Association of Former Intelligence Officers

Weekly Intelligence Notes

10 - 16 January 2024
(Issue 02)

Readers who encounter problems with the email version of the WIN can
view the latest web edition here.

Please send contributions and comments to:


Section I - CURRENTS

(Recent Events, Developments, Highlights)


(Research Papers, OpEds, Analysis, Podcasts)


(Legacy Intel Practitioners' Informed Perspectives)


(All Categories)

  • Article: Belgium opens criminal probe into suspected Chinese spy - Financial Times, 10 Jan 24
  • Article: ‘Spymania’ sees Russia accuse US of plan to meddle in its election - The Guardian, 11 Jan 24
  • Article: Chinese Communist Party's Appeal to US Service Members - Asia Sentinel, 11 Jan 24
  • Article: AirDrop 'Cracked' By Chinese Authorities To Identify Senders - Slashdot, 09 Jan 2024
  • Article: Navy Service Member Who Sold Secrets To China Sentenced To Just 27 Months In Prison - Daily Wire, 09 Jan 24
  • Article: They were Israel's 'eyes on the border' - but their Hamas warnings went unheard - BBC, 14 Jan 24
  • Article: NGA, NSIN host $1M challenge for forecasting IUU fishing - NGA, 08 Jan 24

*The editor thanks the following contributors of content for this issue:



Books: (Forthcoming, New Releases, Overlooked)

True Intelligence Matters in Film: Spycraft, Episode 7: The Code Breakers - Marek Bures, Maria Berry, Jan Spindler (2021)

Intelligence in History - A Collection of Recent Content

Infographic: Visualized: Why Do People Immigrate to the U.S.? - Visual Capitalist, 04 Nov 23

Walking Tours: "The Spies of Embassy Row" and "Spies of Georgetown" - Washington, DC. (Sundays, Dates/Times Vary)

Section VI - Obituaries and Classifieds

(Research Requests, Academic Opportunities, Employment)


Research Requests and Academic Opportunities


Section VII - Events

Upcoming AFIO Events

  • Monday, 5 Feb 2024, noon (CST) - The San Antonio AFIO Chapter Intelligence Briefing on the Communist Chinese Military Goals - In Person, San Antonio, TX
  • Saturday, 10 Feb 2024, 1130 (EST) - The AFIO Florida Satellite Chapter hosts David Hunt, retired Senior Operations Officer of CIA's Clandestine Service, discussing "Intelligence in Flux." - In Person, Indialantic, Florida
  • NOTE NEW DATE: 30 July 24, 1900 (PST) - Former CIA Director General David Petraeus on challenges in Ukraine and the Middle East - In-Person, Yorba Linda, CA - AFIO Los Angeles Chapter; Dinner after presentation.

Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, Others

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


The Weekly Intelligence Notes include a wide range of articles and commentary to inform our readers. Views expressed in articles are those of the authors; they do not reflect AFIO's support or endorsement. Notices about non-AFIO events do not reflect AFIO endorsement or recommendation.
AFIO does not vet or endorse research inquiries, career announcements, or job offers. Reasonable-sounding inquiries and career offerings are published as a service to readers, who should exercise caution and good judgment when responding and independently verify the source before supplying resumes, career data, or personal information.


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



Released exclusively to members 9 January 2024...

The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination

Recorded 2 October 2023

Stuart A. Reid,
Executive Editor of Foreign Affairs,

on "The Lumumba Plot - The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination"

Interview of Monday, 2 Oct 2023 between Stuart A. Reid, Executive Editor of Foreign Affairs, prolific author/writer; and AFIO President James Hughes, a former senior CIA Operations Officer.
They discuss Stuart's new book "The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination."
The interview runs 30 minutes and includes several Q&As.
The Lumumba Plot can be purchased here.

Access the Stuart Reid interview here or click above image.

The AFIO Now video series in 2023 was sponsored by Northwest Financial Advisors.

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
Vintage Espionage: A Wine Tasting Event with an Espionage Twist.
Join us TOMORROW-- Wednesday, 17 January 2024 at 5:30 PM-7:30 PM for an unforgettable evening of wine and espionage!
Immerse yourself in a world of mystery and intrigue. For security reasons your sommelier remains encrypted, known only as DECANTER/1 (C/1). C/1 lived and served around the world as an intelligence officer. She's an expert in relationship building and persuasion and guides you through a blind tasting of old-world and new-world wines. Together you'll assess and evaluate her selections. Enjoy her stories from a life on the front lines of intelligence operations. Be sure to bring your burning questions about wine and the world of spies!
Whether you're a wine connoisseur or simply love intrigue, Vintage Espionage promises an evening you won't want to miss. Gather your friends and join us for an unforgettable night of wine, and unforgettable tales of espionage.

Book here and use Promo code VE2024
Location: The Italian Oven, 6852 Old Dominion Dr. McLean, VA 22101
Date: Wednesday, 18 January 2024
Time: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Admission: Limited availability, so book your tickets now!
Note: This event is for individuals aged 21 and above.

Use promo code VE2024 for a $20 discount. Read more and book here.

• Sunday, 4 February 2024, 4p-6p. The Golden Age; 1726 Connecticut Ave NW; Washington, DC 20009

Vintage Espionage: A Sisterhood of Spies, Spirits, and Secrecy. Read more and book on Eventbrite.
• Thursday, 18 January 2024, 6p-8p. 1310 Kitchen & Bar, 1310 Wisconsin Avenue NW; Washington, DC 20007

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.

The Archive

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

Click here to watch interviews in the AFIO Now series released in 2024.
View interviews from 2020 to 2023 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 Podcast

LATEST PODCAST: In this episode, 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.

Listen 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

New — from AFIO Partner The OSS Society

Filming Under Fire: John Ford’s OSS Field Photo Branch

This new documentary, produced by OSS Society President Charles Pinck,
has received an early invitation as an official selection
of the American Documentary and Animation Film Festival,
an Academy Award qualifying film festival. Check out the film’s trailer 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.

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.

Section I - CURRENTS

(Recent Events, Developments, Highlights)

US intelligence wants to autonomously re-identify & map objects from videos, sensors - The Sociable, 09 Jan 24

US intelligence research funding arm IARPA is looking to autonomously re-identify objects from video sensor collections and map their movements with a new research program. The US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) will hold a proposers day for its anticipated Video Linking and Intelligence from Non-Collaborative Sensors (Video LINCS) program on February 7. According to the announcement: “The Video LINCS program aims to develop novel capabilities to autonomously re-identify objects across diverse video sensor collections and map all objects to a common reference frame.” (Read more here.)

Japan successfully launches an intelligence-gathering satellite to watch for North Korean missiles - Associated Press, 11 Jan 24

Japan successfully launched a rocket carrying a government intelligence-gathering satellite Friday on a mission to watch movements at military sites in North Korea and to improve responses to natural disasters. The H2A rocket, launched by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan, carrying the optical satellite as part of Tokyo’s reconnaissance effort to rapidly build up its military capability. The government’s Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center and MHI declared the launch a success, saying that the Optical-8 satellite was successfully separated from the rocket and entered its planned orbit. (Full article here.)

DISA poised to create intelligence entity in 2024 - Defenses Scoop, 12 Jan 24

The Defense Information Systems Agency expects to have a new intelligence unit up and running later this year, according to the agency. Last year, DISA’s director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner announced the agency would adopt what are known as J codes in an effort to more closely align with the entities it works with as a combat support agency. Those J codes refer to directorates that include personnel, operations, plans and intelligence, among others. “I’m a firm believer that as a combat support agency, which is our identity, we should be more aligned to those organizations that we provide support to, which is our agencies and our combatant commands. The more we can function [and] align with what we are doing with our mission partners, the better,” Skinner said at AFCEA’s Northern Virgina chapter’s annual Army IT Day conference on Thursday. The new intelligence unit, known as a J2, will “compile relevant intelligence reporting from the Department of Defense and intelligence community to provide DISA senior leaders with global situational awareness and threat assessments against DISA operations and assets,” according to a spokesperson. (Full article here.)

Russian foreign intelligence chief says U.S. plans to use exchange program alumni to create ‘fifth column’ in Russia and interfere in election - Meduza, 11 Jan 24

Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, said the U.S. plans to interfere in Russia’s upcoming presidential election and to “destabilize the situation in the country” with the help of Russians who have participated in U.S. student exchange programs, Russian state media reported on Thursday, citing the agency’s press service. “As Russia’s presidential election draws nearer, the U.S. authorities are coming up with ever more sophisticated ways to illegally interfere in democratic processes. Washington intends to ramp up its work with Russian alumni of American exchange programs,” Naryshkin said. The intelligence chief added that according to the U.S. State Department, approximately 80,000 Russians have participated in American educational and cultural programs. “If these students are ‘processed properly,’ in the Americans’ view, they’ll be able to replace the non-systemic opposition that fled en masse to the West and become the linchpin of the fifth column [in Russia],” he said. (Full article here.)

The CIA Has a Creative Writing Group. No One Is Writing a Spy Novel - The Messenger, 11 Jan 24

A group of CIA operatives are apparently scribes on the side, meeting regularly in a writing group to hone their craft – but none of them are working on the next great spy novel. “The last thing in the world I’d want to write about is this place,” one member, who goes by the nom de plume, "Vivian" said. “I can’t imagine anything more boring.” Author Johannes Lichtman was granted an insider view of the group — aptly titled "Invisible Ink" — and the CIA HQ when he was invited to speak, writing about the experience in a personal essay for The Paris Review. Invisible Ink meets on the grounds of the agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in a conference room located through a side door of the CIA museum, where they learn and discuss techniques, establishing a literary voice and working with an editor. Instead of espionage tales, Lichtman said the operatives have opted to write upmarket fiction, dystopian novels and even blog about muffin recipes. (Full article here.)

A comical effort by China’s intelligence agency - The Economist, 11 Jan 24

Foreign spies are lurking everywhere! So says the Chinese government. Officials were ruffled by the cia’s claim, made last year, that it was rebuilding its spy networks in China a decade after most of its sources disappeared. But China’s reaction seems defined more by paranoia than vigilance. The national intelligence agency, the Ministry of State Security (mss), wants the entire population to be on the lookout for spies. To improve public awareness, the ministry has launched an online comic strip called “Shenyin Special Investigation Squad”. It will feature heart-pounding action, say China’s spooks. The first instalment, released on January 7th, shows the capture and interrogation of a blond-haired man, seemingly foreign, who is suspected of breaking the country’s counter-espionage law. (Full article here.)

Intelligence agencies need to make SCIFs more accessible for employees with disabilities, GAO says - Government Executive, 10 Jan 24

A new report from the Government Accountability Office has found that federal agencies using special facilities handling classified materials have not consistently addressed how to make them more accessible for employees with disabilities. The public version of the audit, released on Tuesday, examined how 10 intelligence, defense and other agencies manage the accessibility of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, or SCIFs, which are used to store and process high-level classified intelligence. Because of the sensitive nature of the information, GAO’s public version of the report omitted the agencies’ names when cited for specific examples, information on the agencies conducting SCIF accreditation and other information — though the agencies examined included the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, Homeland Security Department, Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. (Full article here.)

German Chancellor Retains Pneumatic Tube System Amid Espionage Concerns - BNN Breaking, 13 Jan 24

In a decision reflecting rising espionage concerns and a penchant for time-tested technologies, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has chosen to keep alive the chancellery’s vintage pneumatic tube system. This unconventional yet highly functional method of document distribution, planned for phase-out by 2025, has been given a new lease of life. This traditional system, dating back to the 19th century, operates on compressed air to dispatch capsules carrying documents to 36 stations within the chancellery. It is regarded as a secure means to handle sensitive documents necessitating confidentiality or original signatures. The system circulates around 1,000 documents monthly at a minimal annual operational cost of €15,000. (Full article here.)

UK Quietly Expands Secret Spy Base Near Iran - Declassified UK, 11 Jan 24

A base for British spies near Iran has undergone major construction work over the last two years, Declassified has found. Satellite imagery shows a flurry of building work took place at a GCHQ site in Oman, a pro-British autocracy located between Iran and Yemen. The site is likely to be playing a key role in a region where Britain seeks to counter Yemen’s Houthi movement and Iranian authorities. Both are opposed to Western support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Houthi leaders have vowed to blockade Israeli-linked shipping in the Red Sea until Benjamin Netanyahu stops attacking Palestinians. On Tuesday night, the Royal Navy shot down Houthi drones in the Red Sea with UK defence secretary Grant Shapps saying yesterday to “watch this space” for possible strikes in Yemen. Britain has 1,000 troops stationed across Oman where GCHQ operates three surveillance sites. These include one on the south coast near the city of Salalah, 75 miles from Yemen. Codenamed Clarinet, it was revealed in the Snowden leaks of 2014. (Full article here.)

North Korean radio station known for sending coded messages to spies goes silent - IntelNews, 15 Jan 24

North Korea appears to have suspended a long-standing radio station, known for broadcasting content targeted at South Koreans, which also aired encrypted messages intended for North Korean spies abroad. Radio Pyongyang was founded by Korean communist forces in the 1940s. In 1950 it formed part of the North Korean state’s official media propaganda arm. Throughout the Cold War, Radio Pyongyang aired hundreds of hours of news and cultural content every week. The broadcasts were in various languages and were exclusively aimed at international listeners. However, most of the station’s output was targeted at South Koreans. In 2002, the station was renamed Voice of Korea. Around that time, possibly owing to a temporary rapprochement between North and South Korea, the station curtailed much of its political programming. However, broadcasts featuring political content were resumed in 2016, as relations between the two warring sides began to deteriorate once again. For much of its existence, the Voice of Korea has also been known to operate as a so-called numbers station. The term denotes shortwave radio stations, usually sponsored by a government entity, that regularly air broadcasts consisting of formatted number sequences. These sequences are widely believed to be encrypted communications addressed to intelligence officers operating abroad. They contain operational instructions and other directives that are typically undecipherable without the use of an encryption protocol. These stations also broadcast certain types of music, which function as codewords and are believed to signal specific directives to spies. (Full article here.)

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

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


(Research Papers, OpEds, Analysis, Podcasts)

Profiles in intelligence: an interview with Vappala Balachandran - Intelligence and National Security, 09 Jan 24

Vappala Balachandran is a leading public intellectual in India on matters of intelligence and national security. Following a distinguished career in policing and intelligence, he established himself as a leading analyst of intelligence and national security. Born in Burma on 15 June 1937 where his father worked for the Telegraph Department,Footnote1 Balachandran’s family moved back to India in 1940. On receiving a BA (Honours) degree, which was equivalent to a modern-day MA, from Loyola College in Madras, Balachandran qualified for the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1959. He was allocated to the Maharashtra State cadre where he served until 1976 before moving to work in the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency, rising to become one of the Deputy Chiefs of India’s foreign intelligence.Footnote2 At the time he joined the R&AW, the agency was entering the most controversial period in its existence. Raised in September 1968 on executive orders from Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the R&AW was to serve as India’s dedicated foreign intelligence agency. In this capacity, it had to both produce strategic intelligence for policymaking as well as conduct covert actions in India’s neighbourhood. (Full report here.)

Decoding intelligence agencies’ recruitment processes - Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 12 Jan 24

The 2024 independent intelligence review’s terms of reference affirm that recruitment is a challenge for Australia’s national intelligence agencies. The review’s remit includes evaluating whether agencies’ workforce decisions reflect a sufficiently strategic response to current and future workforce issues, and offering options if recruitment targets can’t be met. Varied views on the causes of the recruitment dilemma were shared with me after my recent Strategist article. We all agree that recruitment to Australian agencies is a concern, but opinions differ widely on the reasons. So, what factors contribute to this complex problem that the intelligence review might consider? And are these challenges really insurmountable? Workforce data from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Signals Directorate, the only foreign and security intelligence agencies that ‘present unclassified annual reports to the Australian Parliament’, tell interesting stories about whether recruitment targets are being met.. (Full report here.)

How the U.S.'s top intel agencies are thinking about AI - NPR's All Things Considered, 11 Jan 24

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with National Security Agency head Gen. Paul Nakasone and FBI Director Christopher Wray at an international conference on Cybersecurity at New York's Fordham University. Mary Louise Kelly, Host: "AI is front of mind these days. A lot of us are spending a lot of time pondering how AI can make our lives easier or flipside, whether it's going to put us out of a job. But how would you be thinking about AI if you were in charge of a major U.S. intelligence agency? Well, this week I put that question to FBI Director Chris Wray. How does AI complicate his mission?" (8 mins) (Listen here.)

NGA looks to build on ‘neurodiversity’ hiring effort (21 mins) - Inside the IC Podcast, 10 Jan 24

More than three years ago, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency launched a “neurodiversity” hiring pilot program. The idea was to make it easier to recruit individuals with differences in brain functioning, such as people with autism, who could contribute to the mission, but may have difficulty navigating the traditional hiring process and workplace environment. Now, NGA is looking to build off its initial pilot program with a broader effort. For the latest, I spoke with Jen King, a senior GEOINT analyst and program manager for the neurodiversity program at NGA. (Listen here.)

Forbidden history: CIA censorship, the Invisible Government, and the origins of the “deep state” conspiracy theory - Intelligence and National Security, 09 Jan 24

This article explores the context, legacy and influence of David Wise and Thomas Ross’ influential history of the CIA, The Invisible Government. It highlights how the book broke the silence in the American media on CIA covert operations. It documents the CIA’s attempts to censor the book upon its publication. It will also show how the book was reinterpreted by conspiracy theorists, Soviet propagandists, and leading figures within the decolonization movement. Finally, it argues that the book’s ultimate legacy, although a misreading of their original argument, can be found in the ‘deep state’ narrative so prevalent among conspiracy theorists today. (Read full report here.)

A Guide to Social Media Intelligence (SOCMINT) - Grey Dynamics, 12 Jan 24

As people’s private lives is increasingly available in the public domain, social media platforms’ relevance, as both a source of information and a medium of transmission, rises. Hence, social media intelligence (SOCMINT) appears as an opportunity to better cope with a growingly changing threat environment. SOCMINT is considered being a sub-discipline of Open-source Intelligence (OSINT). It refers to the techniques and tools that allow for the collection and analysis of information originating from social media platforms (source). SOCMINT includes all social media platforms, not only social networking sites. Both state and non-state actors can collect and analyse SOCMINT to gain knowledge about specific groups, individuals, or events (source). (Read full report here.)

Review of 2023 - JANES The World of Intelligence Podcast, 08 Jan 24

Over the course of the 2023 Harry and Sean hosted over 20 podcasts exploring topics such as implications of AI for OSINT, the need for empathy in decision making and the tradecraft in open source intelligence. Janes analysts also discussed how OSINT has supported Janes analysis of new and emerging situations such as that in Sudan, Haiti and Israel. In this episode Harry Kemsley and Sean Corbett look back on the key themes and what they learnt from the discussions with their guests in 2023. (40 mins) (Listen here.)

South Africa’s new intelligence bill is meant to stem abuses – what’s good and bad about it - The Conversation, 11 Jan 24

When South Africa became a constitutional democracy in 1994, it replaced its apartheid-era intelligence apparatus with a new one aimed at serving the country’s new democratic dispensation. However, the regime of former president Jacob Zuma, 2009-2018, deviated from this path. It abused the intelligence services to serve his political and allegdly corrupt ends. Now the country is taking steps to remedy the situation. In November 2023, the presidency published the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill. It proposes overhauling the civilian intelligence agency, the State Security Agency, to address the abuses. The bill is extremely broad in scope. It intends to amend 12 laws – including the main intelligence laws of the democratic era. (40 mins) (Read here.)

Britain's spymasters should look in the mirror to find undercover operatives stealing secrets - Global Times, 13 Jan 24

In recent years, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service has intensified its attacks on China for alleged spying activities in Britain. However, if the SIS wants to root out operatives working undercover to steal the country's secrets, they should perhaps ask themselves. The arrest of a businessman surnamed Huang by China's Ministry of State Security brings attention to the hypocrisy of the spymasters at MI6. Huang, the head of an overseas consultancy, is accused of serious offences. He is said to have worked for SIS for about nine years, using the specialist skills and equipment provided to him after being recruited to steal state secrets. The MSS says that behind his façade as a businessman, his undercover job was to collect China-related intelligence for the British espionage agency and identify potential recruits. (Read here.)

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.

09 Jan | From the Vault: The Professional Hacker with Eric Escobar (Pt. 1) Eric Escobar joins Andrew to discuss compromising networks and information security. He has a coveted DEFCON Black Badge. 


(Legacy Intel Practitioners' Informed Perspectives)

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.

12 Jan | Ecuador Declares State of Emergency as Narco-Gangs Threaten the Government

In Ecuador, a recent disturbing series of events underscores the country's years-long descent into widespread insecurity and gang-related violence. On Tuesday, several masked gunmen stormed a live broadcast on a major public television channel in the city of Guayaquil, carrying guns and explosives and forcing journalists to the ground live on air. The incident unfolded amidst a renewed wave of unrest in the country, reportedly including the escapes of two notorious gang leaders from prison, prison riots, and explosions and looting across several cities. As of yesterday, the government stated that 178 guards and staff were being held hostage by gang members in a standoff with security forces. Attacks on five hospitals and a university by gunmen have also been reported. Recently elected Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa has called upon the armed forces to restore order and declared a 60-day state of emergency, which includes the suspension of the right to assembly and institutes a nightly curfew. The president also issued a decree designating at least twenty drug trafficking gangs as “terrorist organizations and belligerent non-state actors,” authorizing the Ecuadorian military to “neutralize” criminal gangs.

11 Jan | Tensions Growing Between Ethiopia and Somalia Over Somaliland Port Deal

10 Jan | How Will Migration Impact the Electoral Prospects of Europe’s Far-Right?

Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell and former CIA Chief Operating Officer Andy Makridis on critical security challenges.

Intelligence Matters: The Relaunch is a Beacon Global Strategies podcast.

10 Jan | Taiwan: Bonnie Glasner Michael talks with Taiwan expert Bonnie Glaser, who is managing director of the German Marshall Fund's Indo-Pacific Program, ahead of Taiwan's elections January 13. Also, Michael and Andy want to hear from you. Send us your feedback at We'll also read some of your reviews of the podcast from Apple onair.

What Might a CIA-tasked ‘Red Cell’ on China Tell us? by former CIA Executives Martin Peterson and Kristin Wood - The Cipher Brief, 11 Jan 24

After 9/11, the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) at CIA created a ‘Red Cell’ that was given the mission of truly thinking outside the box. It was staffed by a handful of the DI’s best analysts who were tasked to go beyond any reporting and think through hypothetical situations. The product was shared with the President and others, not as predictions, but as a way to stimulate their thinking about possible future developments. They were well received. This is a Red Cell-like product. The situation: it is 2041 and China is now the pre-eminent global power having eclipsed the United States, and Beijing is busily re-ordering the international “rules of the game” established after WWII, to suit its needs. (Read more here.)

Former NSA counterspy says Jeffrey Epstein was part of Israeli network by former NSA Counterintelligence Officer John Schindler - Washington Times, 10 Jan 24

Former National Security Agency counterspy John Schindler says he has connected the intelligence dots regarding the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and linked him to an Israeli influence operation. Epstein and his operation to fly powerful figures to his private island for sex with underage women received fresh public attention recently with the release of court papers revealing the names of many who traveled to what has been dubbed “Lolita Island.” Mr. Schindler, who has called for CIA Director William J. Burns to be fired after it was disclosed Mr. Burns once sought career advice from Epstein, said in a long report on his Top Secret Umbra blog this week that Epstein appears to have been part of a shadowy Israeli influence operation known as MEGA. (Read more here.)

Threat Alert for U.S. is Again "Blinking Red" in Gaza by former CIA Executive Daniel N. Hoffman - Washington Times, 11 Jan 24

The Finns, NATO’s newest members, are known for their bravery, grit, and tenacious spirit of independence. There’s a saying in Finland: “Vahinko ei tule kello kaulassa” — which means “Accidents don’t come with a bell around their neck.” Finns justifiably pride themselves on being prepared when life unexpectedly breaks bad, such as when the Soviets invaded in 1939 or when the Finnish Meteorological Institute first detected radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. One of my mentors at the CIA used to remind younger officers, especially when we were running top-secret operations, that the only thing we could control was our preparation. We might not be able to spot distant threats with perfect clarity, but being sensitive even to the general contours of hazards on the horizon would ensure safer passage through dangerous battlespace. (Read more here.)

An Ex-CIA Agent Looks Back at 22 Years of Torture at Guantanamo Bay by former CIA counterterrorism officer and former Senate Foreign Relations Committee senior investigator John Kiriakou - ScheerPost, 10 Jan 24

January 11 marks the 22nd anniversary of the founding of the prison component of the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Cuba. The U.S. military has been at Guantanamo for decades, of course, but the idea to use the isolated base as a prison where men — and in some cases boys — who had never been formally accused of a crime could be held forever, came from the office of Vice President Dick Cheney in 2002. In the intervening years, presidents and members of Congress of both parties have ignored civil rights, civil liberties and human rights to keep this abomination open. It’s up to the rest of us to demand its destruction. I never gave Guantanamo two minutes of thought until March 2002. At the time, I was the chief of CIA counterterrorism operations in Pakistan. Along with our Pakistani military and intelligence partners, we had conducted dozens of successful raids on al-Qaeda safehouses around Pakistan, capturing fighters who had fled the U.S. bombing of Tora Bora several months earlier. The standard operating procedure was to interview the people we caught and then send them to the Rawalpindi Jail outside Islamabad until we could figure out what to do with them. My Pakistani counterpart called me one day near the end of the month to say that Rawalpindi Jail was full and that we needed to do something with the prisoners, who were from dozens of countries. None was Pakistani. (Read more here.)

A Seasoned CIA Officer Shares Stories of War and Espionage with former CIA Executive Ralph Goff - State Secrets Podcast, 14 Jan 24

In his first-ever podcast interview, former 6-time CIA Chief of Station and 35-year CIA veteran Ralph Goff talks with Cipher Brief CEO & Publisher Suzanne Kelly about what’s happening now in the Middle East and the likelihood that the war will continue to spread beyond Gaza, Lebanon and the Red Sea.  Goff also talks candidly about his career, which spanned the globe, from the Middle East to Europe to Central and South Asia and included postings in multiple war zones. (37 mins) (Listen here.)

Green Berets and Covert Ops with Former Special Forces and CIA case officer James Stejskal - SpyTalk Podcast, 13 Jan 24

Former Special Forces and CIA case officer James Stejskal chats with Jeff Stein about Berlin, Russia and more. (30 mins) (Listen here.)


(All Categories)

Article: Belgium opens criminal probe into suspected Chinese spy - Financial Times, 10 Jan 24

Belgian authorities have opened a criminal investigation into a Flemish far-right politician who was for years used as a Chinese intelligence asset. Frank Creyelman, a former member of the far-right Vlaams Belang party, carried out tasks on behalf of Chinese spies for more than three years, according to an investigation by the Financial Times, Der Spiegel and Le Monde published in December. Authorities had been aware of the allegations but were unable to prosecute Creyelman and other suspects as espionage and foreign interference are not considered criminal offences in Belgium. However, Belgian justice minister Paul Van Tigchelt on Wednesday said that the case had been handed over to the federal prosecutor by the federal police office’s anti-corruption unit. “The federal prosecutor’s office has effectively opened an investigation,” Eric Van Duyse, a spokesperson for the federal prosecutor, confirmed, but declined to give further details. (Read full report here.)

Article: ‘Spymania’ sees Russia accuse US of plan to meddle in its election - The Guardian, 11 Jan 24

The head of the SVR, Russia’s foreign intelligence service, has claimed that the US is planning to interfere in the re-election campaign of Vladimir Putin, saying Russian graduates of US education programmes could be mobilised to serve as a potential “fifth column”. Sergei Naryshkin, the Russian spymaster, said that the US planned to “activate” Russians graduates of the Fulbright, Summer Work Travel, high-school Flex and other exchange programmes to “replace the non-systemic opposition that fled en masse to the west and become the core element of the fifth column”. Russia has largely banned its education exchange programmes with the US since relations soured in the early 2010s, but Naryshkin’s remarks as carried by an SVR press release indicate for the first time that former Russian exchange students, who number more than 80,000, could be seen as a potential security threat. (Read full report here.)

Article: Chinese Communist Party's Appeal to US Service Members - Asia Sentinel, 11 Jan 24

The recent arrest of two US Navy sailors of Chinese ancestry on espionage charges has raised concerns that, at a time of heightening tensions between the US and China, Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping’s increasing usage of ethnonationalist propaganda towards the Han Chinese diaspora has begun to reap rewards for the Chinese Communist Party. According to the US Department of Justice, 26-year-old Petty Officer Thomas Zhao Wenheng of Monterey Park, California was sentenced on January 8 to 27 months in prison and a US$5,500 fine in US District Court in Los Angeles for transmitting sensitive U.S. military information to an intelligence officer from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in exchange for bribery payments. Zhao had pleaded guilty in October to two charges of foreign conspiracy and bribery for secretly collecting and transmitting sensitive US military information such as unit movements for a Pacific maritime exercise as well as military documents pertaining to a US radar site. The noncommissioned officer’s security clearance gave him access to such information at his job at the Port Hueneme Naval Base in Ventura County. In exchange for his espionage, Zhao received US$14,866 in 14 separate bribe payments from his Chinese intelligence officer handler from August 2021 to May 2023 before being apprehended three months later, the Justice Department said. (Read full report here.)

Article: AirDrop 'Cracked' By Chinese Authorities To Identify Senders - Slashdot, 09 Jan 2024

According to Bloomberg, Apple's AirDrop feature has been cracked by a Chinese state-backed institution to identify senders who share "undesirable content". MacRumors reports: AirDrop is Apple's ad-hoc service that lets users discover nearby Macs and iOS devices and securely transfer files between them over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Users can send and receive photos, videos, documents, contacts, passwords and anything else that can be transferred from a Share Sheet. Apple advertises the protocol as secure because the wireless connection uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption, but the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice (BMBJ) says it has devised a way to bypass the protocol's encryption and reveal identifying information. According to the BMBJ's website, iPhone device logs were analyzed to create a "rainbow table" which allowed investigators to convert hidden hash values into the original text and correlate the phone numbers and email accounts of AirDrop content senders. The "technological breakthrough" has successfully helped the public security authorities identify a number of criminal suspects, who use the AirDrop function to spread illegal content, the BMBJ added. "It improves the efficiency and accuracy of case-solving and prevents the spread of inappropriate remarks as well as potential bad influences," the bureau added. (Read more here.)

Article: Navy Service Member Who Sold Secrets To China Sentenced To Just 27 Months In Prison - Daily Wire, 09 Jan 24

A Navy service member was sentenced to just over two years in prison after he pled guilty to being bribed to send sensitive military information to a Chinese intelligence officer. Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao, a 26-year-old from Monterey Park, California, was sentenced to just 27 months in prison and ordered to pay a $5,500 fine after his guilty plea for one count of conspiring with an intelligence officer and one count of receiving a bribe. Zhao could have faced up to 20 years in prison, 15 years for the conspiracy charge and 5 years for the bribery charge. “Mr. Zhao betrayed his solemn oath to defend his country and endangered those who serve in the U.S. military,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “Today, he is being held to account for those crimes. The Justice Department is committed to combating the Chinese government’s efforts to undermine our nation’s security and holding accountable those who violate our laws as part of those efforts.” (Read full report here.)

Article: They were Israel's 'eyes on the border' - but their Hamas warnings went unheard - BBC, 14 Jan 24

For years, units of young female conscripts had one job here. It was to sit in surveillance bases for hours, looking for signs of anything suspicious. In the months leading up to the 7 October attacks by Hamas, they did begin to see things: practice raids, mock hostage-taking, and farmers behaving strangely on the other side of the fence. Noa, not her real name, says they would pass information about what they were seeing to intelligence and higher-ranking officers, but were powerless to do more. "We were just the eyes," she says. It was clear to some of these women that Hamas was planning something big - that there was, in Noa's words, a "balloon that was going to burst". (Read full report here.)

Article: NGA, NSIN host $1M challenge for forecasting IUU fishing - NGA, 08 Jan 24

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the National Security Innovation Network are hosting a prize challenge to identify innovative solutions from across the commercial and academic communities to forecast global maritime vessel traffic involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. IUU fishing is a key contributor to the decline and potential collapse of fisheries, threatening the stability of economies, food systems and ecosystems regionally and worldwide. The challenge is open to U.S. citizens, U.S.-owned and operated companies, institutes of higher learning and start-ups. Applicants may submit as individuals, teams or partnered teams. “We are using a challenge format with a $1 million prize pool to tap into innovative thinking outside of our traditional acquisition process,” said Ronzelle Green, Ph.D., director of NGA Research. “As a global leader in maritime domain awareness, NGA always looks for fresh, time-saving solutions, and the agency views the challenge as a way to expand partnerships.” (Read full report here.)


Books — Forthcoming, Newly Released, Overlooked

Ethics of Spying: A Reader for the Intelligence Professional (Volume 3) (Security and Professional Intelligence Education Series)
by Jan Goldman
(Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 01 Dec 23)

The first volume introduced readers to ethics in intelligence operations. Published when the U.S. was conducting operations in the post-9/11 era, this book represents the first collection of articles to seriously study ethics for and about intelligence professionals. The second volume established the codes of conduct that professionals in the private and public sectors would employ that could be separate from those of their private lives. Ethics of Spying: A Reader for the Intelligence Professional, Volume 3 combines the best articles from the first two volumes. It’s reorganized into 5 parts, and it contains new articles that expand and explain further the meaning and dichotomy of a working professional in the intelligence community and the national security and civil liberties they are entrusted with safeguarding. New articles include Ethics of Human Intelligence Operations; Tension and Strategy: : Ethics Phobia; Tension and Strategy: Sources and Bypassing Strategies; Just Intelligence Theory; Ethics, Intelligence, and Preemptive and Preventive Actions; Speak No Evil; Using Private Corporations to Conduct Intelligence Activities for National Security Purposes; and Intelligence Research and Scholarship

Order book here.

Eyes on the Enemy: U.S. Military Intelligence in World War II
by Chris McNab
(Casemate, 31 Jan 24)

On December 7, 1941, an imperial Japanese carrier strike force attacked the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, taking advantage of what was one of the most profound intelligence failures in US history. Galvanized into action, the branches of the U.S. military subsequently developed one of the greatest, albeit imperfect, intelligence-gathering and analysis networks of the combatant nations, opening an invaluable window onto the intentions of their enemies. The picture of U.S. military intelligence during World War II is a complex one. It was divided between the fields of signal intelligence (SIGINT) and human intelligence (HUMINT), combat intelligence and War Department intelligence, and between numerous different organizations, including the Military Intelligence Division (MID), Military Intelligence Service (MIS), the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC), the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the many intelligence units organic to Army, Navy, Army Air Forces, and Marine Corps. The documents collected in this book reveal the theoretical and practical principles behind wartime intelligence gathering and analysis, from the frontline intelligence officer to the Washington-based code-breaker. They explain fundamentals such as how to observe and record enemy activity and intercept enemy radio traffic, through to specialist activities such as cryptanalysis, photoreconnaissance, prisoner interrogation, and undercover agent operations. The painstaking work of an intelligence operator required a sharp, attentive mind, whether working behind a desk or under fire on the frontlines. The outputs from these men and women could ultimately make the difference between victory and defeat in battle.

Purchase book here.

Spying: From the Fall of Jericho to the Fall of the Wall
by John D. Woodward
(Waynesburg University Press, 23 Aug 23)

From the Fall of Jericho to the Fall of the Wall is a comprehensive study of the history of intelligence activities from ancient times to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The American experience with espionage from the beginning of the Revolutionary War to the end of the Cold War receives special attention. Spying draws heavily on the unique experiences and pioneering scholarship of the late Boston University Professor Arthur Hulnick, who also served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency. Art’s colleague, Professor John D. Woodward, Jr., also a career CIA officer, has leveraged his own extensive intelligence background in masterfully editing this work based on Art’s lectures. Arthur S. Hulnick (1935-2018) served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force and then embarked on a distinguished 28-year career with the CIA. In 1992, he retired from the CIA and joined the international relations faculty at Boston University. For the better part of a quarter of a century, Prof. Hulnick developed and taught numerous courses, mentored countless students, and made many contributions to the field of intelligence studies. John D. Woodward, Jr. is a Professor of the Practice of International Relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. He had a 21-year CIA career, working in the Directorate of Operations and the Directorate of Science and Technology, to include several overseas assignments. He also served as a Department of Defense official and as a senior analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Order book here.

True Intelligence Matters in Film - Spycraft, Episode 7: The Code Breakers - Marek Bures, Maria Berry, Jan Spindler (2021)

Encryption is a key tool for keeping valuable information secret - but some ingenious minds have managed to crack seemingly impenetrable codes.

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

Intelligence in History - A Collection of Recent Content

Infographic: Visualized: Why Do People Immigrate to the U.S.? - Visual Capitalist, 04 Nov 23

The U.S. is a country created and built by immigrants from all over the world. As a result, it’s home to more immigrants than any other country. As of 2021, more than 45.3 million people living in the U.S. were foreign-born, accounting for about one-fifth of the world’s migrants. But while some come to reunite with family, others are seeking work or escaping dangerous situations. So why do people immigrate to the U.S.? This visual uses U.S. Department of State data compiled by USAFacts to show the different reasons cited by new arrivals to America in 2021. (View graphic here.)

Walking Tours - "Spies of Embassy Row" and "Spies of Georgetown" - 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 VI - Obituaries and Classifieds

(Research Requests, Academic Opportunities, Employment)


Jack Dawson — Career CIA Imagery Analyst

Howard Franklin "Jack" Dawson, Jr., 86, of Fairfax, Virginia, departed this life on Sunday, December 24, 2023 peacefully. Howard, known as "Jack" by those close to him, was born in Marshalltown, Iowa and moved to Nebraska during his early years. He grew up in the town of Bellevue. Jack graduated from Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska and attended Creighton University until he transferred to Georgetown University and settled in Washington, DC. Jack earned his Bachelors Degree from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. Following military service in the United States Army, Jack was hired by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an imagery analyst. He settled in Northern Virginia, where he lived for over 55 years. In addition to excelling and rising to the senior ranks in the analytic cadre during his distinguished 35 year career at CIA, Jack was widely respected among his CIA peers as a patient mentor and role model to the younger officers.

Terry Quill — Career CIA Operations Officer

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Terrence (Terry) Anthony Quill, 87, on January 8, 2024. Terry was born in Washington D.C. He grew up attending St. Anthony's Elementary Catholic School and St. John DeMatha High School. Terry's academic journey led him to the University of Maryland, where he earned a degree in Political Science and Mandarin Language/Literature. His commitment to serving his country was evident through his honorable discharge from the United States Air Force, where he served as an aircraft crew chief with a tour in the Azores. His distinguished career continued with the CIA, dedicating 25 years as an operations/intelligence officer, including double tours in Laos and Thailand. Following his retirement from the CIA and later with a move from Manassas, VA to Nashville, TN, Terry then worked for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at BNA Airport in Nashville, TN, for nearly nine years.

Terry Wilton — Career Naval Intelligence Officer

Terry Wilton passed away peacefully at Gilchrist Hospice Care on January 15th, 2024. A 1977 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, Terry entered flight training and then received his NFO wings in the spring of 1978. Initially assigned to training in the A-6E Intruder at Attack Squadron VA-128 in Whidbey Island, WA, he requested and was granted a change of designator to Restricted Line - Special Duty Intelligence (1630). Terry’s sea duty tours included two overseas deployments with Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron VAQ-134 aboard USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) (including involvement in a movie called The Final Countdown, and the 1980 Operation Eagle Claw Iranian hostage rescue attempt), one partial deployment with VAQ-134 aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64), and two overseas deployments as the Air Wing 17 (CVW-17) Intelligence Officer aboard USS SARATOGA (CV-60). His shore tours included 3 years on the Watch Floor at the Navy Field Operational Intelligence Office (NFOIO) in Suitland MD, one year at the then-Defense Intelligence College (at Bolling AFB in Washington, DC) getting a Master’s Degree in Strategic Intelligence, three years at the International Programs Office at Commander Naval Intelligence Command (COMNAVINTCOM) in Suitland MD, two years at the CIA (Liaison Officer at Project TSUNAMI), and a split tour in Pearl Harbor, HI as Officer-in-Charge of the Office of Naval Intelligence’s (ONI’s) Pacific Forward Support Team (PACFAST), and then as the Special Programs Manager in the N2 (Intelligence) Division at the headquarters of the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT) in Pearl Harbor. Upon retirement in 1994, Terry continued to support naval intelligence as a contractor at Suitland, supporting the Maritime Systems Program Management Office (MSPMO – ONI-34) for 14 years (1995 – 2009) as the Mission Planner, and then the Special Platforms Division (ONI-N312) from 2009 – 2022 as the Logistics Coordinator.

Frank Micara — Decorated Navy Officer and AFIO Member

Captain Francis A.E. Micara passed away on January 8, 2024 at his home in Daytona Beach Shores. He was 100 years old. Francis Anthony Edwards (Frank) Micara was born in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY. Reared in the East Flatbush Neighborhood of Brooklyn, he graduated from Public School #208 in 1937 and Erasmus Hall High School in 1941. An alumnus of Duke University, Durham, NC, he earned the Baccalaureate Degree in 1944. On campus, he was President of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, President of the Honorary French Fraternity, Tau Psi Omega, and President of the Hoof ‘N Horn Club where he sang with the “Singing Boys” and danced in the “Dancing Chorus”. He was also a substitute Pianist with the Blue Devils Band. Postgraduate study was pursued at Duke University (French and Spanish) and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service Institute of Languages and Linguistics (Russian and Italian). He held the certificate of interpreter and translator of the Russian Language from the Naval Intelligence School in Washington DC. He was multilingual: Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, German and Japanese. He was married to Ann Katherine Skamarycz of Gardner, MA, a retired educator from the Montgomery County (MD) Public School System. Upon graduation from Midshipmen’s School of the University of Notre Dame, he was commissioned as an ensign in 1945, after which he attended General Line School in Hollywood, FL and Communications School at Harvard University. Subsequent assignments were in communication positions: HQ 8th Naval District, New Orleans; Staff Commander Battleship Division Three aboard USS Alabama (BB-60); HQ 12th Naval District San Francisco, and Personnel Separation Center, Lido Beach, NY. Released to inactive duty in September, 1946, he joined the Organized Reserve where he was Communications Officer aboard USS Millard County (LST 987) in Washington Navy Yard. In June 1948, he was recalled to active duty during the Korean war. Ensuing duty assignments in Operations and Communications included: Navy Department (OP-20C) in the Pentagon; Navy Security Station, Washington, DC; Armed Forces Security Agency (predecessor of the National Security Agency), Arlington, VA; Naval Radio Station, Wahiawa, O’ahu, Hawaii (pre statehood); Staff Commander Seventh Fleet aboard USS New Jersey (BB-62) as Officer in Charge of the Naval Security Group Detachment during the Korean War; National Security Agency, Fort Meade, MD; The U.S. Logistics Group Detachment 28, Karamursol, Turkey; Staff Commander Atlantic Command/Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet/Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (NATO) with Naval Security Group Atlantic in Norfolk, VA; Staff, Senior U.S. Liaison Officer London, England, as Deputy Head and Senior U.S. member of the combined U.S./U.K. Naval Party, Cheltenham, England, HQ 4th Naval District, Philadelphia; Commanding Officer, Naval Security Group Activity, Key West, FL in close liaison with Commander Key West Force during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960’s; Executive Officer, Navy Field Operational Intelligence Office, Fort Meade, MD; Assistant Commander, Naval Security Group Command for Plans and Policies, Washington, DC. His medals and awards include: Naval Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device (“V”); Combat Action Ribbon; China Service Medal; American Campaign Medal WWII; World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal (One Star); Korean Service Medal (Two Stars); Armed Forces Reserve Medal; Naval Reserve Medal; Korean Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon; United Nations Korean Service Medal and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. He also received the Ambassador of Peace Medal from the Republic of Korea. In 1992, he settled in Daytona Beach Shores, FL. Captain Micara was a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, the Military Officers Association of America, the Korean War Veterans Association, the Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association, the Association of Retired Persons, the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Port Orange Retired Travelers, the Sigma Chi Fraternity and was a plank owner of the U.S. Naval Memorial in Washington, DC.

Research Requests and Academic Opportunities

  • Call for Information: Private civilian researcher seeking information about VADM Eric Burkhalter and Colonel Roy Jonkers working in the Defense Intelligence Agency during the period of 1980 to 1985, and VADM Burkhalter’s activities as Director, Intelligence Community Staff during that time. Contact Thomas Whitmore at
  • Call for Information: Professor Emerita Joan Beaumont, Australian National University, Canberra, is currently revising, for republication in 2025, her 1988 book on Australian prisoners of war on Ambon, Gull Force: Survival and Leadership in Captivity. The POW at Tan Tui (Tan Toey), Ambon, was bombed twice during the war, on 15 February 1943 and 28 August 1944. These raids were two of many on the island. I am trying to ascertain whether the presence of the POW camp was known to the USAAF and RAAF when they set targets for bombing the island. The existence of the POW camp was reported by men who escaped back to Australia in March–April 1942 and reported to Army Headquarters in Melbourne. This information was shared with senior US naval officers (Vice Admiral Leary vetoed a proposed rescue plan in June 1942). My question: would this intelligence have been forwarded to air force bases in the Norther Territory? And how were targets for bombing raids set? The Australian official history of the air war in the Pacific by George Odgers (vol. II 41) suggests that the squadron involved in the 15 February 1943 bombing might have been no 319, 90th Bombardment Group, based at Fenton. Any information that might be germane to my research should be sent to or +61418376909.
  • National Intelligence Summer Academy (NISA) for High School Students: 15-19 July 2024. University of Northern Georgia - Cumming Campus. $149 fee covers meals, course materials, and the motor coach travel on the last day of the program. Scholarships available. Application deadline 15 April 2024. More information, including eligibility and application, 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 and Operation Urgent Fury, Leonard Barrett. The Washington Post is developing a multi-part audio documentary series chronicling the Grenadian revolution and the US intervention in 1983. They have interviewed nearly 100 individuals so far--heads of state, former Grenadian officials, current and former US officials, veterans, and intelligence officers. They are interested in speaking to individuals who served at the time and are knowledgeable about intelligence activities in Grenada and the southern Caribbean between 1979 and Operation Urgent Fury, and persons who knew Leonard Barrett during the same period. If you are interested in participating, contact Washington Post reporter Ted Muldoon 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 can contact The Intelligencer's senior editor, Peter Oleson, at


  • Wanted: Retired Federal Government Employees - NSA - Fort Meade, Maryland
  • The National Security Agency (NSA) may occasionally need skilled civilian retirees to augment the existing work force on high priority projects or programs. In order to fill these temporary positions quickly, we need to know who may be interested and available to return to work with us on a short notice basis as well as their skills. Retired federal government employees at NSA provide expertise and corporate knowledge to temporarily support mission requirements, manpower shortfalls, and/or mentor the next generation of Agency employees. Applications accepted until 30 September 2024.

    Additional information and application here.

  • 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.

Section VII - AFIO Events

Monday, 5 Feb 2024, noon CST - The San Antonio AFIO Chapter Intelligence Briefing on the Communist Chinese Military Goals - In-Person, San Antonio, TX

The San Antonio AFIO Chapter will have its next meeting on 5 Feb 2024 (a Monday) at 12 (noon) at Blue Skies of Texas West. The topic will be the modernization of the Communist Chinese military and para military forces and the Communist Chinese Party's plans on how they will use these forces as they advance toward becoming the Earth's global power. Chinese planners considers the neutralization of US power projection to be one of their most important goals. The presentation will be done by John Franklin, the AFIO San Antonio chapter president from unclassified materials provided to Congress. Blue Skies of Texas West members are invited to attend the program.

San Antonio AFIO Chapter members attending the meeting are to identify to the Blue Skies gate guard that you are coming for the Intelligence briefing in the Roadrunner Lounge in the Towers. AFIO visitors should use the parking lot in front of the main building which is straight ahead from the gate. AFIO members may purchase a variety of lunch meals in the cafeteria. The presentation will be in a meeting room (the Roadrunner Lounge) adjacent to the cafeteria.
Here is the link to the Blue Skies Texas West which will provide orientation to the organization and their campus.
An address to put in you phone or GPS it is: 5100 John D. Ryan Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78245
Questions to John Franklin, President, AFIO San Antonio Chapter, at or 210 863-0430.

Saturday, 10 Feb 2024, 1130 (EST) - The AFIO Florida Satellite Chapter hosts David Hunt, retired Senior Operations Officer of CIA's Clandestine Service, discussing "Intelligence in Flux." - In Person, Indialantic, Florida. The Florida Satellite Chapter is hosting David Hunt, retired Senior Operations Officer of CIA's Clandestine Service. He will address "Intelligence in Flux."
Event commences at 11:30 AM at the Doubletree Hotel, 1665 North State Route A1A, Indialantic, FL 32903.
Mr. Hunt's' presentation will follow a sit-down lunch. The cost is $35.00 per person.
Questions? Or to attend, email Chapter President Laurence F. Sanford or call him at 978-502-3328.

NOTE NEW DATE: 30 July 24, 1900 (PST) - Former CIA Director General David Petraeus on challenges in Ukraine and across the Middle East - In-Person - Yorba Linda, CA - AFIO Los Angeles Chapter.
Location: Nixon Presidential Library & Museum, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886. Following the presentation, we will meet at 2030 hours for dinner at Chilis Grill (18380 Yorba Linda Blvd.). If you plan to attend, please RSVP here. Questions? Contact Vincent Autiero, President, AFIO-Los Angeles Chapter, at

Events from Advertisers, Corporate Sponsors, Others

Thursday, 18 January 2024, noon-1pm – Washington, DC – Spy Chat with Chris Costa ft. Special Guest Kenneth L. Wainstein – Virtual International Spy Museum Program

Join us for an online discussion of the latest intelligence, national security, and terrorism issues in the news. Spy Museum Executive Director Chris Costa, a former intelligence officer of 34 years, will be joined by Kenneth L. Wainstein, Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Wainstein is responsible for providing the Secretary, DHS senior leadership, DHS components, and state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners with the homeland security intelligence and information needed to keep the country safe, secure, and resilient. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is a member of, and the Department's liaison to, the US Intelligence Community. Wainstein serves as the Chief Intelligence Officer for DHS and reports directly to the DHS Secretary and Director of National Intelligence. Prior to his confirmation in June of 2022, Wainstein was a litigation partner in the Washington, DC, office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. During his time in private practice, Wainstein also served as a law school adjunct professor teaching national security law, as a commissioner on the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, as a member of the Public Interest Declassification Board, and in a number of other national security organizations. Wainstein previously spent over 20 years in law enforcement and national security positions in the federal government including as Chief of Staff to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III and Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Program is free of charge but requires advanced registration. Visit

Saturday, 20 January 2024, noon-4pm – Washington, DC – In-Store Book Signing Event: Spy Pilot with Author Gary Powers Jr. – In-Person International Spy Museum Book Signing

The Spy Museum Store is hosting a special book signing event for Spy Pilot: Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy with author Gary Powers Jr. He is the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study which assists the National Park Service to identify historic Cold War sites for preservation. In 2015, he consulted for a Steven Spielberg thriller, Bridge of Spies, about the 1962 spy exchange between KGB spy Rudolph Abel and CIA U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, Sr. Gary is the author of Letters from a Soviet Prison and Spy Pilot. Visit

Monday, 22 January 2024, 7-8:30pm – Washington, DC – AI and Emerging Technologies: Intelligence Opportunities & Challenges with Dawn Meyerriecks, David S. Cohen and Chris Inglis – In-Person International Spy Museum Program

Is Artificial Intelligence the end of intelligence operations as we know them or an exciting new way of collecting and analyzing intel? Join us for a timely discussion with experts currently grappling with the new tech and its implications for national security. Dawn Meyerriecks, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director for Science and Technology, will moderate a conversation with the Deputy Director of the CIA David S. Cohen and Chris Inglis who served as the first National Cyber Director and is also a former Deputy Director of the National Security Agency. The speakers will explore how the US government has promoted AI safety and how it addresses security considerations resulting from this advanced tech. They will address how the intelligence community stays on top of emerging technologies and the implications of ongoing breakthroughs. They will also consider the interplay between the public sector and commercial leaders and what may lie ahead. Co-sponsored by the Council on Intelligence Issues. Visit

Sunday, 28 January 2024, 11am-1pm – Washington, DC – Brush Pass Brunch with Eric O'Neill at The Mayflower – In Person International Spy Museum Program at Tolson in The Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW

Bubbles, Bribes, Blackmail…Brunch. Everyone loves brunch, even spies! Join us for an intriguing and egg-citing midday exploration of espionage while enjoying a delicious meal. Eric O'Neill will share tales from his job at the FBI where his background in surveillance led to his role as Robert Hanssen's assistant with the secret task of spying on his boss. Not that we recommend spying on your boss, but Hanssen was suspected of being a mole who was working for Russia. Eric will also reveal some spy stories involving food and drink from around the world. You'll enjoy some spy surprises, code-cracking puzzles, secret messages, and a front row seat for some re-enacted spy scenes. Brush Pass Brunch will be held at Tolson in The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection. The hotel is the scene of many famous spy stories and the restaurant is named for the FBI's longtime head J. Edgar Hoover who dined at The Mayflower daily and the private dining space Tolson is a nod to his protégé and lifelong confidant. Tolson is located in The Mayflower Hotel at 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036. Tickets are $125; members tickets are $100. Your ticket includes a choice of brunch entrée, sliced seasonal fruit, The Mayflower's famous banana bread (secret recipe), and a spy mole-mosa (a mimosa!). 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.

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