Major Intelligence Breach in NATO Reported
Estonia, Herman Simm, Intelligence, KGB, NATO, Russia, SVR
The Irish Times reports an Estonian mole working for the Russian Intelligence services probably represents the most damaging penetration of Western security since Aldrich Ames.
Echoes of the Cold War have returned to Nato headquarters in Brussels after an Estonian general was unmasked as a â€œsleeperâ€ spy who passed top secret alliance information to Moscow.
Herman Simm (61), a retired official in Estoniaâ€™s defence ministry, has been arrested along with his wife on suspicion that they were recruited by KGB officers before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
After Estoniaâ€™s independence in 1991, state prosecutors believe Mr Simm made contact with the KGBâ€™s successor foreign intelligence agency, the SVR.
The former police chief was the perfectly placed mole: between 1995 and 2006 he helped set up the high-security system for handling all sensitive Nato documents ahead of Estoniaâ€™s accession to the alliance in 2004.
That has alarmed Estoniaâ€™s Nato allies, who are talking about the greatest intelligence breach since the CIA counter-intelligence chief Aldrich Ames was exposed as a Soviet mole in 1994.
Mr Jaanus RahumÃ¤gi, chairman of the Estonian parliamentâ€™s security watchdog, admits that the spy has caused â€œhistoric damageâ€ to the alliance.