Thursday, February 14, 2019

"Belgian Counterintelligence Chief Suspected of Spying for Russia" (and two other spy stories)

EV:

The report of De Morgen connects the Russian espionage accusations against Vandenborre with long-standing tensions within Belgium’s intelligence ADIV stemming from conflicts between officers with military and civilian backgrounds as well as generational rift between older operatives and their younger colleagues.

While the counterintelligence department of ADIV is staffed mostly with civilians, the intelligence department features mostly military personnel.

At the same time, younger officers from Vandenborre’s department have complained by his management style.
Related: "Sweden’s ambassador to China has been recalled to Stockholm and is under investigation for her alleged role in an unusual meeting between two businessmen and the daughter of a Swedish bookseller detained by Chinese state security"
Just before Lindstedt’s removal, Angela Gui posted an explosive account on Medium alleging that the businessmen, aided by the ambassador, promised her jobs and other aid — and a relatively short prison term for her father — if she agreed to stop speaking out publicly about his case.

For three years, Angela Gui has publicly campaigned for the release of her father, a Swedish citizen and a Hong Kong-based bookseller who sold politically sensitive books about top Communist Party leaders.

...

“There was a lot of wine, a lot of people, and a lot of increasingly strange questions,” she wrote. “But because Ambassador Lindstedt was present and seemingly supportive of whatever it was that was going on, I kept assuming that this had been initiated by the Swedish Foreign Ministry.”
And: "Let Me Tell You About My Friend Maria Butina — Who Might Be A Russian Spy"
At the party, Maria sat on a chaise lounge in the shade and provided free entertainment. Maria’s credentials as a psychic were mysterious but rendered believable by her unwavering, serious tone — just like her entire biography. “The powers of a white witch skip a generation,” she said, before taking my palm into hers. “My grandmother taught me.”

She stared at my palm and paused with the anticipation of an awards show presenter. “You are definitely a cheater,” she pronounced, eventually. “One hundred percent a cheater. You will definitely cheat on your husband.” I was 22, and by then had gone to countless palm readers down the Jersey shore and in small storefronts in suburban towns. None had unrolled fortunes with such matter-of-factness. She proceeded to unspool similarly merciless fortunes to the rest of my friends brave enough to face her firing squad. She told one girl she wouldn’t get married, but would have one child, “at best.” Another, that she would forever fight with her parents.