A Perfectly Framed Assassination
Stepped-up surveillance technology may be tipping the scales in the cat-and-mouse game between spies and their targets. Robert Baer on the current state of spycraft.
I can only speculate about where exactly the hit went wrong. But I would guess the assassins failed to account for the marked advance in technology. Not only were there closed-circuit TV cameras in the hotel where Mr. Mabhouh was assassinated and at the airport, but Dubai has at its fingertips the best security consultants in the world. The consultants merely had to run advanced software through all of Dubai's digital data before, during and after the assassination to connect the assassins in time and place. For instance, a search of all cellular phone calls made in and around the hotel where Mr. Mabhouh was assassinated would show who had called the same number—reportedly a command post in Vienna. It would only be a matter then of tracking when and where calls were made from these phones, tying them to hotels where the team was operating or staying.
Phi Beta Iota: Robert Baer, who spoke to the international OSINT conference before the movie was made about his life as a case officer, is a most valued colleague who apart from being a speaker of truth and an author, has doubts about the 9/11 Commission and the general veracity of the U.S. Government. He is a “tough love” patriot. His newest opinion piece exposes the rapidly narrowing space for covert actions including assassinations and other behaviors that can no longer pass undetected. As we pointed out a decade ago, it is no longer possible to create solid covers–instead of stealing or misappropriating them, we have been preaching 1) hire mid-career officers who have already built their covers unwittingly, and keep them in those real-world covers; and 2) stop doing the stupid shit. 95% of intelligence (decision-support) should b e legal and ethical. All its takes is integrity and a leadership that actually knows something about full-spectrum intelligence and the point of it all: to create a Smart Nation.