The whistleblowing website, Wikileaks has vowed it'll continue exposing the truth, despite its founder being detained in the UK on an international arrest warrant. Julian Assange is wanted in Sweden on allegations of rape. He denies the charges and says he'll fight extradition. The 39 year old also claims it's a 'political witch hunt' by the U.S. after his site's repeated disclosures of secret American files. Previously Assange warned he'd publish an informational bomb if arrested.
The pot should not call the kettle black - that's what Russia's Premier Vladimir Putin has said, rebuffing western criticism of Russian democracy. He says the arrest of the founder of Wikileaks website Julian Assange shows the West doesn't follow the democratic rules it preaches.
From Jefferson to Assange
Truthdig.com Dec 7, 2010 By Robert Scheer
All you need to know about Julian Assange’s value as a crusading journalist is that The New York Times and most of the world’s other leading newspapers have led daily with important news stories based on his WikiLeaks releases. All you need to know about the collapse of traditional support for the constitutional protection of a free press is that Dianne Feinstein, the centrist Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has called for Assange “to be vigorously prosecuted for espionage.”
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Feinstein, who strongly supported the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, has the audacity to call for the imprisonment of the man who, more than any other individual, has allowed the public to learn the truth about those disastrous imperial adventures—facts long known to Feinstein as head of the Intelligence Committee but never shared with the public she claims to represent.
Feinstein represents precisely the government that Thomas Jefferson had in mind when he said, in defense of unfettered freedom of the press, “[W]ere it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
In the 1787 letter in which he wrote those words, Jefferson was reflecting the deep wisdom of a political leader who often had been excoriated by a vicious press that would make the anarchist-inflected comments of an Assange seem mild in comparison. More than 35 years later, after having suffered many more vitriolic press attacks, Jefferson reiterated his belief in a free press, in all its vagaries, as the foundation of a democracy. In an 1823 letter to Lafayette, Jefferson warned: “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted to be freely expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.”
It is precisely that agitation that so alarms Feinstein, for the inconvenient truths she has concealed in her Senate role would have indeed shocked many of those who voted for her. She knew in real time that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack, yet she voted to send young Americans to kill and be killed based on what she knew to be lies. It is her duplicity, along with the leaders of both political parties, that now stands exposed by the WikiLeaks documents.
That is why U.S. governmental leaders will now employ the massive power of the state to discredit and destroy Assange, who dared let the public in on the depths of official deceit—a deceit that they hide behind in making their claims of protecting national security. Claims mocked by released cables that show that our puppets in Iraq and Afghanistan are deeply corrupt and anti-democratic, and that al-Qaida continues to find its base of support not in those countries but rather in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, the very nations we arm and protect. The notion that the official tissue of lies enhances our security is rejected by the growing strength of radical Islam in the region, as evidenced by the success of Iran, the main beneficiary of our invasion of Iraq, as the leaked cables make clear.
The pretend patriots who use the national security argument to gut what remains of our most important security asset—our constitutional guarantees of a truly free press—are just what President George Washington feared when in his farewell address he warned “against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the Impostures of pretended patriotism. …”
The pretended patriotism of Feinstein, the first Democrat to co-sponsor the bill extending the U.S. Patriot Act, represents the death of the Democratic Party as a protector of our freedoms. As a California resident, I will not vote for her again, no matter how dastardly a right-wing Republican opponent she might face. There is no lesser evil to be found in one who would so cavalierly imprison practitioners of a free press.
That is the issue here, pure and simple. It is unconscionable to target Assange for publishing documents on the Internet that mainstream media outlets have attested had legitimate news value. As in the historic case in which Daniel Ellsberg gave The New York Times the Pentagon Papers exposé of the official lies justifying the Vietnam War, Assange is acting as the reporter here, and thus his activities must be shielded by the First Amendment’s guarantee of journalistic freedom.
Actually Ellsberg’s position, as morally strong as it was, was weaker than that of Assange, in that the former Marine and top Pentagon adviser was working at the government-funded Rand Corp., where he had agreed to rules about the handling of classified information, including the Pentagon Papers. Assange operates under no such restraints and is an even clearer example of the journalist who ferrets out news and attempts to report it. He had no special clearance that provided him access, and what he did was no different from what the editors of The New York Times did in publishing news that was fit to print.
It is outrageous for any journalist, or respecter of what every American president has claimed is our inalienable, God-given right to a free press, not to join in Assange’s defense on this issue, as distinct from what increasingly appear to be trumped-up charges that led to his voluntary arrest on Tuesday in London in a case involving his personal behavior. Abandon Assange and you abandon the bedrock of our republic: the public’s right to know.
AP News Vladimir Isachenkov Dec 16, 2010 13:33 EST
The "swine" who exposed the 10 Russian sleeper spies in the United States will not be tracked down and killed, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday, saying Russia has abandoned the Soviet-era practice of killing turncoats.
"Russia's special services don't do that," he said during a televised call-in show. "As for the traitors, they will croak all by themselves. Whatever equivalent of 30 pieces of silver they get, it will get stuck in their throats."
The role played by a Russian intelligence officer in exposing the sleeper spies was first reported last month by the newspaper Kommersant. President Dmitry Medvedev confirmed the report, saying only that he had "found out about it on the day it happened."
Addressing the betrayal directly for the first time Thursday, Putin said the spies had been exposed by a fellow intelligence officer.
"Those people sacrificed their lives to serve the Motherland, and there happened to be an animal who betrayed them," Putin said. "How will he live with it all his life, how will he look his children in the eye? Swine!"
After the 10 agents returned home in early July following a spy swap, Putin met with them and led them in singing patriotic songs. Medvedev bestowed the highest state awards on them in a Kremlin ceremony in October.
Putin, a KGB veteran who led the main Russian spy agency before becoming president in 2000, insisted in a recent CNN interview that the agents had caused no damage to the United States.
Russian officials in the past have issued similar denials that the special services were engaged in killing turncoats.
Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB officer turned Kremlin critic who died in London in 2006 after ingesting radioactive polonium, blamed Putin for the poisoning. Russia denied playing any role in the killing and refused Britain's demand to extradite the main suspect in the case, former KGB officer Andrei Lugovoi.
Russian security services also denied involvement when a former separatist president of Chechnya, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, was killed in a bomb explosion in Qatar in 2004, but two Russian intelligence agents were convicted in Qatar and later returned to Russia.
Post by TsarSamuil on Dec 22, 2010 11:04:04 GMT -5
Russian 'spy' in Poland sentenced to 3 years in prison.
MOSCOW, December 22 (RIA Novosti) - A Warsaw court has sentenced a Russian citizen to three years in prison for espionage, Polish media reported on Wednesday.
Tadeusz J. was arrested on charges of gathering information about the Polish Army on behalf of Russia in February 2009. The 41-year-old detainee, who had been living in Poland for more than 10 years before he was arrested, is believed to have cooperated with Russia's military intelligence directorate (GRU) for over six years, while he was running a small business in Poland.
Tadeusz J. was brought to trial in October. The court said Tadeusz J. was exchanging codified messages using special equipment with GRU's headquarters in Moscow on a regular basis, Poland's Interia news portal said.
Prosecutors demanded a five-year prison term for the Russian. Tadeusz J. has denied all charges, and his lawyer said he would appeal the court's ruling quoting a lack of evidence.
Post by TsarSamuil on Dec 22, 2010 11:09:55 GMT -5
Russia calls Britain's expulsion of Russian diplomat 'unfriendly'
British Foreign Secretary William Hague's decision to expel a Russian diplomat from the UK was "unfriendly," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, as the latest spat threatens to sabotage the recent improvement in relations.
"The British side made an unfriendly move recently by groundlessly declaring one of the staff members at our embassy in London a persona non grata," the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
"We had to take adequate measures in response. It is regrettable that the move was made just as the first reassuring tendencies in our relations with Britain were beginning to emerge," the statement said.
In a written statement on Tuesday, Hague said that on December 10 he had asked the Russian embassy in London to "withdraw a member of their staff from the UK," following "clear evidence of activities by the Russian intelligence services against UK interests."
He said Russia had responded on December 16 by requesting the removal of a member of the British Embassy staff in Moscow.
Britain remained "open to a more productive relationship with Russia," he added.
The latest tit-for-tat expulsions are the first since former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband ordered three Russian diplomats out of Britain after the Kremlin refused to extradite ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi, who was accused of killing Russian apostate Alexander Litvinenko in May 2007. Moscow expelled four British diplomats in response.
Officials insisted the case was not linked to the arrest this month of alleged spy Katia Zatuliveter, 25, a Russian working as an aide for Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock.
Post by TsarSamuil on Dec 25, 2010 13:56:38 GMT -5
Russian ex-intelligence officer Kvachkov accused of attempted armed rebellion.
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has accused ex-intelligence officer Vladimir Kvachkov of preparing an armed rebellion for the forceful seizure of power in Russia, business daily Kommersant reported on Saturday.
Kvachkov was arrested on Thursday a day after Russia's Supreme Court upheld his acquittal in a high-profile case of an assassination attempt in 2005 on Anatoly Chubais, former head of the UES electricity giant and architect of post-Soviet reforms.
According to Russia's FSB, Kvachkov, as head of the headquarters of the Minin and Pozharsky public militia group, plotted to seize weapons in several military units and organize an armed march on Moscow for the forceful overthrow of power, the paper reported.
Kvachkov's defense, however, has said the FSB's allegations are unfounded, the paper reported.
Kvachkov himself has denied the accusations, saying they are based on false allegations that he and members of an organization he leads were plotting a coup.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 13, 2011 12:40:39 GMT -5
Yanukovych pushes for reforms to Ukraine's state security system.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has plans to reform the country's state security system, his press service announced on Thursday.
The Ukrainian president has already instructed officials to draw up a plan of necessary changes.
"This document should clearly outline the role and the place of the state security system in the national defense system," Yanukovych's press service quoted him as saying.
The Ukrainian president said the state security system must become more accountable and open to democratic control. The legal framework regulating the operations of the security system should also be improved, he said.
"We need a highly professional military formation with law enforcement responsibilities, the tasks and the practical activities of which meet today's demands," Yanukovych said.
Yanukovych has initiated a range of changes, including budget, legal and tax reforms since he narrowly won the presidential elections in early 2010.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 13, 2011 15:15:58 GMT -5
The Development of International Terrorism, as Assessed by the Former Communist Bulgarian Secret Services: Interview with Professor Jordan Baev.
Balkanalysis.com January 7, 2011
In this exclusive new interview with Balkanalysis.com Bulgaria country editor Christian Filipov, Professor Jordan Baev, a noted expert on Balkan security affairs, reveals several key findings gleaned from his in-depth examination of recently declassified files from the former Communist Bulgarian intelligence services. His assessments shed valuable new light on not only the forerunners of today’s global terrorism during the Cold War, but also on how the threat was perceived by Bulgarian intelligence- and ultimately, by political decision-makers. As such, the interview is required reading for anyone interested in clandestine affairs and activities in the Balkans before the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Dr. Jordan Baev, an Associate Professor in Contemporary History and Senior Fellow in Security Studies at Rakovski Defense College  and a visiting professor at Sofia University and New Bulgarian University, has published frequently on intelligence and security issues in the Balkans for over a quarter-century. His most recent book, Sistemata za Evropeiska sigurnost I Balkanite v godinite na studenata voina (The System for European Security and the Balkans in the Cold War Years, Damyan Yakov Publishing, Sofia, 2010) , provides a historical overview of the security systems of East and West during the Cold War.
The present interview, however, concerns an important new project in which Dr. Baev participated- the massive, 548-page publication on newly declassified Bulgarian Intelligence and Counterintelligence archival documents from the period 1969-1991, entitled Mezhdunarodniyat Terorizam v Dosietata na DC (International Terrorism in the Bulgarian State Security Files). This new book was published by the State Committee for disclosing of Bulgarian State Security records and launched at Sofia University on November 29, 2010. Portions of the publication can be seen online (.PDF) . This and other related works can be found here , as well as at the Sofia University Digital Library . From March 2011, the text will also be available in a broader digital version of about 500 documents- amounting to 3,000 pages of text.
Christian Filipov: What is the most unique aspect of your research?
Jordan Baev: With the exception of several publications that reference mostly the files of the former GDR (German Democratic Republic/Communist East Germany) state security agency Stasi (Ministerium für Staatssicherheit/Ministry for State Security), to this day there has not been such a comprehensive research of the files of the former Soviet bloc intelligence agencies on the issue of international terrorism.
The idea for this collaborative research project was born after discussions with representatives of institutions from various countries, including the United States, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania. These countries are currently doing archival research on the declassified documents of the state security and services of the former the Warsaw Pact countries.
CF: What period does your research cover?
JB: Our study of archival documents stretches from the 1960s through the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991. Over the past year, my colleagues and I have managed to review over 25,000 pages of formerly classified files, containing information on international terrorism. For the publication (.PDF) of Mezhdunarodniyat Terorizam v Dosietata na DC (International Terrorism in the Bulgarian State Security Files), we selected about 500 classified files totaling about 3,000 pages. These files contain information on more than 100 terrorist organizations and groups. Part of the examined files – about 98 of them – we selected for the print version of our publication, while the entire collection of classified files is published only electronically.
Apart from illustrative analytical reports, the publication also contains operational files of the Bulgarian intelligence agencies- essentially, reports written by Bulgarian spies resident in Western Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas, reports and memoranda of the counterintelligence units engaged in combating terrorism, correspondence and exchanged information with the KGB and other East European intelligence agencies.
CF: Did your research reveal anything exciting or unique in the archives?
Our main research goal was to examine formally classified documentation and to extract information associated with international terrorist organizations. We discovered that the theory of “Moscow’s long arm” i.e., [the perception that Moscow was] orchestrating leftist terrorist groups in Western Europe, is merely a myth or rather a memory of the Cold War propaganda.
For more than 30 years, the media has been circulating allegations regarding links between the KGB and the Eastern European intelligence agencies with leftist terrorist organizations in Western Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and so on. We did not discover any documentary proof of such links between Bulgaria and ultra-left terrorist groups in Western Europe.
Another important finding is the very special interest, back then, in the origins and expansion of ethno-religious terrorism, specifically Islamic terrorism.
CF: What type of archival sources and document collections did you use?
JB: As the first researchers to have delved into the quite voluminous archives of the former communist intelligence services, we were able to review and publish intelligence data that maps out the transition from politically-motivated terrorist acts to the very serious social problem that international terrorism poses today.
There is no other way to gather reliable information on what has actually transpired, on what were the actions of the intelligence agencies of the former communist-bloc countries with respect to aiding or counteracting political and ethno-religious terrorism, but to examine the archival documentation of these agencies. Any hypothesis detailing actions of the intelligence agencies that is not backed by documentary evidence can only perpetuate existing myths, or give life to new ones.
CF: Is there evidence about existing links to terrorist groups? If so, have they been receiving aid and assistance by the Bulgarian intelligence agencies?
In our publication we make a very clear distinction between terrorist organizations and other political groups that resort to violence or are engaged in an armed conflict. In three prior studies, published a couple of years ago, I revealed classified information associated with the financial support and military assistance provided by Bulgaria and other Eastern European countries to some national liberation and leftist armed movements in the Third World: Algeria, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Laos, South Vietnam, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua etc.
In the relevant expert discussions, there is a very clear distinction between “international terrorism” and “freedom fighters’ armed resistance.” There are over one-hundred definitions; however, most scholars define when acts of [terrorism] target civil institutions and innocent bystanders, and when it is a matter of insurgency or a civil war.
By the way, in mid-2011 in Routledge will publish a new handbook on international terrorism, where one of the famous UN experts on the issue, Alex Schmid, gives about 250 various definitions of that social phenomenon.
CF: Did Bulgaria help recognize international terrorist organizations?
JB: We did not find any documents supporting popular claims that Bulgaria supported or orchestrated directly the actions of known terrorist groups.
That being said, we examined classified data that reveals that in the second half of the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s, known terrorists were granted a “safe haven” in Bulgaria – the terrorist group led by Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, also known as Carlos the Jackal, the Abu Nidal group, and members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
During the same period, Bulgaria was visited by activists of known terrorist organizations, including the German Red Army Faction – also known as the “Baader Meinhoff Gang” – Turkey’s right- and left-wing extremists from the Grey Wolves and Dev Sol, as well as the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation, or Armenia ASALA. These visits can be associated with the first acts of international terrorism on Bulgarian soil, such as hijacking of airplanes and assassinations of foreign diplomats.
CF: Can you point out any specific examples?
JB: In September 1982, an activist of the Armenian terrorist group ASALA assassinated the Turkish Vice Consul to Bulgaria in the city of Burgas. Classified information reveals that this assassination was part of a global terror campaign targeting Turkish diplomats in Europe and North America.
CF: If Bulgaria was not supporting terrorist groups, then why didn’t the Bulgarian authorities simply arrest the terrorists, or expel them from the country?
JB: Like most other Eastern European countries, Bulgaria would use its intelligence and security agencies only to monitor the actions of known terrorists in Bulgaria, and did not take any actions against them; [this was done] primarily not to irritate the terrorists and entice them to direct terrorist acts against Bulgarian citizens and institutions as a form of retribution.
The classified information we analyzed reveals that undercover agents of the Bulgarian state security services, Darzhavna Sigurnost, did establish contact with terrorists, however, mainly for the purpose of information-gathering- not to recruit terrorists as informants or agents of the agency.
Moreover, the classified files that we examined clearly establish that leftist terrorist groups, despite sharing the same ideology and using leftist slogans, were viewed as hostile, anarchistic, Trotskyite or Maoist organizations. This is not surprising- Che Guevara’s views about the “permanent revolution” and guerilla warfare practices were met with similar reactions of suspicion in the mid-1960s by the Eastern European authorities.
CF: What actions did the Bulgarian intelligence and security agencies take to counteract terrorist organizations?
JB: The archives provide clear signs that the Eastern-bloc countries did not want to be viewed as supporters of terrorist organizations. We found a very large file, codenamed “Operation Bobcats,” which compiled classified data on the movements and visits to Bulgaria of the known terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (Carlos the Jackal). The Bobcats file reveals that during his first visit in September 1979/January 1980, Carlos organized a secret meeting with members of other terrorist organizations in Sofia, and also met with the head of the Iraqi intelligence agency, who visited Sofia incognito- specifically to contact Carlos in person.
During his other nine visits to Bulgaria during the period 1983-1985, his movements were closely monitored by operatives of the Darzhavna Sigurnost surveillance units. In 1986, Bulgaria took action to prevent any visits of Carlos the Jackal, or members of his terrorist groups, throughout Bulgaria. These actions were prompted by coordinated antiterrorist efforts between the Bulgarian, Hungarian and Czechoslovakian intelligence agencies, together with the KGB.
Another organization that was closely monitored was the Turkish Grey Wolves. Efforts were steeped up after Mehmet Ali Ağca, a member of that terrorist group and “trigger man” of the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II, made public claims that the Bulgarian intelligence agency orchestrated the attempted assassination.
After receiving information from the East German STASI regarding 334 designated Grey Wolves functionaries, the Bulgarian State Security services found out that 129 of those persons had crossed Bulgarian territory on their way from Turkey to Western Europe.
CF: Does your investigation of the Bulgarian intelligence agency’s classified files shed new light on Bulgarian intelligence activities related to the Middle East, Islamists, etc.?
Islamic terrorism and extremist organizations in the Middle East developed gradually and have several historical layers.
The first layer was the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s oldest and largest Islamic political organization. This organization, founded in Egypt in the 1920s to promote Islamic values, quickly branched out in many other Arab countries, and has served as the ideological foundation for most Islamic-fundamentalist movements.
Over the years, the “Muslim Brotherhood” was banned in Egypt on the grounds that it promotes an Islamic fundamentalist agenda. At the same time, however, the organization’s branches in other Arab countries thrived. In the classified analytical reports, memoranda and cables of the Bulgarian intelligence and counter-intelligence agencies, we found information and references to the roots of today’s Islamist terrorist organizations. Extremist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah were created or influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood ideologues.
The next landmark layer in the history of Islamic terrorism came with the collaborative actions in the 1970s of Islamic fundamentalists, Western European, Armenian, and Japanese terrorist organizations, prompted by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the early 1980s, immediately after the Iranian Islamic revolution, many armed Islamic fundamentalist groups were born in the Muslim world, the most notable ones being in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also in Iraq and Lebanon. As we know now, it was not long before these Islamic extremist groups redirected their attention from the “Invading Infidels” from the East, e.g., the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, to wage Jihad against the “New Crusaders” from the West.
CF: What means did the Bulgarian security agencies use to get information?
JB: While examining the State Security files we discovered, for instance, extensive reports on the meetings of the leader of Hezbollah, Sheik Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah. Part of the intelligence information came to Bulgaria via the Bulgarian intelligence officers stationed in the Middle East; another part of the information was gathered by Bulgarian counterintelligence officers monitoring suspected members of these terrorist organizations residing in Bulgaria.
Also, in a Bulgarian State Security report of 1984, it was indicated that more than 70 suspected members of the “Muslim Brotherhood” were living in Bulgaria, some of them studying in different Bulgarian universities and high schools. There were also a number of militants from radical rival Palestinian groups, whose activity worried the Bulgarian authorities in regard of possible terrorist incidents on Bulgarian territory.
Bulgaria’s security services also had another problem to deal with in those years- they acquired evidence regarding secret competitions and mutual struggles between some Middle East intelligence servicemen under diplomatic cover at the embassies of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and South Yemen.
CF: Does this historic information on Islamic extremist groups aid today’s intelligence agencies in the ongoing war on terror?
JB: The tasks assigned to Bulgaria within the framework of intelligence cooperation among Warsaw Pact countries corresponds to its geographical location- active intelligence-gathering in the Balkan region and the Middle East. A significant portion of the classified information that we reviewed is associated with the activities of terrorist organizations in these regions.
However, our documentary collection is only the beginning [of what will be] a more comprehensive study of the topic. Further study requires comparative archival research.
The history of international terrorism is not an academic pastime, but rather a vantage point to understand Islamic terrorism- a phenomenon that has been causing the greatest level of public concern and has been stirring up international relations today.
Presently, we are continuing our research by working on our next book where, for the first time, KGB and other Soviet bloc antiterrorist analyses will be compared with some available CIA intelligence estimates on international terrorism.
CF: Did you discover any information that fundamentally changes or challenges any perceived historical truths about Bulgaria during the Cold War?
JB: In our research we reviewed a large number of intelligence reports and classified correspondence devoted to the “assassination of the century”- the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II by Mehmet Ali Ağca of the Turkish Grey Wolves terrorist group.
While it has been already established that no documents give credibility to the theory that there had been a “Bulgarian connection” in the attempted assassination of the Pope, our research revealed that the Bulgarian political and state authorities were taken completely by surprise by the claims linking Bulgaria’s intelligence agencies to the assassination attempt; “Darzhavna Sigurnost” was also shocked initially by media claims about the association attempt made between the Bulgarian airline representative, Sergei Antonov, and the Turkish terrorist Ağca.
In our study of the classified files, we also discovered that most of Bulgaria’s intelligence data on the “Grey Wolves” was compiled after the assassination attempt, not prior to it. Apparently, Western media reports on the alleged “Bulgarian connection” in the assassination attempt prompted the Bulgarian intelligence agencies to start gathering extensive intelligence data on the “Grey Wolves,” and to devote its intelligence resources in Western Europe to monitor the movements and contacts of their known members.
CF: As we know, the Grey Wolves were used as a “stay-behind” paramilitary force even in the 1960’s. Did you found any information about their activity before 1982 in the Darzhavna Sigurnost files?
JB: Actually, there exist three operational files on the “Bozkurtlar” organization (Grey Wolves), codenamed “Spiders,” “Kurt,” and “Wolves.” One of these files discusses even the broader biographic data of the Wolves inspirer and boss Col. Alparslan Turkeş – his background as a Turkish liaison officer to German Wehrmacht in 1944, his active participation in the military coup in 1960 and the assassination of the Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, etc.
The Bulgarian intelligence documents commented as well on the Grey Wolves role in the internal right-wing terror against the liberal and leftist intellectuals in Turkey in the mid-1970s. However, the significance of the Grey Wolfs as an international terrorist organization was defined after Ali Ağca attempt on the Pope’s life. The organization was viewed also as dangerous from the point of view of its hostile activity against Bulgarian citizens and facilities in Western Europe in the mid-1980’s, when the relations between the two neighboring Balkan states drastically eroded due to the bad treatment of the Bulgarian Turks.
CF: Have you discovered classified intelligence reports on ‘famous’ world security events, i.e., assassinations, terrorist plots, high profile crimes?
JB: With respect to other “famous” security events,” such as the assassinations of the Italian Prime minister Aldo Moro, Bulgarian classified analytical reports reveal that there is no merit to media claims that the assassination was orchestrated by Eastern European intelligence services.
Documentary proof for “a Bulgarian connections” is also lacking in respect to the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986, and the attempt on the life of Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Özal in 1988, as claimed during the Cold War years. On the contrary, nowadays there has appeared new documentary evidence linking Palme’s assassination with the South African intelligence agency, at the time of the apartheid regime. With respect to Ozal’s attempted assassination, it was announced in Istanbul in September 2010 that this terrorist act has to be attributed to the Turkish paramilitary nationalist group, Ergenekon.
While the files on Western European leftist terrorist groups, such as the Italian Brigate Rosse, the Red Army Faction/Baader-Meinhoff Gang in Germany and the French Action Directe are thickly coated in Cold War-inspired ideological language, our research confirmed what was already known about the composition of these terrorist groups and their motivation.
Actually, the files reveal that the communist leadership in Eastern Europe did not relate to the causes embraced by the Western leftist groups; moreover, the communist leadership mistrusted them and repeatedly expresses the view that left-wing terrorism was a problem of capitalist societies that Eastern Bloc countries should be involved in [countering]. This is evidenced by the level of cooperation and sharing of intelligence data on ultra-left terrorist groups between the intelligence services of the West and those of Eastern Bloc countries. One example was the collaboration between Bulgaria’s Darzhavna Sigurnost and the West German authorities in the case of the “Red Army Faction.”
CF: So, there is information on collaborative efforts of East European and Western intelligence agencies in the countering of international terrorism organizations?
JB: There are occurrences of secret contacts made by the intelligence agencies on both sides of the Iron Curtain, most notably the cooperation between the Bulgarian and West German authorities in the surveillance of “Red Army Faction” members’ eventual presence on Bulgarian territory. Members of the “Red Army Faction” were arrested in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach [near Nesebar] in the summer of 1978, in a collaborative action of the Bulgarian and West German counter-intelligence agencies.
This collaboration continued and, in December 1985, the Bulgarian authorities took immediate action against known RAF terrorists residing in Bulgaria, upon the request of the West German security services.
We discovered archival data on similar secret contacts of the Bulgarian Darzhavna Sigurnost and Austrian and French intelligence agencies; we also discovered files describing secret anti-terrorism collaboration between the Bulgarian intelligence agencies and the security services of Japan and the United States: for example, there was intelligence exchange and joint discussions between the Bulgarian, Japanese and U.S. agencies in December 1990 and January 1991, in order to prevent terrorist acts against the U.S. Embassy in Sofia that were being planned by Japanese and Philippine terrorists.
Russia criticizes Ireland's expulsion of diplomat, vows response.
Russia has condemned Ireland's decision to send home a Russian diplomat from its Dublin embassy over alleged involvement in passport forgery as an "unfriendly act" and vowed a response to the expulsion.
The Irish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it decided to expel the unnamed diplomat after an investigation found that Moscow's intelligence service had used Irish passports to produce fake documents supplied to a Russian spy ring based in the U.S.
A Russia-U.S. spy scandal broke out in late June when 11 Russian agents were arrested in the United States. The agents, who had worked under long-term cover, were freed in a swap deal between Russia and the U.S.
At least one of the spies allegedly used a fake Irish passport.
"This absolutely unfriendly act will not go without a corresponding reaction," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov said on Wednesday.
Ireland expelled an Israeli diplomat from its Dublin embassy in June over the alleged use of fake passports by the Israeli intelligence services in the assassination of a top Hamas official in Dubai.
In mid-December, Russia was embroiled in a diplomatic row with Britain after the British government expelled a Russian diplomat for espionage. Russia then requested the removal of a British diplomat.
Bulgaria Opens Centralized Archive for Communist-Era Files.
Novinite.com Domestic | February 8, 2011, Tuesday
The new centralized archive of Bulgaria's Files Commission has been officially opened in the town of Bankya, near Sofia.
Bulgaria's PM Boyko Borisov and Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov attended the official opening on Tuesday.
"I want to thank the Files Commission for the work they did in order to finally, after 22 year, make the archives accessible and at one place," Borisov said.
He made a tour of the buildings, which store all the Communist-era secret services files.
"As you can see, these are large buildings and they store the files of all agents, who worked for the former Communist State Security (DS). You can see what Bulgaria's transition period was," Borisov said.
Both he and the Head of the Files Commission, Evtim Kostadinov, have once again denied accusations by the Bulgarian Socialist Party that Tsvetanov has been a secret agent.
Kostadinov has confirmed that the interior minister worked at the Central Informational and Organizational Directorate on a labor contract, but dismissed accusations of Tsvetanov's affiliation with DS as non-sense.
"Everybody can come and check their file – journalists, citizens, government officials. We started four years ago without one state employee or one square meter of area. We accomplished a lot. Now, we have this extraordinary facility, which turned from two old barracks to modern archives," Kostadinov said.
He added that the facility is one of the best in EU member states, which keep archives of former DS structures that date back to 1944.
Kostadinov stated that the new centralized archive cost about BGN 15 M. He noted that the repair of the two main buildings and a third smaller building cost about BGN 10,5 M. Nearly BGN 4,5 M was the cost of the interior design and equipment.
Fire safety has also been insured in the buildings. One of the small buildings will accommodate the guards from the National Guards Service.
The main facilities also include a big reading room and premises with special temperature and conditions for storing the documents.
Sweden rats out Russia’s internet to US, now for Assange.
RT.com 11 February, 2011, 09:46
As Sweden battles for the extradition of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks cables on the country's close co-operation with the US are provoking a public backlash.
The text revealed Washington's push to influence Swedish wiretapping laws so communication passing through the Scandinavian country can be intercepted. Now Sweden is bugged and wiretapped – at the behest of the US.
The Swedish intelligence service, the FRA, has the power to monitor and intercept all internet traffic in the country. And thanks to leaked US State Department cables, we now know the controversial law was adopted after pressure from Washington. And the security services were deliberately kept out of the process to reassure Swedes there was no “funny business”.
“Forced to operate under strict data storage and protection laws for Swedish citizens, they [FRA] are concerned that the public may perceive their involvement as an attempt to work around these restrictions by using a foreign intermediary (the United States), thus poisoning any chance for success,” US State Department cable (UNCLAS Stockholm 000704) goes on.
The US interest is clear. Eighty per cent of all the internet traffic from Russia travels through Sweden. And from there, to America.
Swedish MP Christian Engstrom explained the set-up. “It was mentioned by the government representatives that ‘No, the purpose is not to spy on Swedes, it's to monitor, among other things, Russian transit traffic.’”
But what kind of information are they after?
“I think the information that is made accessible to special services by this law is, of course, sensitive and there are ways it can harm Russia’s political interests,” head of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev believes.
The law has been slammed by some as “the most far-reaching eavesdropping plan in Europe,” and prompted widespread protests ahead of its implementation. Cables also suggest the Swedish government was colluding with the US to avoid involving the public at all costs.
“The agreement may have to be presented to Parliament under a vague constitutional requirement for ‘matters of great importance’. If so, the process will take considerably longer and be subject to public scrutiny, something the Government of Sweden will want to avoid. As the Ministry of Justice continues to analyze the proposed text, it is also considering how to craft an arrangement that will avoid the need for parliamentary review,” says US State Department cable (UNCLAS Stockholm 000704).
“There is no parliamentary control of what the FRA does, and of course the public in Sweden has even less control,” Christian Engstrom says. “Much of the pressure comes from the US and the copyright industries, and the Swedish government is more than happy to do whatever these American corporations ask through the American government,” Swedish MP revealed.
Judging from the dates on the leaked cables, while Sweden was debating whether to pass the bill, the Americans were already negotiating with the Swedish authorities on what kind of information they wanted.
“They [the Swedish Ministry of Justice] see your October 23 meeting as an opportunity to seek precise details on the type of information the United States wants and overall aim of the agreement,” the same cable informed.
And it is clear that the US ended up getting what it was after – at least in terms of information on the 80 per cent of Russian internet traffic that passes through Sweden.
“Our intelligence co-operation with Sweden on Russia is excellent,” acknowledged another cable (Stockholm 00000266 002 of 003). “DIA Director Lieutenant-General Burgess will be here next week for exchanges with the Swedes on Russia and other topics.”
Now it is not just information on Russia that the US is after from Sweden. America is reportedly carrying out its own investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the source of all this information about the deal, to see if it can bring espionage charges. If it can, and applies to Sweden for Assange’s extradition, all this close co-operation we have seen may mean his feet will not touch the ground in Stockholm.
Post by TsarSamuil on May 13, 2011 12:16:34 GMT -5
Ukraine expels two Czech diplomats for spying.
Two Czech diplomats have been expelled from Ukraine on suspicion of spying, Ukraine's security service said on Friday.
Col. Zdenek Kubicek and Maj. Petra Novotna were accused of spying and trying to gain access to Ukraine's military secrets.
"The Czech diplomat [Kubichek] was also interested in classified data related to Ukrainian projects in the tank industry and satellite navigation for Oplot tanks," security service spokeswoman Marina Osypenko said.
Osypenko said the diplomats - both defense attaches at the Czech Embassy in Kiev - were also caught buying confidential documents linked to Ukraine's ambitious Antonov An-70 transport plane and Antonov An-178 cargo aircraft.
In January, the Czech Republic granted political asylum to former Ukrainian economics minister Bohdan Danylyshyn, an ally of embattled opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
Post by TsarSamuil on May 19, 2011 11:16:19 GMT -5
Moscow confirms Israeli military attache expelled for spying.
The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday Israeli military attache Col. Vadim Leiderman was caught receiving secret information from a Russian national on May 12 and expelled from the country.
It said Leiderman was declared persona non grata "in connection with activity incompatible with his diplomatic status" and ordered to leave Russia "within 48 hours, which he did."
Israel's YNET News portal said earlier on Thursday Leiderman was detained while meeting with a Russian army officer at a cafe in Moscow and that Israeli security officials had concluded the charges against him were "baseless."
Leiderman had served as an Israeli military attache in Russia since 2008 and was due to leave in July.
MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti)
Israeli spy sought details of Russian-Arab military deals - FSB.
The Israeli military attache expelled by Moscow for spying tried to obtain information about Russian military cooperation with Arab and CIS states, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Friday.
Israeli Embassy official Vadim Leiderman was detained while meeting with a Russian army officer at a cafe in Moscow last week. He was interrogated by FSB agents and ordered to leave the country in 48 hours. Israeli security officials said they cleared Leiderman of espionage after a thorough interrogation and claimed Russia's accusations were "baseless and false."
"The existing documents fully expose his hostile activities against Russia," FSB press service said in a statement.
"Leiderman tried to obtain secret information from several Russian state officials about the prospects for bilateral military cooperation and Russia's aid to Arab and CIS states," FSB said.
Russia's weapons supplies to Israel's longtime enemies Syria and Iran have long been a sticking point in otherwise friendly bilateral relations.
Tel Aviv and Washington have repeatedly asked Russia not to sell Iran the truck-mounted S-300, which can shoot down hostile missiles or aircraft up to 150 km (90 miles) away.
Israel also says Russian supplies of P-800 Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles to Syria pose a significant danger to its naval vessels in the Mediterranean and could upset the strategic balance in the region.
MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti)
Last Edit: May 20, 2011 14:20:03 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Ex-officer who exposed Anna Chapman found guilty of treason.
RT.com 27 June, 2011, 12:38
The man who blew the cover of a group of Russian agents in the US, which included “femme fatale” Anna Chapman, has been found guilty of treason and defection by a Moscow military court.
The verdict has been announced in absentia as intelligence colonel Aleksandr Poteyev managed to flee Russia for the US just days before the scandal unfolded last summer.
Poteyev has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, stripped of his rank and all the awards he had been previously given.
According to the court ruling, Poteyev is guilty of giving away information about Russian spies to some unknown CIA officials, which breached Russian security.
One of the betrayed agents, Anna Chapman, confirmed that she knows Aleksandr Poteyev, adding that he was aware of her spying activities in the United States
The former colonel is also guilty of defection, the ruling said.
”Poteyev committed defection, when he first went to Belarus using his passport and then, with the help of American special services and forged documents, he first went to Germany and then the USA, where he has been hiding ever since,” Itar-Tass news agency quoted the court ruling as saying.
Shortly before the escape, the Poteyev's daughter and son also left for the US, both citing different reasons.
On the day of his departure, which reportedly happened in haste, the former colonel sent a text to his wife that said that he was leaving “forever”.
”Mary, try to take it easy,” his text reads. “I am leaving not temporarily, but forever. I did not want to do this, but I had to. I will start my life from scratch and will try to help the children.”
The military court said in its statement that the American Embassy refused to disclose Aleksandr Poteyev’s current whereabouts within the United States.
It also added that Aleksandr Poteyev had access to complete information about all the spies and due to his treason the United States is now aware of Russian intelligence’s mechanisms for funding the agents and communicating with them.
According to the court, Poteyev’s guilt has been fully confirmed by the investigation.
In June 2010, American authorities announced the arrest of ten Russian spies, including Anna Chapman. One more person has been named as wanted.
The spies were deported to Russia in July last year, in exchange for four people who were serving different terms in Russian prisons for spying in favor of the United States.
TsarSamuil: Medicines aren't allowed to be sold on the market without a 15 year trial period, to determine short n long term effects. Sputnik just turned 1 year, others not even that, just months, how can we determine long term effects without the data from long term
Aug 24, 2021 11:22:20 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: exposure? Does anyone have a time machine to go 14 years or so into the future n come back n say whether we have good vaccines? Fear makes world abandon its own standards..Besides, vaccines for other illnesses that have been developed for YEARS actually
Aug 24, 2021 11:23:40 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: help. These covid vaccines are literally SHIT, why else do they demand you take 1, 2 n now 3 shots? The problem is also a disease becomes resilient if u administer a weak vaccine that doesn't do the job proper. Allow illness to survive just makes it strong
Aug 24, 2021 11:25:04 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: instead if we go by the book, we should all wait for a really good vaccine to take out the illness for good. Now...we may never get rid of it..but understandably the world economy has a hard time dealing with lock downs, but that is just needless panic
Aug 24, 2021 11:27:06 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: why Swe had fared well with country not being locked down? Because they are cold people, keeping distance was the thing before covid-19 was ever heard of, I hope world doesn't become like that, but some could use a little common sense n change in behavior.
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:12 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: It's no wonder covid hits so many Arabs in the country, stupid bastards..
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:38 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: If I go to H&M a new shirt, if an Arab wants to buy a pair of pants, not only is his whole family along, his friends, even his freaking grandmother is along n all chattering along in a big dumb group of ignorance..
Aug 24, 2021 11:33:05 GMT -5
Boro: Thx for the response. I'm not sure... It seems the vaccines work, at least people aren't dying of Covid. Those who get ill have a problem, it's not "just a flu". Maybe it's from a chinese laboratory, who knows...
Aug 24, 2021 13:46:55 GMT -5
Boro: I agree regarding Arabs..
Aug 24, 2021 13:50:39 GMT -5
Boro: Be glad, Sweden isn't overpopulated.
Aug 24, 2021 14:11:49 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: true, vaccines do help somewhat, maybe better than nothing..I hope in 2022 we can come out of this nightmare..
Aug 24, 2021 15:38:24 GMT -5
Boro: Horrible times, indeed.
Aug 24, 2021 15:47:41 GMT -5