View Full Version : Spying & Spies in the USA (merged thread)

10-13-2007, 10:52 AM
Marine took files as part of spy ring (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20071006-9999-1n6spies.html)

Marine Gunnery Sgt. Gary Maziarz said patriotism motivated him to join a spy ring, smuggle secret files from Camp Pendleton and give them to law enforcement officers for anti-terrorism work in Southern California.

The case is an intelligence nightmare, said defense analysts briefed on it.

They also said it unmasks the military's growing role in post-Sept. 11 domestic security and confirms that U.S. officials believe al-Qaeda is active in the United States.

“It gives operational security people brain cooties to think about an incident like this,” said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a think tank that focuses on emerging security concerns.

10-13-2007, 11:45 AM
Marine took files as part of spy ring (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20071006-9999-1n6spies.html)

"Brain cooties"? Technical terms like that really confuse me. What's next--a strategic wet willie?

10-13-2007, 07:24 PM
They also said it unmasks the military's growing role in post-Sept. 11 domestic security and confirms that U.S. officials believe al-Qaeda is active in the United States.

I don't agree with what the Gunny did, nor the folks that received this classified information, but the article would have us believe the Marine gave it to Buck Fin Laden via US LEOs.

Talk about opening a can of worms. While they should be punished, are we really holding information back from Law Enforcement ?

Do we as a nation expect those to cover our six with no information while our military are abroad fighting ?

The whole story stinks

10-13-2007, 08:55 PM
There is a case in London, where a career Special Branch / Counter Terrorist detective retired and returned as a civilian employee in the same area. He was identified as having "leaked" a sensitive document to the press, for reasons as yet unknown and rumour suggests he'd "leaked" before.

Yes, different to the California case referred to, but it happens.

The balance between the 'need to know' and the 'need to share' remains. A point well made in the Colin Cramphorn lecture, in early 2007, by Peter Clarke, the UK police national co-ordinator for terrorism investigations. How is secret information on a live threat communicated downwards to the officer on the street?


10-13-2007, 09:09 PM
Here is the link to the lecture:



10-13-2007, 09:56 PM
Talk about opening a can of worms. While they should be punished, are we really holding information back from Law Enforcement ?

Sad to say they are:mad: This even happens within the LE community. It turns into a jurisdiction nightmare. :mad:

10-14-2007, 08:08 AM
The issue is, as has been proved a thousand times in a thousand different jurisdictions, is that these "leakages" of information are invariably eventually abused by those in power.

And for those who think I am a bleeding heart Liberal, I must add that it doesn't matter which party is in power. The basic issue is that Administrations will use threats regarding "security" to justify any and all intrusions, and this issue is at least 400 years old, it was recognised in the British Common Law as well as the American Constitution.

To put it another way, are you happy to perhaps see Hilary Clinton trolling through your email and sharing details with LEO's?

Sad to see it being revisited, but there you go.....

04-10-2008, 07:00 PM
Northrop Grumman Technical Services, 13 Mar 08: Changes in Espionage by Americans: 1947-2007 (http://www.fas.org/sgp/library/changes.pdf)

This report documents changes and trends in American espionage since 1990. Its subjects are American citizens. Unlike two earlier reports in this series, individuals are compared across three groups based on when they began espionage activities. The three groups are defined as between 1947 and 1979, 1980 and 1989, and 1990 and 2007. The subset of cases that began since 2000 is given additional study. Findings include: since 1990 offenders are more likely to be naturalized citizens, and to have foreign attachments, connections, and ties.

Their espionage is more likely to be motivated by divided loyalties. Twice as many American espionage offenders since 1990 have been civilians than members of the military, fewer held Top Secret while more held Secret clearances, and 37% had no security clearance giving them access to classified information. Two thirds of American spies since 1990 have volunteered. Since 1990, spying has not paid well: 80% of spies received no payment for espionage, and since 2000 it appears no one was paid. Six of the 11 most recent cases have involved terrorists, either as recipients of information, by persons working with accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or in protest against treatment of detainees there. Many recent spies relied on computers, electronic information retrieval and storage, and the Internet. The current espionage statutes have to stretch to cover recent cases that reflect the context of global terrorism.....
Complete 113 page report at the link.

04-29-2008, 03:49 PM
A new style of turncoat: These days, spying for America's enemies is less about money and more about ideology (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-bamford27apr27,0,7726749.story), By James Bamford. Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2008.

Today's spy, according to the Pentagon study, is far more likely to use the Internet to contact foreign governments or terrorists and volunteer his services, as if signing up for Facebook. "Since 1990, the use of embassies has decreased," the study says, "while more individuals have chosen a new communications innovation: 13% of volunteers since 1990 turned to the Internet, including seven of the 11 most recent cases since 2000 that used the Internet to initiate offers of espionage."

Obviously, post-Cold War spies are finding new governments -- and groups -- to spy for. FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen, who passed secrets to Russia for more than two decades, until he was caught in 2001, may be the last of a dying breed. The country of choice for 87% of American spies during the Cold War was the Soviet Union, but by the 1990s that figure had dropped to just 15%.

The focus of spies has now mostly shifted east. The percentage who work on behalf of Asian and Southeast Asian countries has risen from 5% in the 1950s and 1960s to 12% in the 1970s and 1980s, and to 26% since 1990. Cuba, with so many exiles in Florida, has also become a key recipient of American secrets. Al Qaeda has made significant inroads as well -- with one American having stolen and passed classified documents and other materials to aides of Osama bin Laden, and four others known to have tried to spy for the organization or other terrorist groups since the mid-1980s.

Vic Bout
04-29-2008, 04:11 PM
Why take the risk, when it's so much more lucrative here: http://www.thespywhobilledme.com/

04-29-2008, 06:18 PM
Why take the risk, when it's so much more lucrative here: http://www.thespywhobilledme.com/
Did you read her novel Vic?

Vic Bout
04-29-2008, 06:37 PM
was something off-putting about the whole black leather jacket, Berlin wall symbology of her blog photo. I prefer my spies ala Ian Fleming....high heels, poisoned lip stick...

05-03-2008, 06:07 AM
This whole thing stinks....sounds like the Gunny and his cronies who include a few colonels really thought they were doing something very patriotic but I would like to know what this Gunny was doing for the Marines of I MEF downrange in Iraq he should have been doing intelligence work for. I'm glad this ring of clowns was caught but I wonder how many people in the U.S. are passing controlled material to people other than LEO's.

Calling this case a spy ring is a bit extreme. I don't know if spying involves passing information to the same government.... this is more of a security violation than anything else.

Maybe the Posse Comitatus act wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

05-03-2008, 02:25 PM
... for anyone who might think the Gunny as a "uber-patriot", his downfall was the discovery of a cache of war loot he had stolen.

09-28-2011, 06:09 AM
Important note : CIA has hissy fits over independents.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A man accused of running an illegal contractor spy ring in Afghanistan has resigned from the Air Force, still maintaining his innocence, and still facing possible criminal charges.
Two investigations continue in a case that has tested the definition of what contractors are allowed to do in war zones.
Air Force civilian employee Michael Furlong, together with his boss, Mark Johnson, resigned in July after the Air Force inspector general told the men they'd face official censure for how they ran an information gathering network in Afghanistan.
Tampa-based International Media Ventures (IMV) shut its doors, turned radioactive by association with the investigations, even as high-ranking Pentagon officials praised IMV's work gathering social and civil data to map Afghan society — work that is now being carried out by another contractor.
Another one of the firms involved, Strategic Influence Alternatives, went back to the business of protecting corporate executives overseas.
Clarridge is now shopping his human-intelligence networking skills to other foreign intelligence agencies, and to U.S. agencies like the FBI, the defense officials say. Clarridge would not comment for this story.http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hr6vYbqTz0RR7njtXzSoBFxhITNg?docId=b97d82d1b f394f5789f43ae05ecf9b3b

10-12-2011, 11:51 PM
McLEAN, Va. (AP) — A Syrian-born, naturalized U.S. citizen has been indicted on charges of spying on U.S. activists opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and providing intelligence to that country's intelligence agents.
According to an indictment unsealed Wednesday, Mohamad Soueid (SWAYD) of Leesburg, Va., was arrested Tuesday and charged with conspiring to act in the U.S. as an agent of a foreign government. Soueid was scheduled to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on Wednesday afternoon.

http://news.yahoo.com/va-man-allegedly-worked-syrian-intelligence-133929184.html;_ylt=Arc8oxbkzh5vk5LLesKfxgGs0NUE;_ ylu=X3oDMTNsZjRkNWt2BG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBGUARwa2cDZT gzOWVkMzctNWIyZC0zZmZhLWExNTgtNjFmNTkzMTNkODVlBHBv cwM5BHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzY1OTlkZTAwLWY0ZGMtMT FlMC1hYzlmLTI5NDNiZGVjMjBkZg--;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRw c3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3

10-14-2011, 04:20 AM
A naturalized US citizen was arrested in Northern Virginia yesterday, and later charged in Federal court on accusations that he gathered information on anti-Al Assad regime activists within the United States. Additionally, the criminal compliant against him also cites an allegation that he even made a trip to Syria recently and met with President Al-Assad himself.


10-14-2011, 03:00 PM
Strange accusations. I didn't know that such things could be crimes in a "free" country.

The article doesn't even mention any money transfer. In fact, even if he DID get money for it I'd be at a loss to name any German law that he'd have violated if it happened in Germany.

10-14-2011, 04:36 PM
Here is the US v Soueid indictment (http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/case_docs/1714.pdf); and the DoJ Press Release (http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/October/11-nsd-1347.html) explaining it (snip of what crimes are charged):

Soueid, aka “Alex Soueid” or “Anas Alswaid,” a Syrian-born naturalized U.S. citizen, was charged by a federal grand jury on Oct. 5, 2011, in a six-count indictment in the Eastern District of Virginia. Soueid is charged with conspiring to act and acting as an agent of the Syrian government in the United States without notifying the Attorney General as required by law; two counts of providing false statements on a firearms purchase form; and two counts of providing false statements to federal law enforcement.

As this is an indictment released by DoJ in the wake of "Fast and Furious", I do take to heart the obligatory disclaimer at the Press Release's end:

The public is reminded that an indictment contains mere allegations and that a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The crimes charged are not based on "new laws" - nor, on any novel interpretations of old laws (from the indictment):

Count 1 - 18 U.S.C. § 371: Conspiracy to Act in the United States as an Agent of a Foreign Government

Count 2 - 18 U.S.C. § 951: Acting in the United States as an Agent of a Foreign Government

Count 3 - 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a)(6): Material False Statement on a Firearms Purchase Application

Count 4 - 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(1)(A): False Statement on a Firearms Purchase Application

Counts 5 and 6 -18 U.S.C. § 1001: False Statements

Whether the evidence will back up the indictment's factual allegations remains to be seen.

This seems a probably questionable statement:

from Fuchs
Strange accusations. ....I'd be at a loss to name any German law that he'd have violated if it happened in Germany.

but it's not worth for me an email to Germany to find out.



10-14-2011, 05:50 PM
Count 1 - 18 U.S.C. § 371: Conspiracy to Act in the United States as an Agent of a Foreign Government

Count 2 - 18 U.S.C. § 951: Acting in the United States as an Agent of a Foreign Government
Since when has our government started taking these crimes seriously?

Cough, cough – Jane Harman, AIPAC, Steve Rosen, Keith Weissman, Michael Ledeen, Doug Feith, & many more – cough

10-14-2011, 10:12 PM
Zenpundit adds, in a comment on the other plot:
By some miraculous deus ex machina, the cultish, 1970’s era Iranian Marxoid terrorist group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MeK) have spent a wealth of funds to buy the lobbying services of a glittering array of former top US national security officials and general officers - despite being on the State Department’s official terrorist list.

….Among the new faces: (edited) General Michael Hayden, director of the CIA from 2006 to 2009...

In what should be a national scandal, those names are not even a comprehensive list of the very influential former politicians, K Street lobbyists and Beltway law firms accepting payments to whisper in the ears of current officials in the national security community, regarding Iran, on behalf of the MeK. Not sure how it is legal to do so either, since aiding a group on the State Department’s list by providing services normally can get you hauled into Federal court pronto, if you are an ordinary American citizen. A most curious situation….

I have no brief for Iran, the regime is a dedicated enemy of the United States, but a group of exiled Iranian Marxist-terrorists who used to work for Saddam Hussein hardly have our best interests at heart.


T'is a topsy-turvy world and we can trust the law to look equally on all.

10-15-2011, 04:14 PM
I did some questioning and it appears that we have no law that forbids foreign agents to spy on private persons in Germany, but there's an interpretation of the law by lawyers that suggests this could nevertheless be criminal under § 99 StGB if said private persons are aligned with our country (~ if we oppose the Syrian government and support the Syrian opposition publicly).

The forging stuff is illegal here, too - but that wasn't mentioned in the article.

10-15-2011, 07:00 PM
German media may be different on legal cases; but US media often gives an incomplete - and therefore misleading - reading of the charges.

So, it's better to get the name from the Wash Post or the NYT; and then start Googling for the indictment or complaint, and other charging documents.

The "foreign agent registration" provisions (Counts 1 and 2) belong less to espionage law than to lobbyist law.

For the more general act - see Foreign Lobbying in the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lobbying_in_the_United_States#Foreign_Lobbying_in_ the_United_States); and more particularly, Foreign Agents Registration Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Agents_Registration_Act).

According to the US Attorneys' Manual, 2062 Foreign Agents Registration Act Enforcement (http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm02062.htm):

Since 1966 there have been no successful criminal prosecutions under FARA and only 3 indictments returned or informations filed charging FARA violations. ...But, the Manual goes on:

FARA does not exhaust the federal government's response to perceived problems in this area. There are numerous other federal statutes aimed at persons loosely called foreign agents (See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 951; Public Law 893, 50 U.S.C. §§ 851-857; and 18 U.S.C. § 2386 (the Voorhis Act)).18 USC 951(b) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/951.html) states:

b) The Attorney General shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing requirements for notification. and, indeed, the Code of Federal Regulations, 28 CFR 73 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/73), so provides:

73.1—Definition of terms (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/73/1).
73.2—Exceptions (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/73/2).
73.3—Form of notification (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/73/3).
73.4—Partial compliance not deemed compliance (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/73/4).
73.5—Termination of notification (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/73/5).
73.6—Relation to other statutes (http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/28/73/6).

Authority: 18 U.S.C. 951, 28 U.S.C. 509, 510.
Source: Order No. 1373-89, 54 FR 46608, Nov. 6, 1989, unless otherwise noted.The last reg (73.6) provides that:

The filing of a notification under this section shall not be deemed compliance with the requirements of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 611, et seq., nor compliance with any other statute. The net result is at least two possible "foreign agent" enforcement paths.



02-27-2018, 06:51 PM
Prompted by a new report, posted separately for visibility, I have merged four threads on spying and spies within the USA.

02-27-2018, 07:04 PM
An official DoD report 'The Expanding Spectrum of Espionage by Americans, 1947–2015', which is the report is the fourth in the series on espionage by Americans that the Defense Personnel and Security Research Center (PERSEREC) began publishing in 1992 and published in August 2017, but appeared on my Twitter feed today.

The publishers explain, so not the DoD:
The report describes characteristics of 209 Americans who committed espionage-related offenses against the U.S. since 1947. Three cohorts are compared based on when the individual began espionage: 1947-1979, 1980-1989, and 1990-2015. Using data coded from open published sources, analyses are reported on personal attributes of persons across the three cohorts, the employment and levels of clearance, how they committed espionage, the consequences they suffered, and their motivations. The second part of the report explores each of the five types of espionage committed by the 209 persons under study. These include: classic espionage, leaks, acting as an agent of a foreign government, violations of export control laws, and economic espionage.The introduction has some gems:
Three-quarters succeeded in passing information, while one-quarter were intercepted before they could pass anything. Sixty percent were volunteers and 40% were recruited. Among recruits, 60%were recruited by a foreign intelligence service and 40% by family or friends.Contacting a foreign embassy was the most common way to begin as a volunteer.

02-28-2018, 04:05 PM
Classic story and hat tip to WoTR. It is within a wider article on immigrants and national security.

The FBI, too, has benefitted from the service of immigrants. A particularly striking example in the national security realm is that of Dimitry Droujinsky (https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/fbi-fake-russian-agent-reveals-secrets-180960788/), the son of Russian immigrants to Palestine who later came to the United States. Droujinsky had a multi-decade career in the FBI; his specialty was impersonating KGB officers to ensnare Americans who had spied for Moscow. His career reached all the way into the late 1990s when he came back from retirement to help bring to justice David Sheldon Boone (http://articles.latimes.com/1998/oct/18/opinion/op-33724), a former National Security Agency official who had sold sensitive documents to Moscow in the last days of the Cold War. Boone had Russian-language training and might not have been fooled by an FBI agent who had learned his Russian in a classroom.

04-13-2018, 06:05 PM
A report by Bill Gertz, ex-WaPo, which uses Congressional testimony as the foundation. Two small quotes:
Gone was any dedicated strategic [counterintelligence] program, while elite pockets of proactive capabilities died of neglect....We know surprisingly little about adversary intelligence services relative to the harm they can do.

06-02-2018, 10:42 AM
A book review by Bruce Reidel that is titled 'Order from Chaos' which starts with:
The former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is the author of 'Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence' at a critical time in our nation’s history, and he offers a crucial insight into the threat we face from a foreign adversary. His great sense of humor also makes the book a pleasure to read.

07-07-2018, 07:19 PM
A devastating IMHO review of Steve Coll's book (see Post 37 on the Pakistani ISI thread) by Edward Luttwak, although it's real focus is the CIA (the other half of the relationship). There several illustrations why:
abysmal “tradecraft”...Raymond Davis had a bank statement listing the CIA as his employer in his car when he was arrested by local police in Lahore on January 27, 2011....the linguistic incompetence of almost all CIA analysts that really matters – an incompetence that goes right to the top....secretaries of state and generals seem to have believed that the cultures of Afghanistan are flexible, fluid and malleable..

He ends with:
ntelligence is an ancillary function, so it may be that the CIA’s systemic shortcomings are irrelevant to the preordained outcome in Afghanistan. This does not diminish the virtues of Steve Coll’s excellent book – a rem#arkable feat of extended reportage soundly constructed out of telling details and a great number of effective character portraits.

11-02-2018, 10:56 AM
Via Newsweek and based on a new audio-only book:
Now we know, according to an posthumously published book by the late David Wise, the authoritative espionage writer who died from pancreatic cancer last month. The informant, Wise writes, was Alexandr Shcherbakov, a down-on-his-luck former KGB officer who delivered the Kremlin’s dossier on Hanssen to an FBI counterspy who had pursued the case for years.


03-19-2019, 02:03 PM
I thought we'd had a post on the ex-USAF lady, a linguist, who appears to have defected to Iran, the search function fails to help. So as a stop gap here is a February 2019 BBC report:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-47230150
So here is an article that appears to have considerable help from "informed persons" in the USA. The title suggests Iran is preparing it's options to say the least.
Link:https://news.yahoo.com/as-trump-escalates-rhetoric-iran-is-making-its-own-plans-for-a-potential-war-084500212.html? (https://news.yahoo.com/as-trump-escalates-rhetoric-iran-is-making-its-own-plans-for-a-potential-war-084500212.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=tw)