17.01.2007 – Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review

Russian Federal Security Service chief issues high security alert over terrorist threat
Russia’s security services order to suspend cellular phone services to reduce risk of terrorism act
Russian security experts consider warning on terrorism acts a provocation
FBI does not comment on ways Russian secret services obtained information on acts of terrorism threat
Russia’s Prosecutor-General for creation of unified committee of investigation
One more key suspect in Alexander Litvinenko’s poisoning case 
Russian ex-protection officer speaks out on peculiarities of Federal Protection Service
Efforts of Central-Asian secret services not sufficient for terror fight
First group of trainees graduates anti-terrorist centre in breakaway Abkhazia 
Russian spy charge in Poland strucks its initiator a decade later
Lithuania hands over alleged Belarusian spy to Poland
Prominent Polish journalist admits to cooperating with communist intelligence
Collective amnesia – German paper on Romania’s corrupt secret service
Stamen Stanchev’s lawyer thinks there are contradicting data in prosecutor’s report

Russian Federal Security Service chief issues security alert over terrorist threat

Nikolai Patrushev  

Director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Nikolai Patrushev has placed security forces on high alert after receiving information of plans for a possible terrorist attack on the country’s transportation system, Radio Liberty reports. According to Patrushev, foreign partners have informed the Federal Operative Headquarters of a possible terrorist act in public transport, including the metro, the radio says. The information is now being verified, Patrushev added.
News agency ITAR-TASS reports that the National Antiterrorism Committee spokesman has said that the Federal Security ordered the alert yesterday and called for stepped-up measures to prevent any attack. The Federal Operative Headquarters urged organizations and companies involved in public transport to help ensure the security of passengers, according to the agency.
The potential threat was discussed at a meeting of the Federal Operative Headquarters, which is under the auspices of the National Antiterrorism Committee, a body created by President Vladimir Putin early last year to coordinate anti-terror efforts. Law enforcement agencies gave reports on measures they were taking to avert an attack, ITAR-TASS cites the committees statement said. That suggesting the information was received earlier, but it was unclear when. The officials gave no details on the nature of the threat or measures taken. It also remained unclear what country provided the information that led to the alert.

Russia’s security services orders to suspend cellular phone services to reduce risk of terrorism act
Russia’s three leading mobile phone operators MTS, VimpelCom and Megafon have suspended services in the Moscow subway, RIA Novosti reports today, referring to the companies spokesperson, who unofficially said the move is connected to a possible terrorist threat.
The cellular operators plan to resume services in the metro from 12 a.m. tomorrow if there are no additional recommendations from authorities, the agency says. The Centre of Public Relations of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia told the press it did not know under whose initiative the operators had disconnected their networks, daily Vzglyad online edition reports.
Switching-off of mobile communication in the face of terrorist threat is an usual measure to which security services resort on a regular basis.
Having disconnected mobiles phone, security services hope to lower risk of terrorist attack in the Moscow underground. According to the Vympelcom representative, officials’ directive isn’t illegal, as such possibility is stipulated by the Russian legislation, the paper adds. The operators do not say whether conversations of subscribers have been listened, Vzglyad notes.

Russian security experts consider warning on terrorism acts a provocation

  Yuri Drozdov 

The information on threat of acts of terrorism on the public transportation system in Russia has not proved to be true, official representative of the National Antiterrorism Committee, Nikolay Sintsov told radio Ekho Moskvy this afternoon. At the same time, as he said, the taken security measures had allowed to minimize threat of such acts on the city transport.
At the same time news agency RBC reported that the Moscow authorities have strengthened security measures on capital water-fences; special control quality of potable water is taken, tests of water have been conducted more often.
A source, close to security services, told the newspaper Vzglyad today that the warning of a possible attack had been received from an American secret service «and had been conveyed through [Russia’s Health and Social Development Minister] Mikhail Zurabov».
Meanwhile Russian security experts have been expressing their doubts about the plausibility of the warning on threats of terrorism acts in Russia. In opinion of experts, the information, received from abroad, requires at least additional check. The experts even consider that the warning on possible acts of terrorism can be a political provocation, Vzglyad online edition writes.
Yuri Drozdov, ex-KGB Major-General, head of the Namakon analytical centre, says that “inflation of the situation is gainfully to the US and Britain”. He claims that “all this reduces efficiency of Russia’s efforts in the foreign policy and in the CIS space. Our foreign partners should be more benevolent and more reasonable».

FBI does not comment on ways Russian secret services got terrorist plot warning
The United States federal criminal investigative intelligence agency has declined to comment on whether it provided Russian authorities with information on a possible terrorist plot to attack public transport, RIA Novosti news agency reports.
FBI does not make comments on the reports on possible transfer of Russia such information, FBI special agent Stephen Kodak said. Kodak told the news agency the FBI never comments on information exchange with foreign intelligence services, and added that it is up to its foreign partners to decide whether to disclose sources. The interlocutor of the news agency has neither confirmed nor denied the assumption that Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee received the information on preparing acts of terrorism from the United States. Asked by the RIA Novosti about the procedure in case of the FBI’s information transfer to other state, Kodak noted that “usually it is done through the [US] State Department”.

Russia’s Prosecutor-General for creation of unified committee of investigation
Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika has said he welcomes the idea of creating one body responsible for conducting all investigations, news agency ITAR-TASS reports. Asked about the possibility of establishing in Russia a unified investigation agency identical to that of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Chaika told the media he was definitely for it.
“I am an active supporter of creating one committee of investigation that would take over all investigation functions of the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service, FSB, the prosecutors’ offices and other law enforcement agencies,” he said. Chaika added that at the same time he believed that the prosecutor’s offices had to retain certain investigative powers that would let them probe into any criminal cases, depending on their social significance and complexity. 

One more key suspect in Alexander Litvinenko’s poisoning case
According to Oleg Gordievsky, the former KGB resident in the United Kingdom, now the historian of intelligence, murderer of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian ex-security service officer, had been a high-level professional, Radio Liberty reports.
The ex-spy said that the man had arrived in London from Hamburg on November 1 and the investigators have his photo. The murderer was photographed by the surveillance cameras established at the London Heathrow airport. Obviously the murderer had passed through the border under a false European Union passport. His traces had not been found in any London hotel. In the evening after the murderer or the next day, he apparently had managed to leave the country using other false passport of the European Union. According to Gordievsky, the murderer stored the passports by himself in a covering of a portfolio. The ex-spy added that the investigation of Litvinenko’s murder has been conducted for the third month, however all the important proofs had been found out in the first couple of days. 

Russian ex-protection officer speaks out on peculiarities of Federal Protection Service

Sergei Danilochkin  

Omsk edition of the popular Russian weekly Argumenty i Fakty published an interview with Sergei Danilochkin, ex-Lieutenant-Colonel of the Russian Federal Protection Service (FSO).
There is no special secret how the new employees come to serve there, Danilochkin says. In his time, officers from the KGB personnel department examined all personal files of the demobilized soldiers – Moscow residents. According to requirements, a candidate had to be tall, sportive, pleasant appearance. The candidate was invited to an interview, then were inquiries sent to his school, work, to militia. Relatives of the candidate, his eventual punishments, travels abroad were checked, too. If the young man was a relative of dissidents, his candidacy was given up at once, similar to those who had even once been shortly detained by militia or reprimanded in the army. Then there was a medical commission with special, more strict requirements. Only one of each hundred of candidates was accepted to the 9th Directorate of the KGB (predecessor of the FSO). 
The future security guard was obliged to play the master with a pistol and a machine gun, the automatic machine-rifle; there were training of fighting sambo-wrestling (Russian type of self-defense), karate later. The new servicemen studied the KGB legal activity statutory acts, rules of behavior. Upon termination of special courses they received a rank and became protection officers. Danilochkin at once got in a unit of protection of the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
According to Danilochkin, all the heads of the State were disciplined, except for Boris Yeltsin, the first President of Russia. For example, Yeltsin could decide to change at any moment the route of his motorcade if, for example, he saw a crowd of people in the street; he left to them, talked about their problems. Yeltsin could stop the machine at a grocery shop and went to communicate with sellers and buyers. In fact nobody could assume which site exactly it was necessary to expose protection, and it was necessary to make urgent decisions. In case of disobedience Yeltsin could dismiss the person without any ceremonies, this was how Alexander Korzhakov, the chief of the Presidential Security Service (SBP – the former unit of Federal Protection Service) was dismissed.
If the head of the state had his vacation, for example, at the governmental summer residence and was willing to go to swim he informed the chief bodyguard who was well informed about all his whims and predilections. The wish of the leader was conveyed to the officers and the protection team rearranged. One of officers was swimming together with the statesman, and at the bottom of a reservoir the work during this moment was taken up by skin-divers from special division.
Asked in which state the protection of the statesmen is the strongest, Danilochkin replies that it mostly depends on the country’s political situation. He considers that now it is Israel that has the most powerful presidential protection. “In America they have the most good-looking protection service, but Russia has the best. We never had to get the weapon from a holster, and it is the main parameter of professionalism”. 

Efforts of Central-Asian secret services not sufficient for terror fight
The efforts made by secret services are not sufficient for the fight with terrorism, extremism and separatism in the Central Asian region, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) Bolat Nurgaliyev told on Wednesday, KAZINFORM news agency reports. A comprehensive approach, the combination of political, diplomatic, socio-economic and humanitarian measures are important, Nurgaliyev emphasized.
The SCO “was initially created, based on the realization of actual threats for the stability of the SCO founding states,” he pointed out. “A good deal of work has been done, practical achievements have been obtained” for the last five years, Nurgaliyev went on to say. “The SCO states intend to elaborate the current legal basis, step up practical cooperation between agencies, which fight with terrorism, drug trafficking and arms smuggling,” Nurgaliyev remarked.
“The developing mechanism of joint reaction to situations, which threaten stability and security in the region, will be of great importance. Certainly, assessing future challenges and the whole range of regional threats, we should adhere to a complex approach, taking into account a wide range of issues, including energy and ecological security, prevention of epidemics, the struggle with drug trafficking and many other issues,” Nurgaliyev indicated. 

First group of trainees graduates anti-terrorist centre in breakaway Abkhazia
The setting up of the anti-terrorist centre in breakaway Abkhazia is prompted because of “the foray of terrorist groups and armed gangs from Georgian territory,” de facto Abkhaz president Sergey Bagapsh stated while attending the graduation ceremony of the recruits for the Abkhaz anti-terrorist centre in Ochamchire district last week, online paper The Messenger reports.
The formation of the centre started last June when Abkhaz authorities announced an open competition, inviting men between the ages of 25 and 35 to participate, Apsnypress reported. According to Abkhaz TV reports, the soldiers of the anti-terrorist centre have mastered different types of modern weapons and gained various combat skills. Analytical and intelligence units are being formed at the centre. Several units have already been formed. They will be on duty in the most dangerous places of Abkhazia, the number of which is not getting smaller, the commander of the anti-terrorist centre said. Talking with the Russian news agency Regnum, the unnamed commander of the Abkhaz anti-terrorist centre denied allegations by the Georgian Interior Ministry, accusing the centre of participation in Ganmukhuri checkpoint assail last week.
According to earlier reports in the Georgian media, the aim of the anti-terrorist centre was to control the Kodori Gorge and the lower zone in Gali, The Messenger says. Early reports claim that, among the members of the anti-terrorist centre were the Union of Mountain People and Kabardino-Balkarian soldiers. The heads of the personal security service of Bagapsh, Otar Khetsia and Erik Vouba, said then that the members of anti-terrorist centre have undergone three months training in Maikop held by prominent top ranking Russian military officials. 

Russian spy charge in Poland strucks its initiator a decade later

  Andrzej Milczanowski

A closed process in the case, that 11 years ago had shaken all Poland and caused a political crisis, begun yesterday in the Warsaw district court, Moscow-based daily Vremya novostei reports.
The ex-Minister of Interior of Poland, he 67-year-old Andrzej Milczanowski is accused of disclosure of the state secret; this is how the Office of Public Prosecutor has qualified his actions on «exposure of a Russian spy». The developments begun in the Polish parliament on December 21, 1995.
That day, speaking from a parliamentary podium, Minister of Interior, Milczanowski, stunned the MPs and all the country by his “discovery”. He announced that Jozef Oleksy, the then Prime Minister and one of the leaders of the Union of Democratic Left Forces, was a source of information for the USSR intelligence and Russia, through his contacts to the Soviet KGB officer Vladimir Alganov. Then one more sensational revelation was made: the Russian agent under the pseudonym of Olin and Prime Minister Oleksy was one and the same person.
Oleksy rejected all these charges, though he recognized that he had “talked” to Russian intelligence resident Alganov. Under the pressure of a campaign that developed against him the Prime Minister had to submit his resignation.
According to the initiative of the minister the military Office of Public Prosecutor begun investigation in Oleksy case, but in April, 1996 it was stopped. It was announced then that the materials gathered by secret services could be treated «exclusively as circumstantial evidences». For the short period, many articles and books appeared, authors of which were trying to draw attention to the Russian espionage network that had ostensibly entangled Poland, Vremya novostei writes. However it is knot known till now who had been hiding under Olin’s pseudonym and whether there was such an agent in general.
Accusing Milczanowski in disclosure of the state secret, the Office of Public Prosecutor approves that he had no right to inform high government officials about his suspicions. The vigilant security officer had hastened to notify about his information the just elected President Aleksander Kvasnevsky, who had not entered upon his duties at the moment, the speakers of a parliament and the senate, chairmen of the constitutional and administrative courts, and also the Minister of Foreign Affairs. 
Milczanowski may be condemned to five years of imprisonment if found guilty.

Lithuania hands over alleged Belarusian spy to Poland
Lithuania has handed over to Poland today a Belarusian who was arrested last year on suspicions of espionage, news agencies are reporting, referring to a statement of Lithuanian prosecutors. It was said in the statement that the Belarusian, Sergey Monich, 40, was transported to the Lazdijai border check point and handed over to Polish authorities, who had requested the extradition.
The announcement followed a January 11 decision by an appeals court allowing Monich, to be extradited, The Associated Press notes.
According to prosecutors, Monich worked for Belarus` secret service and had been trying to obtain information about Polish intelligence agents. Lithuanian officials claim the Belarusian had been in contact with several Polish citizens for two years, offering money for classified information, including names of intelligence officials, and Krzystof Gurski, a Polish Foreign Ministry employee, has been among those citizens, news agency ANN says. Monich had arrived in Vilnius on November 24 and was arrested the next day after allegedly conducting surveillance of Polish and Lithuanian authorities for several months.
Monich denies the accusations and says he has become a victim of Gurski’s provocation. The Belarusian claims that Gurski asked him to help to earn some extra money before he retires from the Polish Foreign Office, ANN writes. He also says he arrived to Vilnius because of Gurski’s invitation to discuss some business projects.

Prominent Polish journalist admits to cooperating with communist intelligence

Boguslaw Woloszanski  

A prominent Polish journalist admitted Wednesday to cooperating with Poland’s communist-era intelligence service while working as a correspondent in Britain in the mid-1980s. Boguslaw Woloszanski’s acknowledgment comes amid a broader spate of revelations about priests, journalists and other professionals who cooperated with the hated communist-era secret services.
The Rzeczpospolita daily reported that Woloszanski spied for Poland’s foreign intelligence service while working for Polish state television and radio in London from 1985-1988.
“I agreed to cooperation, considering it as a condition to going abroad,” Woloszanski told TVN24 television after the article came out. But above all, “I saw it as a wonderful way to see how the intelligence community works, which always fascinated me.”
It is widely known that journalists were expected to cooperate with the authorities under communism when there were only state-owned media, but Woloszanski’s acknowledgment comes among heightened focus on collaboration as Poland grapples with the lingering impact of its communist-era secret services on public life.
Woloszanski acknowledged writing analysis pieces on Polish-British ties, which he said were similar to his press reports, but denied informing on anyone or taking money for the information. 

Romania’s collective amnesia – German paper on Romania’s corrupt secret service
German daily Frankfurter Rundschau analysed an impact of corruption in Romania on the new secret service and opening of the Communist secret service files.
Communist dictator Ceausescu’s family clan and secret service (Securitate) had everything under control, including the Church, it recalls. Eight percent of the Orthodox priests were paid directly by the secret service: security services in cowls, the paper claims, saying it won’t have been much different among journalists, doctors, professors, lawyers.
The reason for survival of Securitate is simple: it was responsible for Ceausescu’s fall, his conviction in a turbo trial, his execution against the dirty wall of a military barracks, according to the Frankfurter Rundschau. Officially the secret service was disbanded after the so-called revolution, but the employees continued to be paid on the sly., it writes. “One part of the Securitate passed seamlessly from the old into the newly founded secret service. And the smarter part used its blackmail capital to worm its way into the market economy.”
The paper says knowledge from secret service archives was and is the seed capital for immense wealth of very dark and half-dark origin. “That’s why corruption extends into the highest government circles today. Its offshoots permeate the country in the form of every-day corruption, in which the old mentality works with new methods.”
According to Frankfurter Rundschau, seventeen years after Ceaucescu, the Securitate’s archive was still being managed and manipulated by the old personnel in the new secret service. This January 1, the 1.6 million dossiers were finally handed over to the file authority (CNSAS), which was founded in 1999. Years ago, laws were passed regulating the viewing of files, but every law remained ineffective and the authority a cover-up which had to petition the secret service on a daily basis. Occasionally it explained that a file was still being “worked on.” Sometimes, when somebody had to be publicly and quickly discredited, very surprising dossiers surfaced. It is said behind closed doors at the authority that the most explosive files are still categorised as “secret”, Frankfurter Rundschau marks. “The assassinations of “enemies of the state” both in the country and abroad, even suicides and murders staged as car accidents remain locked up in the files and the perpetrators walk free. And with them, the countless informants, the hired and voluntary spies,” the paper concludes.

Stamen Stanchev’s lawyer thinks there are contradicting data in prosecutor’s report
During the meeting of the Romanian Supreme Cassation Court that took place yesterday the lawyer of the Bulgarian Stamen Stanchev accused in espionage in Romania announced that there are contradicting data in the reports of the prosecutor’s office leading to a company that probably made use of the so-called espionage, the Romanian newspapers announced. The prosecutors from Department for Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism demanded prolongation of the term for the arrest of the four accused for economic espionage, Cotidianul writes.
According to the investigators that was necessary since the results from the search of Stanchev’s place were not reviewed in detail. The session on which the prolongation of the arrest of the four accused is demanded started yesterday at 13:30 p.m. and the term for the arrest runs on 17th January at midnight, the publication announced.

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