Tag Archives: espionage

Full Senate Narrowly Approves Trump’s Intel Nominee

The New York Times reports: A divided Senate voted on Thursday to confirm Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas, a fierce conservative ally of President Trump’s with relatively little intelligence experience, to become the next director of the nation’s spy agencies. Democrats opposed the nomination en masse, but they agreed to dispense with the normal rules and accelerate Mr. Ratcliffe’s confirmation …

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Intel Agencies Have Hired Consultants To Learn How To Keep Trump’s Attention During Nat’l Security Briefings

The New York Times reports: Mr. Trump, who has mounted a yearslong attack on the intelligence agencies, is particularly difficult to brief on critical national security matters, according to interviews with 10 current and former intelligence officials familiar with his intelligence briefings. The president veers off on tangents and getting him back on topic is difficult, they said. He has …

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Pentagon Linguist Charged With Spying For Terrorists

Via press release from the Justice Department: Mariam Taha Thompson, 61, formerly of Rochester, Minnesota, was charged today in the District of Columbia with transmitting highly sensitive classified national defense information to a foreign national with apparent connections to Hizballah, a foreign terrorist organization that has been so designated by the Secretary of State. According to the affidavit filed in …

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Police Busted Two Russian Spy “Plumbers” At Davos

The Daily Beast reports: Police in Switzerland reportedly uncovered a Russian spying operation in Davos, where world leaders are meeting this week for the annual World Economic Forum. Police arrested two Russian men in the Alpine town last August after they were alerted to their suspiciously long stay in the resort. The men had allegedly claimed diplomatic protections, but had …

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Russian Spy Maria Butina Gets State TV Hosting Gig

From the pro-Trump Washington Examiner: Maria Butina wore a “foreign agent” T-shirt to promote her new gig as a Russian state television host. Butina, who was not charged with espionage but pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a foreign agent by infiltrating a gun rights group and cultivating relationships with conservative politicians, was deported in October after an 18-month …

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Russian Spy Ship Moving “Erratically” Off US Coast

CNN reports: A Russian spy-ship has returned to international waters off the southeastern coast of the United States and is operating in what two US officials told CNN is an “unsafe manner.” The Viktor Leonov, a Russian surveillance ship, has been sailing off the coast of South Carolina and Florida in the last few days, one official told CNN. The …

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Two Twitter Staffers Charged With Spying For Saudis

The Washington Post reports: The DOJ  has charged two former Twitter employees with spying for Saudi Arabia in a case that raises concerns about the ability of Silicon Valley to protect the private information of dissidents and other users from repressive governments. The charges came a day after the arrest of one of the former Twitter employees, Ahmad Abouammo, a …

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Reuters: Spies Hacked WhatsApp To Snoop On US Allies

Reuters reports: Senior government officials in multiple U.S.-allied countries were targeted earlier this year with hacking software that used Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp to take over users’ phones, according to people familiar with the messaging company’s investigation. Sources familiar with WhatsApp’s internal investigation into the breach said a “significant” portion of the known victims are high-profile government and military officials spread …

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Russian Spy Gets Hero’s Welcome After Deportation

Reuters reports: Russian national Maria Butina, who was jailed in the United States in April after admitting to working as a Russian agent, arrived in Moscow on Saturday, greeted by her father and Russian journalists who handed her flowers. “Russians never surrender,” an emotional Butina told reporters at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, flanked by her father and the Russian Foreign Ministry’s …

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Russian Spy Maria Butina Released For Deportation

Reuters reports: Convicted Russian agent Maria Butina was released from a Florida prison on Friday after serving most of her 18-month sentence for conspiring to influence U.S. conservative activists and infiltrate a powerful gun rights group, and taken into custody by immigration officials to be deported to her native country. A prison official confirmed she was released on Friday morning …

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Secret Russian Unit Works To Destabilize Europe

The New York Times reports: First came a destabilization campaign in Moldova, followed by the poisoning of an arms dealer in Bulgaria and then a thwarted coup in Montenegro. Last year, there was an attempt to assassinate a former Russian spy in Britain using a nerve agent. Though the operations bore the fingerprints of Russia’s intelligence services, the authorities initially …

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Israel Planted Spy Devices Near WH, Trump Shrugged

Politico reports: The U.S. government concluded within the last two years that Israel was most likely behind the placement of cell-phone surveillance devices that were found near the White House and other sensitive locations around Washington, D.C., according to three former senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the matter. But unlike most other occasions when flagrant incidents of foreign spying …

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REPORT: US Intel Pulled Spy From Russia Over Fear Trump Would Expose Him During Talks With Russians

CNN reports: In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN. A person directly involved in the discussions said that the removal of the Russian was driven, in part, by concerns that President Donald Trump …

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Fire On Russian Spy Submarine Kills At Least 14 Crew

CNN reports: A fire aboard a Russian deepwater submersible killed 14 Russian crew members, state news agencies reported Tuesday, citing the Ministry of Defense. The blaze broke out Monday while the craft was carrying out research in Russian territorial waters, and 14 submariners died from smoke inhalation, the ministry said, according to the state-run news agency Tass. The vessel is …

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DOJ Hits Julian Assange With 18 Counts Of Espionage

USA Today reports: WikiLeaks found Julian Assange was charged Thursday with conspiring to obtain national security secrets in what prosecutors have described as one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history, the Justice Department announced Thursday. In all, federal prosecutors filed 18 new charges against Assange. They include allegations that he aided and abetted former Army intelligence …

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Convicted Russian Spy: I Was Trying To Build Peace

NPR reports: Maria Butina says this is all a big misunderstanding. Was she part of the vast Russian government effort to influence politics within the United States? “Absolutely not,” she said. All she wanted, Butina said, was to be a “peace-builder” between Russia and the United States. The Russian woman who has pleaded guilty to conspiring to serve as a …

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Russian Spy Maria Butina Sentenced To 18 Months

Buzzfeed News reports: Maria Butina, the Russian gun rights activist who pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent for the Russian government in the US, was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison, although she’ll get credit for the nine months she’s already served. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan said she agreed with prosecutors that Butina …

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Two Charges For Chinese Spy Busted At Mar-A-Lago

NBC News reports: Yujing Zhang, the Chinese citizen arrested at Mar-a-Lago in March while President Donald Trump was at his nearby golf club, was indicted Friday. The short, two-page indictment gave no new information about how Zhang allegedly got into Trump’s resort in Florida two weeks ago. She was charged with two counts — unlawful entry of restricted buildings and …

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Chinese Woman Arrested At Mar-A-Lago Likely A Spy

CBS News Miami reports: A Chinese woman accused of illegally entering President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club with a flash drive containing malware, also had numerous electronic devices and thousands in cash stashed in her hotel room. Prosecutors say they found multiple electronic devices in her hotel room, including a signal detector that can seek out detect hidden cameras, another cell …

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Boyfriend Of Russia Spy Indicted For Money Laundering

The Daily Beast reports: Paul Erickson, the American political operative and boyfriend of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in South Dakota on charges of wire fraud and money laundering. The U.S. attorney for the district of South Dakota is handling the prosecution, which is separate from the case that was lodged against …

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