October 2019 Intelligence News
- Facebook Moves to Curb Russian Interference in African Politics VOA 31 Oct 2019 -- This week's takedown of Facebook and Instagram accounts that were used to interfere with African political affairs has provided new insight into the extent to which a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaged in the continent, analysts say.
- Lebanon arrests Canadian-Lebanese dual citizen over spying for Israel Press TV 30 Oct 2019 -- Lebanese intelligence forces have arrested a Lebanese-Canadian dual national on charges of spying for Israel's Mossad spy agency through gathering intelligence about army forces.
- Facebook Says Russian Disinformation Campaigns Targeted Africa RFE/RL 30 Oct 2019 -- Facebook says it has taken down three networks of nearly 200 accounts that attempted to interfere in the domestic affairs of eight African countries, and were linked to a Kremlin-connected businessman accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
- Facebook Deletes 35 Accounts, 53 Pages and 5 Instagram Accounts Made in Russia and Targeting Africa Sputnik 30 Oct 2019 -- US social networking giant Facebook announced earlier in October that it was working to make its pages more transparent by showing the confirmed owners of social media accounts, labelling state-controlled media information and making it easier for users to distinguish political advertisements.
- Facebook Removes 3 Russian Networks It Says Engaged in Foreign Interference in Africa VOA 30 Oct 2019 -- Less than a week after the Africa-Russia Summit, Facebook has suspended three networks of Russian accounts it says were engaging in foreign interference in Africa.
- Bulgaria Declines Visa For Incoming Russian Defense Attache After Expelling Envoy For Spying RFE/RL 30 Oct 2019 -- Bulgaria has denied a long-term visa to the incoming Russian defense attache on October 30, a day after expelling a Russian diplomat on suspicion of espionage.
- Four Chairs Statement on Resolution for Open Hearings on Trump's Abuse of Power HPSCI 29 Oct 2019 -- Today, Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the Acting Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement
- Army engineering center tests new unmanned aircraft system Army News 29 Oct 2019 -- The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center's newly acquired unmanned aircraft system took to the skies for its first formal set of survey flights Oct. 1.
- Bulgaria Gives Russian Diplomat Suspected Of Espionage 24 Hours To Leave RFE/RL 29 Oct 2019 -- The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has given a Russian diplomat accused of espionage 24 hours to leave the country after learning that its request to Moscow to recall him by October 28 had not been fulfilled.
- Russian Diplomat Leaves Bulgaria Amid Spying Accusations RFE/RL 28 Oct 2019 -- A Russian diplomat has left Bulgaria after the Eastern European country's prosecutor launched an investigation into potential spying operations.
- From Stasi To Bellingcat: Former East German Agent Turns Investigative Reporter RFE/RL 28 Oct 2019 -- Bellingcat researcher Timmi Allen zooms in on Google Earth to a Berlin police station where he once worked for East Germany's feared secret police -- the Stasi.
- Convicted Russian Agent Butina Arrives In Moscow After Release From U.S. Prison RFE/RL 26 Oct 2019 -- Convicted Russian agent Maria Butina has arrived in Moscow, a day after she was released from a U.S. prison where she was being held on charges of acting as an unregistered foreign agent in the United States.
- 'Russian Agent' Maria Butina Heads Home VOA 26 Oct 2019 -- For some she was the spy who wasn't - just an eager Russian gun-rights enthusiast keen to improve relations between Russia and America, who was turned into a scapegoat by vengeful U.S. counterintelligence agencies.
- Lavrov Says Decision To Come 'Soon' On Pardon For Norwegian Convicted Of Spying RFE/RL 26 Oct 2019 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says a decision "will come soon" on whether to pardon a Norwegian man convicted of espionage and sentenced in April to 14 years in prison.
- Gabbard says 'fully committed to serve' as US president Press TV 25 Oct 2019 -- US Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic White House contender, has announced that she is "fully committed to my offer to serve" as president of the United States and said that she will not seek reelection to Congress.
- West's hacking allegations aimed at 'driving a wedge' between Iran, Russia: Moscow Press TV 25 Oct 2019 -- Russia has dismissed a report by Western media this week that Russian hackers had used Iranian computer infrastructure to attack dozens of countries across the world.
- Convicted Russian Agent Butina Released From U.S. Prison, To Be Deported RFE/RL 25 Oct 2019 -- Maria Butina, the Russian gun-rights activist convicted in the United States for acting as an unregistered foreign agent, was released after serving more than 15 months in a Florida prison and is expected to be immediately deported to Russia.
- Foreign Intelligence Service Curbing Attempts to Drop Russian Role in Global Affairs - Head Sputnik 25 Oct 2019 -- The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is counteracting foreign attempts to diminish Russia's role in the international arena as well as attempts to undermine its stability and economy, SVR head Sergey Naryshkin told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper.
- Department of Defense Releases 2019 Military Intelligence Program Budget DoD 24 Oct 2019 -- The Department of Defense released today the Military Intelligence Program (MIP) appropriated top line budget for FY 2019. The total MIP budget, which included both the base budget and Overseas Contingency Operations appropriations, was $21.5 billion and is aligned to support the National Defense Strategy.
- Text of a Letter to Certain Congressional Committees Regarding a Strategy to Counter Malign Foreign Influence Operations and Campaigns The White House 23 Oct 2019
- Facebook Suspends Russian Instagram Accounts Targeting U.S. Voters RFE/RL 21 Oct 2019 -- Facebook says it has suspended a series of Instagram accounts originating in Russia whose operators posed as people inside the United States that targeted Americans with divisive political messages ahead of next year's presidential election.
- Facebook Unveils Policies to Protect 2020 US Elections VOA 21 Oct 2019 -- Facebook on Monday said it will apply lessons learned from America's 2016 election to prevent manipulation of its platforms in the 2020 presidential contest.
- Czech Intel Chief Says Russian Spy Network Was Meant For Cyberattacks RFE/RL 21 Oct 2019 -- The head of the Czech counterintelligence service says a Russian espionage network that his agency dismantled last year was meant to be used for cyberattacks against the Czech Republic and its foreign allies.
- Russian Hackers Hijacked Iranian Group To Hide While Launching Attacks RFE/RL 21 Oct 2019 -- British and U.S. intelligence agencies say Russian hackers hijacked Iran-based cyberspy groups to attack dozens of countries and organizations while pretending to be Iranian.
- Estonia To Consider Early Release of Ex-Defense Official Who Spied For Russia RFE/RL 20 Oct 2019 -- A former high-ranking Estonian defense official convicted of spying for Russia may be released early from prison when a court on October 29 is expected to rule on the matter.
- Clinton under attack from Stein, Gabbard, Trump over her 2020 stance Press TV 19 Oct 2019 -- Former 2016 Green Party presidential Jill Stein has lashed out at Hillary Clinton for suggesting that she is a foreign spy.
- Hillary Clinton Suggests Democratic Candidate Is 'Favorite Of The Russians' RFE/RL 19 Oct 2019 -- Democrat Hillary Clinton, who lost the presidential election to Donald Trump in 2016, suggested that Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is "the favorite of the Russians" and described 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein as "a Russian asset."
- "Russian Agent" Gabbard Urges "Queen of Warmongers" Clinton to Face Off With Her Directly in 2020 Sputnik 19 Oct 2019 -- Earlier, two-time Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton intimated that 2020 Democratic contender Tulsi Gabbard and former Green Party candidate Jill Stein were "Russian assets."
- UAE intel. firm recruiting Israeli military's cyber agents with lavish salaries: Reports Press TV 19 Oct 2019 -- Israeli media reports say an Emirati cyber security company has been recruiting graduates of the Israeli military's cyber unit, offering them lavish salaries and properties.
- 'Queen of Warmongers': Tulsi Gabbard Slams Hillary Clinton Over Russian 'Grooming' Claims Sputnik 19 Oct 2019 -- Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard fired back at 2016 failed presidential contender Hillary Clinton on Friday, hours after news surfaced that Clinton had implied that Russians were "grooming" the Hawaii representative ahead of the 2020 election.
- Chinese National Sentenced to 40 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Illegally Export Military- and Space-Grade Technology from the United States to China US Dept. of Justice 18 Oct 2019 -- On October 16, 2019, United States District Judge Diane J. Humetewa sentenced Tao Li, a 39-year-old Chinese national, to 40 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Li had previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to export military- and space-grade technology to the People's Republic of China without a license in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
- Chinese National Given 3-Year Prison Sentence For Exporting US Military Tech Sputnik 18 Oct 2019 -- Chinese national Tao Li, 39, was sentenced to 40 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on October 16 by a US judge for conspiring to illegally export military and space-grade technology to China without a license, which is a violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
- Clinton Calls Gabbard a Russian Manchurian Candidate as Tulsi Slams DNC, Media Over Debate 'Rigging' Sputnik 18 Oct 2019 -- Earlier, the Hawaii congresswoman accused CNN and the New York Times of "despicable" attempts to "smear" her over her opposition to what she described as the US's "regime-change war" in Syria.
- Australian Spying Agency Demands More Money, Canberra Quickly Promises 'Unprecedented Funding' Sputnik 17 Oct 2019 -- His promise comes a mere day after ASIO revealed in an annual report an "increasing gap between demand for our counter-espionage and foreign interference advice and our ability to furnish this assistance".
- US Has Recently Assisted Foiling Terror Attacks in Russia by Providing Info - Russia's FSB Sputnik 17 Oct 2019 -- The United States has recently shared with Moscow information about terrorist attacks being prepared in Russia, thus helping to thwart them, the head of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, said on Thursday.
- FM urges US to withdraw restrictions on Chinese diplomats Global Times 17 Oct 2019 -- China's Foreign Ministry urged the US on Thursday to withdraw the "erroneous" meeting restrictions against Chinese diplomats and denied that China had similar requirements for US diplomats and consular officers.
- Russia Protests After U.S. Diplomats Found Near Restricted Area RFE/RL 17 Oct 2019 -- Russia's Foreign Ministry says it will issue a formal note of protest to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow after Russian authorities caught three U.S. diplomats in a restricted area near a secret test site in northern Russia, state-run news agency TASS has reported.
- US Diplomats Were Not Detained in Severodvinsk - Russian Foreign Ministry Sputnik 17 Oct 2019 -- Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme said Thursday he was concerned that big NATO partners looked elsewhere as cooperation within the alliance came to a standstill.
- Chinese Officials Must Notify State Department Before Meetings in US VOA 16 Oct 2019 -- The United States is requiring all Chinese diplomats in the country and Chinese officials traveling to the U.S. on official business to give the State Department advance notice of meetings with local, state and federal officials, as well as educational and research institutions.
- Three U.S. Diplomats Taken Off Train, Briefly Detained Near Sensitive Russian Site RFE/RL 16 Oct 2019 -- Three U.S. diplomats have been removed from a train and briefly questioned by Russian authorities in the sensitive Arctic shipyard city of Severodvinsk, near the site of a mysterious explosion in August that killed five nuclear workers.
- US Embassy Says Diplomats Accused of Violating Rules of Stay in Russia Filled Out Required Papers Sputnik 16 Oct 2019 -- Earlier, three employees of the US Embassy in Russia were removed from a train at the Severodvinsk station in Russia's Arkhangelsk region after allegedly attempting to enter a restricted area without permission.
- State Dept: US Will Require Chinese Diplomats to Report Contacts With American Officials, Educators Sputnik 16 Oct 2019 -- US State Department officials stated on Wednesday that moving forward, Chinese diplomats will have to give advance notice of any meetings with state, local and municipal officials, including those with research and educational institutions.
- US Drops Turkey From Anti-Daesh Intel Sharing Programme Amid Ankara's Syria Op – Report Sputnik 16 Oct 2019 -- Testy US-Turkish relations sunk to a new low last week after Ankara launched a military operation in northern Syria, with Washington and its European partners criticising the attack on their erstwhile Syrian Kurdish allies, with Ankara vowing that nothing would stop its operations to shore up the security of its southern borders.
- 4th Man Arrested in Probe of Giuliani Associates VOA 16 Oct 2019 -- A fourth person has been arrested in connection with federal campaign finance cases involving associates of President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
- Russian Court Cuts Prison Term Of Ukrainian Jailed For Spying RFE/RL 15 Oct 2019 -- The Russian Supreme Court has cut the prison term of a Ukrainian man who had been sentenced in Russian-occupied Crimea on espionage charges.
- Mossad chief admits to having 'prestigious' assassination list Press TV 14 Oct 2019 -- Yossi Cohen, who is the director of the Israeli spy agency Mossad, has acknowledged having a "prestigious" assassination list at his disposal, claiming that targeting foreign influential figures, including Iran's Major General Qassem Soleimani, is "not impossible."
- Security Researchers Find Android Backdoor in Xi Jinping Thought Study App Radio Free Asia 14 Oct 2019 -- A patriotic app promoted by the Chinese Communist Party as a tool for ideological education contains a security backdoor enabling remote access to Android smartphones, security researchers have found.
- Russian Wedding Photos Highlight Novichok Suspect's Security Ties RFE/RL 14 Oct 2019
- Air Force integrates missions, strengthens information warfare capabilities US Air Force 11 Oct 2019 -- In March 2019, Air Force leaders decided to create a new information warfare numbered air force with enhanced missions and capabilities.
- US Federal Judge Releases Giuliani Associates Parnas, Fruman on Bond, Hearing Set For 17 October Sputnik 10 Oct 2019 -- Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman - who reportedly helped US President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's alleged involvement in Ukraine - were arrested at Dulles airport on charges of violating US campaign funding laws as the two tried to board a flight out of the US using one-way tickets.
- Lev Parnas And Igor Fruman Charged With Conspiring To Violate Straw And Foreign Donor Bans DoJ - US Attorney - Southern District of New York 10 Oct 2019 -- Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced that LEV PARNAS, IGOR FRUMAN, DAVID CORREIA and ANDREY KUKUSHKIN were charged in a four-count indictment alleging that each of the defendants conspired to violate the ban on foreign donations and contributions in connection with federal and state elections. In addition, PARNAS and FRUMAN were charged with conspiring to make contributions in connection with federal elections in the names of others, and with making false statements to and falsifying records to obstruct the administration of a matter within the jurisdiction of the Federal Election Commission ("FEC").
- Two Soviet-Born Men Linked To Giuliani Arrested For Campaign-Finance Violations RFE/RL 10 Oct 2019 -- Two businessmen from the former Soviet Union have been arrested for allegedly breaking U.S. campaign finance laws.
- 2 Giuliani Associates Arrested for Campaign Finance Fraud VOA 10 Oct 2019 -- Two associates of President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, have been arrested on federal charges of making hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions to Republican campaigns, including a pro-Trump super political action committee (PAC).
- Russian Court Jails 72-Year-Old For 12 Years In Treason Case RFE/RL 10 Oct 2019 -- A court in southwestern Russia has sentenced a 72-year-old pensioner to 12 years in a high-security penal colony for high treason.
- US counter-terror analyst arrested for leaking classified information Press TV 10 Oct 2019 -- A counter-terrorism analyst at the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has been arrested for allegedly leaking top secret information to two journalists, according to the US Justice Department.
- Defense Intelligence Agency Employee Arrested for Leaking Classified Information to Journalists US Dept. of Justice 09 Oct 2019 -- An employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was arrested today on charges related to his alleged disclosure of classified national defense information (NDI) to two journalists in 2018 and 2019.
- NY Times Reports Western Security Officials Believe Secret Russian Unit Responsible For Attacks In Europe RFE/RL 09 Oct 2019 -- Western security officials have identified a secret Russian intelligence unit that has tried to carry out assassinations and destabilization operations in foreign countries, according to The New York Times.
- Ukraine Spy Agency Says Extracted 'Witness' Of Russian Army Presence In Donbas RFE/RL 08 Oct 2019 -- Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) says it extracted a witness of Russia's military presence in the separatist-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine from the city of Sorokyne (formerly Krasnodon) in the Luhansk region into government-controlled territory.
- Senate Intel Committee Releases Bipartisan Report on Russia's Use of Social Media Senator Mark Warner 08 Oct 2019 -- "Today, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) released a new report titled, "Russia's Use of Social Media." It is the second volume released in the Committee's bipartisan investigation into Russia's attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election."
- U.S. Senate Panel Blasts Russian Election Meddling, Efforts To 'Sow Discord' RFE/RL 08 Oct 2019 -- A bipartisan U.S. Senate report on Russia's use of social media has determined that a Kremlin-backed "troll farm" sought to boost the campaign of Donald Trump and hurt rival Hilary Clinton, largely backing up the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community.
- US Senate Panel Report Calls for Plan to Prevent Meddling in 2020 Presidential Election VOA 08 Oct 2019 -- The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has issued a bipartisan report that calls on the U.S. government and private industry to prevent social media sites from being used to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, as they were in 2016.
- FISA Court Secretly Ruled That FBI Violated Rights of Thousands of Americans - Reports Sputnik 09 Oct 2019 -- The FBI violated the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of US citizens, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) ruled in 2018 but its finding was kept in secret, US media reported.
- Second Whistleblower Comes Forward in Trump-Ukraine Scandal VOA 06 Oct 2019 -- A second U.S. intelligence whistleblower has come forward with concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump's July telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
- Trump told May he doubted Russia was involved in Skripal case Press TV 06 Oct 2019 -- US President Donald Trump reportedly told former British Prime Minister Theresa May he was doubtful whether Russia was behind the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England.
- Trump orders significant NSC staff cut Press TV 05 Oct 2019 -- US President Donald Trump has ordered a significant staff cut in the National Security Council (NSC) as an imminent impeachment looms on the horizon.
- Second Defendant Arrested in Case Alleging Theft of Trade Secrets from American Aviation Company US Dept. of Justice 04 Oct 2019 -- Indictment unsealed today charges Russian and Italian nationals
- Second Suspect Arrested In U.S. Probe Into Russian-Led Theft Of Aviation Secrets RFE/RL 04 Oct 2019 -- A second suspect has been arrested as part of a U.S. criminal case alleging that a Russian defense executive attempted to steal trade secrets from the aviation unit of General Electric.
- Belarus Pardons Ukrainian Man After Kyiv Releases Belarusian 'Spy' RFE/RL 04 Oct 2019 -- Belarus has pardoned a Ukrainian man sentenced to 8 years in prison on espionage charges a day after Ukrainian authorities released on his own recognizance a Belarusian citizen also charged with spying.
- U.S. And UK Sign Landmark Cross-Border Data Access Agreement to Combat Criminals and Terrorists Online US Dept. of Justice 03 Oct 2019 -- The United States and the United Kingdom entered into the world's first ever CLOUD Act Agreement that will allow American and British law enforcement agencies, with appropriate authorization, to demand electronic data regarding serious crime, including terrorism, child sexual abuse, and cybercrime, directly from tech companies based in the other country, without legal barriers.
- Attorney General Barr Signs Letter to Facebook From US, UK, and Australian Leaders Regarding Use of End-To-End Encryption US Dept. of Justice 03 Oct 2019 -- The Department of Justice today published an open letter to Facebook from international law enforcement partners from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia in response to the company's publicly announced plans to implement end-to-end-encryption across its messaging services.
- Legislative committee clears bill to allow life sentence for espionage CNA 03 Oct 2019 -- An amendment bill that would increase the maximum penalty for espionage to a life sentence cleared the committee stage in the Legislature on Wednesday.
- US, UK Sign Electronic Data-Sharing Pact Under Controversial Law VOA 03 Oct 2019 -- The United States and the U.K. on Thursday signed an agreement, under a controversial new U.S. law, that will allow law enforcement agencies in the two countries to demand electronic data from tech companies for use in criminal and counterterrorism investigations.
- Iran Convicts Four Individuals of Spying for US, UK, Sentences One to Death Sputnik 02 Oct 2019 -- An Islamic Revolutionary Court in Iran has sentenced three individuals to prison and another to death after finding them guilty of spying for or aiding federal intelligence groups of the US and UK.
- National Background Investigations Bureau Transferred to Department of Defense DoD 01 Oct 2019 -- Today, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) successfully completed the transfer of the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) from OPM to the DoD's Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA).
- New Agency Provides Personnel Vetting, Technology Protection DoD News 01 Oct 2019 -- Officials unfurled the flag of the new Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency yesterday during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, one day before the agency officially opened for business.
- Iran hands death sentence, jail terms to US, UK spies: Judiciary spokesman Press TV 01 Oct 2019 -- Iran's Judiciary says a person has been handed a death sentence after being convicted of spying for the United States, while two others have been given jail terms on the same conviction.
- Iran Sentences Man to Death for Spying for the CIA VOA 01 Oct 2019 -- Iran's judiciary says it has sentenced a man to death for spying for the CIA, amid rising tensions between Tehran and the U.S.
- Chinese-American accused by US of spying for Beijing Press TV 01 Oct 2019 -- A naturalized US citizen of Chinese descent working as a tour guide near San Francisco, California, has been charged by US officials of being an agent of the Chinese government and providing China with classified US national security information.
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