The CIA has called on its frontline spies to move up their operational stability all over the globe just after dozens of informants have been arrested, killed or if not compromised in the latest yrs, the New York Instances documented Tuesday.
A cable sent previous 7 days from prime US counterintelligence officials to each and every company station and foundation included the actual number of human sources arrested or executed by rival companies — a element that is normally a intently guarded solution, the Occasions reported.
The document lays many troubles at the toes of situation officers accountable for recruiting new informants — which include very poor tradecraft, underestimating the counterintelligence prowess of international companies, and concentrating on recruitment with no paying out proper interest to possible dangers. It goes on to remind officers to concentrate on those people challenges in addition to bringing new resources into the fold.
In recent yrs, studies have indicated that China has grow to be specially adept at tracking down and taking out US spy networks. The Occasions described in 2017 that in a single this sort of situation, at minimum 12 suspected informants experienced been executed by Beijing and various more experienced been imprisoned.
Even so, Tuesday’s report implies that other US adversaries — which includes Russia, Iran and Pakistan — have likewise increased their abilities, in some situations turning CIA resources into double agents. The cable despatched previous 7 days did not give a quantity of how many informants had been compromised in this way.
Additional hampering the CIA’s initiatives, according to the Periods, was a breach of the classified communications system that led to the exposure of networks in China and Iran. In addition, some officers believe treasonous US intelligence officers handed in excess of data that led to the arrests and fatalities of sources.
In November 2019, for case in point, previous CIA circumstance agent Jerry Chun Shing Lee was sentenced to 19 many years in prison right after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to dedicate espionage. Prosecutors say Chinese intelligence officers gave Lee additional than $840,000 about a 3-year time period commencing in 2010 to disclose the names of human resources. Lee’s protection team denied that declare.
Months previously, Monica Witt, a previous Air Drive intelligence officer, was indicted on fees of offering nationwide protection data to the federal government of Iran and conspiracy. Prosecutors stated she turned over classified details about US intelligence officers soon after defecting to Iran in 2013.