Sunday, March 6, 2005

Active counter-intelligence

Bill Gertz writes in today's Washington times that the U.S. targets spy services abroad. All I can say is "Sheesh — it's about time!" From the article:

The new mission for counterintelligence is to identify foreign spies and terrorist threats, and then develop "a counterintelligence doctrine of attacking foreign intelligence services systematically via strategic counterintelligence operations," Miss Van Cleave said.

The offensive counterintelligence strategy is part of the Bush administration's policy of pre-empting strategic threats. It is also part of President Bush's announced plan to promote democracy and freedom and undermine global tyranny, she said.

In the past, counterintelligence often was limited to "catching spies." Previously captured spies, including CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, a Russian mole in the FBI, "caused stunning losses," Miss Van Cleave said.

In the battle against terrorists, new counterintelligence activities will target the intelligence services of state sponsors of terrorism, such as Syria and Iran.

"The intelligence services of state sponsors may represent the key links in the global terrorist-support network," Miss Van Cleave said. "Terrorist groups perform traditional intelligence activities in the way they gather information, recruit sources and use assets."

Under the new strategy, U.S. intelligence agencies will more aggressively work to disrupt terrorist operations by targeting their intelligence links.

The strategy was approved March 1 by the president, and formal guidance to the CIA, FBI and other security agencies involved in counterintelligence work will be issued in the next several weeks, a U.S. intelligence official said. A formal report on the strategy also will be made public and sent to Congress, perhaps as early as this month.

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