Spies: The CIA’s travel tips

ON SUNDAY, Wikileaks released two documents that the group claims are secret Central Intelligence Agency manuals for officers travelling abroad. The first, titled “Surviving Secondary”, is dated September 2011, and focusses on helping officers get through secondary screenings at airports with their covers intact. The second, “Schengen Overview”, is dated January 2012, and explains the ins-and-outs of Europe’s visa-free Schengen Area and the threats various European biometric databases might pose to undercover operatives. Genuine or not (“We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported stolen intelligence documents,” Ryan Trapani, a CIA spokesman, told Bloomberg via email), they are both fascinating reads.Julian Assange, Wikileaks’s founder, justifies the release of the documents by claiming that they “show that under the Obama administration the CIA is still intent on infiltrating European Union borders and conducting clandestine operations in EU member states”. This is hardly a surprise. But it is also hard to see the release of these documents, if authentic, doing much damage to American intelligence efforts. Terrorists no doubt already know the techniques “Surviving Secondary” emphasises: “The Importance of Maintaining Cover—No Matter What”, for example, is just common sense. For their part, European officials surely know the …

Link to article: www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2014/12/spies?fsrc=rss

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