Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
A secret Russian assassination squad can reportedly 'get to anyone' in Europe. It's also really sloppy about it
Revelations of an alleged Russian intelligence operation to murder opponents and spread chaos across the European Union were met with a mix of wonder and derision in the intelligence community. Russia's decision to return to formalized violent operations in the West has "proven they can get to anyone," a source told Insider. But in many cases, the Russians' sloppy tradecraft has meant their "secret" operations are almost immediately noticed.
Two current European intelligence officials described the scoop by the New York Times about a unit of Russian military intelligence, commonly called the GRU, tasked with murdering Russia's enemies in Europe and helping sow political and military chaos, as "credible." It's "confirmation of something we have long suspected: There is a plan," one told Insider.
The New York Times piece, which ran Tuesday, used a mix of open-source documentation and intelligence gathered across Europe in the wake of half a dozen killings to determine that many of the international incidents involving Russia involve "Unit 29155" of the GRU, a previously unknown unit. It appears to be specifically tasked with irregular operations directed at Europe, including a failed coup in Montenegro and the attempted poisonings of an arms dealer in Bulgaria and a GRU defector in Salisbury, England.
The US reportedly pulled a top spy out of Russia after Trump revealed classified information to the Russians in an Oval Office meeting
A person directly involved with the discussions told the outlet the U.S. was concerned that Trump and his administration routinely mishandled classified intelligence and that their actions could expose the covert source as a spy within the Russian government.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran announced on Monday it had captured 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sentenced some of them to death, deepening a crisis between the Islamic Republic and the West.
Iranian state television published images that it said showed the CIA officers who had been in touch with the suspected spies.
In a statement read on state television, the Ministry of Intelligence said 17 spies had been arrested in the 12 months to March 2019. Some have been sentenced to death, according to another report.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department unveiled 17 new criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information.
The superseding indictment comes a little more than a month after the Justice Department unsealed a narrower criminal case against Assange.
Trump issues executive order banning Chinese tech company in US markets amid concerns of sabotage and espionage
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump issued an executive order Wednesday giving his administration sweeping powers to block Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. and other foreign communications firms from doing business in the United States — a long-anticipated move he had postponed while Washington and Beijing were in intense trade negotiations.
The White House said the president was taking the action to "protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States."
Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and source for online publisher WikiLeaks, could be jailed again if she refuses to comply with a new grand jury subpoena, said a U.S. law enforcement source, as well as Manning herself.
After 62 days in prison, Manning was released last Thursday. She had been locked up for refusing to comply with a grand jury subpoena for testimony in an investigation into WikiLeaks by U.S. prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia.