Double Agent

In the field of counterintelligence, a double agent (also double secret agent) is an employee of a secret intelligence service, whose primary purpose is to spy on a different target organization, but who, in fact, is a member of the target organization.[1]

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.

Double agents

  Double agent   Re-doubled agent   Mole

Examples of known double agents and moles
Context Agent Nationality Loyal to Spying on Comments References
Wars of the Three Kingdoms
1639 - 1651
Samuel Morland England English England Restoration Commonwealth of England Commonwealth of England  
Richard Willis England English Commonwealth of England Commonwealth of England England Restoration  
World War I
1914 - 1918
Mata Hari Netherlands Dutch German Empire German Empire France French Third Republic  
World War II
1939 - 1945
Mathilde Carré "La Chatte" France French United Kingdom Double-Cross System
Roman Czerniawski "Brutus" Poland Polish United Kingdom Double-Cross System
Eddie Chapman "ZigZag" England English United Kingdom 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" England English United Kingdom 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.[2] Later sent back to Lisbon to persuade Abwehr officer, George Sessler, to defect and worked undercover in Brazil.
Roger Grosjean "Fido" France French United Kingdom Double-Cross System French Air Force pilot who worked for the British
Christiaan Lindemans "King Kong" Netherlands Dutch Nazi Germany Abwehr (1944) Netherlands United Kingdom SOE (1940-1944)
Dutch resistance (1941-1944)
 
Arthur Owens "Snow" Wales Welsh United Kingdom Double-Cross System  
Johann-Nielsen Jebsen
"Jonny" "Artist"
German Empire German Nazi Germany Abwehr (1939-1941)
United Kingdom MI6 (1941-1945)
Nazi Germany Abwehr (1941-1945) Anti-Nazi German intelligence officer and British double agent. Jebsen recruited Du?an Popov.
Ivan Popov "LaLa" "Aesculap" "Dreadnought" "Hans" Kingdom of Yugoslavia Serbian Kingdom of Yugoslavia VOA (1939-1945)
Nazi Germany Abwehr (1940-1944)
United Kingdom MI6 (1941-1945)
Nazi Germany 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 Du?an Popov.
Du?an Popov "Du?ko" "Tricycle" "Ivan" Kingdom of Yugoslavia Serbian Kingdom of Yugoslavia VOA (1939-1945)
Nazi Germany Abwehr (1940-1941)
United Kingdom MI6 (1940-1945)
Nazi Germany 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" Norway Norwegian United Kingdom Double-Cross System  
Tor Glad "Mutt and Jeff" Norway Norwegian United Kingdom Double-Cross System  
Juan Pujol García "Garbo" Catalonia Catalan[3] United Kingdom Double-Cross System British double agent in German spy service-awarded both an MBE and an Iron Cross
Johann Wenzel Poland Polish
Before 1942

Soviet Union Red Orchestra

After 1942

Nazi Germany Gestapo

Before 1942

Nazi Germany Nazi Germany

After 1942

Soviet Union Soviet Union

Member of Red Orchestra spy ring who, after being unmasked by the Germans, fed false information to the Soviet Union
William Sebold "Tramp" German Empire German
United States U.S. citizen
United States FBI (1939) Nazi Germany Abwehr (1939) Coerced by the Abwehr into becoming a spy, exposed the Duquesne Spy Ring to the FBI.
Cold War
1947 - 1991
Aldrich Ames United States American Soviet Union KGB United States CIA (1957-1993)  
John Cairncross "Liszt" Scotland Scottish Soviet Union MGB
Soviet Union Cambridge Five
United Kingdom MI5 (1941-1944)
United Kingdom GC&CS (1942-1943)
United Kingdom MI6 (1944-1945)
 
Anthony Blunt "Johnson" England English Soviet Union NKVD
Soviet Union Cambridge Five
United Kingdom MI5  
Guy Burgess "Hicks" England English Soviet Union MGB
Soviet Union Cambridge Five
United Kingdom MI5 (1939-1941)
United Kingdom Foreign Office (1944-1956)
 
Donald Maclean "Homer" England English Soviet Union MGB
Soviet Union Cambridge Five
United Kingdom MI5
United Kingdom MI6
 
Kim Philby "Stanley" England English
British Raj Born in India
Soviet Union MGB
Soviet Union Cambridge Five
United Kingdom MI6  
George Blake Netherlands Dutch Soviet Union KGB United Kingdom MI6  
Oleg Gordievsky Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Russian United Kingdom MI6 (1968-2008) Soviet Union KGB (1963-1985) Abducted in Moscow in 1985; escaped to the United Kingdom two months later.
Matei Pavel Haiducu Romania Romanian France DST (1981) Romania DIE (1975-1982) Defected to France in 1981.
Dmitri Polyakov Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Ukrainian United States FBI
United States CIA
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic GRU Executed in 1988.
Robert Hanssen United States American Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic GRU United States FBI Worked for the FBI and sold information to the Soviet Union as a mole.
Oleg Kalugin Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic Russian United States CIA Soviet Union KGB Longtime head of KGB operations in the U.S., provided disinformation regarding American involvement in Prague Spring; and also played a role in the establishment of Yeltsin as post-USSR leader. Sentenced in absentia in 2002 to 15 years imprisonment; the US refuses to extradite him
Oleg Penkovskiy "Hero" Russian Empire Russian United States NSA
United Kingdom MI6
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 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 Sweden Swedish Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic GRU Sweden 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.
Eduardo Sagaro Cuba Cuba Cuba Dirección General de Inteligencia United States CIA A Cuban paediatrician who was recruited by the CIA to report on the health of Fidel Castro, other Cuban leaders, Cuban troops in Angola and health related issues in Cuba including the effect of infectious diseases but in fact during his CIA career he worked for the Cubans. [4]
Arab-Israeli conflict
1948 -
Ashraf Marwan Egypt Egyptian Israel Mossad Egypt 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" Basque Country (autonomous community) Basque Spain CESID Basque Country (autonomous community) ETA  
Northern Ireland conflict
1968 - 1998
Denis Donaldson Northern Ireland Northern Irish United Kingdom MI5
Northern Ireland PSNI
Ireland Provisional IRA
Ireland Sinn Féin
Assassinated at his cottage in County Donegal after being exposed by a Northern Ireland newspaper, The Derry Journal.
"Kevin Fulton" Northern Ireland Northern Irish United Kingdom Royal Irish Rangers
United Kingdom Int Corps
Ireland Provisional IRA Allegedly betrayed by his employers and nearly sacrificed to cement Freddie Scappaticci's cover in the IRA.
Freddie Scappaticci "Stakeknife" Italy Italian United Kingdom FRU Ireland Provisional IRA
Ireland ISU
Allegedly the British government ordered him to expose Fulton to increase his own standing in the IRA.
Robert Nairac England English
Mauritius Born in Mauritius
United Kingdom British Army Ireland Provisional IRA  
Global War on Terrorism
2001 -
"April Fool" United States American United States United States Iraq Iraq Allegedly, an American officer who provided false information to Saddam Hussein
Iyman Faris Pakistan Pakistani
United States U.S. citizen
 al-Qaeda United States FBI  
Chinese intelligence operations in the United States Katrina Leung China Chinese
Taiwan Taiwan citizen
United States U.S. citizen
China MSS United States 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".[5]

Triple agent

A triple agent is an agent who works for three intelligence services, but is usually truly loyal to only one of them.

Events in which double agents played an important role

See also

References

  1. ^ "Definition of DOUBLE AGENT". 
  2. ^ Woolveridge, Richard (22 September 2017). "The Spy Who Stayed Out in the Cold". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Becker, Brian (12 December 2016). "How Cuba Penetrated the CIA Ring in Cuba: Spy VS Spy-Hunter". Loud & Clear. Sputnik. 
  5. ^ Begoum, F.M. "Observations on the Double Agent". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2010. 

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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