Recent events indicate that there has been a return to global "spy wars" not seen since the heyday of the Cold War.
According to WMR's MI-6 sources, there is a fear that Government Communications Headquarters officer Gareth Williams, whose body was found stuffed in a sports bag in an MI-6 safehouse near the spy agency's Vauxhall headquarters in London and left unattended for some two weeks, may have been involved in an "off-the-books" operation or a non-sanctioned rogue operation.
The latest reports from London are that Williams's body was padlocked inside the sports bag when it was discovered. That, in addition to Williams's cell phones and SIM cards being laid out nearly in his safehouse flat in Pimlico, suggest that his murder was a professional hit. Although two autopsies have been performed on Williams's body, which was in an advanced state of decomposition, no cause of death has yet been determined by medical examiners in London.
MI-6 is now worried that the hit was accomplished by a foreign intelligence agency, however, the reason for his murder remain murky at best. There also have been rumors advanced by some outlets of the British media, but rejected as scurrilous by Williams's family and colleagues, that Williams was involved in gay and bizarre sexual trysts. Gay magazines and photographs were reportedly strewn around Williams's flat, however, such operations have been conducted in the past in order to embarrass the next-of-kin of British agents and politicians from asking too many questions about the circumstances of deaths.
Williams, who worked for GCHQ in Cheltenham and who had, in the past, visited the U.S. National Security Agency station at Menwith Hill, from which signals intelligence operations have been launched against British government officials, including members of the royal family, was on loan to MI-6 and had traveled frequently to the United States, including NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, on unspecified missions. It is those missions that have MI-6 concerned that one or more operations involving Williams, sanctioned or unsanctioned, may have provided him with knowledge that also placed him on a target list for murder.
WMR has previously reported on BP's video and audio bugging of a Washington, DC condominium owned by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and allegedly used separately by then-Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and then-Senator Barack Obama for gay trysts. There are close links between former MI-6 agents, as well as British Special Air Service (SAS) personnel, and BP. The private military contractor, Defense Systems, Ltd. (DSL), which had offices near Buckingham Palace and eventually morphed into ArmorGroup in 1997, conducted special services for BP. DSL counted a number of former MI-6 and SAS personnel among its ranks. WMR previously reported that Williams was also an SAS commando before going to work for GCHQ.
GCHQ has also worked with BP to ensure its communications are secure from the prying ears and eyes of foreign intelligence services, including those of France. It is also known that MI-6 has routinely shared intelligence with nearly every major British firm, including BP. The May 11, 1996, "Weekend Australian" provided a germane quote on such cooperation from an MI-6 agent, "We are a trading nation so our service will do anything we can to help Great Britain Pty Ltd." Intelligence between British intelligence and companies like BP are usually conducted through the Joint Intelligence Committee, however, in overseas locations such cooperation is often done directly. The deal does not come without a price for British companies. As the "Weekend Australian" reported, "British businessmen abroad are expected to pass on to British intelligence anything they come across that they think might be useful."
Sitting on the board of Russia's Alfa Group's Altimo telecommunication subsidiary is Sir Francis Richards, a former director of GCHQ. Also on the board is Lord Douglas Hurd, a former British Foreign Secretary who was in charge of GCHQ and MI-6 operations while serving as Britain's chief diplomatic official. Also on the Altimo board is Jack Rosen, chairman of the American Jewish Congress and the Council for World Jewry. Alfa Group is a 25 percent owner of the joint Russian-Anglo and British Virgin Islands-registered TNK-BP oil firm. Former BP CEO Tony Hayward, fired from the top post after the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, is now in charge of BP's operations with TNK-BP in Russia.
Although the NSA and CIA, which have both been involved in the investigation of Wlliams's murder, have separate missions, they combine their operations in a super-secret Special Collection Service (SCS) or F-6, headquartered in Beltsville, Maryland. The SCS conducts "black bag" operations against foreign embassies and missions, as well as private homes and offices. In order to avoid running afoul of domestic laws against such operations without a court order, the UK-USA signals intelligence allies often use the agents from their partners to conduct operations against their own citizens. Canadian and British agents have been used for such purposes in the United States and Americans and Canadians for similar operations in Britain.
Just days after the death of Williams, the Attorney General of the United Kingdom, Dominic Grieve, has ordered the production of the sealed Hutton Inquiry files pertaining to the suspicious "suicide" in July 2003 of Dr. David Kelly, the British Ministry of Defense's leading expert on weapons of mass destruction. Hutton had ordered the files sealed for 70 years but the review of them by Grieve has fueled speculation that a full inquest on Kelly's death may soon be conducted by British government officials. Kelly was the source for a BBC report that the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair had "sexed up" a dossier on Iraq's so-called weapons of mass destruction, weapons that turned out not to exist but were used as a pretext for Britain's participation in the invasion of Iraq.
There is a belief by many in the British intelligence community that Kelly was murdered by professional intelligence agents to ensure his silence from revealing any more about the bogus intelligence used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq. WMR previously reported that the murder of Kelly involved members of U.S. special forces covert forces. On November 3, 2007, WMR reported: "On July 17, 2003, Kelly was found dead in a wooded area in his home village of Southmoor. The death was ruled a suicide but this editor was informed by intelligence sources in Paris, where I was the night Kelly was found dead, that he was murdered by 'wet affairs' operatives working for the Blair and Bush interests. Liberal Democratic Member of Parliament Norman Baker, after a one year investigation, also recently concluded that Kelly was murdered." On February 28, 2008, WMR followed up on the report with the following: "WMR has learned from a former British Defense Ministry source that the assassination team that dispatched Diana and Dr. Kelly were not MI-6 but a US Navy SEAL team that operates abroad to target individuals who have been sanctioned for assassination. It should also be noted that Blackwater USA was largely formed by ex-US Navy SEAL personnel."
The Williams affair and the re-opening of the investigation of Dr. Kelly's death come after a spate of espionage scandals, including the arrest and expulsion of alleged Russian agents in the United States and the murder by Israel's Mossad of a Hamas official in Dubai. The Israelis were using forged and altered passports from a number of nations, including Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, and Australia.
The use of "wet affairs" by intelligence agencies is on a steep increase. The deaths of Williams and Kelly in Britain and, possibly, unknown others around the world, points to a renewed "Cold War" in the intelligence game.
Update 1x: WMR has also been informed by British intelligence sources that Douglas Hurd's son, Thomas Hurd, a member of the British diplomatic service, actually works for MI-6.
The intelligence dark games continue with the August 6 suspicious death of the deputy head of the Russian GRU military intelligence service, Major General Yuri Ivanov while reportedly swimming off the Syrian coast. His body later washed ashore on the Turkish coast. The Israeli paper Yediot Ahronoth reported that Ivanov was killed while on an official visit to Syria to meet with his Syrian counterparts. The meeting took place in Tartus, the site of a Russian naval installation. Ivanov, according to the Israeli paper, was assassinated in Tartus and his body dumped in the Mediterranean Sea. The killers were apparently trying to warn the Russians from establishing closer military links with Syria.