Weekly Intel Update

Be the first to learn the latest intelligence news and get ready for the week ahead! *(week ending Sep 1)

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).


The most important news stories of the past week, all in one place. 

CNN: Convicted Cold War Spy John Walker Dies in Federal Prison

Reuters: NATO: More Than 1,000 Russian Troops Operating in Ukraine

AP: US Surveillance Planes Fly Over Syria

Reuters: American Man Suspected of Fighting With Islamic State Killed

Al Jazeera: US Forces Target al-Shabab in Somalia

Brookings: 5 Myths about the Islamic State

Washington Post: Obama’s Policy Options on the Islamic State, and Who’s Pushing Them

BBC: Facial Recognition – the Death Knell of Anonymity?

Washington Post: Here’s How to Track Terrorists on Google Earth

Yahoo: House, Senate Intel Chiefs Flag Islamic State Risk



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

The Telegraph (UK): Arrests of Would-Be British Jihadis Increase Five Fold

Al Arabiya: Al Qaeda in Yemen Executes Three ‘Spies’ for Guiding Drone Strikes

CNN: Fort Hood Shooter Writes to ISIS Leader, Asks to Become ‘Citizen’ of Islamic State

King’s College London: Offering Foreign Fighters a Way Out

The Hill: Majority Says US Shouldn’t Pay Ransoms for Hostages

Christian Science Monitor: Why Was One US Hostage in Syria Killed, and Another Freed?

Foreign Policy: Found: The Islamic State’s Terror Laptop of Doom

Intelwire: 10 Things You Need to Know about Reporting on Terrorists on Social Media


The world of cyberwar and cyber-terrorism is the new normal. The NSA and Snowden stories would naturally fit here too, but they have their own category.  

Bloomberg: FBI Examining Whether Russia is Tied to JP Morgan Hacking

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: Cyberwarfare Ethics, or How Facebook Could Accidentally Makes Its Engineers into Targets

Department of Defense: The NSA’s School of Cyber

Computer Weekly: Industrial Cyber Attack: A Dangerous Game


Our old nemesis is back with a vengeance. 

CNN: Putin: You Better Not Come After a Nuclear-Armed Russia

War is Boring: The US Army is Sending More Tanks to Europe

The Telegraph (UK): Russian Paratroopers Captured in Ukraine ‘Accidentally Crossed Border’

Talking Points Memo: Canadian NATO Delegation to Russia: Here’s What’s ‘Not Russia’

Reuters: Europe is Drafting Emergency Energy Plan with Eye on Russia Gas Shutdown

New Republic: Russia is Burying Soldiers in Unmarked Graves to Conceal Their Role in Ukraine

XX Committee: The Russo-Ukrainian War

War is Boring: ‘Maskirovka’ Is Russian Secret War

National Interest: Limited War is Back



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).

Reuters: Deadline Passed, No Sign of Breakthrough in Iran Nuclear Probe

AFP: Iran Modifies Arak Reactor over Nuclear Concerns

Albuquerque Journal: Former Los Alamos Physicist’s Wife Sentenced for Trying to Sell Secrets to Venezuela



Anything new in spy and defense technology.

National Defense Magazine: US, China in Race to Develop Hypersonic Weapons

Washington Post: Army’s Experimental Hypersonic Missile Explodes 4 Seconds After Takeoff

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: 2013 Report on Hypersonic Weapons

The Verge: NASA is Building an Air Traffic Control System for Drones

Gizmodo: ISIS Militants Use the Same Drones as Ordinary Folks

Real Clear Defense: The Pentagon’s New Space Shuttle Drone

ASD News: Lockheed Martin to Establish Space Debris Tracking Site

Defense Systems: NGA’s Map to Put a World of Geospatial Intel in One Place



Stories about the NSA, Snowden, and general government transparency. 

The Guardian: US Rendition Survivors Urge Obama to Declassify Torture Report



The US’s most significant global rival is making moves around the world. 

ABC News: China Deploys Armed Drone to Multinational Drills

The Diplomat: The US Will Defend Japan; The Question is How?

China Daily: Chinese Lawmakers Move to Tackle Espionage Threat



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

Brookings: ISIS and the New Middle East Cold War

The Daily Beast: US and Iran Hit ISIS, Ignore Each Other

The Guardian: Yadizis Still Stranded on Mount Sinjar



News articles that highlight the secret history of history. 

The Telegraph (UK): America’s Secret Plan to Stop Invasion of Alaska Revealed

Ars Technica: The Executive Order that Led to Mass Spying, as Told By NSA Alumni



All the news that doesn’t fit. 

Space News: A Legacy of Leading Change at NGA

Department of Defense: Votel Takes Charge of Special Operations Command