Suspected Chinese spies in Alaska

U.S. officials are worried that Chinese nations posing as tourists have made several attempts in recent years to gain access to military facilities in Alaska. Many of the encounters have been chalked up to innocent mistakes but the attempts to enter military bases are a genuine concern. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa not taking security seriously?

More than 60 former sen ior security officials, military commanders and politicians, including five former defence ministers, are pressing the federal government to take security and defence more seriously. Along with a former Supreme Court of Canada judge, they have shared their concerns in a letter released April 17 by the Conference of Defence Associations Institute. [node:read-more:link]

CSE reports increased cyber threat

There has been a “notable” increase in cyber threat activity by Russia-aligned actors, the Communications Security Establishment reported April 13. “These are attention-grabbing, but do not mean the website has been hacked or that any information has been compromised,” said Sami Khoury, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security within the CSE. [node:read-more:link]

Alleged U.S. leaker detained

Jack Teixeira, 21, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard arrested in connection with leaked classified military documents was remanded in custody today by U.S. Federal Court in Boston. Arrested by the FBI April 13, he is scheduled for a further hearing April 20. [node:read-more:link]

Norway expels 15 Russians

Fifteen Russians accused of “covert intelligence activities” under diplomatic cover have been expelled by Norway, which shares a 197-kilometre Arctic border with Russia. The foreign ministry says the officials had been monitored “over time” before they were ordered out and it says Russia is the “greatest intelligence threat” facing Norway against a backdrop of Europe's “deteriorating security situation.” [node:read-more:link]

Alleged military leaker arrested

A 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard was arrested today by the FBI. He is described as the head of a small online gaming chat group through which classified U.S. intelligence documents have been leaked in recent months. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. rushes to reassure allies

The U.S. Defense Department says a leak of classified documents has not only disclosed information about the conflict in Ukraine but also intelligence about allies’ operations. U.S. officials are reaching out to concerned governments “to reassure them of our commitment to protecting intelligence and our ability to secure our partnerships.” [node:read-more:link]

Tactical plans on social media

Classified U.S. and NATO plans for bolstering Ukrainian forces ahead of a planned counteroffensive against Russia were posted this week on social media channels. They included information about possible weapons deliveries, troop and battalion strengths but not specific battle plans. [node:read-more:link]

Cold War redux

Before its recent arrest of a U.S. journalist on espionage charges, Russia suffered a string of embarrassing setbacks to its foreign intelligence operations as hundreds of suspected agents were expelled or charged abroad. Among other things, Poland recently arrested nine suspected nine Russian rail saboteurs and Britain says roughly half of Russia’s spies working under diplomatic cover in Europe were expelled within six months of the invasion of Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Australia to ban TikTok

Security concerns have prompted Australia to follow its partners in the Five Eyes security group in prohibiting the use of TikTok on government devices. Attorney Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said today that the ban would take effect “as soon as practicable” but that there could be exceptions. [node:read-more:link]

Finland clears NATO hurdle

Turkey’s parliament voted March 30 in favour of Finland joining NATO, greatly enlarging the alliance’s border with Russia. It’s seen as a strategic defeat for President Vladimir Putin who said last year in invading Ukraine that he wanted to block the alliance’s eastward expansion. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey okay with Finland in NATO

Finland moved a step closer to NATO membership today Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his parliament would ratify the application. Finland and Sweden applied 10 months ago but Turkey balked, accusing both of being too soft on political opponents it considered terrorist organizations and it still has reservations about Sweden. [node:read-more:link]

Ex-NSICOP member calls “B.S.”

Retired Conservative Senator Vern White is challenging Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre’ characterization of the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians. Poilievre described NSICOP’s work as “secret hearings, secret evidence and secret conclusions” controlled by Prime Minister. “Obviously that’s B.S.," says White, insisting that “our work was […] totally unfettered” even though the PM ensures security elements are redacted before NSICOP reports are made public. [node:read-more:link]

Italian officer jailed for espionage

Nearly two years after he was arrested in Rome while handing a memory card containing NATO “secret” and confidential” information to a Russian embassy staffer, an Italian navy captain was sentenced by a military tribunal Marcy 9 to 30 years in jail. The case also resulted in the expulsion of two Russian diplomats [node:read-more:link]

Chinese espionage plot backfires

When a Chinese aeronautical engineer invited a GE Aviation engineer in Cincinnati to deliver a lecture in China in 2017, he opted to accept without telling his employer. Questioned by the FBI on his return, he said he had been visiting friends and family but when faced with charges for lying to a federal agent, he agreed to a six-month counterintelligence operation that resulted in his Chinese handler being arrested in Europe. [node:read-more:link]


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