Weekly Intel Update

Be the first to learn the latest intelligence news and get ready for the week ahead! *(week ending May 17)

Every Monday, SPY will bring you a Weekly Intelligence Update highlighting the previous week’s worldwide news events from espionage incidents to national security and general intelligence. Note: Linking to these stories does not constitute an endorsement from the International Spy Museum. As the Museum historian, I found many of these news stories were interesting (and that you might too).


Closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) are pictured at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 4, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke


The most important stories from the last week, all in one place. 

CNN: Boston Marathon Bomber Sentenced To Death

Politico: Former CIA Officer Sentenced To 3-1/2 Years for Leaking Iran Details

The Hill: Ex-CIA Chiefs Scold New York Times for Outing Secret Officers

Reuters: Top German Spy Says No Evidence of Industrial Espionage by the US

Washington Post: House Approves Measure Ending NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection Program

Defense One: NSA Spying Heads to Critical Senate Showdown

Reuters: Iran Stresses End-June Deadline as Nuclear Talks Press On

The Hill: House Rejects Bid to Close Gitmo

Defense One: McCain Brokers Compromise That Would Let Obama Close Gitmo

Reuters: North Korea Executes Defense Chief with an Anti-Aircraft Gun

Reuters: Pentagon Weighs Sending Planes, Ships near Disputed South China Sea Reefs



News this week centered on possible discrepancies in the story of the Osama bin Laden raid. 

CNN: Former CIA Deputy Director Suspects Pakistan 'Propaganda' Behind Hersh Information

Real Clear Politics: CIA's Mike Morell Says Seymour Hersh Article on Bin Laden Killing Secrets Is "All Wrong"

Politico: Ex-CIA Deputy Director: No One Collected Bin Laden Bounty

CNN: Was There a Cover-Up in Bin Laden Killing?

The Hill: Bin Laden Report 'Full of Lies,' Says Former SEAL

Politico Magazine: Sy Hersh, Lost in a Wilderness of Mirrors

Huffington Post: White House: Seymour Hersh Story on Bin Laden Raid 'Riddled With Inaccuracies'

Politico: The New Yorker Passed On Seymour Hersh's Bin Laden Story

New York Times Magazine: The Detail in Seymour Hersh’s Bin Laden Story That Rings True

Slate: “I Am Not Backing Off Anything I Said”



Unfortunately, it’s doubtful we will go a week without stories about terrorism.   

Politico Magazine: The Real Story of Benghazi

The Hill: Bin Laden Aide Sentenced To Life in Prison

Defense One: House Expected To Pass Amendment Requiring Obama To Pick a Hostage Coordinator

The Daily Beast: Iraq’s B.S. About Killing ISIS Bosses

Politico Magazine: ‘Here’s What I Really Worry About…’

The Diplomat: Playing 'Telephone' With ISIS Central Asia Estimates

Defense One: How the Air Campaign Against ISIS Is Changing, in Three Charts



News about nuclear weapons, and the intelligence and national security ramifications they present. I will also include news about chemical, radiological, and biological weapons here as well (all the WMDs in one convenient location).  

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Listening In On the Nuclear Underground

Arms Control Wonk: North Korean SLBM Test

Popular Science: Did North Korea Really Launch a Missile from a Sub?

The National Interest: Funding America's Nuclear Triad

Federation of American Scientists: Pentagon Report: China Deploys MIRV Missile

The Diplomat: Chinese Diplomat: Hiroshima and Nagasaki Were Bombed for a Reason

Washington Post: How the South China Sea Could Help Beijing Level the Nuclear Playing Field

The National Interest: America's Next Big Challenge: Preventing an Iranian Nuclear Leakout

Arms Control Association: Understanding the North Korean Nuclear Threat



Anything new in spy and defense science and technology.  

Popular Mechanics: The X-37B Secret Space Plane Is Ready to Fly Again

The Verge: Physics Be Damned, We Can’t Stop Obsessing over NASA’s ‘Impossible Engine'

Popular Science: To Fight Infections, the Army Wants a Better Bugcatcher

IARPA: Quantum Programs at IARPA

Popular Science: Portable Electric Grid Will Go Everywhere the Army Goes



Stories about the NSA, government transparency, and individual rights.

The Daily Beast: ‘Big Win’ for Big Brother: NSA Celebrates the Bill That’s Designed to Cuff Them

The Intercept: Reid to McConnell on NSA Bulk Surveillance: “You Can’t Reauthorize Something That’s Illegal”

ACLU: Letter to US House of Representatives in regard to USA Freedom Act of 2015

Defense One: What the End of Bulk Metadata Collection Would Mean for Intelligence Collection

Just Security: What ACLU v. Clapper Means

Voice of America: Are You Being Swept Up in US Intelligence Surveillance?

Defense One: Sen. Corker: NSA Should Do Far More with Your Phone Data

The Intercept: Obama’s War on Leaks Faces Backlash in Court

The Guardian: FBI Violated Its Own Rules While Spying On Keystone XL Opponents



The world of cyberwar and cyber-terrorism is the new normal. 

Business Insider: It's Becoming Easier and Easier To 'Rent A Hacker'

IT Pro: Data Breaches ‘Will Cost $2.1 Trillion by 2019’

The National Interest: Explained: Why China's Cyberwar Strategy is Extremely Dangerous

Security Week: Russian Cyber Espionage Group Planning to Hit Banks: Report

The Hill: Chinese Hackers Launch Attacks from Online Comments

The White House: Save the Date…the National Day of Civic Hacking is Coming June 6!



Our old nemesis is back with a vengeance.

Vice News: Nukes Won’t Buy Russian Prosperity: VICE News Interviews Pentagon Chief Ashton Carter

AP: Russian Opposition: 220 Russian Soldiers Died In Ukraine

War is Boring: Russia’s Fearsome Terminator Tank Was a No-Show at the Victory Day Parade

Popular Mechanics: Why These 3 US Warplanes Are Gathering on Russia's Doorstep



The newest intelligence battleground of the 21st Century. 

Foreign Policy: The Newest Front in Global Espionage Is One of the Least Habitable Locales on Earth—the Arctic

New York Times: US Will Allow Drilling for Oil in Arctic Ocean

Alaska Dispatch News: New Icebreakers Open Way for Russia in Arctic



Our neighbors to the south, both allies and adversaries.

Reuters: Cuba's Castro Concerned Over 'Illegal' Activity at US Mission

Miami New Times: Cuban Migration to Miami Surges By 200 Percent amid Fears over US Policy



America’s “Asia pivot” has brought it into direct conflict with the rising powers of Asia.

New York Times: Some Doubt That North Korea Executed a Top General

The Diplomat: What the Pentagon Thinks of China’s Military

Business Insider: Pentagon Report: Chinese Ballistic Missiles Can Target Nearly the Entirety of the US

US Department of Defense: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2015

Politico: The Sleeper Issue of 2016 Is China

Reuters: China to Increase Video Surveillance in Security Push

Newsweek: North Korea Could Boast Missile Submarine Fleet Within Five Years

Reuters: US, China Set For High-Stakes Rivalry in Skies above South China Sea

The National Interest: Is America's Deadly B-1 Bomber Headed to Australia to Deter China?



Because all the news from this hotly contested part of the world is not just terrorism news. 

The Daily Beast: Turks Are Wondering if Their President Is Insane

The National Interest: America's Pakistan Policy Is Sheer Madness

McClatchy: New Arab Coalition Discusses Coming Together To Intervene In Libya

Defense One: The Middle East Has Four Minutes to Act if Iran Fires a Missile

The National Interest: India to Launch First Homegrown Aircraft Carrier



News articles that highlight the secret history of history.   

National Archives: Virginia Hall Receives the Distinguished Service Cross, 5/12/1945

Business Insider: In the 1950s, the UK Had Serious Plans to Use Live Chickens to Help Keep Nuclear Land Mines in Working Order



All the news that doesn’t fit. 

Washington Post: Does Congress Really Listen To What the Intelligence Community Says Threatens America?

BuzzFeed: US Army Withdraws Flawed and Plagiarized Manual about “Cultural Understanding”

Department of the Army: Cultural and Situational Understanding

Salon: Benghazi Prompts CIA to Look at Expanding Survivor Benefits

Washington Post: Case against Former Green Beret Accused of Murder Is Delayed Because Of CIA Ties

Defense One: How One Woman Earned Her Way onto the Special Ops Battlefield