foes. Netflix.

More information about this based-on-true-events production here.

Walking Tours - Washington, DC - Sundays (Dates/Times Vary)

Former intelligence officers guide visitors on two morning and afternoon espionage-themed walking tours: "Spies of Embassy Row" and "Spies of Georgetown." For more information and booking, click here or contact

Section V - Books, Research Requests, Employment, Obituaries

Books — Forthcoming, Newly Released, Overlooked

Intelligence Oversight in Times of Transnational Impunity: Who Will Watch the Watchers? –
by editors Didier Bigo, Emma Mc Cluskey, Félix Tréguer
(Routledge New Intelligence Studies, 30 Nov 23)

This book adopts a critical lens to look at the workings of Western intelligence and intelligence oversight over time and space. Largely confined to the sub-field of intelligence studies, scholarly engagements with intelligence oversight have typically downplayed the violence carried out by secretive agencies. These studies have often served to justify weak oversight structures and promoted only marginal adaptations of policy frameworks in the wake of intelligence scandals. The essays gathered in this volume challenge the prevailing doxa in the academic field, adopting a critical lens to look at the workings of intelligence oversight in Europe and North America. Through chapters spanning across multiple disciplines – political sociology, history, and law – the book aims to recast intelligence oversight as acting in symbiosis with the legitimisation of the state’s secret violence and the enactment of impunity, showing how intelligence actors practically navigate the legal and political constraints created by oversight frameworks and practices, for instance by developing transnational networks of interdependence. The book also explores inventive legal steps and human rights mechanisms aimed at bridging some of the most serious gaps in existing frameworks, drawing inspiration from recent policy developments in the international struggle against torture. This book will be of much interest to students of intelligence studies, sociology, security studies, and international relations.

Order book here.

Espionage and Enslavement in the Revolution: The True Story of Robert Townsend and Elizabeth
by Claire Bellerjeau and Tiffany Yecke Brooks
(Lyons Press, 01 May 21)

In January 1785, a young African American woman named Elizabeth (Liss) was put on board the Lucretia in New York Harbor, bound for Charleston, where she would be sold to her fifth enslaver in just twenty-two years. Leaving behind a small child she had little hope of ever seeing again, Elizabeth was faced with the stark reality of being sold south to a life quite different from any she had known before. She had no idea that Robert Townsend, a son of the first family she was enslaved by, would locate her, safeguard her child, and return her to New York—nor that Robert, one of George Washington's most trusted spies, had joined an anti-slavery movement. As Robert and Elizabeth’s story unfolds, prominent Revolutionary figures cross their path, including Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Jupiter Hammon, John André, and John Adams, as well as participants in the Boston Massacre, the Sons of Liberty, the Battle of Long Island, Franklin’s Paris negotiations, and the Benedict Arnold treason plot. Elizabeth's journey brings a new perspective to America's founding—that of an enslaved Black woman seeking personal liberty in a country fighting for its own. The 2023 paperback edition includes a new chapter highlighting recent discoveries about Elizabeth's freedom and later life.

Order book here.

The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willy Münzenberg, Moscow's Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West, 1917-1940
by Sean McMeekin
(Yale University Press, 01 Jan 24)

Willy Münzenberg—an Old Bolshevik who was also a self-promoting tycoon—became one of the most influential Communist operatives in Europe between the World Wars. He created a variety of front groups that recruited well-known political and cultural figures to work on behalf of the Soviet Union and its causes, and he ran an international media empire that churned out enormous amounts of propaganda and raised money for Communist concerns. Sean McMeekin tells Münzenberg’s extraordinary story, arguing persuasively that his financial chicanery and cynical propaganda efforts weakened the non-Communist left, enraged the right, and helped feed a cycle that culminated in Nazism. Drawing extensively on recently opened Moscow archives, McMeekin describes how Münzenberg parlayed his friendship with Lenin into a personal fortune and how Münzenberg’s mysterious financial manipulations outraged Social Democrats and lent rhetorical ammunition to the Nazis. His book sheds new light on Comintern finances, propaganda strategy, the use of front organizations to infiltrate non-Communist circles, and the breakdown of democracy in the Weimar Republic. It is also an engrossing tale of a Communist con man whose name once aroused fear, loathing, and admiration around the world.

Order book here.

Research Requests and Academic Opportunities

Call for Nominations: The Kjetil Hatlebrekke Memorial Book Prize is a biennial award recognising scholarship within the realm of global intelligence studies. It was set up by the King’s College Centre for the Study of Intelligence to honour the life and work of the late Dr Kjetil Anders Ely Hatlebrekke. It aims to recognise recent scholarship on intelligence operations, cultures and systems outside the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It encourages scholars to go beyond traditional areas of inquiry and explore both how intelligence organisations and professionals conduct intelligence in Europe (excluding the UK), Africa, Asia and Latin America, and how that intelligence is applied in military operations, diplomacy and counter-terrorism. 08 Dec 23 Deadline. More information and submission form here.

Call for Interviews: Alex W. Palmer, a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, is working on a book about the history of American intelligence on China. He's looking to speak with any intelligence officers who worked in or on China during their career, from whatever timeframe and in whatever role. He can be reached at and +1-262-894-7160 on Signal.

Call for Information: Dr. Andrew Hammond and Dr. Mark Stout are seeking interviewees for a journal article on the CIA’s Office of Soviet Analysis (SOVA). The final output will be based on oral history interviews which can be (a) on-the-record (b) off-the-record or (c) utilizing a pseudonym. The data will be used for this project only and thereafter destroyed. Our aim is to understand how people who served in SOVA or who worked alongside SOVA made sense of it: what was it like, what was its culture, what were its strengths and weaknesses, how did it relate to the rest of the CIA and other agencies, is there anything we can learn from SOVA re the new era of Great Power Conflict, etc.? If you served in SOVA during the period 1981 to 1992 and would like to be interviewed, please contact Dr. Andrew Hammond at

Call for Information: Seeking information on Al "Albert" Purdum, stationed at Arlington Hall 55, Defense Language School - Albanian 55-56, NSA Linguist, Sr. Cryptologist 57-95. Looking for colleagues or friends who knew him, of him. Researching Role of National Security Linguists and Foreign Affairs. Contact

Call for Information: Seeking information on Octavio Bermudez, State/Commerce Attache Latin America Crosley Broadcasting- 1922-1942. Sources needed - Passenger list of Hoover's 1928 Good Will Tour, Details/objectives by country, 25 year agreement with Ecuador to build broadcast station in Quito- role in Open Source Enterprise, WWII locating Axis Spies, American Propaganda/Spy Communication Network. 41-46 OCIAA propaganda, embedded code/scripts for broadcast, hand delivered to Crosley, Cincinnati - the only fenced compound, with 24 hr. armed guards, watch tower. Researching Role of Foreign Service Attaches - Development of American Broadcasting Capabilities pre WWII in Latin America. Contact

Call for Information: Author drafting a book on the Clinton administration seeks contact with the person who served as COS Manila in November 1996 for the purpose of background research. Members who can identify the COS and/or are in contact with him, please forward this request to the COS or contact the author. Responses may be sent to

Call for Information: Seeking information on, Sgt Major Charles “Chuck” Remagen, assigned to MACV/SOG in Vietnam 67-68. Seek details about his role as a Sgt Major with MACV “Studies and Observations Group in Vietnam 7/1/67 to 1/21/68. Responses may be sent to

Call for Sources: Intelligence activities in Grenada and the southern Caribbean between 1979, Operation Urgent Fury, Leonard Barrett

The Washington Post is developing a multi-part audio documentary series (i.e. podcast) chronicling the Grenadian revolution and the US intervention in 1983. They've interviewed nearly 100 people so far, ranging from the heads of state, former Grenadian officials, current and former US officials, veterans, and intelligence officers. They're looking for people who served at the time and may be knowledgeable about intelligence activities in Grenada and the southern Caribbean between 1979 and Operation Urgent Fury. They would also be interested in speaking with anyone who knew Leonard Barrett during the same period. If anyone is interested in participating, please reach out to Washington Post reporter Ted Muldoon via email at or on Signal at 651-497-5449.

Call For Articles: AFIO Journal, The Intelligencer

AFIO is seeking authors for its section on "When Intelligence Made a Difference" in the semi-annual Intelligencer journal. Topics of interest for which we are seeking authors include:

• The Richard Sorge espionage ring in Tokyo in World War II and the impact of his intelligence on Stalin and the battle for Moscow.
• How Rommel’s Afrika Korps used SIGINT against the British in World War II.
• How A.Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation efforts were uncovered and stopped.
• The breaking of the Nazi U-boat SHARK encryption system.
• How US intelligence found Usama Bin Laden in Abbottobad, Pakistan.
• How allied SIGINT isolated the Afrika Korps from its logistics chain.
• How US intelligence discovered the Soviet’s high speed Shkval torpedo.
• Intelligence and the rescue of Scott O’Grady.
• Other topics are also welcome.

Interested authors please contact Peter Oleson, senior editor The Intelligencer, at


Assistant/Associate Professor of Intelligence Studies (Global Security and Intelligence Studies) - Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott, Arizona

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott, Arizona campus is accepting applications for a tenure-track assistant or associate-level professor of intelligence studies to teach intelligence courses to students in the Global Security and Intelligence program. The successful candidate will teach students about the intelligence community, strategic intelligence, the intelligence cycle and intelligence analysis, writing, and briefing. Prior experience working in the intelligence community is strongly preferred. We are interested in candidates with teaching acumen in intelligence analysis and writing using structured analytical techniques.

Additional information and application here.


Mike O'Toole — Career Federal Officer

Michael John O’Toole, 84, of Fort Pierce, FL, passed away with family by his side on November 8, 2023. Mike was born on June 25, 1939, in Stockton, CA. Mike attended St. Mary’s High School and graduated from California State University in 1962, while working as a police officer in Sacramento, CA. In 1963, Mike entered the Federal Service where he began travelling extensively for his career, including two years in Alice Springs, Australia, with his family before settling in Northern Virginia.

Maj. Gen. Roland Lajoie — Soldier, Peacemaker, Diplomat, Spy

Maj. Gen. Roland Lajoie, who, behind the geopolitical scenes, played a leading role in coordinating U.S.-Soviet relations during the last decade of the Cold War, and who later oversaw the destruction of hundreds of nuclear weapons belonging to the former Soviet republics, died on Oct. 28 in Manchester, N.H. He was 87. His daughter Renee Lajoie (pronounced la-JOY) Newell said the death, in a hospital, was from complications of heart surgery. General Lajoie’s position at the front lines of the U.S.-Soviet confrontation was a mix of soldier and peacemaker, diplomat and spy. Fluent in Russian as well as French, he served multiple tours as an Army attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and, in the late 1970s, ran the U.S. Army Russian Institute, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, which trained officers in U.S.-Soviet relations. His official role in Moscow was to represent the Army in American dealings with the Soviets. But he also pushed the boundaries: During military parades he stood on the roof of the U.S. Embassy, trying to photograph the Soviets’ fearsome SS-20 intermediate-range nuclear missiles. In 1983, then a colonel, he took over command of the U.S. Military Liaison Mission, a secretive 14-person team that, under a 1947 agreement with Moscow, was able to move around East Germany with relative freedom, observing what it could of the Soviet Bloc’s war preparations. Members of the unit would pile into Land Rovers in the mornings in West Berlin and trundle into East Berlin across the Glienicke Bridge, a rickety structure where, in 1962, the Americans exchanged Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy, for Francis Gary Powers, whose U-2 spy plane had been shot down by the Soviets. General Lajoie in October 1988, with Soviet inspectors who had come to the U.S. to monitor the destruction of missile weapon systems, as part of the reductions mandated by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Once inside East Germany, Colonel Lajoie and his team played games of cat and mouse with the minders assigned to trail them. The Soviets and East Germans would try everything to keep them away from militarily significant sites, going so far as to detain them temporarily. Things came to a tragic end in 1985. Colonel Lajoie was returning from a family trip when he got word that a Soviet guard had shot and killed one of his men, Maj. Arthur D. Nicholson, who had been observing a Soviet tank storage site 100 miles northwest of Berlin. Colonel Lajoie rushed to the site, only to be boxed out by Soviet and East German officers. They blamed Major Nicholson for trespassing, though the facility was on a list of sites he could visit; the guard said he had been aiming for the major’s feet, a claim Major Nicholson’s driver disputed. A few months later, when Colonel Lajoie was again in East Germany, a Soviet truck struck his jeep while he was riding in the back seat. His head flew forward, and he broke his orbital bone. Soviet officials said it was an accident, but he suspected otherwise. Eventually the officials offered an apology for Major Nicholson’s death but maintained that it had been an accident. The colonel, who considered Major Nicholson a friend as well as a colleague, carried the death with him the rest of his life — not out of guilt, but as a reminder of the terrible nature of the Cold War. “It was the entire Soviet system, now thankfully gone, that had Nick’s blood on its hands,” he wrote in an unpublished 2012 account of the incident provided by his daughter. The U.S. military considered Major Nicholson the last American fatality of the Cold War. Colonel Lajoie left the mission in 1986 to be the Army attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. In 1988, he was assigned to build and lead the On-Site Inspection Agency, a military unit charged with verifying Soviet compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned missiles with launch capabilities between 310 and 620 miles. By then a brigadier general, he was once more traveling around the Soviet bloc looking for weapons. But this time, his adversaries welcomed him — literally opening the doors to sites he was once kept from under threat of death. At one point, during an inspection at a missile range called Kapustin Yar, near Volgograd, in southwest Russia, a sudden rainstorm forced him and his Soviet counterpart to take shelter in the emptied shell of an SS-20, the same weapon he had once obsessively monitored, now slated for destruction under the treaty. “Ten years ago I would’ve been shot if I came within a hundred miles,” he told USA Today in 1988. He retired from the Army in 1994 as a major general. Immediately after, he took over one of the last tasks of the Cold War — helping the former Soviet states secure and destroy their vast and, at the time, unstable nuclear arsenals. Under the auspices of the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act, he led hundreds of technicians and officers to Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and other countries to help dismantle weapons, secure their warheads and, in many cases, convert the nuclear cores to civilian reactor fuel. After retiring from the Army, General Lajoie led hundreds of technicians and officers to Russia and former Soviet states to help dismantle weapons and secure warheads in compliance with the Soviet Nuclear Threat Reduction Act. Roland Lajoie was born on Aug. 11, 1936, in Nashua, N.H., near the state’s southern border. In 1998, President Bill Clinton named General Lajoie head of a joint commission with the Russians to look for American soldiers missing in action on Russian territory, especially those who fought in World War II. In 2000, they located the remains of seven U.S. airmen whose bomber crashed over the Kamchatka Peninsula, in the Far East of Russia, in 1944.

Bill Owen — Career CIA Case Officer

An unswerving patriot, beloved family man, proud son of New England, and life-long Boston Red Sox fan, William Keenan "Bill" Owen, 76, passed away after a long struggle with illness on 8 November 2023 in Harwich, Massachusetts. Born on April 20, 1947 and raised in Worcester, MA, Bill initially attended Worcester State University before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1967. While deployed to Vietnam as an infantryman, he fought at Hue during the Tet Offensive; he then served two tours as a Marine Security Guard - in Paris, France and Vienna, Austria. After an honorable discharge from the USMC and returning to Worcester State to earn a BA in history, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency. His distinguished career as a case officer spanned more than two decades, during which he served in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Upon retiring from CIA in 1997, Bill continued to support the USIC in various capacities as an independent contractor for another 20 years.

Jim Dugan — Career CIA Officer

James Thomas Dugan, 87, of Glenn Dale, MD, passed away peacefully at his home after a long battle with cancer on November 11, 2023. He was born in Washington, DC in 1936. James was a dedicated civil servant with 30 years of service in the CIA and a veteran of the US Army.

Larry Seals — Decorated CIA Officer

Larry G. Seals, age 78, of Springfield, Virginia, died unexpectedly in the early morning hours of November 7, 2023, after battling Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Born in Ft. Worth, Texas September 14, 1945, Larry started his life-long career of service to his Nation in 1963 as a Private in the United States Army. He was a Vietnam Veteran and later served on the Tactical Nuclear Weapons Command and Control Planning and Policy group. Larry was also an original member of an elite counterterrorism unit as a senior operations non-commissioned officer in the early days of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He retired from the U.S. Army as a Squadron Sergeant Major after 27 years of service with awards and honors for bravery, heroism, and valor too numerous to summarize. After his time in the Army, Larry spent the next 29 years of his career as a civilian in the Intelligence Community. He brought great experience and was respected by many civilian peers, the military, and members of Federal law enforcement. He served in a variety of high-level positions and contributed to some of our Country's greatest successes over the last several decades, including many transnational counternarcotics and counterterrorism issues during the world's most intense periods of time. Larry always served with distinction and honor and was recognized with many additional awards for his civilian intelligence service, including the prestigious Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. He provided mentoring and career opportunities to many junior officers by investing time in their professional development. Everyone loved Larry's bigger-than-life personality, huge heart, and dedication to mission and Country. From senior leaders to newly minted employees, from those in the cafeteria who made lunch to those who attended White House meetings, he took the time to get to know everyone. Even more impressive, Larry continued to stay connected with his colleagues and friends long after his professional retirement.

John Poirier — Former CIA SIS

John Thomas Poirier Sr. of Scituate passed away on 22 November 2023. Jack, as he was known, was born on 26 August 1931 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and grew up in Somerville where he attended St. Clements School. After enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps and serving in Korea, Jack attended Boston College and graduated with a B.A. in Economics in 1956. Jack joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1958 and served for 28 years, retiring in 1987 as a member of the Agency’s Senior Intelligence Service. During his career as a security officer, Jack lived and worked in Turkey, Germany, Pakistan, and Thailand, as well as Northern Virginia and the Boston area.

Peter Tarnoff — Career Diplomat who supported CIA Rescue Operation in Iran

Peter Tarnoff, a seasoned diplomat whose work behind the scenes for presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton included establishing a secret channel to Fidel Castro and helping arrange the escape of six U.S. Embassy officials from Iran, an escapade later depicted in the 2012 movie “Argo,” died from complications of Parkinson's disease on Nov. 1 at his home in San Francisco. He was 86. Mr. Tarnoff was part of a cohort of Foreign Service officers who, inspired by the words of President John F. Kennedy, joined the American diplomatic corps in the early 1960s. Many of them cut their teeth on assignment in South Vietnam, and several — among them Mr. Tarnoff, Anthony Lake, Frank Wisner II and Richard Holbrooke — went on to play leading roles in the U.S. foreign policy establishment. But while outsize personalities like Mr. Holbrooke, a frequent contender for secretary of state, and Mr. Lake, a national security adviser under Bill Clinton, became famous, Mr. Tarnoff preferred to wield his influence out of the public eye. He played a confidential part during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, when revolutionaries detained most of the personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Six had escaped to the Canadian Embassy, and Mr. Tarnoff served as the liaison between the Canadian government and the Central Intelligence Agency, which had a plan to extract them. Posing as a Canadian film crew scouting locations for a science fiction film called “Argo,” the six staff members, joined by two C.I.A. operatives, managed to get through Iranian passport control and onto a flight to Zurich. Mr. Tarnoff never confirmed his role in what came to be known as the Canadian Caper, nor did he see the Oscar-winning film made about it. But State Department documents show that he played an integral part.

Section VI - AFIO Events

11 Dec 23, 1800 (ET) - Virtual - East Tennesse Chapter Meeting features Q&A with James Lawler, Former CIA Executive, CIA Trailblazer, Chief of the A.Q. Khan Nuclear Takedown Team, and author. Contact for session invite and/or chapter questions. AFIO East Tennessee is excited to be hosting our first virtual Q&A series featuring James Lawler. Learn about Mr. Lawler's exciting intelligence career with special emphasis on counterproliferation and counterintelligence. We will also discuss Living Lies, one of his fast-paced novels.
Mr. Lawler serves as a national security consultant and is the Senior Partner at MDO Group, which provides HUMINT training to the Intelligence Community and the commercial sector focused on WMD, CI, technical and cyber issues. He was a member of CIA's Senior Intelligence Service (SIS-3) from 1998 until his retirement in 2005. As Chief of the A.Q. Khan Nuclear Takedown Team, which resulted in the disruption of the most dangerous nuclear weapons network in history, Mr. Lawler was the recipient of one of the CIA's Trailblazer Awards in 2007, marking the 60th anniversary of CIA. He has
written two novels: Living Lies, an espionage story of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, and In the Twinkling of an Eye, about recruiting a spy at the heart of a devastating covert Russian-North Korea genetic bioweapons program.

Email for a meeting invitation.

See the AFIO Calendar of Events for scheduling further in the future.

Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, Others

Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 6:30pm – Washington, DC – Queen of Cuba with Peter J. Lapp – In-Person International Spy Museum Program

As a spy prepared to give away America's biggest secrets after the 9/11 attacks, FBI agents raced to catch the mole. US government officials knew they had an intrusion. But it never occurred to them it was a woman—and certainly not the Defense Intelligence Agency employee known as "the Queen of Cuba." Ana Montes had spent 17 years spying for the Cubans. Montes impressed her bosses, but in secret, spent her breaks memorizing top secret documents before sending them to the Cuban government. Join International Spy Museum Historian and Curator Dr. Andrew Hammond live in conversation with retired FBI agent Peter J. Lapp, the author of Queen of Cuba: An FBI Agent's Insider Account of the Spy Who Evaded Detection for 17 Years for a discussion of this incredible case. They'll discuss her motivation, the harm she did, and the clues—including never-released information—that led the FBI team to catch one of the United States' most dangerous spies. A very special artifact related to this case will be on display before the program. Queen of Cuba will be available for sale and signing after the program. Visit

Sunday, 10 December 2023, 8-10am – Washington, DC – Access to SPY: A Morning for the Neurodiverse Community – In Person International Spy Museum Program

The International Spy Museum is pleased to offer a sensory friendly community program geared for families who have a neurodivergent child or an individual with sensory processing differences. What might be a mission impossible visit during normal operating hours is now mission possible. On this special Access morning, the Museum has set private hours (8:00-10:00 am) for families to enjoy an exclusive visit with less noise, fewer people, and a designated quiet room. In addition, guests can participate in a scavenger hunt and create their own cipher wheel! While this program is geared for families, we welcome all ages and individuals with sensory processing differences to attend this event. This program is free of charge but requires advance registration. Visit

Gifts for Friends, Colleagues, Self

NEW Gray long-sleeved polo shirts with embroidered AFIO logo. Men's sizes only.
Show your support for AFIO with our new Gray Long-sleeve Polo Shirts. Shirts are shrink and wrinkle resistant of fine cotton with a soft, "well-worn, comfy" yet substantial feel. They feature a detailed embroidered AFIO seal. Get a shirt for yourself and consider as gifts for colleagues, family, and friends. Only $60 each including shipping.
Sizes for men, only: Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, and XXXL.  $60 per shirt.
Order this and other store items online here.

 NEW 20 oz ceramic Mug with color glazed logo. Made in America. Check out our new tapered, sleek AFIO coffee mug!! This handsome 20 oz. ceramic mug is made in the USA, has a white matte exterior, sports a beautiful navy-blue interior, and is dishwasher safe.  Order yours today! $35 per mug includes shipping to a CONUS address. [includes shipping to U.S. based address, only. For foreign shipments, we will contact you with a quote.] SHIPPING: For shipment to a U.S.-based CONUS address, shipping is included in price. For purchases going to AK, HI, other US territories, Canada, or other foreign countries the shipping fees need to be calculated, so please call our office M-F 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET at 703-790-0320 or email providing following information: 1) your name, 2) mailing address (or addresses where each gift item will be shipped), 3) name of the AFIO store items you wish to purchase, 4) quantity of each, 5) your credit card number and expiration date, 6) amount (except for additional of shipping fees) authorized to charge, and 7) your phone number and email should we have questions. Foreign shipments fees will be calculated and estimates emailed to you, awaiting your approval.  Order this and other store items online here.

Black short-sleeved polo shirts with Embroidered AFIO logo
Show your support for AFIO with our new Black Short-sleeve Polo Shirts. Shirts are shrink and wrinkle resistant of fine cotton with a soft, "well-worn, comfy" yet substantial feel. They feature a detailed embroidered AFIO seal. Get a shirt for yourself and consider as gifts for colleagues, family, and friends. Only $50 each including shipping.
Sizes for (M) men, only; Small, Medium, Large, XL, XXL, and XXXL. $50 per shirt.
You may pay by check or credit card. Complete your order online here or mail an order along with payment to: AFIO, 7600 Leesburg Pike, Ste 470 East, Falls Church, VA 22043-2004. Phone orders at 703-790-0320. Questions? Contact Annette at:

PopSocket for cellphones or tablets
Show your support to AFIO while enjoying the convenience offered by our AFIO Logo PopSocket. The PopSocket is most commonly used as a stand and as a grip for your mobile phone or tablet; handy for taking selfies, watching videos, and for texting. The PopSocket looks like a small button or sticker which, when closed, sticks flat to your mobile device. However, its accordion-like design enables it to pop open for use. The benefits of using a PopSocket make it a must-have accessory for your mobile phone or tablet. It also aids in keeping your phone from slipping off your hand during use, falling, or breaking.
Price: $15. Order this and other store items online here.

Duffel Bags - Royal Blue and Black with Full Color AFIO Logo This duffel has it all when it comes to value, style and organization.
600 denier polyester canvas with polyester double contrast; D-shaped zippered entry for easy access. Front pocket with hook and loop closure. End mesh pocket Easy-access end pockets. Four durable, protective feet and built-in bottom board for added strength. Web handles with padded grip. Detachable, adjustable shoulder strap.
Dimensions: 11"h x 19.75"w x 9.75"d; Approx. 2,118 cubic inches
Price: $50. Order this and other store items online here.

Caps - Dark Navy with Navy AFIO Logo
An authentic silhouette with the comfort of an unstructured, adjustable fit. Fabric: 100% cotton. Unstructured. Fabric strap closure with adjustable D-clip. Price: $30. Order this and other store items online here.


Be informed on career opportunities in the U.S. Intelligence Community
Intelligence as a Career - with updated listings of colleges teaching intelligence courses, and Q&As on needed foreign languages, as well as the courses, grades, extracurricular activities, and behavioral characteristics and life experiences sought by modern U.S. intelligence agencies.

AFIO's popular 47-page booklet reaches thousands of high school, college students, university guidance offices, and distributed in classes teaching intelligence, to help those considering careers in the U.S. Intelligence Community.
This is the all new fifth edition.
The publication is also popular with University Career Guidance Centers, professors and academic departments specializing in national security, and parents assisting children or grandchildren in choosing meaningful, public service careers.
This booklet is provided online as a public service from the generosity of AFIO board, volunteer editors/writers, donors, and members.
We thank all for their support which makes this educational effort possible.
  Careers Booklet (new 2023 Fifth Edition) can be read or downloaded here

Guide to the Study of Intelligence...and...When Intelligence Made a Difference

"AFIO's Guide to the Study of Intelligence" has sold out in hard-copy.
It is available in digital form in its entirety on the AFIO website here.

Also available on the website here are the individual articles of AFIO's history project "When Intelligence Made a Difference" that have been published to date in The Intelligencer journal. More articles will be appear in future editions.

Address Technical Issues Or Unsubscribe

Some features of the email version of the WIN do not work for readers who have chosen the Plaintext Edition, some AOL users, and readers who access their email using web mail. You may request to change from Plaintext to HTML format here For the best reading experience, the latest web edition can be found here:

To unsubscribe from the WIN email list, please click the "UNSUBSCRIBE" link at the bottom of the email. If you did not subscribe to the WIN and are not a member, you received this product from a third party in violation of AFIO policy. Please forward to the entire message that you received and we will remove the sender from our membership and distribution lists.

Disclaimer and Legal Protection

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are a carefully selected collection of timely open source reports and announcements and other media focused on intelligence and related national security matters that is produced for non-profit educational use by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. WINs are protected by copyright and intellectual property laws. They may not be reproduced or re-sent without specific permission from the Producer. Opinions expressed in the materials contained in the WINs are solely those of the content creators listed with each item. Notices in the WINs about non-AFIO events do not constitute endorsement or recommendation by AFIO.

(c) 1998 thru 2023

AFIO Members Support the AFIO Mission - sponsor new members! CHECK THE AFIO WEBSITE at for back issues of the WINs, information about AFIO, conference agenda and registrations materials, and membership applications and much more! .

AFIO | 7600 Leesburg Pike, Suite 470 East, Falls Church, VA 22043-2004 | (703) 790-0320 (phone) | (703) 991-1278 (fax) |

About AFIO | Membership Renewal | Change of Address | Upcoming Events | Chapter Locations | Corporate/Institutional Memberships | Careers in Intelligence Booklet | Guide to the Study of Intelligence | Intelligencer Journal | Weekly Intelligence Notes | Make A Donation | AFIO Store | Member-Only Section | Code of Ethics | Home Page