Eighteenth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Sat, 02 Oct 1999 16:04:00 +0200)

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Intelligence news

Spy granny

87-year-old Melita Norwood, code name Hola, reportedly had access to British atomic secrets through her office job at the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association, which was involved in metallurgical research associated with the bomb project, The Times said.

Mrs Norwood said to The Times: 'In the same circumstances, I know that I would do the same thing again.'

The extent of Mrs. Norwood's access to British secrets has not been determined. 'It wasn't much,' she told The Times.

Nevertheless, other sources specify that, thanks to Hola, Stalin had better knowledge of the British nuclear programme developments than those of the British government members who were not directly involved.

Hola was recruited in 1937. The Times claims her reports to the communists accelerated the development of Soviet nuclear weapons immediately after World War II.

KGB transmitters found in Brussels

Belgian authorities, tipped off by the British secret service, have discovered three caches with KGB radio transmitter equipment buried in the woods outside the capital.

It was unclear when the equipment had been dug in, but it was most likely during the height of the Cold War. The Soviet spy agency's equipment was found three to six feet underground. One cache was discovered close to Leuven, the second north of Brussels, and the third in the woods of Halle, all ca 15 km from Brussels.


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