Spy Cases

Spy Fever Strikes UK

12 September 1999


BBC. "Shayler: I Know Two More Spies." 12 Sep. 1999. [http://news.bbc.co.uk]

"Renegade MI5 officer David Shayler says he knows of at least two more secret agents who have not been prosecuted by the British authorities.... He told BBC News Online: 'I know two people who haven't been mentioned yet. One was a trade union official, and one a crown servant.'"

Drozdiak, William. "Woman Says She Passed Secrets to Soviet Union: Details Revealed in Files Smuggled Out of KGB." Washington Post, 12 Sep. 1999, A27. [http://www. washingtonpost.com]

The files smuggled out of Russia by KGB defector Vasili Mitrokhin "are also said to show how the Soviets eavesdropped on White House and State Department communications, tapped the telephone lines of major American defense industries and planted spies in key companies whose information enabled Soviet engineers to build many advanced weapons systems according to pilfered American designs."

Lashmar, Paul. "The Double Life of a Quiet Old Lady." The Independent (UK), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.independent.co.uk]

Re Melita Norwood ("Hola"): "Co-op tea from a Che Guevara mug.... [In] the bizarre world of a suburban spy."

Lashmar, Paul, Yvonne Ridley and Rachel Sylvester. "More Spies To Be Named." The Independent (UK), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.independent.co.uk]

According to "[a] British intelligence officer," there will be "[u]p to 12 more Britons recruited into the KGB ... unmasked later this week. Some are understood to be still alive and living in the UK."

Leppard, David, Paul Nuki, and Gareth Walsh. "Ex-Scotland Yard Officer Exposed as KGB Spy." Sunday Times (London), 12 Sept. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"John Symonds, who fled Britain in 1969 after being named as part of a ring of corrupt Metropolitan police officers, is the latest in a series of former British and American traitors to have been unearthed by the so-called Mitrokhin archive."

Leppard, David, Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Paul Nuki, Gareth Walsh, and Clive Freeman. "Briton's Treachery Exposed by Keeper of KGB's Secrets: Defector Smuggled Out Copies of the 'Crown Jewels' of Soviet Espionage." Sunday Times (London), 12 Sept. 1999. [http://www. the-times.co.uk]

Vasili Mitrokhin was head archivist of the KGB's First Chief Directorate until he retired in 1985. He regularly removed key files from storage, copied down their contents on pieces of paper, smuggled them past the security guards, took them to his home, and typed up verbatim transcripts of his handwritten notes.

In 1992, "he travelled to Latvia, taking thousands of pages of his documents with him. He walked into the American embassy in Riga and asked if he could defect.... Incredibly, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers at the embassy were not interested.... The documents he had were clearly not originals and could easily have been fakes....

"Undeterred, Mitrokhin went to the British embassy," where a Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) officer "spotted his potential. After a series of in-depth interviews and consultations with headquarters, Mitrokhin was formally accepted as an MI6 agent.... Within weeks of his defection, MI6 carried out a delicate operation to remove the files [hidden in Mitrokhin's house and garden].... The classified files went back to the 1930s....

"[S]enior intelligence officers say that the files have generated hundreds of new leads and could lead to a spate of new espionage prosecutions.... Some of Mitrokhin's information helped to convict Robert Lipka, a former clerk at the National Security Agency. He had spied for the Russians in the late 1960s but had evaded FBI surveillance until Mitrokhin came in. He is now serving an 18-year sentence.

"Another case that has been reopened is that of Felix Bloch, the highest-ranking State Department official ever investigated for espionage. He was fired in 1989 and stripped of his pension, but the FBI never had enough evidence to charge him."

Matthews, Robert. "Did Hola Reveal Explosive Secret?" Telegraph (London), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"The key mystery now surrounding the spying activities of Agent Hola [Melita Norwood] centres on precisely what type of atomic secrets she betrayed."

Murphy, Joe. "MI5 Faces Calls to Explain Why It Kept Truth from Ministers." Telegraph (London), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"The Security Service was under pressure [on 11 September 1999] to explain why ministers were kept in the dark for seven years about Melita Norwood's treachery."

Nuki, Paul, and David Leppard. "Yard Detective's Lifetime of Deceit." Sunday Times (London), 12 Sept. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"John Symonds was no ordinary British bobby. He spent much of his police career at Scotland Yard committing perjury, taking bribes and sending men to prison on false evidence.... After he was exposed in 1969, he [fled to Morocco,] turned traitor and started to work for the KGB.... [H]is work for the KGB finally ended in 1980 when he decided to return to Britain to face charges. He was jailed for two years for corruption."

Palmer, Alasdair. "Man Who Came in from the Cold." Telegraph (London), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"When Vasili Mitrokhin first approached MI6 saying he had material that would interest them, they had no idea how important his information would be.... The result was 25,000 pages of material on KGB operations."

Petre, Jonathan.

1. "KGB Put a High Value on Quality Intelligence." Telegraph (London), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

Comments by Christopher Andrew on Melita Norwood's value to the Soviets.

2. and Oliver Poole. "Scotland Yard Officer Was KGB Spy." Telegraph (London), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

John Symonds, a former Scotland Yard detective, has been identified as a KGB agent by the Soviet defector Vasili Mitrokhin. "Codenamed Scot, he passed on sensitive information and was used as a so-called 'Romeo agent' whose task was to sleep with employees of foreign embassies in order to extract secrets.... Symonds makes a full confession in BBC2's The Spying Game, to be broadcast on September 19."

A sidebar carries "Melita Norwood's Statement."

Poole, Oliver. "'I Will Stand By My Mother Whatever She's Done.'" Telegraph (London), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

Anita Ferguson, the daughter of Melita Norwood, "has spoken of her distress at discovering the double life led by her mother throughout her childhood."

Rose, David. "'I Gave Bomb Secrets to Russia So It Could Stand Up to the West.'" Telegraph (London), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"In an exclusive interview ... Melita Norwood ... [revealed] the background to a remarkable story of treachery which compromised Britain's atomic weapons programme. More remarkable, the elderly widow who passed documents to the Soviets over three decades remains unrepentant."

Telegraph (London). "Family and Friends Shocked by Kindly Spy Next Door." 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"Melita Norwood's relatives, friends and neighbours told [on 11 September 1999] of their shock on learning that the 87-year-old great-grandmother, known for her Left-wing views, had spied for the KGB for 40 years."

Ungoed-Thomas, Jon, and Clive Freeman. "'Lovely Old Lady' of the Suburbs Defends Her 40 Years of Treason." Sunday Times (London), 12 Sep. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

Remarks of Melita Norwood (see BBC reportage of 11 September 1999).

Forward to 13 September 1999

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