Double agent

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In the field of counterintelligence, a double agent (also double secret agent ) is an employee of a secret intelligence service for one country, whose primary purpose is to spy on a target organization of another country, but who is now spying on their own country's organization for the target organization. [1]

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Double agentry may be practiced by spies of the target organization who infiltrate the controlling organization or may result from the turning (switching sides) of previously loyal agents of the controlling organization by the target. The threat of execution is the most common method of turning a captured agent (working for an intelligence service) into a double agent (working for a foreign intelligence service) or a double agent into a re-doubled agent . It is unlike a defector, who is not considered an agent as agents are in place to function for an intelligence service and defectors are not, but some consider that defectors in place are agents until they have defected.

Double agents are often used to transmit disinformation or to identify other agents as part of counter-espionage operations. They are often very trusted by the controlling organization since the target organization will give them true, but useless or even counterproductive, information to pass along. [2]

Double agents

Examples of known double agents and moles
ContextAgentNationalityLoyal toSpying onCommentsReferences
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
1639 – 1651
Samuel Morland Flag of England.svg   English Flag of England.svg   Restoration Flag of the Commonwealth (1649-1651).svg Commonwealth of England  
Richard Willis Flag of England.svg English Flag of the Commonwealth (1649-1651).svg Commonwealth of England Flag of England.svg Restoration  
World War I
1914 – 1918
Mata Hari Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire Flag of France.svg French Third Republic  
World War II
1939 – 1945
Mathilde Carré "La Chatte" Flag of France.svg French Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Double-Cross System
Roman Czerniawski "Brutus" Flag of Poland.svg Polish Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Double-Cross System
Eddie Chapman "ZigZag" Flag of England.svg English Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Double-Cross System Infiltrated the German Abwehr during World War II whilst feeding intelligence to MI5. He was so trusted by the Germans that he is reportedly the only British citizen to have ever been awarded the Iron Cross
Walter Dicketts "Celery" Flag of England.svg English Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Double-Cross System (1940-1943)Ex RNAS officer sent to Lisbon and Germany to infiltrate the Abwehr, report on invasion plans for Britain, and establish the bona fides of Snow (subsequently imprisoned until the end of war). Subjected to an intensive five-day interrogation in Hamburg and survived. [3] Later sent back to Lisbon to persuade Abwehr officer, George Sessler, to defect and worked undercover in Brazil.
Roger Grosjean "Fido" Flag of France.svg French Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Double-Cross System French Air Force pilot who worked for the British
Christiaan Lindemans "King Kong" Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dutch Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Abwehr (1944) Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg SOE (1940-1944)
Dutch resistance (1941-1944)
 
Arthur Owens "Snow" Flag of Wales (1807-1953).svg   Welsh Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   Double-Cross System  
Johann-Nielsen Jebsen "Jonny" "Artist" Flag of the German Empire.svg   German Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Abwehr (1939-1941)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg MI6 (1941-1945)
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Abwehr (1941-1945)Anti-Nazi German intelligence officer and British double agent. Jebsen recruited Dušan Popov.
Ivan Popov "LaLa" "Aesculap" "Dreadnought" "Hans" Naval Ensign of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg   Serbian Naval Ensign of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg VOA (1939-1945)
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Abwehr (1940-1944)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg MI6 (1941-1945)
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Abwehr (1941-1945)Yugoslav working for his national military agency VOA. He also worked for British MI6 and German Abwehr. In German Gestapo he held rank of Obersturmbannführer. Brother of Dušan Popov.
Dušan Popov "Duško" "Tricycle" "Ivan" Naval Ensign of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg   Serbian Naval Ensign of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.svg VOA (1939-1945)
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Abwehr (1940-1941)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg MI6 (1940-1945)
Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg Abwehr (1941-1945)Yugoslav working for his national military agency VOA. He also worked for British MI6 and German Abwehr. In British army he held rank of colonel. Brother of Ivan Popov.
John Herbert Neal Moe "Mutt and Jeff" Flag of Norway.svg   Norwegian Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   Double-Cross System  
Tor Glad "Mutt and Jeff" Flag of Norway.svg   Norwegian Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   Double-Cross System  
Juan Pujol García "Garbo" Flag of Spain (1938-1945).svg   Spanish [4] Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   Double-Cross System British double agent in German spy service-awarded both an MBE and an Iron Cross
Johann Wenzel Flag of Poland.svg   Polish
Before 1942

Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   Red Orchestra

During 1942

Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg   Gestapo

Before 1942

Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg   Nazi Germany

During 1942

Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   Soviet Union

Member of Red Orchestra spy ring who, after being unmasked by the Gestapo in 1942, fed false information to the Soviet Union from August until his escape in November. Later joined the Belgian resistance.
William Sebold "Tramp" Flag of the German Empire.svg   German
Flag of the United States.svg U.S. citizen
Flag of the United States.svg   FBI (1939) Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg   Abwehr (1939)Coerced by the Abwehr into becoming a spy, exposed the Duquesne Spy Ring to the FBI.
Cold War
1947 – 1991
Aldrich Ames Flag of the United States.svg   American Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   KGB Flag of the United States.svg   CIA (1957-1994) 
John Cairncross "Liszt" Flag of Scotland.svg   Scottish Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   MGB
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   Cambridge Five
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI5 (1941-1944)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   GC&CS (1942-1943)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI6 (1944-1945)
 
Anthony Blunt "Johnson" Flag of England.svg   English Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   NKVD
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   Cambridge Five
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI5  
Guy Burgess "Hicks" Flag of England.svg   English Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   MGB
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   Cambridge Five
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI5 (1939-1941)
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   Foreign Office (1944-1956)
 
Donald Maclean "Homer" Flag of England.svg   English Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   MGB
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   Cambridge Five
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI5
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI6
 
Kim Philby "Stanley" Flag of England.svg   English
British Raj Red Ensign.svg  Born in India
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   MGB
Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   Cambridge Five
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI6  
George Blake Flag of the Netherlands.svg   Dutch Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   KGB Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI6  
Oleg Gordievsky "Sunbeam" "Nocton" "Pimlico" "Ovation" Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg   Russian Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI6 (1968-2008) Flag of the Soviet Union.svg   KGB (1963-1985)Abducted in Moscow in 1985; escaped to the United Kingdom two months later.
Matei Pavel Haiducu Flag of Romania (1948-1952).svg   Romanian Flag of France.svg   DST (1981) Flag of Romania (1948-1952).svg   DIE (1975-1982)Defected to France in 1981.
Dmitri Polyakov Flag of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.svg   Ukrainian Flag of the United States.svg   FBI
Flag of the United States.svg   CIA
Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg   GRU Executed in 1988.
Robert Hanssen Flag of the United States.svg   American Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg   GRU Flag of the United States.svg   FBI Worked for the FBI and sold information to the Soviet Union as a mole.
Oleg Penkovskiy "Hero" Flag of The Russian Empire 1883.svg   Russian Flag of the United States.svg   NSA
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI6
Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg   GRU A colonel with GRU informed the U.K. and the U.S. about the Soviet emplacement of missiles in Cuba; executed by the Soviets in 1963.
Stig Bergling Flag of Sweden.svg   Swedish Flag of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.svg   GRU Flag of Sweden.svg   SÄPO Among other things, handed over the entire Swedish "FO-code", a top secret list of Sweden's defence establishments, coastal artillery fortifications and mobilization stores. Convicted in 1979 and sentenced to life imprisonment for treason.
Arab–Israeli conflict
1948 –
Ashraf Marwan Flag of Egypt.svg   Egyptian Flag of Israel.svg   Mossad Flag of Egypt.svg   Egypt Egyptian businessman and an alleged spy for Israel, or possibly an Egyptian double agent; managed to become celebrated as a hero in each country for his alleged work against the other.
Basque conflict
1959 – 2011
Mikel Lejarza "El Lobo" Flag of the Basque Country.svg   Basque Flag of Spain.svg   CESID Flag of the Basque Country.svg   ETA  
Northern Ireland conflict
1968 – 1998
Denis Donaldson Ulster Banner.svg   Northern Irish Flag of the United Kingdom.svg   MI5
Ulster Banner.svg   PSNI
Flag of Ireland.svg   Provisional IRA
Flag of Ireland.svg   Sinn Féin
Assassinated at his cottage in County Donegal after being exposed by a Northern Ireland newspaper, The Derry Journal .
"Kevin Fulton" Ulster Banner.svg   Northern Irish Flag of the British Army.svg   Royal Irish Rangers
Flag of the British Army.svg   Int Corps
Flag of Ireland.svg   Provisional IRA
Freddie Scappaticci "Stakeknife" Flag of Italy.svg   Italian Flag of the British Army.svg   FRU Flag of Ireland.svg   Provisional IRA
Flag of Ireland.svg   ISU
Robert Nairac Flag of England.svg   English
Flag of Mauritius.svg  born in Mauritius
Flag of the British Army.svg   British Army Flag of Ireland.svg   Provisional IRA Murdered by the Provisional IRA in County Louth in 1977.
South African espionage in Zimbabwe and the Gukurahundi
1980 – 1987
Matt Calloway Flag of Zimbabwe.svg Zimbabwean Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg NIS Flag of Zimbabwe.svg CIO [5]
Philip Conjwayo Flag of Zimbabwe.svg Zimbabwean

Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg South African citizen

Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg NIS Flag of Zimbabwe.svg CIO [6]
Geoffrey Price Flag of Zimbabwe.svg Zimbabwean Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg NIS Flag of Zimbabwe.svg CIO [5]
Michael Smith Flag of Zimbabwe.svg Zimbabwean

Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg South African citizen

Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg NIS Flag of Zimbabwe.svg CIO [6]
Kevin Woods Flag of Zimbabwe.svg Zimbabwean

Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg South African citizen

Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg NIS Flag of Zimbabwe.svg CIO [5] [6]
Global War on Terrorism
2001 –
"April Fool" Flag of the United States.svg   American Flag of the United States.svg   United States Flag of Iraq.svg   Iraq Allegedly, an American officer who provided false information to Saddam Hussein
Iyman Faris Flag of the United States.svg   U.S. citizenFlag of al-Qaeda.svg  al-Qaeda Flag of the United States.svg   FBI  

Re-doubled agent

A re-doubled agent is an agent who gets caught as a double agent and is forced to mislead the foreign intelligence service. F.M. Begoum describes the redoubled agent as "one whose duplicity in doubling for another service has been detected by his original sponsor and who has been persuaded to reverse his affections again". [2]

Triple agent

A triple agent is a spy who pretends to be a double agent for one side, while they are truthfully a double agent for the other side. Unlike a re-doubled agent, who changes allegiance due to being compromised, a triple agent is usually considered to have always been loyal to their original side. It may also refer to a spy who works for three opposing sides, such that each side thinks the spy works for them alone.

Events in which double agents played an important role

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. "Definition of DOUBLE AGENT". merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  2. 1 2 Begoum, F.M. "Observations on the Double Agent". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  3. Witt, Carolinda (November 2017). Double Agent Celery. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Books. ISBN   9781526716149. pp. 182-186
  4. García, Juan Pujol; West, Nigel (2011). "Childhood". Operation Garbo: The Personal Story of the Most Successful Spy of World War II. Biteback Publishing. ISBN   9781849546256.
  5. 1 2 3 Berkeley, Bill (1989-10-22). "Apartheid's Spies". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  6. 1 2 3 Dube, Benson (2014-02-21). "Philip Conjwayo dies". Southern Eye. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  7. Toharudin Rasid (2 March 2019). "Putera Lapis Mahang: My Military Life: AF 132 PANGLIMA ANGKATAN TENTERA MALAYSIA (CDF)". Putera Lapis Mahang. Retrieved 27 July 2019.

Further reading