The arrest of a security guard at the British Embassy in Berlin is a reminder that the old spies did not go out of fashion. Betrayal stories, bribery and stolen texts make up racy stories and all sorts of spy fairy tales.
Berlin embassy arrest
But the fact is that there is nothing in the Berlin case that should surprise us. This suspicion is not uncommon, even though we have not heard it often.
Russia of aggressive acts
In recent years, Western countries have accused Russia of aggressive acts of its intelligence services – for example the GRU, a Russian military intelligence service, using a sensory agent in Salisbury or exploding a warehouse in the Czech Republic, both of which have killed innocent people.
- But you will not hear the same complaints when it comes to allegations involving the British Ambassador to Berlin.
- That’s because if it turns out to be true, following a legal process, then it can be business as usual when it comes to further traditional testing.
- And, even though they don’t like to admit it, because it’s kind of something that the British MI6 and the American CIA did in Russia and other countries.
- If the allegations of the authorities are correct, the methods and objectives in this case were the old school.
Cyber exploration, remote theft, has indeed been the dominant force since the advent of the internet. There was a fear in MI6 in the 1990s that they would be fired from the business because of what could be done online.
still in the spy world
But the fact is that people are still in the spy world. People hear things that can always be put down online. They can give access to places and other people and answer questions the scriptures do not know.
- The spies carefully examine the people who may be able to access useful information and look for specific weaknesses.
Decades ago, the Soviet Union could have relied on communist ideology to recruit people in the West but in recent years it has become increasingly common for people to be motivated by money, often obsessed with some form of grievance or disapproval of their health or employment and rarely sympathetic to Russia.
not be a crossroads of the Cold
Germany may not be a crossroads of the Cold War divided between East and West as it once was, but it is a strong economic and political force in Europe and apparently the most important spies with the most recent crimes including China and Russia.
Visual targets in Berlin were also unusual. The Ambassadors are full of interesting tactics and people – for example what talks are taking place about Russia’s sanctions or any kind of intelligence operation taking place against Russia’s intentions.
- Because they are the main victims, diplomatic security measures may be effective. The tactics are carefully scrutinized and intelligence officials will work to secure the release of the “bubbles” to make it difficult for the microphones to be drilled into the walls until negotiations are heard.
Employees – from security guards, as alleged in this case, to cleaners – underwent security checks but are not as strong as ambassadors. Everyone knows that there is a risk that they may be distracted by money or other incentives to provide information or access.
- That means that in Moscow, CIA officials have had to try to keep their cover to the point that they are not just lawyers “- even within the embassy – for fear of making sacrifices.
uncommon for cases
Inspections happen all the time, but it is not uncommon for cases to be made public or to go to court. Another reason is that the origin of the investigation is often confidential – it is possible that there is a spy within the Russian intelligence that reduces the Brits or Germans, but it needs to be protected. Whether there was a compromise of their communication or the way they work – similarly, the informants did not want that to be public, in order to continue to exploit their profits.
Security officials in Britain
Bringing evidence to court can also be deceptive. Security officials in Britain have recently argued that one of the reasons why there are so few lawsuits filed in a UK court is that the current Officials Secrets Act is out of date. Often in the past when someone was suspected of working for Moscow, they faced the prospect of making a confession, as happened with MI6 official George Blake, or sometimes they were given an agreement to avoid trial It would be a shame, as was the case with another MI6 official, Kim Philby.
Berlin embassy arrest
But even if only a few cases go to court, do not let that deceive you into thinking that this type of examination does not always happen, just below and often undetectable.