Single Issue 057

SKU: ES-057 £4.45
Published 28 August 2008

Editor's Brief Notes:

We live in a time when security and protecting intelligence from an adversary is vital. What with Chinese hackers utilising the Internet to good effect, the Russians once again snooping all over London, and Chinese spies "lifting" whole boxes of new technologies from America, you would have thought that one of the world's most important defence organisations had procedures in place to ensure the safety of its own information? Perhaps not.

In the last four years an astonishing 659 Ministry of Defence laptop computers have been lost, stolen or mislaid. On top of that, 121 USB memory sticks have also disappeared. Some of the information is classified top secret. And while officials say most of the machines are encrypted, others are not. Several intelligence agencies are also guilty of losing such pieces of equipment. We have seen secret files laying in the road showing the best places to blow-up airliners flying into Heathrow; laptop computers (unencrypted) stolen from Royal Navy officials that have the name, address, birth date, National Insurance numbers and passport details of over half-a-million men and women who have expressed an interest in joining the services. And then in June, blundering senior officials from the important Joint Intelligence Committee decide to take secret files out of secure locations and them leave them on two trains incoming and outgoing from Waterloo Station. It just so happens that the material in one file related to the UK's plans to tackle al-Qaida in Iraq and elsewhere. Both files were handed to the media ensuring the errors could not be concealed. "The Chinese and Russians don't need to spy, just catch a train," said one politician.

Seriously though, the loss figure is alarming and reflects some pretty shoddy security procedures. The figures relate to one computer or accessory vanishing about every two days. It is inconceivable not to believe some of these machines have fallen into the hands of the Chinese, Russians or other countries. And despite the fact that ministers say the encrypted computers are secure, if a major spy agency wants to break into them, they can.

With computers in mind, Eye Spy's Kevin Coleman, one of the world's leading experts on advanced cyber warfare and computer security, has written a thought-provoking article on the "evolving architecture of advanced cyber weapons". Coleman warns that cyber weapons can now be likened to a missile. How so? Cyber weapons have a delivery system, can be navigated and all carry a deadly payload. Henceforth if one of these gets through to a government mainframe, it could make the MOD losses look like a lost golf ball.

There are other exceptional features in this edition of Eye Spy. Ever wondered what goes through the mind of a hostage? Simon Atkinson, a former military intelligence officer begins his new series 'Intelligence Insight'. In the first feature he provides a unique insight into hostage taking, plus the procedures and methodology that have been constructed by the world's leading hostage experts. These could improve your survival rates... if ever you find yourself in such a predicament. Similarly, he explains who the hostage takers are and why they perform such activities. Brilliant stuff.

Our tradecraft section focuses on the foundations of tactical driving. It is the first of a three part series explaining the driving secrets used in the intelligence and security world.

We also have a very special Spy London article that follows the journeymen of MI6. This fascinating story reveals the occupancy of MI6 in some of the great and not-so-great buildings of London. Spectacular photography culminating with a very special offer to Eye Spy readers - our limited edition giant A1 size poster - 'The Buildings of British Intelligence'.

Enjoy this brief review....

Mark Birdsall

A brief overview of Eye Spy 57 follows...



Like any developing and expanding company, it is not unusual for intelligence services to move to new premises. But eventually they find a suitable home and stay put. That's what happened in America with the CIA and now the name Langley has become synonymous with the CIA. The NSA's journey from Arlington Station to its present home at Fort Meade is another example. In London we find MI6 and Vauxhall Cross...

This is the compelling story of MI6's journey across London, from its early occupancy of premises in Whitehall when it was known as the Foreign Service, to its present location in the impressive building dubbed 'legoland'.

Throughout almost 100 years of operations, the Service has tried to remain secret. Masquerading as a telephone company and covering windows, it was a bit of a surprise when one Chief looked at the pavement in front of his headquarters. A taxi driver had painted a big red arrow pointing to the building with the words 'Secret Intelligence Service Headquarters this way'! There was also an occasion when an author used a term in his book which allegedly exposed the headquarters - forcing another move.

This fantastic feature contains some of the buildings used by MI6 and also looks at what has sadly replaced others. Along the way a few relatively unknown intelligence gems.

Eye Spy has also produced a limited edition A1 size (twice as large as our intelligence crests poster) featuring the Buildings of British Intelligence - see pdf for details which appear fully in issue 57!



News that the IAF (Israeli Air Force) conducted a major exercise over the Mediterranean Sea in June came as no surprise to intelligence watchers. It is the third such operation initiated to test its capability to attack Iran's nuclear sites. However, amidst escalating tension over Tehran's nuclear programme, it was far the biggest and involved more than 100 warplanes, including F-15 and F-16 fighters, refuelling tankers, special forces helicopters, and communications aeroplanes. The war games took place amid new intelligence that Iran's Revolutionary Guard, responsible for the success of the Iranian nuclear programme, has created a number of 'front companies' to fast-track uranium enrichment.

The IAF exercise provided valuable intelligence to senior war planners who have been busy preparing for what would be an incredibly risky operation, both militarily and politically. More on this and a bizarre missile test conducted in Iran that puzzled the CIA.



Our immensely popular 'Strange But True' series takes us into the heart of London and through the doors of a particular classy hotel. MI5 was intent on eavesdropping on some very important guests so decided to bug a few rooms - but just how many did Britain's Security Service target, and what technique did they use?



One of the world's most wanted men was captured "hiding in plain sight". Radovan Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade wearing a large white beard, thick white hair, and glasses. The 63-year-old fugitive trained as a psychiatrist and posed as an alternative medicine doctor. Karadzic assumed the name Dragan Dabicc, and lived openly in a suburb of Belgrade.



Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5, says government plans to hold suspected terrorists for 42 days without charge is wrong. Making her first speech in the House of Lords, Ms Buller's words were rejected by senior counterterrorist officers. Scotland Yard also note terror plots often have an international dimension with some suspects carrying multiple identities or none at all.




Specialist security driver and instructor Mark S. Kendrick begins a three-part series on

professional driving and provides a deep insight into the skills that are necessary to survive in all climates and environments...


First and foremost, it is essential to focus and concentrate all of the time. Most operators recognise this as common sense. However, in my experience common sense is actually not that common! Whenever an operator gets behind the wheel of a car they should avoid distractions, focusing on the driving environment and, of course, their mission. Commentary driving - the process of thinking out loud (or sub-vocalising) about what is seen, what is not seen but which is anticipated, and what is planned to avoid or reduce perceived hazards or threats - is an effective tool for focusing concentration and, over time, conditioning higher level powers of concentration. For a surveillance operator carrying out mobile surveillance, their commentary becomes focused on communicating the target's intentions and actions to other members of their team who will often not be in a position to see the target. Any surveillance training course worth its price should develop this essential skill. For a single-crewed police driver engaged in a pursuit, their commentary serves numerous purposes, including providing a picture of happenings on the ground to all those involved in the containment and apprehension of a fleeing suspect. Other safe driving essentials are dependent on a focused state of mind, which is promoted by such commentaries.



SO15 Counter Terrorism Command officers have twice visited Belgrade as time runs out to solve one of the greatest assassination mysteries of the Cold War. Bulgarian Georgi Markov, a dissident and outspoken critic of communism was poked with a poisoned umbrella as he waited for a bus to take him to his place of work at the BBC. With a 30-year statute on keeping crimes open in Bulgaria, British police are interviewing some 40 people in a last ditch attempt to conclude all the

circumstances of this strange affair. Eye Spy looks at what they could expect to find...



Hiding somewhere on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Osama bin-Laden decides it's time for another video or tape-recorded message to be made. For a number of years his messages were secreted out of Afghanistan through various hands and ultimately ended up with the satellite channel

Al-Jazeera. However, increasingly the television company has started to just play snippets, whereas in the past, bin-Laden could be guaranteed his speeches would be played in full. His supporters simply tuned-in to

Al-Jazeera to hear the latest news. Now with clips edited, a furious bin-Laden and his followers said his words were being taken out of context. So he went to 'plan-B' - he would create his own media outfit that he could control - even though he is so isolated.

Today, his lieutenants make contact with a most trusted courier, one who is also well-versed in the art of film production. The courier works for a shadowy outfit known as as-Sahab - the propaganda wing of al-Qaida. Together with other media arms, the unit has produced over 100 films.

In a revealing expose, Eye Spy identifies the man behind the mission to "professionalise" bin-Laden's ideology and rants.



Many of the feudal spying organisations such as the Ninja of Japan, Hawarang of Korea, and Feudal Assassins of Syria, used subtle mind conditioning to effect some of their information gathering roles. In issue 56 Mike Finn spoke of the disguises used by the Ninja, their methods of obtaining information, and ways in which information was passed on. This was only part o

Category:Single Issues

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