Forty-fifth edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: Sat, 02 Feb 2002 11:46:09 +0100)

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Intelligence news

China

The following is an excerpt of an article in the Washington Post.

"Somewhere on a military airfield north of Beijing, China's presidential aircraft, a new Boeing 767-300ER with all the trimmings, sits unused with parts of its innards torn out. Last October, days before its planned maiden voyage, Chinese military communications experts discovered numerous high-tech listening devices planted inside the plane, according to Chinese and Western sources, who said they had been told of this by Chinese military officers and aviation officials. The plane was grounded and has not been flown since it was delivered."
"The Chinese source said that, to date, 27 listening devices had been found, including devices in the presidential bathroom and in the headboard of the presidential bed. A Western executive and a Western diplomat said they had been told by Chinese aviation sources that the devices were highly sophisticated. The diplomat said they "had to be triggered by a satellite communication. In that sense, they were very advanced."

Russia

According to Cuban authorities Russia's SIGINT post at Lourdes has been shut down after almost 40 years of service. The naval base at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam will be closed shortly. There are rumours that Russia will open a new SIGINT post in North Korea.

Russia / UK

The Kommersant Business Daily reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared on a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on 23 December. He announced the establishment of a joint Russian-British counter terrorism combat group comprised of officers from both countries' foreign intelligence services. The group will also include Russian and British diplomats, as well as members of both countries' militaries.
<source: American Foreign Policy Council, Washington, DC>


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