May 2018 Intelligence News
- Reports: Chinese Interference in Australia is Widespread VOA 29 May 2018 -- A top-secret report has raised concerns that China has attempted to influence Australia's political parties for the past decade. An investigation into the scale of foreign interference in Australia was ordered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2016, leading to new proposed legislation which would ban foreign donations to political candidates.
- Doctors At First Doubted Skripals Would Survive Nerve-Agent Poisoning RFE/RL 29 May 2018 -- A hospital consultant who treated former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, for exposure to a military-grade nerve agent did not at first think the two would survive, he said in an interview with BBC's Newsnight.
- Ex-Spymaster Claims Pakistani Gov't Handed Bin Laden Over to US, Gets Travel Ban Sputnik 29 May 2018 -- Bin Laden, one of the world's most wanted terrorists, was killed during an elaborate operation in 2011 that provoked widespread resentment in Pakistan. Islamabad has claimed it didn't know about the operation due to an intelligence failure, while the Pakistani army has called the operation a "misadventure."
- Former Pakistan Spy Chief Barred From Traveling Abroad Over Tell-All Book RFE/RL 28 May 2018 -- A former head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency has been barred from leaving the country in connection with a recent memoir he co-authored with a former Indian intelligence-agency head.
- Russia Seeks 14-Year Term For Ukrainian Journalist Accused Of Spying RFE/RL 28 May 2018 -- Russian prosecutors are seeking a 14-year prison term for Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko, who is on trial in Moscow on espionage charges in a case viewed by Kyiv and rights activists as politically motivated.
- Pakistan Bans Ex-Spy Chief From Traveling Abroad VOA 28 May 2018 -- In an unprecedented move, Pakistan's military has barred an ex-spy chief from leaving the country, after ordering a probe into a book he co-authored with a former counterpart from rival India.
- Two French Ex-Spies Facing Trial After Reportedly 'Passing Secrets to China' Sputnik 25 May 2018 -- Former French intelligence agents have been charged with passing state secrets to a foreign power in an act of "extreme gravity," France's Defense Ministry said in a statement.
- WikiLeaks Founder May Lose Refuge in Ecuadorian Embassy in London - Reports Sputnik 25 May 2018 -- The founder of WikiLeaks whistleblowing organization, Julian Assange, who has lived in the Embassy of Ecuador in London since 2012, may have to leave the embassy in the near future either because he is pushed out or because his freedom is restricted to such an extent that he cannot stay, the CNN broadcaster reported on Friday.
- US Lawmakers to Get Intel Briefing on FBI Informant Trump Labeled 'Spy' VOA 24 May 2018 -- Senior U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are set to give separate briefings to two sets of lawmakers Thursday in connection with the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.
- Daughter Of Poisoned Russian Double Agent Says Recovery 'Slow, Painful' RFE/RL 23 May 2018 -- The daughter of the Russian double agent who was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent says her recovery has been slow and painful, and that she hopes to return to Russia someday.
- Yulia Skripal: Recovery From Nerve Agent 'Slow and Painful' VOA 23 May 2018 -- Yulia Skripal, who was poisoned along with her ex-spy father in Britain in March, said they are "lucky to have survived" the nerve agent attack.
- Gina Haspel sworn in as first female CIA director despite torture questions Press TV 21 May 2018 -- Gina Haspel has been sworn in as the first woman to lead the US Central Intelligence Agency, with a pledge to send more officers into the field and strengthen the agency's working relationships with US allies.
- Veteran Spy Haspel Sworn In as New CIA Chief VOA 21 May 2018 -- Gina Haspel, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, was sworn in Monday as the spy agency's first female director.
- Moscow slam's Britain's 'unprecedented anti-Russian mania' after money laundering report Press TV 21 May 2018 -- Russian authorities have harshly criticized a report by British MPs alleging that people close to the Kremlin were hiding and laundering money in the United Kingdom, saying the claims show that anti-Russia rhetoric in Britain has reached unprecedented levels.
- Russian 'dirty money' damaging Britain: UK lawmakers Press TV 21 May 2018 -- The Russian "dirty money" invested in British assets and London's financial institutions weakens the government's plans to counter Moscow's foreign policy, UK lawmakers have warned.
- British Parliament Report Slams Effects Of 'Dirty' Russian Money RFE/RL 21 May 2018 -- "Dirty" Russian money is undermining Britain's efforts to stand up to the Kremlin and supports President Vladimir Putin's campaign "to subvert the international rules-based system," a parliamentary report says, drawing an angry reaction from the Kremlin.
- British MPs Urge More Financial Pressure on Russia VOA 21 May 2018 -- His football team won Britain's prestigious FA Cup Sunday, but Roman Abramovich, the Kremlin-tied Russian oligarch who owns Chelsea football club, is struggling to get his British visa renewed and officials are saying they are still considering his application.
- 'Awakening': Microsoft Will Provide Cloud-Based Apps to Intel Agencies - Reports Sputnik 21 May 2018 -- The tech giant Microsoft has reached an agreement to provide 17 US intelligence agencies with its cloud-computing platform, The Washington Post reported.
- Poisoned Ex-Spy Skripal Released From U.K. Hospital RFE/RL 18 May 2018 -- Sergei Skripal, a Russian former double agent who was poisoned with a nerve toxin in England in March, has been released from the hospital, British health authorities said on May 18.
- US Senate confirms Trump's controversial pick to head CIA despite torture role Press TV 17 May 2018 -- The US Senate has confirmed Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA despite ingrained opposition over her involvement in the George W. Bush-era brutal interrogation techniques.
- US Senate Confirms Haspel to Be First Woman CIA Director VOA 17 May 2018 -- The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Gina Haspel as the Central Intelligence Agency's first female director by a vote of 54-45, ending a tumultuous nomination process in which lawmakers revisited the CIA's past interrogation practices.
- Senate Intel Completes Review of Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian Activities in the 2016 U.S. Elections Senator Burr 16 May 2018 -- Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today held a closed hearing to complete its review of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections."
- US identifies suspect in major leak of CIA hacking tools Press TV 16 May 2018 -- US prosecutors have identified a suspect in last year's leak of CIA hacking tools, but have been unable to bring charges against him due to insufficient evidence.
- U.S. Senate Panel Finds Russia Worked To Aid Trump In Election RFE/RL 16 May 2018 -- The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee says it agrees with an assessment by the country's intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election with the goal of hurting the candidacy of Democrat Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump.
- Senate Panel Agrees: Russia Meddled in 2016 Election VOA 16 May 2018 -- Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said Wednesday that his committee's investigation had shown Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump, affirming findings of the U.S. intelligence community.
- CIA Chief Nominee Vows Interrogation Program Not to Resume Under Her Leadership Sputnik 15 May 2018 -- The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should not have conducted an enhanced interrogation program, CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel said in a letter to Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner.
- CIA Nominee Haspel: Post 9-11 Interrogation Program a Mistake VOA 15 May 2018 -- President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director says the agency should not have run the harsh interrogation program after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the U.S.
- UK Intelligence Chief Says 12 Terrorist Attacks Foiled Since March 2017 Sputnik 14 May 2018 -- Twelve terrorist attacks were thwarted in the United Kingdom in the last 12 months, but the victory over Islamist terrorists requires further international attention, the head of the UK Security Service (MI5), Andrew Parker, said at a security conference in Berlin.
- Russia, Daesh threaten EU: UK spy chief Press TV 14 May 2018 -- Russia and the terrorist group Daesh are the two main threats that the European Union (EU) faces today, UK spy agency MI5's chief Andrew Parker will warn in rare public speech later on Monday.
- Foreign Minister Thinks Czech Agents Benefited From Skripal Meetings RFE/RL 14 May 2018 -- Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnicky says he believes his country's intelligence services benefited from being briefed six years ago by Sergei Skripal, the Russian former double agent who was poisoned with a nerve toxin along with his daughter in England in March.
- MI5 Chief: Russia Has Unleashed A 'Fog Of Lies' And Risks Becoming An 'Isolated Pariah' RFE/RL 14 May 2018 -- Russia is seeking to undermine European democracies and sow doubt in the West through malign activities and a "fog of lies," the head of Britain's domestic spy agency has told European intelligence chiefs.
- MI5 Chief Seeks Boosted Intel Sharing With EU Post-Brexit Amid "Russian Threat" Sputnik 14 May 2018 -- On Monday, MI5 Director General Andrew Parker is due to deliver a rare speech outside Britain, in which he will address the Counter Terrorism Group of 30 European security services.
- Skripal Visited Estonia in 2016 to Meet With Local Intelligence - Reports Sputnik 14 May 2018 -- Former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal, who was poisoned in the UK town of Salisbury in March, secretly visited Estonia in 2016, where he met with local intelligence officers, something that London possibly helped to organize, New York Times reported on Monday.
- English FIFA Fans May Become 'Targets' of Russian Babes - Estonian Intel Chief Sputnik 13 May 2018 -- Last month, a British intelligence expert warned English footballers against exquisite Russian women, who might distract them from the FIFA World Cup, held in Russia.
- Ex-CIA contractor caught stealing secrets from the spy agency in growing trend Press TV 12 May 2018 -- The US Justice Department has announced the conviction of a former CIA contractor who pleaded guilty for theft of classified information amid growing cases of government contractors accused of stealing secrets from spy agencies.
- Trump selects billionaire military contractor to lead intelligence board Press TV 12 May 2018 -- US President Donald Trump has chosen billionaire military contractor Stephen Feinberg as chair of his Intelligence Advisory Board that oversees the country's intelligence community, deriving its influence from direct access to the president and his senior staff.
- Former CIA Contractor Pleads Guilty to Illegally Retaining Classified Materials US Dept. of Justice 11 May 2018- - Reynaldo B. Regis, 53, of Fort Washington, Maryland, and a former CIA contractor, pleaded guilty today to unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials, and making material false statements to federal law enforcement officers.
- Haspel's Role in CIA Torture Program 'Neither Minor Nor Incidental' - Senator Sputnik 11 May 2018 -- CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel likely played an important role in the agency's controversial interrogation program and the destruction of videotapes showing the use of torture, Senator Tim Kaine said in a press release.
- CIA director nominee pressed at Senate committee hearing People's Daily 10 May 2018 -- US President Trump's CIA director nominee Gina Haspel attended her confirmation hearing Wednesday morning at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, in which her involvement in the agency's detention and interrogation programs, as well as the 2005 destruction of interrogation videos, has become the primary focus.
- Senator Feinstein opposes Trump's CIA director nominee Press TV 10 May 2018 -- Senior US Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein says she will vote against Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's nominee for the CIA director who is accused of involvement in the agency's torture program.
- McCain urges Senate to block Trump's CIA director nominee Press TV 10 May 2018 -- US Republican Senator John McCain has advised his colleagues in the Senate against confirming Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director who is accused of involvement in the agency's torture program.
- Britain Apologizes to Libyan Dissident Over Rendition, Torture VOA 10 May 2018 -- British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a rare formal public apology Thursday to one of 15 Libyan Islamists delivered into the hands of Col. Moammar Gadhafi by British and American intelligence services and tortured after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States.
- Trump's CIA Pick Vows No Use of Harsh Techniques VOA 09 May 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump's pick to head the country's spy agency promised lawmakers not to revive a program featuring so-called enhanced interrogations of terror suspects but repeatedly refused to condemn the practices as illegal or immoral.
- Haspel: CIA Won't Restart Detention, Interrogation Program Under Her Guidance Sputnik 09 May 2018 -- US Acting Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Gina Haspel said in testimony on Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the agency will not restart a detention and interrogation program if she is confirmed as director.
- No More 'Enhanced' Interrogation, CIA Nominee Pledges RFE/RL 09 May 2018 -- Gina Haspel, U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee for CIA director, has pledged she would never resume the spy agency's "enhanced interrogation techniques," often denounced as torture.
- US Dedicated Large Portion of Defense Intelligence to Look at Russia - Dunford Sputnik 09 May 2018 -- The United States has dedicated a large portion of its Defense Intelligence Agency to keep an eye on Russia, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said during a Senate hearing on Wednesday.
- Ex-CIA agent charged with spying for China Press TV 09 May 2018 -- A former CIA officer apprehended in January at New York's John F. Kennedy airport is now facing charges of conspiracy to commit espionage on behalf of China.
- Senate Intel Committee Releases Unclassified 1st Installment in Russia Report, Updated Recommendations on Election Security US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 08 May 2018 -- "Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and James Lankford (R-OK), members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the Committee’s unclassified summary of the first installment of the Committee’s Russia Report, including updated recommendations on election security and findings regarding Russian targeting of election infrastructure."
- Former CIA Case Officer Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Espionage and Retention of National Defense Information US Dept. of Justice 08 May 2018 -- The Justice Department announced today that Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, of Hong Kong, was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Virginia with one count of conspiracy to gather or deliver national defense information to aid a foreign government, and two counts of unlawfully retaining documents related to the national defense.
- Trump Nominee Haspel's CIA Past Divides US Senators VOA 08 May 2018 -- U.S. senators considering President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, current acting Director Gina Haspel, are divided between those who see involvement in the CIA's past detainee interrogation program as a disqualifying stain on her record and those willing to overlook or move past it.
- A Battle for the Soul of the CIA VOA 08 May 2018 -- Nearly two months after the Central Intelligence Agency launched an almost unprecedented public relations campaign to propel one of their own into the director's office, the architects of that plan will get to see how well or poorly it worked.
- Chinese-branded cellphones banned in Taiwan's military CNA 07 May 2018 -- Chinese-branded cellphones are absolutely banned on military bases throughout Taiwan, Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) said Monday.
- White House: CIA Acting Director is Best Woman for the Job VOA 07 May 2018 -- Two days before acting director Gina Haspel's confirmation hearing to run the Central Intelligence Agency, the White House is defending her as the best woman for the job.
- Trump defends CIA pick Gina Haspel despite role in torture program Press TV 07 May 2018 -- US President Donald Trump has defended his nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel, after she offered to withdraw amid questions over her role in the agency's torture program.
- Trump's nominee for CIA director once ran 'black site' prison Press TV 07 May 2018 -- US President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has reportedly sought to withdraw over her role in the agency's torture of detainees.
- CIA Must Release Records on Haspel Involvement in Torture Program - US Senators Sputnik 07 May 2018 -- The CIA should release all materials regarding the role Gina Haspel, agency's next director nominee, played in the torture program, US senators said in a letter on Monday.
- Trump CIA Pick Sought to Withdraw Over Interrogation Concerns - Reports Sputnik 07 May 2018 -- US President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel, tried to withdraw in order to avoid a fiery debate at a hearing on her role in the agency's notorious torture scandal.
- Trump administration hired Israeli intel firm to discredit ex-officials Iran nuclear deal: Report Press TV 06 May 2018 -- Aides to US President Donald Trump have reportedly hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to devise a "dirty ops" campaign against key Obama administration officials who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal in a scheme to discredit the agreement.
- Keeping it Local: Pentagon Bans Chinese Cell Phone Sales on Military Bases Sputnik 06 May 2018 -- On Wednesday, the US Defense Department announced that it would ban the sale of phones manufactured by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE on its military bases around the world over concerns that Beijing could hack into phones to obtain intelligence for the Chinese government.
- NSA collected over 530mn US call records in 2017: Report Press TV 04 May 2018 -- The US National Security Agency (NSA) collected over 530 million records of phone calls in 2017, more than triple gathered a year before, an intelligence agency report shows.
- US Spy Agency Triples Capture of Phone Records from Americans VOA 05 May 2018 -- The U.S. National Security Agency gathered more than 534 million records of telephone calls and text messages from Americans last year, more than three times the number collected in 2016, according to a new report.
- OPCW Spokesperson's Statement on Amount of Nerve Agent Used in Salisbury OPCW 04 May 2018 -- In response to questions from the media, the OPCW Spokesperson stated that the OPCW would not be able to estimate or determine the amount of the nerve agent that was used in Salisbury on 4 March 2018.
- Czech Government Says Nerve Agent Mentioned By Zeman Not Novichok RFE/RL 04 May 2018 -- The Czech-made nerve agent that President Milos Zeman described in a television interview as Novichok is of a different type than the toxin Britain says was used to poison a former spy, the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement on May 4.
- OPCW Unable to Determine Amount of Nerve Agent in Salisbury - Organization Sputnik 04 May 2018 -- The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons stated the nerve agent allegedly used in Salisbury for the Skripal poisoning was of high purity and resistant to weather conditions.
- OPCW Chief Says Large Dose of Nerve Agent Used in Salisbury – Reports Sputnik 04 May 2018 -- A large dose of toxin was used to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter in England, the head of the international chemical weapons watchdog told US media.
- Indian Court Reopens ISRO Espionage Case; Compensates Acquitted Scientist Sputnik 04 May 2018 -- Acquitted scientist Nambi Narayanan, in his autobiography, has pointed a finger at the US and Europe, claiming that the espionage case was produced out of thin air by the police at the behest of some foreign spies to derail India's collaboration with Russia in developing cryogenic rocket engines.
- US Mulls Restrictions on Chinese Telecom Equipment Over Spying Fears – Reports Sputnik 02 May 2018 -- The Trump administration is considering an executive order that would restrict import and use of Chinese made telecommunications systems in the United States, citing national security concerns, according to published reports on Wednesday.
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