Russia: biggest spy threat to Britain

#1
Russia: biggest spy threat to Britain
Sunday Telegraph
Link
The Russian intelligence services, the prime suspects behind the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, have a network of more than 30 spies operating in Britain, it can be revealed.

The sophisticated ring represents the greatest espionage threat facing Britain, Whitehall sources told The Sunday Telegraph.

The agents, equivalent to one in five of the Moscow government officials based in Britain, are known to be monitoring the movements and activities of Russian emigres and opponents of the Putin regime.

But they are also involved in a widespread operation targeting businessmen, MPs and scientists in an attempt to steal commercial and state secrets. Only the United States, it is understood, has more Russian agents operating on its soil.
 
#2
I'd be astonished if we didn't have a similar number of spies in Russia: countries spy on each other as a matter of course. I'm not entirely sure where the moral high ground comes from here.
 
#4
British spies with their magic stones were filmed in Moscow. So it would be logical to suggest that Russian spies operate in London.
 
#5
Surprised at the number. I would have expected it to be higher.
Depends what you class as a spy. Those specifically trained and sent here to ´spy´ or those plus all the people on their payroll who reside in this country. Their are plenty of East European immigrants in the UK. Lots of them without money.
I´m sure they´re easy pickings for the Ruskies. All those innocent looking cleaners with their poor English, snooping through your things after you´ve left the office.....
 
#6
I would hope that we have active intelligence regarding Russia, but the biggest?

I'm not so sure, the US have extensive cold war listening posts in the UK, not all of that 'listening' is aimed outside the UK, I'm sure its might be more industrial espionage, rather than political or military, but is arguably the biggest spy threat to the UK.

Ratcatcher
 
#7
KGB_resident said:
British spies with their magic stones were filmed in Moscow. So it would be logical to suggest that Russian spies operate in London.
That is fair comment, Comrade, but have there been many incidences of assassination using Polonium 210 in Moscow where the perpetrators are suspected to be MI6? Maybe MI6 use other means...

And you're right, we should always expect foreign agents to operate in our fine capital city. Is London any different to any other capital?
 
#8
Unsworth said:
KGB_resident said:
British spies with their magic stones were filmed in Moscow. So it would be logical to suggest that Russian spies operate in London.
That is fair comment, Comrade, but have there been many incidences of assassination using Polonium 210 in Moscow where the perpetrators are suspected to be MI6? Maybe MI6 use other means...
It is not clear are Russian secret services ever involved into the poisoning.

Several years ago an American defector died in Moscow due to exhausted gases in his garage. This sort of death could be interpreted as an assasination as well. Though the guy likely committed a suicide.

Let's ask yourselves, why MI6 hadn't killed Philby? Because it was unthinkable to do it from moral point of view or because it was beyond real abilities of MI6?

I'm sure that secret services are voided any moral barriers and returning to the case with mr.Litvinenko it should be said that indeed Russian secret services were in theory able to kill him as a majority of men are able to rape any woman.
 
#9
KGB_resident said:
Unsworth said:
KGB_resident said:
British spies with their magic stones were filmed in Moscow. So it would be logical to suggest that Russian spies operate in London.
That is fair comment, Comrade, but have there been many incidences of assassination using Polonium 210 in Moscow where the perpetrators are suspected to be MI6? Maybe MI6 use other means...
It is not clear are Russian secret services ever involved into the poisoning.

Several years ago an American defector died in Moscow due to exhausted gases in his garage. This sort of death could be interpreted as an assasination as well. Though the guy likely committed a suicide.

Let's ask yourselves, why MI6 hadn't killed Philby? Because it was unthinkable to do it from moral point of view or because it was beyond real abilities of MI6?

I'm sure that secret services are voided any moral barriers and returning to the case with mr.Litvinenko it should be said that indeed Russian secret services were in theory able to kill him as a majority of men are able to rape any woman.
Sergey, unless you know something that we do not, (not impossible in this situation :wink: ) then your post is premature. Why not wait for the investigation to be completed before making this statement. There is a precedent for KGB/FSB/Bulgarian Secret Service assasinations in London (see Georgi Markov).

Re Philby, what's the point of assasinating a drunk? I'm sure that if it had been perceived as necessary, it would have been managed somehow. But you go on thinking that MI6 are useless.

PB
 
#10
PokerPro said:
Surprised at the number. I would have expected it to be higher.
Depends what you class as a spy. Those specifically trained and sent here to ´spy´ or those plus all the people on their payroll who reside in this country. Their are plenty of East European immigrants in the UK. Lots of them without money.
I´m sure they´re easy pickings for the Ruskies. All those innocent looking cleaners with their poor English, snooping through your things after you´ve left the office.....
You're certainly onto something there, PokerPro! In America, the biggest spy threat for the Septics comes from Israel. Likewise in the UK, I'd suspect the biggest spy threat by far comes from the Septics and not the Ivans.

MsG
 
#11
GM_1000 said:
I'd be astonished if we didn't have a similar number of spies in Russia: countries spy on each other as a matter of course. I'm not entirely sure where the moral high ground comes from here.
Good point, plus isn't it as common to spy on 'friends' as 'enemies'? Always surprises me to see those Yanks busted for spying for Israel. I'm sure Britain watches the French as closely to see what wily Gallic schemes they're plotting...
 
#12
PassingBells said:
Why not wait for the investigation to be completed before making this statement.
OK PassingBells, let's wait for the end of the investigation.

PassingBells said:
There is a precedent for KGB/FSB/Bulgarian Secret Service assasinations in London (see Georgi Markov).
Fair remark. Bulgarians indeed used Soviet made poison against Bulgarian political emmigrant.

PassingBells said:
Re Philby, what's the point of assasinating a drunk? I'm sure that if it had been perceived as necessary, it would have been managed somehow. But you go on thinking that MI6 are useless.
I'm sure that MI6 and its 00X's are able to kill even a devil himself (if needed) but it seems to me that all sides of spy community keep to untold and unsigned rule: not to kill defectors because it could cause too many problems.
 
#13
KGB_resident said:
It is not clear are Russian secret services ever involved into the poisoning.

Several years ago an American defector died in Moscow due to exhausted gases in his garage. This sort of death could be interpreted as an assasination as well. Though the guy likely committed a suicide.

Let's ask yourselves, why MI6 hadn't killed Philby? Because it was unthinkable to do it from moral point of view or because it was beyond real abilities of MI6?

I'm sure that secret services are voided any moral barriers and returning to the case with mr.Litvinenko it should be said that indeed Russian secret services were in theory able to kill him as a majority of men are able to rape any woman.
Well, Sergey, I don't think I said that Russian forces poisoned Litvinenko. What I asked was whether there had been poisonings of people in Russia with Polonium 210 which were attributable to MI6?

The enquiry may, or may not, establish the truth. I think it's unlikely that it will really get the whole story. Sponsored assassinations are common enough, anyway, although the 'style' of assassination is often revealing.

So one can only look at the balance of probabilities, and you have to ask who would gain most from Litvinenko's death, do they have the means of arranging it, and are they likely to do it?
 
#15
The perpetrators (in my opinion) of the killing are one of the following:

1, They are Russian and/or working for the Russians and/or working for what they believe is in the best of Russian interests (Litvinenko passing state secrets or some such other irritation.) If so, they have made a bit of a pigs ear of it. International media coverage since the guy was admitted to hospital, the spotlight on Russia´s espionage/sabotage capabilities. British anti terrorist investigators now travelling to Russia etc etc, hardly professional and can´t be something the Kremlin will be too happy about. Contrast this attention to the possible gains and draw your conclusion as to whether the whole exercise has been worthwhile.

2, A N other agency acting in their own interests or in the interests of another nation, gaining DIRECTLY from Litvinenkos death whilst simultaneously drawing huge adverse media attention onto Russia´s secret service through the use of such an exotic method of assassination, as opposed to two bullets in the chest. Perhaps, if he was talking to another group, his usefulness had begun to wane, and rather than having a known informer on the loose, on no-one´s payroll, it was deemed prudent to tidy things up.

I´d be more inclined to go for the second (as its more interesting for one thing) and I just can´t fathom why they´d use Polonium to kill him. I really don´t think the Russians would make such a mess of it.
If it is theory 1, then it would have to be another party operating on their behalf. Another party whom the Kremlin would now be rather pissed off with. I´m sticking to theory number 2.
 
#16
Unsworth said:
What I asked was whether there had been poisonings of people in Russia with Polonium 210 which were attributable to MI6?
It is a strange question. I suspect that you are well aware about the right answer. So why are you asking it? Of course there is no one poisoning in Russia with Polonium 210 where MI6 was suspected. And what?

There are rumours that MI6 was involved into the death of one well know Lady. From my point of view all speculations are no more than rumours.
 
#17
KGB_resident said:
It is a strange question. I suspect that you are well aware about the right answer. So why are you asking it? Of course there is no one poisoning in Russia with Polonium 210 where MI6 was suspected. And what?

There are rumours that MI6 was involved into the death of one well know Lady. From my point of view all speculations are no more than rumours.
Just to spell it out. Polonium 210 has many aspects which are unique. Only a few know where and how to obtain and admister it - and in what dosages. European and North American agencies tend to use other means. There's a message in the method.

And of course there is much speculation and rumour surrounding this case, that's inevitable.
 
#18
Unsworth said:
Polonium 210 has many aspects which are unique. Only a few know where and how to obtain and admister it...
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/29/polonium_available_online/

Polonium-210, the radioactive isotope fingered as the substance used to off exiled Russian KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, is available to buy online for just $69 plus shipping and handling.

New Mexico firm United Nuclear Scientific Equipment & Supplies offers a sample of radioactive element on its website, as part of its aim of putting the "fun back into science".
So now you are on of the few.
 
#19
KGB_resident said:
Unsworth said:
Polonium 210 has many aspects which are unique. Only a few know where and how to obtain and admister it...
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/11/29/polonium_available_online/

Polonium-210, the radioactive isotope fingered as the substance used to off exiled Russian KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko, is available to buy online for just $69 plus shipping and handling.

New Mexico firm United Nuclear Scientific Equipment & Supplies offers a sample of radioactive element on its website, as part of its aim of putting the "fun back into science".
So now you are on of the few.
Well Sergey, let's not assume that people buy the material and then just 'administer' the stuff to the victim. How, and in what form? You can buy anything on line, but not everyone knows what to do with the stuff or its effects and, with respect, there's a slight difference between purchase for 'entertainment' and purchase for lethal usage.

Very many chemicals which you can buy in the supermarket are individually, or when combined, dangerous. But I've tried without success to buy Polonium 210 in my local branch of Safeways. They seem to have run out of stock. Maybe it's just a very popular item... So I go back to my initial point which is this is an unusual chemical used in a highly unusual manner. That takes knowledge and determination.

And, as I've said, Polonium 210 is very much a different kind of weaponry - and that tells a story.
 

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