January 2021 Intelligence News
- Chinese National Charged with Criminal Conspiracy to Export US Power Amplifiers to China US Dept. of Justice 29 Jan 2021 -- Avnet Asia Admits to Criminal Liability for the Conduct of Former Employees, and Agrees to Pay More Than $3.2 Million
- Ex-Saudi top intelligence agent accused in retributory countersuit of embezzling billions of dollars Press TV 28 Jan 2021 -- As fighting among former and present members of Saudi government intensifies, a number of Saudi state-owned companies sue Saad al-Jabri, the kingdom's former top intelligence officer, in a Canadian court, accusing him of embezzling billions of dollars.
- United States Trains Republic of Estonia to Identify and Respond to Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction for Assassination US Dept. of State 28 Jan 2021 -- This week, the United States conducted virtual training with partners from Estonia to help national security policy-makers, first responders, and scientific leaders counter, respond to, and investigate assassinations involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is part of a series of initiatives the Department of State plans to hold across Europe.
- Impact of Canadian Spy Case Resonates 10 Years Later VOA 28 Jan 2021 -- Ten years ago, a police raid occurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that would permanently change the way Canada deals with national security and intelligence â€” and send long-lasting ripples through its relations with major allies.
- U.S. Intelligence Analyst Given Stiff Prison Sentence For Trying To Pass Information To Russia RFE/RL 26 Jan 2021 -- A U.S. intelligence analyst has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison for kidnapping and stealing national-security materials with the intent of selling them to Russia.
- West Virginia Woman Sentenced for Willful Retention of Top Secret National Defense Information and International Parental Kidnapping US Dept. of Justice 25 Jan 2021 -- Elizabeth Jo Shirley, of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 97 months of incarceration for unlawfully retaining documents containing national defense information and 36 months of incarceration for international parental kidnapping.
- Biden Instructs Intelligence Agencies to Study Reports of 'Russian Hackers', US Soldier Bounties Sputnik 21 Jan 2021 -- The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden took place on January 20 and marks the start of the four-year term of Biden as the 46th president of the United States and Kamala Harris as vice president. Since being inaugurated, Biden has already signed a series of executive orders to undo US President Donald Trump's legacy.
- ODNI Welcomes Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence Director of National Intelligence 21 Jan 2021 -- Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines today took the oath of office to serve as the seventh DNI in our nation's history. Haines is the first woman to lead the U.S. Intelligence Community.
- US Senate Confirms Avril Haines as Biden's Director of National Intelligence Sputnik 20 Jan 2021 -- US President Joe Biden's new administration is expected to soon declassify and release key documents related to the 2018 murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by agents of the Saudi monarchy.
- Biden Intelligence Pick Promises Return of Speaking Truth to Power VOA 19 Jan 2021 -- The woman tapped to lead the United States intelligence agencies following four years under President Donald Trump is telling lawmakers her first task will be to restore trust, both with the American people and Washington's key allies.
- Political Scientist Author Charged With Acting As An Unregistered Agent Of The Iranian Government US Dept. of Justice 19 Jan 2021 -- A criminal complaint was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, also known as Lotfolah Kaveh Afrasiabi, with acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
- U.S. Arrests Iranian Political Scientist Accused Of Being Government Agent RFE/RL 19 Jan 2021 -- The U.S. Justice Department has filed charges against an Iranian political scientist accused of being an agent for Iran's government.
- Russia expels two Dutch diplomats in tit-for-tat move Press TV 18 Jan 2021 -- Russia has decided to expel two Dutch diplomats from the country in a tit-for-tat move after the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from the Netherlands on espionage charges last month.
- In Tit-For-Tat Move, Russia Expels Two Dutch Diplomats RFE/RL 18 Jan 2021 -- The Russian Foreign Ministry has expelled two Dutch diplomats in a tit-for-tat move after the expulsion for espionage of two Russian diplomats from The Hague last month.
- Russia Expels Two Dutch Embassy Staffers Sputnik 18 Jan 2021 -- In December 2020, the Russian Embassy in The Hague promised to retaliate after the Dutch Foreign Ministry had declared two employees of the Russian diplomatic mission personae non grata for alleged "activities incompatible with their diplomatic status".
- Trump installs loyalist at top post in US National Security Agency Press TV 18 Jan 2021 -- US President Donald Trump has installed a former GOP operative and loyalist as the top lawyer at the National Security Agency (NSA).
- Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the National Security Presidential Memorandum on Research and Development Security The White House 14 Jan 2021 -- Today, President Trump signed a National Security Presidential Memorandum on Securing United States Government-Supported Research and Development. This Presidential action strengthens the protections of United States Government-supported research and development (R&D) against foreign government interference and exploitation.
- MIT Professor Arrested for Not Disclosing China Ties VOA 14 Jan 2021 -- U.S. authorities have arrested and charged an MIT professor with accepting foreign money, much of it from China, and not disclosing it.
- Senior NASA Scientist Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements Related To Chinese Thousand Talents Program Participation And Professorship DOJ - USAG SDNY 13 Jan 2021 -- Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York ("USAO"), William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), and Mark J. Zielinski, Special Agent in Charge of the Eastern Field Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Office of Inspector General ("NASA OIG"), announced that MEYYA MEYYAPPAN, a senior NASA scientist, pled guilty today to making false statements to the FBI, NASA OIG, and the USAO. MEYYAPPAN pled guilty in Manhattan federal court before U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.
- U.S. Imposes Sanctions On Ukrainians Accused Of Meddling In 2020 Presidential Vote RFE/RL 11 Jan 2021 -- The United States says it has imposed sanctions on seven Ukrainians and four Ukrainian entities for attempting to interfere in the November U.S. presidential election.
- Sanctioning Russia-linked Disinformation Network for its Involvement in Attempts to Influence U.S. Election US Dept. of State 11 Jan 2021 -- Today, the United States is imposing sanctions on seven individuals and four entities that are part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach, who was designated on September 10, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13848 for his attempt to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.
- Treasury Takes Further Action Against Russian-linked Actors US Treasury 11 Jan 2021 -- Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took additional action against seven individuals and four entities that are part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach. Russian agent Derkach was designated on September 10, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13848, for his attempt to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
- US Treasury Sanctions Alleged Russian Disinformation Network VOA 11 Jan 2021 -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced sanctions Monday against associates and entities affiliated with Ukrainian politician Andrii Derkach, who they say operates a Russian-backed foreign influence network that attempted to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
- Swedish Court Hands Lengthy Prison Terms To Attackers Of Chechen Blogger RFE/RL 11 Jan 2021 -- A court in Sweden has sentenced two Russian citizens from Chechnya to lengthy prison terms for their roles in last year's attempted killing of Tumso Abdurakhmanov, an exiled Chechen blogger and outspoken critic of the North Caucasus region's Moscow-backed leader.
- Biden Chooses Former U.S. Ambassador To Russia William Burns As CIA Director RFE/RL 11 Jan 2021 -- U.S. President-elect Joe Biden says he has chosen veteran diplomat William Burns, who once served as ambassador to Russia, to be the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
- Biden to Tap Veteran Diplomat William Burns as CIA Chief VOA 11 Jan 2021 -- U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is taking another step in his effort to revamp the country's intelligence agencies, announcing Monday he will nominate career diplomat William Burns to be his director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
- Facebook Shuts Down Accounts Linked to Ugandan Information Ministry VOA 11 Jan 2021 -- Facebook has shut down several accounts of a network in Uganda linked to the country's Ministry of Information. The social media company accused the network of using fake accounts to promote the ruling party and the president.
- 'There's A Room Under The Stairs': Russia's FSB Sets Up Resident Agents At Research Institutes RFE/RL 10 Jan 2021 -- On December 29, the Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences held its annual New Year's gathering for researchers and other employees. The institute's director and his deputy duly greeted the crowd with traditional seasonal speeches and well-wishes.
- US Intel community expands with Space Force unit Press TV 10 Jan 2021 -- The US intelligence apparatus has further expanded with the addition of the newly established US Space Force in its bid to improve American dominance in space, referred to by US President Donald Trump as the "world's new war-fighting domain."
- DNI Ratcliffe Welcomes U.S. Space Force as 18th Intelligence Community Member Director of National Intelligence 08 Jan 2021 -- Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe today welcomed the U.S. Space Force (USSF) as the 18th member of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).
- USSF Becomes 18th Member of Intel Community DoD 08 Jan 2021 -- Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe today welcomed the U.S. Space Force (USSF) as the 18th member of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).
- Retired Indian Serviceman Arrested for Sharing Classified Information With Pakistan Intelligence Sputnik 08 Jan 2021 -- Due to medical reasons, the accused soldier was discharged from the Indian Army in June 2020 but he continued to spy for Pakistani authorities.
- British Judge Denies Bail to WikiLeaks' Founder Assange VOA 06 Jan 2021 -- A British judge has rejected a request to release WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange on bail, ordering him to remain incarcerated while British courts determine whether he should face espionage charges in the United States.
- British Judge Denies Bail To Assange As U.S. Appeals Decision Blocking Extradition RFE/RL Gandhara 06 Jan 2021 -- A British judge has denied bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange two days after she rejected an extradition request by the United States to face charges over the publication of secret U.S. military documents.
- Julian Assange denied bail by the Old Bailey Press TV 06 Jan 2021 -- Barely two days after his extradition to the US was blocked on health grounds, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail by the Old Bailey in London.
- UK Judge Denies Bail for Julian Assange During US Extradition Appeal Sputnik 06 Jan 2021 -- Judge Baraitser has repeatedly refused to grant the WikiLeaks publisher bail, declined to intervene with prison authorities to improve Assange's access to his legal team and case files, and failed to address his alleged mistreatment at the hands of prison officials.
- UN human rights expert 'cautiously' welcomes UK court's refusal to extradite Julian Assange UN News 05 Jan 2021 -- An independent UN human rights expert has welcomed a British court's refusal to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States on the basis that he would be exposed to oppressive conditions of imprisonment.
- Experts: Report of China Hacking African Union HQ Fits Larger Pattern VOA 05 Jan 2021 -- A recent report that Chinese hackers secretly redirected surveillance footage from the African Union headquarters so it could be viewed abroad is part of a larger pattern by Chinese networks to electronically infiltrate key communication channels in Africa, experts say.
- Britain Refuses to Extradite 'Suicidal' WikiLeaks Founder to US VOA 04 Jan 2021 -- A British judge has ruled that Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, cannot be extradited to the United States because of the risk he could commit suicide in U.S. detention.
- British Judge Rules WikiLeaks Founder Assange Can't Be Extradited To U.S. RFE/RL Gandhara 04 Jan 2021 -- A British judge has rejected a U.S. request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face charges over the publication of secret U.S. military documents because of concerns over his mental health.
- UK court blocks Assange extradition to US, citing 'suicide fears' Press TV 04 Jan 2021 -- The founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States to face trial for espionage charges, according to a UK judge.
- UK Court Ruling Against Assange's Extradition Victory for All Journalists, Lawyer Says Sputnik 04 Jan 2021 -- The decision of a UK court to block WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition to the United States is a victory for all journalists, the whistleblower's Ecuadorean lawyer, Carlos Poveda, told Sputnik on Monday.
- The Curious Case Of Bishkek's $1 Million Deal With Ex-Israeli Intelligence Worker RFE/RL 04 Jan 2021 -- Confusion and intrigue have reigned in Kyrgyzstan since compromised parliamentary elections on October 4, 2020, sparked street protests that brought down the government and forced the president of the Central Asian country to resign.
- President Donald J. Trump to Award the Medal of Freedom to Devin Nunes The White House 04 Jan 2021
- The Telegram App Gives Voice To The Oppressed In Belarus And Russia. But Hate Groups Are Using It Too. RFE/RL 01 Jan 2021 -- In a year marked by tightened restrictions and unrest, Telegram sent a clear message to authoritarian governments who tried to keep it quiet in 2020. But as the app, which has earned a reputation as a free-speech platform, looks to spread the word in Iran and China, its popularity among messengers of violence and hate remains a concern.
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