Category Archive 'SVR'

05 Nov 2015

Those Who Don’t Learn From History Are Likely to Be Compelled to Repeat It

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Putin6

ISIS taking credit for downing that Russian airliner in the Sinai caused John Hinderaker to recall the same events from the 1980s, back when Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists were kidnapping Western diplomats in Beirut. They took the American CIA station chief, William Francis Buckley, then turned him over to the Iranians who tortured him for fifteen months until he died in captivity. Then they kidnapped some Russian diplomats…

I dimly remembered a news story from several decades ago that also involved Arab terrorism, and found it via Google. Here it is, from 1986:

    The KGB has adopted novel, brutal and apparently effective methods of dealing with terrorists who attack Soviet interests in the Middle East, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday.

    The Jerusalem Post said the Soviet secret police last year secured the release of three kidnaped Soviet diplomats in Beirut by castrating a relative of a radical Lebanese Shia Muslim leader, sending him the severed organs and then shooting the relative in the head.

    The incident began when four Soviet diplomats were kidnaped last September by Muslim extremists who demanded that Moscow pressure the Syrian government to stop pro-Syrian militiamen from shelling rival Muslim positions in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

    The militiamen, the Jerusalem paper said, did not cease their attacks, and the body of one of the Soviet diplomats, Arkady Katkov, was found a few days later in a field in Beirut.

    The KGB then apparently kidnaped and killed a relative of an unnamed leader of the Shias’ Hezbollah (Party of God) group, a radical, pro-Iranian group that has been suspected of various terrorist activities against Western targets in Lebanon.

    Parts of the man’s body, the paper said, were then sent to the Hezbollah leader with a warning that he would lose other relatives in a similar fashion if the three remaining Soviet diplomats were not immediately released. They were quickly freed.

    The newspaper quoted “observers in Jerusalem” as saying: “This is the way the Soviets operate. They do things–they don’t talk. And this is the language Hezbollah understands.”

Arab terrorists never again, to my knowledge, tried to kill or kidnap Russians in the Middle East.

21 Nov 2008

Major Intelligence Breach in NATO Reported

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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 “sleeper” spy who passed top secret alliance information to Moscow.

Herman Simm (61), a retired official in Estonia’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 Estonia’s independence in 1991, state prosecutors believe Mr Simm made contact with the KGB’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 Estonia’s accession to the alliance in 2004.

That has alarmed Estonia’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 Rahumägi, chairman of the Estonian parliament’s security watchdog, admits that the spy has caused “historic damage” to the alliance.


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