January 2020 Intelligence News
- Airbus Agrees to Pay over $3.9 Billion in Global Penalties to Resolve Foreign Bribery and ITAR Case US Dept. of Justice 31 Jan 2020 -- Airbus SE (Airbus or the Company), a global provider of civilian and military aircraft based in France, has agreed to pay combined penalties of more than $3.9 billion to resolve foreign bribery charges with authorities in the United States, France and the United Kingdom arising out of the Company's scheme to use third-party business partners to bribe government officials, as well as non-governmental airline executives, around the world and to resolve the Company's violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and its implementing regulations, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), in the United States. This is the largest global foreign bribery resolution to date.
- United States Welcomes the EU's Acknowledgement of the Unacceptable Risks Posed by Untrusted 5G Suppliers US Dept. of State 30 Jan 2020 -- On January 29, the European Union (EU) Network Information Security Cooperation Group released a toolbox of recommended measures to mitigate security risks in 5G networks. The United States welcomes this initiative from Member States, the Commission, and the EU Cybersecurity Agency.
- U.S. Arrests Harvard Chemistry Professor For 'Making False Statements' About China Ties Radio Free Asia 29 Jan 2020 -- The head of Harvard University's chemistry and chemical biology department, Charles Lieber, has been charged with making false statements about funding he received from the Chinese government.
- U.S. Jet That Crashed In Afghanistan Was No Ordinary 'Spy Plane' RFE/RL 29 Jan 2020 -- When a U.S. Air Force jet crashed on January 27 on a remote plain south of Kabul, killing at least two crew members, it was initially described by the governor of Afghanistan's Ghazni Province as a civilian passenger plane.
- US Warns Information-Sharing at Risk as Britain Approves Huawei 5G Rollout VOA 29 Jan 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned that the United States will only pass information across what he termed "trusted networks" and criticized close ally Britain over its decision to allow the Chinese firm Huawei to build parts of the country's 5G mobile network.
- UK gives Huawei green light to help build 5G network Global Times 28 Jan 2020 -- The British government on Tuesday approved a restricted role for Huawei in building the country's 5G network.
- Boris Johnson approves limited role for Huawei Press TV 28 Jan 2020 -- As widely expected, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has agreed to allow the Chinese technology giant, Huawei, a limited role in the UK's 5G networks.
- Harvard University Professor and Two Chinese Nationals Charged in Three Separate China Related Cases US Dept. of Justice 28 Jan 2020 -- The Department of Justice announced today that the Chair of Harvard University's Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department and two Chinese nationals have been charged in connection with aiding the People's Republic of China.
- Russia Expels Japanese National Accused of Espionage - Foreign Ministry Sputnik 27 Jan 2020 -- Moscow previously stated that the man had been detained for trying to obtain classified data about Russian military resources.
- Two Israeli Civilians Arrested for Spying on Behalf of Hamas Sputnik 27 Jan 2020 -- Israeli authorities have charged two Palestinians with various security offenses after an investigation determined that both Israeli citizens were recruited by Hamas to gather intelligence for future terror attacks.
- Bulgaria Considers Expelling Two Russian Diplomats Over Espionage RFE/RL 24 Jan 2020 -- Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva says the government is likely to expel two unnamed Russian diplomats over spying allegations.
- Two Russian Diplomats Declared Persona Non Grata in Bulgaria - Embassy Sputnik 24 Jan 2020 -- Earlier in the day, Reuters reported that Bulgaria was likely to expel two Russian diplomats on suspicion of espionage.
- Bulgaria Charges Three Russians In Absentia Over Attempted Murders In 2015 RFE/RL 23 Jan 2020 -- Bulgarian prosecutors have charged three Russians in absentia for the attempted murder of a weapons manufacturer, his son, and the production manager of the company.
- Australia denies using Chinese spy case to influence Taiwan elections CNA 22 Jan 2020 -- The Australian representative office in Taipei said Tuesday that its government's disclosure of a case involving a self-confessed spy from China, who was seeking asylum in Canberra late last year, was not aimed at influencing Taiwan's general elections, as has been alleged.
- Swiss Police Suspect Russian 'Plumbers' Of Being Spies In Davos RFE/RL 22 Jan 2020 -- Police in Switzerland suspect a pair of Russians they probed five months ago in Davos were Russian intelligence agents, a detailed report by Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger said on January 21.
- Jailed U.K.-Australian Academic Says Iran Offered Her To Become A Spy RFE/RL 22 Jan 2020 -- A British-Australian woman jailed in Tehran on espionage charges said she rejected an offer from Iran to become a spy, according to letters she smuggled out of prison.
- NATO's Stoltenberg Boasts Alliance Now Has Drones Which Can Look Deep Into Russian Hinterland Sputnik 21 Jan 2020 -- US and NATO drones, fighters and bombers carry out reconnaissance and drills near Russian airspace off the Crimean Peninsula and over the Baltic coast on a regular basis, with Russian air defence force jets regularly scrambling to intercept foreign aircraft to prevent them from violating the country's airspace.
- Rep. Schiff: NSA, CIA probably have more evidence pertinant to impeachment Press TV 20 Jan 2020 -- US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has announced that federal law enforcement agencies might be withholding evidence pertinent to US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
- Ex-Army Interpreter Accused Of Spying For Iran Goes On Trial In Germany RFE/RL 20 Jan 2020 -- A trial for a German-Afghan national suspected of spying for Iranian intelligence is set to commence on January 20 in the city of Koblenz in Germany.
- U.K. PM Warns Putin Not To Repeat Chemical Attacks On Britain RFE/RL 19 Jan 2020 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Vladimir Putin in their first official meeting that Moscow must not repeat a chemical attack on Britain like the 2018 nerve agent attack in Salisbury against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
- NATO Secretary General visits Alliance Ground Surveillance aircraft in Italy NATO 17 Jan 2020 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the arrival of two Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) remotely piloted aircraft at a ceremony in Sigonella, Italy on Friday (17 January 2020). The Secretary General outlined the importance of the AGS system, which will enable commanders to identify threats and view conditions on the ground, in any weather. "One single drone can watch over a territory with the comparable size of Poland," he said.
- Statement by Director of Defense Intelligence Garry Reid DoD 17 Jan 2020 -- On January 13th of 2020, the attorney general announced the results of the Department of Justice investigation of the December 6th, 2019, attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola that resulted in the death of three U.S. service members and the wounding of eight other Americans. The evidence shows that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology, and the Department of Justice concluded that this was an act of terrorism.
- Pompeo Says U.S. Will Look Into Claims Former Ukraine Ambassador Was Followed RFE/RL 17 Jan 2020 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the State Department will investigate whether former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was in any danger while she was in Ukraine.
- Ukraine Launching Task Force to Investigate Alleged Surveillance of Former US Diplomat VOA 17 Jan 2020 -- The Interior Ministry of Ukraine tells VOA that a special task force involving U.S. and Ukrainian officials will be launched Monday to look into reports that the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine had been subjected to surveillance and threats in Ukraine.
- New Report: Trump Violated US Funding Law at Center of Impeachment Trial VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- U.S. President Donald Trump violated the country's spending law last year when he temporarily withheld $391 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine while at the same pressing Kyiv to launch investigations to benefit himself politically, a government watchdog agency concluded Thursday in a decision that is at the heart of the impeachment case against the U.S. leader.
- U.S. Government Watchdog Says Trump Administration Broke Law In Freezing Ukraine Aid RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- A nonpartisan U.S. Congressional watchdog says the administration of President Donald Trump violated federal law by withholding security assistance to Ukraine.
- Trump Terms Parnas Claims 'The Current Hoax' VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- President Donald Trump and members of his administration are disparaging claims by a former associate of his personal attorney that he was fully aware of pressure applied on Ukraine to launch an investigation of a political rival and thus potentially benefit Trump's re-election chances.
- Ukraine Opens Probes Into Possible Surveillance Of Former U.S. Envoy Yovanovitch RFE/RL 16 Jan 2020 -- Ukraine says it has launched two criminal investigations into the possible illegal surveillance of former U.S. ambassador to Kyiv Marie Yovanovitch before she was recalled from her post last year.
- US Intelligence Chiefs Could Scrap Annual Public Hearing VOA 16 Jan 2020 -- There is a chance that for the first time in years, the U.S. public may not hear directly from top intelligence officials about the biggest and most pressing threats facing the nation.
- President reassures public after Anti-infiltration Act takes effect CNA 15 Jan 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday attempted to reassure the public that the Anti-infiltration Act will not affect nationals who conduct legal exchanges with Chinese counterparts, after officially promulgating the act into law earlier in the day.
- Two Individuals Sentenced in Connection with Work on Behalf of Iran US Dept. of Justice 15 Jan 2020 -- Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 39, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 60, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, have been sentenced to prison terms of 38 months and 30 months, respectively, for their criminal convictions relating to their conduct conducting surveillance of and collecting identifying information about American citizens and U.S. nationals who are members of the group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).
- Democrats Release New Documents From Giuliani Associate Ahead Of Impeachment Trial RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Impeachment investigators at the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a trove of documents to a Congressional committee from Lev Parnas, a close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as potential new evidence in the pending Senate impeachment trial of Trump.
- Democrats release new documents on Trump impeachment trial Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Democrats in the US House of Representatives have released a trove of documents they obtained from a close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, which they plan to send to the Senate as part of their case to remove the Republican president from office.
- Albania Orders Expulsion Of Two Iranian Diplomats RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Albania has ordered the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats for activities "not in line with their status."
- Albania Expels Iranian Diplomats Amid Worsening Relations VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Albania said Wednesday it has ordered the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats and declared them "persona non grata."
- Germany Suspects Ex-EU Diplomat, Two Lobbyists of Spying for China - Reports Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- German Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank is investigating a former EU official from Germany and two employees of a major lobbying firm on suspicion of spying for China, the Spiegel newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing information at its disposal.
- Regulation, Transparency and Scrutiny Key to Countering China's Foreign Media Campaigns: Report Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- Policymakers in democratic nations should tighten broadcasting regulations, while increasing transparency and subjecting Chinese entities to greater scrutiny to counter the negative impact of Beijing's foreign media influence campaigns, a media watchdog said in a report Wednesday.
- China Threatens Human Rights Far Beyond Its Own Borders: Report Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- The Chinese government is a threat to human rights around the world, according to a new report from the New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW).
- Report: Russia Hacked Ukrainian Energy Firm Tied To Impeachment Inquiry RFE/RL 14 Jan 2020 -- Hackers from Russia's military intelligence unit, the GRU, have allegedly targeted a Ukrainian energy firm tied to the impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump.
- US Detains Two Chinese Nationals for Illegally Snapping Photos of US Naval Base Sputnik 08 Jan 2020 -- Two Chinese students attending school in the US appeared in federal court on Monday after being arrested over the weekend for illegally photographing areas of Naval Air Station Key West in Florida.
- Unredacted Emails Expose Pentagon Legal Concerns Over Ukraine Aid Freeze Sputnik 03 Jan 2020 -- Unredacted copies of email exchanges with the White House shine a light on Defence Department legal concerns over President Donald Trump's decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine, Justice Security reported.
- President Tsai Ing-wen Calls on Beijing to Treat Taiwan as a Sovereign State Radio Free Asia 01 Jan 2020 -- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday that the democratic island would only deal with China on an equal footing, and would continue to insist on its freedom, democracy and sovereignty in the face of a growing threat from Beijing.
- President defends Anti-infiltration Act in New Year's Day speech CNA 01 Jan 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) used her 2020 New Year's Day speech Wednesday to defend her decision to ram through legislation a day earlier that criminalizes political activities backed by China.
- US Army bans China's TikTok over security worries Press TV 01 Jan 2020 -- US Army soldiers have been banned from using the hugely popular short video app TikTok over a security threat, according to an Army spokeswoman.
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