Tag: Espionage and Intelligence Services

New Administration Memo Seeks to Foster Doubts About Suspected Russian Bounties

A memo produced in recent days by the office of the nation’s top intelligence official acknowledged that the C.I.A. and top counterterrorism officials have assessed that Russia appears to have offered bounties to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan, but emphasized uncertainties and gaps in evidence, according to three officials. The memo is said […]

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Afghan Contractor Handed Out Russian Cash to Kill Americans, Officials Say

KABUL, Afghanistan — He was a lowly drug smuggler, neighbors and relatives say, then ventured into contracting, seeking a slice of the billions of dollars the U.S.-led coalition was funneling into construction projects in Afghanistan. But he really began to show off his wealth in recent years, after establishing a base in Russia, though how […]

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Slotkin, Former Intelligence Briefer, Presses White House on Russia Reports

WASHINGTON — From the moment President Trump publicly denied knowledge of intelligence that suggested that Russia had offered bounties for killing American troops in Afghanistan, something seemed off to Representative Elissa Slotkin, Democrat of Michigan. Ms. Slotkin, a former White House national security aide and intelligence briefer whose tasks included ensuring that previous presidents were […]

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White House Dismisses Reports of Bounties, but Is Silent on Russia

First President Trump denied knowing about it. Then he called it a possible “hoax.” Next, the White House attacked the news media. And now an unnamed intelligence official is to blame. The one thing Mr. Trump and his top officials have not done is to address the substance of intelligence reports that Russia paid bounties […]

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Data on Financial Transfers Bolstered Suspicions That Russia Offered Bounties

American officials intercepted electronic data showing large financial transfers from a bank account controlled by Russia’s military intelligence agency to a Taliban-linked account, which was among the evidence that supported their conclusion that Russia covertly offered bounties for killing U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, according to three officials familiar with the intelligence. Though the […]

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After Iranian Missile Facility Blows Up, Conspiracy Theories Abound in Tehran

When a major explosion lit the skies on the edge of Tehran last week, the Iranian government was quick to dismiss the episode as a gas explosion at the Parchin military base, which was once the focus of international nuclear inspectors. It turned out that was false: Satellite photographs show the explosion happened at a […]

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How Generations of Russians Have Tried to Influence American Elections

RIGGEDAmerica, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral InterferenceBy David Shimer On Election Day 2016, the United States braced for a crippling sneak attack by a foreign power. “It was very high alert,” Barack Obama’s deputy adviser for homeland security, Amy Pope, recalled for David Shimer, a journalist and current graduate student at Oxford, […]

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Australia Spending Nearly $1 Billion on Cyberdefense as China Tensions Rise

SYDNEY, Australia — Confronting a surge of cyberattacks attributed to the Chinese government, Australia moved to bolster its defenses on Tuesday, promising to recruit at least 500 cyberspies and build on its ability to take the battle overseas. The investment of 1.35 billion Australian dollars ($930 million) over the next decade is the largest the […]

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Trump Got Written Briefing in February on Possible Russian Bounties, Officials Say

American officials provided a written briefing in late February to President Trump laying out their conclusion that a Russian military intelligence unit offered and paid bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, two officials familiar with the matter said. The investigation into the suspected Russian covert operation to incentivize such […]

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Lawmakers Press for Answers on Russian Bounty Offers to Taliban to Kill U.S. Troops

Democrats and Republicans in Congress demanded on Monday that American intelligence agencies promptly share with lawmakers what they know about a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, and threatened to retaliate against the Kremlin. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic […]

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Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops

WASHINGTON — United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan, according to officials briefed on the matter. The crucial information that led the spies and commandos to focus on […]

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Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says

WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter. The United States concluded months ago that […]

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Australian Politician’s Home Raided in Chinese Influence Inquiry

SYDNEY, Australia — The Australian authorities raided the home and office of a federal lawmaker on Friday as part of a sweeping investigation into allegations of a Chinese government plot to manipulate the politics and policy of Parliament. Shaoquett Moselmane, a Labor politician from a Sydney suburb, recently praised China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, for […]

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The C.I.A.’s Business Is Secrets, but It Is Recruiting Spies in the Open

WASHINGTON — The C.I.A. has recruited at Ivy League schools, through Hollywood-produced television programs and even by judging school science fairs. But the current era needs a modern recruiting drive, and on Monday, the C.I.A. unveiled its first television advertisement, which is aimed at streaming platforms like Hulu. The slick, advertising-agency-produced spot has the feel […]

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How Can the U.S. Fix Its Foreign Policy?

EXERCISE OF POWERAmerican Failures, Successes, and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War WorldBy Robert M. Gates During the impeachment hearings, the world was introduced to members of a small, exotic tribe — American national security professionals. As the Vindmans, Yovanavitches and others emerged from the shadows and told their stories before the cameras, […]

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C.I.A. Failed to Defend Against Theft of Secrets by Insider, Report Says

WASHINGTON — The 2016 theft of secret C.I.A. hacking tools by an agency officer, one of the largest breaches in agency history, was partly because of failures to install safeguards and officials who ignored the lessons of other government agencies that saw large breaches when employees stole secrets, according to an internal C.I.A. report released […]

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Fears for Volvo Expose Sour Turn in Sweden’s Ties With China

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — The 2009 meeting in Shanghai between the Swedish union leader and the “Chinese Henry Ford” started in a minibus ride and ended in one of the financial capital’s most opulent hotels. There, the men struck an unlikely alliance to save the struggling Swedish carmaker Volvo. The president of Geely Auto Group, Li […]

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Pentagon Denies Spying on Americans Protesting Police Killings

WASHINGTON — A top Pentagon official has told Congress that the nation’s military intelligence agencies did not spy on American protesters during the wave of nationwide demonstrations against the police killings of African-Americans. In a letter on Thursday to the House Intelligence Committee, Joseph D. Kernan, the under secretary of defense for intelligence and security, […]

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Former D.E.A. Spokesman Pleads Guilty to $4.4 Million Fraud

A former Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of defrauding companies of more than $4 million by pretending to be a Central Intelligence Agency officer involved in an intelligence gathering operation, prosecutors said. The former spokesman, Garrison Kenneth Courtney, 44, entered the plea in federal court in Alexandria, Va., to a […]

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Prague Says Ricin Plot Was a Hoax, and Moves to Expel 2 Russians

MOSCOW — Russia on Friday denounced a decision by the Czech Republic to expel two Russian diplomats over an alleged ricin poison plot that Czech officials now believe was a hoax engineered as part of internal quarrels in Moscow’s embassy in Prague. The Russian Embassy described the Czech order giving the diplomats 48 hours to […]

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The Flynn Calls: His Dismissal of Russian Interference and the Kremlin’s Savvy

WASHINGTON — Russian spy services had just carried out a complex campaign to disrupt an American presidential election. But the man who was set to become the White House national security adviser, speaking to Russia’s ambassador, referred to that effort only as “the cyberstuff.” The ambassador suggested that the “very deplorable” sanctions that the United […]

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As Virus Toll Preoccupies U.S., Rivals Test Limits of American Influence

WASHINGTON — With the United States preoccupied by the sobering reality of more than 100,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus, China has pushed in recent weeks to move troops into disputed territory with India, continue aggressive actions in the South China Sea and rewrite the rules of how it will control Hong Kong. At roughly […]

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Flynn Discussed Sanctions at Length With Russian Diplomat, Transcripts Show

WASHINGTON — The former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn discussed sanctions at length with a Russian diplomat in late 2016, according to transcripts declassified on Friday that appear to bolster earlier assertions that Mr. Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence and F.B.I. agents about those conversations. The transcripts have become a conservative cause, and […]

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A Son’s Long Struggle to Clear His Family’s Name Is Only Half Won

SEOUL, South Korea — The soldier spoke in a shaky voice, describing how he had lived like a beggar in South Korea and smoked “cigarette butts thrown by American G.I.s.” As he told listeners over the radio, he had fled his South Korean unit in Vietnam, defecting to the “bosoms” of North Korea. South Korea […]

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U.S. Accuses Russian Military Hackers of Attack on Email Servers

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency publicly accused Russian government hackers of targeting email servers around the world in an unusual announcement on Thursday, showing that the agency is becoming more aggressive in calling out Moscow’s action as the presidential election approaches. While the Trump administration has publicly attributed cyberattacks to Russia before — including […]

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Senate Approves John Ratcliffe for Top Intelligence Job in Sharply Split Vote

WASHINGTON — 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. […]

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For Spy Agencies, Briefing Trump Is a Test of Holding His Attention

Mr. Trump has insisted that the intelligence agencies gave him inadequate warnings about the threat of the virus, describing it as “not a big deal.” Intelligence officials have publicly backed him, acknowledging that Beth Sanner, the analyst who regularly briefs the president, underplayed the dangers when she first mentioned the virus to him on Jan. […]

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Intelligence Chief Declassifies List of Obama-Era Names in Unusual Step

WASHINGTON — The nation’s intelligence chief has declassified an Obama-era document related to President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in a highly unusual move that prompted accusations that he was trying to discredit the Justice Department’s Trump-Russia investigation. Richard Grenell, the acting […]

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Arkansas Professor Is Accused of Hiding Chinese Funding

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Justice Department accused a professor in Arkansas on Monday of improperly accepting funds from the Chinese government and has accepted a guilty plea in a similar case, the latest examples of the department’s effort to combat China’s influence in American academia. One of the professors, Simon Ang of the University of […]

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U.S. to Accuse China of Trying to Hack Vaccine Data, as Virus Redirects Cyberattacks

WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security are preparing to issue a warning that China’s most skilled hackers and spies are working to steal American research in the crash effort to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus. The efforts are part of a surge in cybertheft and attacks by nations seeking […]

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What Colombia Did With American Spy Tools

Old habits die hard, so there’s something sadly unsurprising in the news that a Colombian army unit used American surveillance equipment, provided to fight Marxist guerrillas and drug traffickers, to spy on journalists, political opponents and public figures. It’s entirely possible that one important goal was to conceal that the fight was dirty and not […]

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