UNITED KINGDOM

Post-Cold War

1999

Click for materials dealing with the "Spy Fever" that hit the UK in September 1999 with the publication of the materials smuggled out of Russian foreign intelligence archives by Vasili Mitrokhin.

Materials presented chronologically.

Harris, Francis, and Michael Smith. "MI6 Man Is Named by Czechs in Sacking Row." Telegraph (London), 3 Feb. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

On 2 February 1999, "MI6 was forced to consider withdrawing its man in Prague ... after renegade Czech security officers named him and disclosed that he was a homosexual living with another man." Christopher Hurran "was identified after members of the Czech security service, BIS, blamed him for their boss's sacking. Mr Hurran's name, sexual orientation and pictures of his house were broadcast by Czech television and carried in several newspapers."

Smith, Michael. "Fate of Iraqi Mole Led to Spy Clash." Telegraph (London), 4 Feb. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"The row that led to the naming of the MI6 head of station in Prague began with what should have been a major success story for British intelligence. MI6 had been running an agent in the heart of the Iraqi intelligence service, giving detailed information on Saddam Hussein's attempts to obtain nuclear, chemical and biological weapons technology.

"Jabir Salim, the 43-year-old head of Mukhabarrat operations in Eastern Europe, whose cover was as Iraqi consul in Prague, was an 'agent-in-place', an invaluable source for British intelligence. But just over a month ago, he was 'brought in from the cold' and, according to intelligence sources, is currently being debriefed at a safe house in the Home Counties.'"

Smith, Michael. "Spymasters Hit at Czech Ministers Over MI6 'Outing.'" Telegraph (London), 18 Feb. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

Oldrich Cerny, the former head of the Czech foreign intelligence service (UZSI), and Stanislav Devaty, his former counterpart at the Czech Security and Intelligence Office (BIS), "have hit out at the country's Social Democrat government over the 'outing' of the homosexual head of MI6 in Prague.... Both men pointed to the painstaking way in which they had developed close relationships with their British counterparts in the years since the fall of communism only to see their efforts destroyed by Prague's inability to keep secrets.

"The row broke earlier this month when a Czech television station broadcast the name, address and sexual orientation of Mr. Hurran.... Cerny regretted that so much of the press coverage focused on the fact that Mr. Hurran was the [British] service's first openly homosexual head of station.... Hurran is likely to be kept in place for the time being. MI6 insists that his work has not been seriously damaged.... But the former army officer has been in Prague for two years and would in any case be due a posting soon."

Leppard, David, Chris Hastings, and Mark Franchetti.

1. "Agent X and the City Spy Ring." Times (London), 21 Feb. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"[A] former high-ranking intelligence officer [Agent X] with 20 years' experience has revealed how Russian spies were planted in British financial institutions in London and abroad."

2. "MI6 Alarm as Another Renegade Spy Spills Secrets." Times (London), 21 Feb. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

Another MI6 agent "has disclosed sensitive secrets. The agent's revelations -- identifying spies and describing MI6 front companies and covert operations -- will further alarm the spymasters.... They are still reeling from the damage inflicted by David Shayler and Richard Tomlinson ... and the 'naming and shaming' of the MI6 chief in Prague." The disclosures come from "a former senior intelligence officer with more than 20 years' experience in British and European operations.... Last week he named Colonel Andrey Arsenyev as the Russian agent who set up Moscow's economic spying war on Britain. Arsenyev was based at the Russian embassy."

Evans, Michael. "Ex-Secret Agent Is New 'C' of MI6." Times (London), 26 Feb. 1999. [http://www.the- times.co.uk]

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook announced on 25 February 1999 that Richard Dearlove, 54, will succeed Sir David Spedding as head of MI6 in September 1999. Dearlove is at present director of operations and assistant chief of MI6.

Click for the FCO press release on Dearlove's APPOINTMENT. See also, Michael Smith, "Assistant Chief Is Named as the New Head of MI6," Telegraph (London), 26 Feb. 1999.

Evans, Michael. "SAS 'on the Ground in Kosovo.'" Times (London), 13 Apr. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"[I]t can be assumed that special forces elements are in Kosovo and that they are providing key intelligence to back up the rapidly improving picture of where the Yugoslav 3rd Army forces are located. The role of the SAS would be to hunt for and then pinpoint the disposition of Yugoslav troops and armoured units, as well as fixed military sites, and provide precise grid references for bomber pilots."

Rufford, Nicholas. "Government Gags Sunday Times." Times (London), 23 May 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"The government has issued a last-minute gagging order against The Sunday Times preventing it publishing details of an intelligence operation that produced clear evidence of [Libyan leader] Gadaffi's personal involvement in the bombing of Pan Am 103.... The disclosure of Gadaffi's personal involvement came to the British security services between 1990 and 1995 from two separate intelligence sources. It was circulated to a restricted number of officers within MI5, responsible for domestic counter-terrorism."

Elsworth, Catherine. "Gadaffi 'Ordered Lockerbie Plot.'" Telegraph (London), 23 May 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"The Official Solicitor [on 22 May 1999] banned publication of detailed claims that the security services had evidence showing Colonel Gadaffi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing. The claims stem from the renegade MI5 agent David Shayler." [Click for materials on SHAYLER]

Sylvester, Rachel. "Big Brother Blair Plans 'Snooper Computer.'" The Independent, 1 Aug. 1999. [http://www.independent.co.uk]

"Personal bank accounts, confidential medical records and individual tax files are set to be accessed by the Government as part of a far-reaching clamp down on fraud being actively considered by Downing Street. The proposal was immediately condemned by civil libertarians last night as a further step towards 'big brother Britain.'"

Leppard, David, Paul Nuki, and Gareth Walsh.

1. "MI6 Paid for Dirty Tricks, Says Burglar." Sunday Times (London), 8 Aug. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"MI6 is facing embarrassment this weekend over claims" by Chris Clark, a former South African intelligence officer and professional burglar and telephone tapper, "that he was paid to carry out dirty tricks for the British government.... Clark ... has told The Sunday Times he took part in a series of illegal buggings and break-ins for MI6 and other security agencies."

2. "My 10-Year Campaign of Dirty Tricks for MI6." Sunday Times (London), 8 Aug. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

Provides additional details of the allegations by Chris Clark of "dirty tricks" by MI6 and others. This lengthy article includes a sidebar story, "Spying for Apartheid": "Chris Clark honed his skills as a professional burglar and phone-tapper in 'dirty tricks' campaigns against the African National Congress (ANC) and other opponents of apartheid in South Africa."

Reeves, Richard. "E-Squad Launched to Crack Criminal Codes on The Net: Government Starts £20 Million Anti-Encryption Force Amid Claims That US Has Windows Super Key." The Observer, 5 Sep. 1999. [http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/observer/uk]

"A specialist code-cracking unit is being set up to counter the growing use of encrypted e-mail messages by drug-runners and paedophile rings. The unit, with funding of £15-20 million, will draw staff from the Government's communications centres at GCHQ.... [T]he unit ... will be given a deliberately anodyne name -- almost certainly the Government Telecommunications Advisory Centre.... [T]he National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) ... will also provide staff and support for the unit."

BBC. "MI5's Mystery Man." 14 Sep. 1999. [http://news1.thls.bbc.co.uk]

"So much for MI5's much-vaunted bid to be more open. Try digging around for information on Stephen Lander, the director-general of the Security Service, and there is precious little you will find."

Hellen, Nicholas. "Agents in BBC Betrayed Dissidents." Sunday Times (London), 17 Oct. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

According to "government intelligence sources responsible for BBC security," there is "[n]ew evidence ... that foreign governments planted many more agents within the BBC than was previously thought. The infiltration began after the second world war and continued until the early 1990s. The agents betrayed dissidents who were risking their lives smuggling news from within communist and Islamic fundamentalist states."

Return to UK Post-Cold War Table of Contents