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UK's Johnson Pins Poisoning on Putin Himself

'Overwhelmingly likely'

(Newser) - How likely is it that Vladimir Putin was behind the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in England? "Overwhelmingly likely" in the eyes of UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. He made his claim Friday just two days after Prime Minister Theresa May kicked 23 Russians out of the country in... More »

Trump Officials Are Dreaming of Nationalized 5G

Axios reports on a discussions happening among National Security Council officials

(Newser) - It's nowhere near a sure thing, but the idea is percolating: Fearful of a spying China, members of the Trump administration's national security team say a mobile 5G network needs to be in the cards, and that maybe the government should be the one to build it. The... More »

Damage Done by Alleged CIA Mole May Be Even Worse

Jerry Chun Shing Lee could be responsible for disappearance of US spies in Russia

(Newser) - The damage reportedly done by an alleged CIA mole could extend beyond China, where at least 20 CIA informants were arrested and executed between 2010 and 2012, current and former officials tell NBC News . China wiped out the CIA's spy network in that country after cracking the covert communications... More »

Report: China Using LinkedIn as Spy Tool

German intelligence finds 'broad attempt to infiltrate parliaments, ministries, and administrations'

(Newser) - German officials may want to offer some of their LinkedIn contacts endorsements for "espionage" and "subterfuge." Per Reuters , the country's BfV intelligence service has revealed that Chinese intelligence operatives are setting up fake social-media accounts and attempting to connect with senior diplomats and politicians not only... More »

He Knew Everything About Everyone, but Is Veiled in Mystery

Eamon Javers pieces together the life of Tom Corbally

(Newser) - "Nobody ever learned everything about Tom Corbally," Eamon Javers writes at Buzzfeed . He should know. Despite a 10,000–word feature on the man with many titles—private investigator, spy, con man, socialite—Javers notes Corbally will always remain somewhat of a mystery because he "bluffed and... More »

Report: 1K US Spies Helping Brazil Monitor Olympics

All 17 US intelligence agencies are reportedly involved

(Newser) - There may be more US spies than Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Rio over the next couple of weeks, per a "highly classified" intelligence report seen by NBC News . With the blessing of Brazil's government, some 1,000 espionage experts—about 350 of them onsite in Rio—are positioned and... More »

Beset by Spies, ISIS Ruthlessly Hunts Its Own

Dozens slaughtered in wake of airstrikes that take out top commanders

(Newser) - A senior ISIS commander obliterated by a drone while driving in northern Syria in March sparked a vicious purge within the group's ranks of suspected spies who could have tipped off the US-led coalition, reports the AP . Some 38 of ISIS' own were executed as informants, among dozens of... More »

What It's Like to Learn Mom and Dad Are Russian Spies

Two sons talk about bombshell FBI arrests

(Newser) - They seemed to be the most ordinary of American families: Dad Donald Heathfield, mom Tracey Foley, and their sons, Tim, 20, and Alex, 16. Then came the 2010 FBI raid on their home in Cambridge, Mass., and the revelation that mom and dad were actually deeply embedded Russian spies being... More »

China, Russia Comparing Hacks to Flush Out US Spies

Foreign governments can use compromised info to blackmail US intelligence agents

(Newser) - The "high-level snooping" foreign spy agencies have been carrying out on US computer networks isn't simply a matter of trolling for state secrets. It's also a way to expose US spies—as well as contractors who provide tech support—who can then be blackmailed and even recruited,... More »

China Not Messing Around Hunting Down Fugitive in US

Brother of ex-aide to ex China president may have 'sensitive' info on Chinese leaders

(Newser) - The Obama administration has warned China to stop sending over undercover agents to wrangle its "economic fugitives," but that hasn't stopped Xi Jinping's henchmen from traveling overseas to find the brother of a man who used to be a top aide to ex-Chinese President Hu Jintao.... More »

FBI: Russian Spy Posed as US Banker

Evgeny Buryakov is accused of spying in Manhattan

(Newser) - The FBI today arrested an alleged Russian spy in the Bronx, saying he posed as a Manhattan banker while collecting information for Russia's SVR or foreign intelligence service, ABC News reports. A criminal complaint identifies him as Evgeny Buryakov and names his cohorts as Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy.... More »

Spies Could've Halted 'India's 9/11,' Failed to Connect Dots

Scads of 2008 surveillance data, but no one put it together: investigation

(Newser) - British, American, and Indian intelligence operatives all separately picked out elements of a possible major terror plot by autumn of 2008, but their inability to connect the dots led to what the New York Times calls one of "the most devastating near-misses in the history of spycraft"—the... More »

Nazi Official Sent 'Stupid' Spies to Britain on Purpose

Intelligence official wanted to sabotage Hitler, says historian

(Newser) - Who would send ill-prepared spies on a vital mission knowing they were bound to screw up? Nazi intelligence official Herbert Wichmann, that's who—at least according to one historian who argues that Wichmann and his circle were trying to sabotage Hitler's plans. In Operation Sealion: Resistance Inside the ... More »

22 Years Later, KGB Secrets See Light of Day

KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin handed them to Britain in 1992

(Newser) - In 1992, senior KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin defected from Russia, and he didn't leave empty-handed. With him came documents that the AP calls "one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history—a who's who of Soviet spying." Two decades later, the first batch of them has... More »

Top Spy: Women Make 'Bloody Good' Agents

British officer opens door to would-be female spies

(Newser) - A British intelligence officer tells the Times of London that women make "bloody good spies" because they are fine multi-taskers who excel at "tapping into different emotional resources." As part of a Secret Intelligence Service recruitment campaign, the top spy dismissed the notion that female agents are... More »

China's Spies Have Seen Our Top Weapon Designs

Hackers have accessed info on missile defense, aircraft, ships, more: report

(Newser) - Chinese hackers have managed to access the designs for dozens of America's most advanced weapons systems, according to a confidential report from the Defense Science Board obtained by the Washington Post . The designs accessed include the heart of the Pentagon's missile defense shield for Asia, along with combat... More »

Iran: We Hanged CIA, Mossad Spies

Tehran says it executed 2 men this morning

(Newser) - Iran is claiming that it has today hanged a pair of spies it convicted of slipping information to the CIA and Israel's Mossad, according to a state radio report. The report is sketchy on when the men were arrested or convicted, but says the dead are Mohammad Heidari, who... More »

Iran Atomic Energy Boss: We Lie to Trick Spies

He says Tehran gives out fake information about strengths and weaknesses

(Newser) - Iran's head of atomic energy says the country has deliberately provided "false information" in an effort to trick spies. Fereydoon Abbasi told the Al Hayat website that "in order to protect our nuclear position and our achievements ... there is no other choice but to mislead foreign intelligence,... More »

CIA Had Chance to Kill bin Laden in '99: Ex-Spy

'We do not have a license to kill,' agent told informant

(Newser) - An Afghan guerrilla leader offered to hand Osama bin Laden to the CIA on a silver platter in 1999, asking for nothing more than the $5 million bounty the Clinton administration had already placed on the terrorist leader's head, but the CIA demurred, a former Polish spy alleges in... More »

Daring French WWII Spy Dead at 88

Robert de La Rochefoucauld known for wartime exploits

(Newser) - A sort of real-life 007, one of the last living members of Winston Churchill's clandestine World War II SOE unit, has died at age 88. Robert de La Rochefoucauld died May 8, but his death proved to be just as secretive as some of his exploits, the New York ... More »

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